Knowledgebase Articles You Should Read

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Recent KB Articles

8/15/07 0 comments 8842 views

When a task is triggered, AutoMate checks the state of the machine, whether it is logged on, logged off or locked, then observes and complies with the 'Logon' credentials of the task. When a machine is locked, and AutoMate needs to unlock it in order to properly run the task, it will attempt to do so using the "Specified User" or the "Default User" account (if the Specified User points to the Default User located in 'System' -> 'Options' -> 'Default User' tab). Microsoft developed Windows in a manner that only the user who last locked the workstation can unlock it. So if your default user is set to you, but another user locked the machine (whether locally or during a remote session), the task will not be able to unlock the machine because Windows will want you to verify that you…

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8/7/07 2 comments 18599 views

Introduction
Like variables, datasets are used to represent data in a task that may be different each time a task executes. But unlike standard variables, datasets can contain multiple rows and columns. This is useful when retrieving information that describes more than one object or represents a collection of data such as a database or spreadsheet. Conceptually, the data is laid out like a table and is accessed in much the same way (i.e. by specifying the column and row where the data resides). Several actions in AutoMate create and populate datasets, including 'SQL Query,' 'SNMP Get,' 'POP3 Email' and specific 'Excel' actions. Using Datasets
Every dataset created and used in AutoMate must have a unique name, much like variables…

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8/7/07 0 comments 9093 views

Variables - Overview
A variable is a named storage location that can contain data which, if needed, may be modified during task execution. In this manner, variables can be used to represent and store dynamic data that may be different each time the task is run. Each variable has a name that uniquely identifies it. Variables can be used to represent data in a task that may be different from system to system.How to Create a Variable
AutoMate's 'Create Variable' action generates a variable which can be used to store dynamic values for utilization in any step of the task or any subtasks started with the 'Start Task' action. The developer can enter a value to the variable during creation or the value field can be left blank. Instead, variabl…

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8/3/07 0 comments 7933 views

Remote AdministrationRemote Administration provides the capability to directly manage an AutoMate client from any machine on a TCP/IP network where the AutoMate Task Administrator is running. Once connected to a remote AutoMate, a user can add, remove, modify and debug managed tasks and enable / disable task triggering on the remote machine.
A user can execute tasks on a remote machine where an AutoMate task service resides as well. This article will provide comprehensive information regarding AutoMate's Remote Administration function. It will cover such topics as configuring and starting Remote Administration, working with managed tasks, deploying tasks, managing and executing remote tasks. Overview
AutoMate is a collection of …

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8/2/07 12 comments 16312 views

Symptoms:The 'Logon' options located in the 'Managed Task Properties' of each task allow the user to specify under which user context a task should run when it is triggered (started automatically). If a task is set to launch when the system is locked or logged off and the 'Logon' parameters are either "Logon specified user," "Unlock using specified user," or "Run as background user," the error "Task could not start because logon failed" or "Task could not start because Hook window cannot be found" may occur. Reasons / Solutions:AutoMate may be attempting to send the keystrokes too soon.
AutoMate attempts to log on a user by simulating the keystrokes a user would use when loggin…

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4/4/07 2 comments 18872 views

SYMPTOMS After installing Microsoft Security Update KB925902 (issued April 3, 2007), startup of the AutoMate Task Builder or AutoMate Task Administrator fails with error: "The system DLL user32.dll was relocated in memory. The application will not run properly. The relocation occurred because the DLL C:\WINDOWS\system32\HHCTRL.OCX occupied an address range reserved for Windows system DLLs. The vendor supplying the DLL should be contacted for a new DLL." REASONS The Microsoft Security Update KB925902 breaks the Microsoft provided HHCTRL.OCX that AutoMate uses to provide Microsoft HTML Help System support in the Task Ad…

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10/26/06 6 comments 11993 views

Introduction
AutoMate's Enterprise Edition includes advanced Enterprise class functionality and is ideal for the networked environment. It consists of the "Enterprise" installation and remote "Agent(s)." The User can create, edit and debug tasks on the Enterprise and subsequently deploy them to AutoMate Agents installed on other machines. The Enterprise and Agent are identical installations but, unlike the Enterprise installation, the Agent does not include a GUI (Graphic User Interface). It quietly resides on the remote machine and performs tasks as directed by AutoMate Enterprise developers. With the Enterprise Edition, tasks can be constructed, organized and deployed from one convenient location. Furthermore, licensing Agents is more manageab…

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10/26/06 0 comments 9468 views

Introduction
Triggers are events that cause a task to run. These include a schedule, when a file is added, removed or modified, when the system is Idle, when an entry is written to the system event log, when certain hardware performance thresholds are reached, when a hot-key is pressed and much more. When a task is "triggered" the steps within the task are executed. This article will provide a general description and overview of each trigger contained in AutoMate as well as some practical uses. Important Notes
Triggers are constructed in the Task Administrator in the Managed Task Properties of each task. To access trigger settings for tasks, open the Task Administrator, double click the task or click the task and select "…

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10/26/06 6 comments 9991 views

Symptoms / Reasons:
When a task that includes a 'Focus Window' or 'Wait for Window' action is launched while the Task Administrator window is open, AutoMate may fail to focus on the specified window and issue error "The system cannot find the file specified" or "Window cannot be focused."The "Windows Foreground Timeout" feature of the Windows operating systems prevent other applications from focusing or changing the order of windows on a system without direct user interaction unless the application has been accessed within a set period of time. This can prevent AutoMate from properly focusing specific windows when using the 'Focus Window' action (the error may be confusing because it should actually read: "The system canno…

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10/26/06 0 comments 6961 views

Introduction
AutoMate provides three levels in which it can automatically detect and handle errors. They include the System (or Global) Level, Task Level and Step Level. Furthermore, AutoMate includes different options for each level to handle errors when they occur. How AutoMate reacts to an error and what can be done when one occurs depends on how its 'Error Handling' parameters are set in the managed task's properties. Flow of Error Handling
Each step has its own set of errors that can occur based on the purposes of the action itself. Additionally, every available action in AutoMate contains two special tabs called 'Error Causes' and 'On Error.' If an error occurs, the step checks the 'Error Causes' tab to verify whether or not the e…

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8/2/06 2 comments 12618 views

Learn how to use AutoMate to perform High Level and Reiterative Testing for Quality Assurance Professionals Product testing can be a time consuming process for even the most efficient Quality Assurance departments. The resources required for a truly thorough testing pattern can be burdensome to the smaller software development house. However, the importance of testing a product can never be understated, and the quality of the product can be directly tied to the amount of testing the product has undergone. Automating these processes can provide better results in less time and with much less effort, allowing a better product to be delivered in a shorter period of time and with less investment, especially between software revisions of the same product. Her…

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7/17/06 14 comments 12909 views

AutoMate attempts to log on a user or unlock a workstation by simulating the keystrokes a user would use when logging onto or unlocking the workstation. The keystrokes to simulate are specified in 'System' -> 'Options' of the Task Administrator under the 'Logon Keystrokes' tab and uses the same syntax as the 'Send Keystrokes' action. Three special fields can be used: {USERNAME}
Placeholder for the user name as specified by the Default User Options.
  {PASSWORD}
Placeholder for the password as specified by the Default User Options.
  {DOMAIN}
Placeholder for the domain/machine name as specified by the Default User Options. Before a task starts executing, Aut…

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7/17/06 28 comments 18254 views

IntroductionOccasionally users may have a need to run a task created in AutoMate from outside of AutoMate. Usually the user wishes to run the task from one of the following: A batch fileAn external programThe command line A desktop icon The files AMTask.exe and AMTaskCm.exe (collectively AMTask) exist for this purpose and can be found in the AutoMate folder which is installed (by default) at "C:\Program Files\AutoMate 6\".How to use AMTask
Proper usage of AMTask.exe or AMTaskcm.is entering the default installation path of AMTask.exe or AMTaskCm.exe enclosed in parenthesis, followed by the path location of the .AML file associated with the task, also enclosed in parenthesis …

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7/6/06 4 comments 12136 views

IntroductionThere are a number of factors to take into account when triggers fail. This article will cover the more common factors and provide solutions to some general trigger-related issues. Reasons / SolutionsTask Service is not running
Navigate to 'Control Panel' -> 'Administrative Tools' -> 'Services' -> 'AutoMate 6.' And follow these instructions:On the 'General' tab, make certain that the "Startup type" is "Automatic" and that the "Service Status" is "Started." If the status is "Stopped," click the "Start" button to start the service. On the 'Log On' tab, confirm that "Log on as" is set to "…

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7/6/06 0 comments 7971 views

Symptoms If an AutoMate task includes a 'Send Email' action or is set to send an email upon error, the following email related errors may occur: Relaying Denied Unable to relay for user@email.com Connection Refused Reasons A mail server will generate a "Relaying Denied" error when an unauthorized user attempts to send non-local email through the server. Non-local email is email which is addressed to a different server. Generally for security purposes, server settings can be modified to block relaying. In other words, an email server can be set so that it will not relay mail from just anyone. It will only allow trusted users or computers to send email via the server.…

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6/23/06 4 comments 97324 views

IntroductionA socket is defined as one endpoint of a two-way communication link between two programs running on the network. A socket is bound to a port number so that the TCP layer can identify the application that data is destined to be sent.Normally an FTP server runs on a specific machine and has a socket that is set to a specific port number. The server mainly waits and listens to the socket for a client to make a connection request. The client makes a connection request by trying to meet with the server on the server's machine and port. If everything goes well, the server accepts the connection. Upon acceptance, the server gets a new socket bound to the same port. It needs a new socket so that it can continue to listen to the original socket for conn…

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6/23/06 6 comments 8649 views

Introduction
Each task includes important details such as 'Trigger', 'Security,' 'Priority' and 'Logon' settings which are located in the 'Managed Task Properties' window. Normally, you can access the task properties from the Task Administrator by double-clicking a task or right-clicking a task and selecting "Properties." Whether migrating tasks from a previous version or moving tasks from one AutoMate server to another, the proper method to accomplish this would be to use the 'Export' and 'Import' features located in the File menu of the Task Administrator. Simply copying tasks from one default managed task location to another will not migrate triggers and other task properties. Furthermore, importing externally saved task files (without initially…

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6/22/06 4 comments 6849 views

SymptomsCreating a new task or importing an existing task results in a "Request to add task failed" error. If using the New Task Wizard to add a new task, the following error may occur instead: "Could not create associated task file. Please close wizard and try again." Additionally the task icons may become marked with a red "X."Reasons / SolutionsAn incorrect default managed task folder is specified
This error occurs when AutoMate cannot access the "Default managed task location" specified in the 'System' -> 'Options' -> 'System' tab. Unless modified, the default managed tasks are located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My AutoMate Tasks. Confi…

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6/22/06 0 comments 8457 views

This knowledgebase article is written as a supplement to the existing knowledgebase article posted below: Error connecting to Local Tasks when starting the Task AdministratorAutoMate saves triggers associated with a task as well as all information located in the 'Managed Task Properties' window (i.e. General, Logon, Security properties) to a task database file named AM6Taskfile.atl (In AutoMate 5, the file is named AM5Taskfile.atl). Aside from the reasons discussed in the previous Knowledgebase article, another reason you may be unable to connect to local tasks when starting the Task Administrator is due to a corrupt task database file. In ord…

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6/22/06 0 comments 5788 views

SymptomsFrom the Task Administrator, task icons are marked with a red "X." If trying to edit the steps to the task, the 'Edit Steps' button will be disabled or the following error occurs: "The task file associated with this task cannot be found." Reasons / SolutionsThe wrong default managed task location is being specified
The problem may occur if the .AML files were moved from its default location to another folder and changes were not made to the 'Default managed task location' option to point to the new folder. From the 'Task Administrator,' go to 'System' -> 'Options' -> 'System' tab. Verify that the "Default managed task location" is indeed pointing to the cor…

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