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5/24/06 0 comments 8170 views

IntroductionMany people hesitate to upgrade because they assume that installing AutoMate 6 on a system with AutoMate 4 will interfere or convert their existing AutoMate tasks; this is not the case. Because so many of our users relied on AutoMate 4 for mission-critical tasks, AutoMate 6 was designed from the very beginning to operate side-by-side with AutoMate 4 and/or 5. This design eliminates time pressure and risk normally present when upgrading mission critical software, allowing the user to migrate when it is convenient even piece by piece, if desired. The following article outlines the simple process of upgrading to AutoMate 6 on a workstation with an existing installation of AutoMate 4Installing AutoMate 6 to an Existing AutoMate 4 SystemLoca…

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11/14/05 0 comments 5690 views

SymptomsWhen using the Wait For Process action to wait for a 64-bit process, that step waits indefinitely.When using the Process Watcher to wait for a 64-bit process, the trigger never fires.64-bit applications are not listed in the dropdown of both the Wait For Process action and the Process Watcher Trigger parameters.ReasonAutoMate 6 is a 32-bit application and runs in a segregated area of Windows 64-bit called WOW64. This prevents AutoMate from "seeing" any other process that do not reside in a WOW64 environment, effectively blocking it's ability to wait or watch for 64-bit process. AutoMate still works correctly with other 32-bit process on 64-bit WindowsSolutionNetwork Automation has identified this as a problem with …

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11/14/05 2 comments 6260 views

IntroductionStarting with AutoMate 6.0.5, the FTP Advanced action supports populating an AutoMate dataset with a directory listing from any compatible FTP server. Using this dataset, a user can test for the presence of specific files and tailor their task to specific file state situations on the FTP server. Other reasons include:Only downloading files under a certain sizeOnly downloading files older than a certain dateDownloading and deleting all of the files in a directory without using wildcards in order to avoid removing files that are added between stepsUsageUse the FTP Logon action to logon to an FTP server. Next, use an FTP Advanced step with the "FTP Command" parameter set to "Get long file list." On…

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11/14/05 0 comments 5641 views

Introduction AutoMate provides two operating environments: a debugging environment for creating, debugging and perfecting tasks, and another to run the tasks in an optimized state. Debugging and testing should be done with the AutoMate Task Builder, which provides a full featured integrated debugging environment for building solutions. The Task Administrator should be used to run debugged and operational tasks, either manually with the run button or by attaching an AutoMate Trigger to the Managed Task. Generally speaking, getting the most speed out of an AutoMate tasks is a matter of balancing runtime feedback with the need for speed. Tips To Speed Task Execution Speed Do not run production tasks in the AutoMate Task Builder
The AutoMa…

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11/14/05 6 comments 14747 views

Symptoms Attempting to trigger a task or run a task manually using the AutoMate Task Administrator fails at Step 0 with error "Could not contact the AutoMate Event Monitor."Reason
When a task is set to run interactively, the Task Service attempts to contact another AutoMate application called the AutoMate Event Monitor. This applications runs in the system tray with process name AMEM.EXE. Normally the presence of the Event Monitor can be revealed by looking for the AutoMate icon near the system clock. However, it is possible to not see the icon while the Event Monitor is running if the icon has been turned off in the AutoMate System Options. If the Task Service cannot contact the Event Monitor, the task will failed with "Could not co…

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7/26/05 0 comments 7625 views

Symptoms The Hibernate/Suspend action does not perform as expected on some machines. The task may stop with error "System does not support hibernating", or the system may hibernate or suspend but not wake up at the specified time. Reason AutoMate 6's suspend and hibernate capability are dependent on the capabilities of the operating system and the system hardware. Typically, the interaction between the system's mainboard and install operating system dictate whether hibernate and/or suspend are available. Likewise, not all systems support dynamic "wake up" or power on. Notebooks typically offer this support, while desktop machines and servers do not. Complicating matters is the requirement of all software and hardware on the system …

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6/1/05 18 comments 15626 views

Symptoms When the Task Administrator is started, your tasks may not appear and one of the following messages may appear in Messages: "Connection to 127.0.0.1 could not be established. Is the AutoMate Task Service running on that machine?" or "Connection to Local Tasks could not be established. Is the AutoMate Task Service running on that machine?" Possible Reasons The AutoMate Task Administrator uses TCP/IP to communicate with the AutoMate Task Service, which runs as a Win32 Service. This message appears if a TCP/IP connection cannot be established between the Task Administrator and the Task Service. Possible reasons for this are: The Task Service is not run…

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5/13/05 6 comments 8176 views

Description When you attempt to connect to a remote AutoMate machine using the AutoMate Task Administrator, the connection is refused and one of the following messages is written to the output window: "Connection to <machinename> refused because authentication failed." "Connection to <machinename> refused because the AutoMate versions are incompatible." "Connection to <machinename> refused because the serial code is invalid." "Connection to <machinename> refused because the AutoMate editions are incompatible." Resolution This message can occur if the password used to connect to the remote machine is incorrect, or if a…

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5/5/05 0 comments 7325 views

IntroductionAutoMate Enterprise can log status and messaging events to an external database provider such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or mySQL. The document explains how to setup a mySQL data source connection in AutoMate where system events and messages can be logged. While there appears to be a number of steps, the bulk of the work involves setting up an initial ODBC connection to the mySQL database, which is a necessary procedure in Microsoft Windows to execute SQL statements on database engines provided by various database vendors.What Will You NeedA properly configured and running mySQL installationAn existing and preferably empty database or schemaAny necessary information required to connect to the database, such as a val…

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4/23/05 0 comments 4430 views

SummaryAn issue has been identified affecting AutoMate versions 6.0.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2 and 6.0.3 when using the "Dupilicate Task" feature.SymptomsTasks do not trigger (scheduled or/and other trigger) after the "Duplicate task" feature. Usually the original task will stop running when it is supposed to and only the last task created via the "duplicate task" feature will continue running when the trigger condition occurs.WorkaroundFor all tasks created via the "duplicate task" feature, go to the task properties Trigger tab, delete the trigger then re-create it via the Add button. Simply editing the trigger will not fix the problem. After you have recreated the triggers you must restart all AutoMate applications …

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3/12/05 2 comments 10291 views

SummaryThis error message can occur when Windows is booted or the Task Administrator is opened and the service is either not able to respond or cannot be reached via TCP/IP.SolutionThere are two things that are important to understand when diagnosing the cause of this message:Various portions of AutoMate use TCP/IP to communicate with each other, even when communicating on the local machine.127.0.0.1 is a loopback network connection. For example, if you telnet, ftp, etc... to127.0.0.1, you are immediately connected to your own machine.What does all this mean? A component was unable to send a message via TCP/IP to another component of AutoMate.AutoMate 5 uses TCP Port 7477 by default. AutoMate 6 uses 7677. It would first b…

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3/4/05 0 comments 14820 views

Introduction AutoMate 6 can be installed using simple command-line parameters through the use of MSIExec and the AutoMate 6 MSI file available for download on the Account Maintenance site. This allows for easy mass deployment and simplified automated installations. What Will You Need The AutoMate 6 installation MSI file (which can be found as a separate download link on the Account Maintenance Page), and Your AutoMate 6 Serial Code Your AutoMate 4 or AutoMate 5 Serial Code (if you are upgrading to AutoMate 6) Installing AutoMate Professional To install the product, use the fo…

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2/26/05 12 comments 14892 views

Introduction Several AutoMate actions, notably the Find Text and Replace Text actions, allow the use of "regular expressions". Regular expressions are powerful notations that allow a wide range of text searching using formulas specific to string manipulation. This article describes the regular expression syntax used in AutoMate 5 and 6. Finding Text Text can be found in a string using a regular expression by specifying a "match expression". A Match expression operates on a single line of text at one time. No match can span multiple lines of text. Match regular expressions are composed of the following: Period ('.') Matches any single character except newline. A newline (internally) is re…

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1/31/05 6 comments 11672 views

Introduction AutoMate can easily interact with a mySQL server and its associated databases through the SQL Query and SQL Stored Procedure actions. The document explains how to setup a mySQL data source connection through AutoMate that can be used to run queries against a mySQL database. While there appears to be a number of steps, the bulk of the work involves setting up an initial ODBC connection to the mySQL database, which is a necessary procedure in Microsoft Windows to execute SQL statements on database engines provided by various database vendors. What Will You Need A properly configured and running mySQL installation Any necessary information required to connect to the database, such as a valid username and password …

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1/19/05 0 comments 7848 views

IntroductionAutoMate 6 can be installed silently (without user interfaces or interaction) using command-line parameters through the use of MSIExec and the AutoMate 6 MSI file available for download on the Account Maintenance site.ProcedureFollow the instructions of Knowledge Base Article AM6010 to determine the command-line necessary for your installation, and add /qn to the end. For example:msiexec.exe /i <path to AutoMate MSI file> SERIALCODE="AM6-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx" /qnThe /qn switch indicates a silent install with no user dialogs. Note that, because the install will not prompt for input from the user, the correct serial codes and options must be set on the command line in order for the in…

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12/25/04 4 comments 13097 views

IntroductionTerminal Services is a feature available on Windows server platforms such as Windows 2000 Server. In Windows NT, these services were included only in Windows NT Terminal Server. Terminal Services functionality is not installed by default; the system administrator must explicitly install and enable it. Once installed and enabled, these services allow a single computer to host multiple simultaneous user sessions.Although each session has its own desktop, they all share the same set of system services and resources. Since AutoMate is a system based software service as opposed to a user-based software application, there are a few important issues to be aware of when using AutoMate in a Terminal Services environment.In a Terminal Services environment…

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11/30/04 2 comments 12825 views

IntroductionOccasionally you may require AutoMate to generate formatted text representing the current date/time, or the date/time offset by a certain number of days/months/or years. Usually this text value is used to rename a file or create a folder for file archiving purposes. Alternatively, it may be used for data entry when sending keystrokes to an application when a date or date range is needed and will vary depending on what day the task is run. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: either by using expressions or via the Format Date/Time action.Using an expression is the most compact method of returning a formatted date/time as it can be placed directly into the step where the text should be used. However, using an expression is generally considered more diff…

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11/1/04 0 comments 6030 views

Important!This article should be considered obsolete since the release of AutoMate 6 as a result of its ability to create and manipulate arrays. AutoMate 5 users:In certain instances it is useful to dynamically generate variable names. To do this a variable may be created by using the contents of another variable in the name.Please note that in order to display the variable, the GetVarValueByVarName function must be used. This is because using %test%%loopcount% creates a double-percentage sign which resolves to a literal percent sign.Example<AMVARIABLE NAME="Loopcount">3</AMVARIABLE>
<AMVARIABLE NAME="test%loopcount%">test</AMVARIABLE>
<AMMESSAGEBOX>%GetVarValueByVarName('te…

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10/12/04 2 comments 8360 views

IntroductionA percent sign is used as a special character in AutoMate to indicate the beginning and end of an expression. For example: %1+1% inside a task will resolve to 2 at runtime. To send a literal percent sign simply escape the percent character.Example: To send the text "5%" specify "5%%" At runtime the double percentage signs will be recognized and converted into one.Doubling the percent sign is known as "escaping the percent sign."Concatenating Two Values in an ExpressionIn some cases, it is necessary to concatenate two variables, functions, or some combination thereof. In this case it is critical to remember that two percent signs always mean a literal percent. So…

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10/1/04 6 comments 9673 views

IntroductionTo understand network access problems in AutoMate it is important cover briefly the security architecture of Windows and how it relates to AutoMateWindows Services
A Windows “Service” is a special type of program which, unlike a traditional application, starts automatically when the computer starts before the user logs on. Because of this unique behavior, services are useful in software that performs operations in the background such as server applications and system automation software. Because services start before user logon, they do not run under the same user-context as applications that are started after logon. Rather, most services run under a special system account called LocalSystem. LocalSystem is a built-in …

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