AutoMate Attachments

by Scott Robinet, in Tech Talk, posted 5/18/06

A great feature lies tucked away in the AutoMate Task Builder than can make exporting and sharing tasks a whole lot easier: attachments. Attachments allow a file of any type to be embedded within a task so that third-party elements can be included with a task for greater portability. For example if you have a task that plays a .wav file when a certain event occurs you can guarantee the sound file will always be present on the system by attaching the file to the task.

Task attachments can be added and removed in the Task Builder's Attachment windows. Normally this window is docked together with the other Debug Windows at the bottom of the Task Builder (though like all other debug windows, it can be undocked and placed anywhere on the screen). To add an attachment, right click inside the Attachment window and choose Add. Browse to the file you wish to attach and click OK. The full path to the file will be shown in the attachment window.

To remove an attachment, select the attachment filename and choose Remove from the right-click menu. Once the task is saved, the Task Builder will attach each file in the Attachments window to the AutoMate task file. At runtime, these attachments are extracted and placed in the user's temporary files location.
To use an attachment in your task, use the filename (without the path) of the attachment.

For example, if you attach the sound file "C:\MySounds\ScreamingBoar.wav", you would refer to this file in a Play Sound step as ScreamingBoar.wav.

Attachments can be of any type and size, but be aware that the size of the task file expands with the size and number of attachments. On average, the size of the task file will increase by twice the size of each attachment due to the MIME encoding method.

Next month, we'll move out of the realm of the Task Builder and delve deeper into some the great features the AutoMate Task Administrator has to offer. Until then, Happy AutoMating!

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