Managed vs. Unmanaged Tasks

In AutoMate, there are two categories of tasks, managed tasks and unmanaged tasks. Below describes each type and the key distinctions between both.

Managed Task


A managed task is a task that is initially created using the Task Administrator by means of clicking the New button or one that is imported into the Task Administrator. A task created in this fashion is automatically accessible from Task Administrator. It can be executed, modified or deployed to remote AutoMate clients through the Task Administrator by simply clicking the appropriate button and it can include managed task properties such as triggers, errors, details, logging and priority settings (among others). For details regarding managed task properties, see About Managed Task Properties.

All tasks created from or imported to the Task Administrator can be managed from the Task Administrator, and thus, becomes "managed tasks". Such tasks are visible in the Task Administrator's Managed Tasks window and all task management functions of are available for use with that task. This is generally the manner in which most or all tasks are created.

Unmanaged Task


An unmanaged task, also known as an external task, is one created without the use of the Task Administrator. Therefore, management functions of Task Administrator cannot be applied to this type of task. To create external tasks, you bypass the Task Administrator by directly opening the Task Builder, either by selecting the AutoMate Task Builder option from the Windows Start menu or by running the Task Builder executable (C:\Program Files\AutoMate 9\AMTB.exe).

External tasks basically contain a series of steps, however, they do not include other properties such as triggers, logon or security settings. An external task is saved in its own location and does not appear in the Task Administrator window.

When using tasks generally for code reuse, such as running a sub-task (i.e. task module made only to be reused) using the Start Task action, creating an external task is more sensible because sub-tasks normally do not need to be triggered (they are only called from other tasks), thus, there is no need to add them to the Task Administrator. In most cases, only the "parent" task should be added to the Task Administrator. Sub-tasks may be better stored in a designated location on the hard disk or network and called by their filename.

NOTE: An external task can be changed to a managed task at any time by importing it into the Task Administrator. For further information see Importing Tasks

Managed Task


A "managed task" is one that is initially created using the SMC or WFD. A task created in this fashion is automatically added to the Repository, thus, they can be easily managed, are conveniently accessible, and can be re-used in future workflows. In addition, managed tasks encompass all available task properties such as Logon, Execution and Priority settings (among others).

Unmanaged Task


An unmanaged task, also known as an external task, is one created without the use of the SMC or WFD. This type of task basically contains a series of steps, however, they do not include management functions such as task properties and events/conditions. To create an unmanaged or external task, you directly open the Task Builder, either by selecting the Task Builder option from the Windows Start menu or by running the Task Builder executable in the BPA Program Files folder. Additionally, an external task is saved in its own location and does not appear in the Repository.

When using tasks generally for code reuse, such as running a sub-task (i.e. task module made only to be reused) using the Start Task action, creating an external task is more sensible because sub-tasks normally do not need to be triggered (they are only called from other tasks), thus, there is no need to add them to the Task Administrator. In most cases, only the "parent" task should be created as a managed task. Sub-tasks may be better stored in a designated location on the hard disk or network and called by their filename.

NOTE: An external or unmanaged task can be changed to a managed task at any time by importing it into the Repository. See Importing Items to the Repository for more details.

Unmanaged Task Options


When an external task is created or opened, the Task Builder interface comes equipped with commands that normally don't appear when editing a managed task, such as New, Open and Save As (as shown below).

The available menu options are listed on the table below.

Option

Description

New

Allows development of a new external task. A new tab will appear right below the Steps pane to provide easy viewing and editing of multiple tasks within one Task Builder instance.

Open

Opens one or more existing task (.AML) file(s) associated to an external task.

Save

Saves an external task. Existing external tasks will be saved to their original location automatically. If saving a new external task, you will be prompted for a location to save the new task.

Save As

Saves an external task to any desired location.

Save All

Saves multiple external tasks that are currently open.

See Also

Task Builder Quick Tour

Adding Task Steps

Working with Sub-tasks