Triggers are not working

Applies To: AutoMate 6, AutoMate 5
Published: 7/6/06 , modified August 2, 2006

Introduction

There 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 / Solutions

Task Service is not running
Navigate to 'Control Panel' -> 'Administrative Tools' -> 'Services' -> 'AutoMate 6.' And follow these instructions:

  1. On the 'General' tab, make certain that the "Startup type" is "Automatic" and that the "Service Status" is "Started."
  2. If the status is "Stopped," click the "Start" button to start the service.
  3. On the 'Log On' tab, confirm that "Log on as" is set to "Local System account" and that "Allow service to interact with desktop" is unchecked.

Triggering is disabled
If the blue "A" icon on the bottom right corner of your screen (by the clock) is marked with a red "X," this indicates that all task triggers are currently disabled. In order to re-enable task triggering, perform one of the following:

  • Right-click the "A" icon and select "Enable Task Triggering."
  • From the Task Administrator, go to 'System' and select "Enable Task Triggering."

Task is disabled
If a task is disabled, it will appear to be grayed out and the associated icon indicating the attached trigger will be replaced with a normal "A" (AutoMate) icon. In order to re-enable a task perform one of the following steps:

  • Right-click the task and select "Enable."
  • From the "Managed Task Properties" window, go to the 'General' tab and add a check to the option "Task is enabled."

User is connected via Terminal Services or Remote Desktop
AutoMate operates differently under a Remote Desktop session. When a user is connected via Remote Desktop, they are on a "virtual desktop." Since the AutoMate service runs on the console, tasks will not trigger when used during a Remote Desktop session. For example, the 'Key Watcher' will not trigger a task as a result of keystrokes typed during a remote session. Additionally, the 'Window Watcher' will not trigger as a result of open windows on a remote session. Only the console session is monitored for trigger conditions. Please refer to the following knowledgebase article for more details: AutoMate and Terminal Services

Network access issues
This issue generally affects the 'Folder Watcher' trigger. The 'Service User' (located in 'System' -> 'options' -> 'Service User' tab) is used to set the user context that the AutoMate Task Service should impersonate when accessing restricted or secured resources such as a network share. If no Service User is supplied, the Task Service runs as a LocalSystem user, which has very limited network permissions. Confirm that the 'Service User' is entered correctly and make certain that the user specified has proper permissions to access the folder being is monitored.

Furthermore, to ensure that AutoMate functions properly when a user is logged out, it is critical that mapped drive letters not be used. When using the 'File Watcher' trigger, folders should always be specified using UNC (Universal Naming Convention) paths. For example: X:\pathname\ should be \\servername\pathname\. Please refer to the following knowledgebase article for more details: Task Service Network Access Issues

Logon parameters are incorrect
The "Log On" options in AutoMate allow the user to specify under which user context a task should run when it is triggered (started automatically). It is also used to control how AutoMate handles conditions when a user is logged off or when a machine is locked. The default behavior is to not run the task if the workstation is locked or logged off. Other options allow the task to logon or unlock the machine as the default user (specified in 'System' -> 'Options' -> 'Default User' tab) and run the task. The user may also specify the task to run as a background user (if a task includes no interactivity actions).

Certain triggers monitor and/or interact with events that occur only when a user is logged onto the desktop. If the 'Logon' parameters of a task are set to "Run as background user," AutoMate does not display a desktop, therefore, triggers that require desktop interaction will not function. For example, the 'Window Watcher' trigger cannot recognize any application interfaces or the 'Idle Watcher' trigger cannot monitor keyboard or mouse input as a result of tasks being run in the background. In this case, the 'Logon' parameters need to be modified to "When workstation is logged off" -> "Logon specified user" or "When workstation is locked" -> "Unlock using specified user." In both cases, AutoMate will attempt to log onto the desktop before running the task.

There are no triggers associated with the task
Confirm that there is an actual trigger attached to the task. In the Task Administrator, tasks that are enabled and include a trigger will normally have an icon associated with that trigger (as opposed to the general "A" icon). Also, you can locate any associated triggers from the "Managed Task Properties" window by selecting the 'Triggers' tab. There are a few possible reasons why a trigger that was once included with a task can be missing.

Newly imported tasks were not properly migrated.

  • In order for triggers to be included during task migration, the task needs to be exported ('File' -> 'Export') from the old Task Administrator and imported ('File' -> 'Import') to the new 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 exporting them) will cause the triggers and managed task properties to be lost. Please refer to the following knowledgebase article for more details: Proper methods to migrate tasks

Task Database file is corrupt

  • AutoMate saves triggers associated with a task as well as all information located in the 'Managed Task Properties' to a task database file named AM6Taskfile.atl located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Network Automation\AutoMate 6 (In AutoMate 5, the file is named AM5Taskfile,atl and is located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Network Automation\AMTA). If AM6Taskfile.atl somehow becomes corrupt, all associated triggers (and possibly the task itself) will be lost. Please refer to the following knowledgebase article for more details: Unable To Connect To Local Tasks (corrupt .ATL file)