What's New in AutoMate 7

And now, we are proud to present the new feature list for AutoMateā„¢ 7

In AutoMate 7, the task file format will now be compatible with AutoMate BPA Server for easy sharing between the two systems. Additionally, AutoMate 7 supports the migration of task files created from AutoMate 6 installations. Numerous existing actions have been updated to include new features and enhancements. AutoMate 7 also contains over 70 new actions previously found only in BPA Server.

New Features List


Over 230 Actions

AutoMate 7 encompasses all of the actions found in AutoMate 6 and BPA Server combined. Available actions include extensive support for XML, MSMQ communications, SQL transactions, E-mail, Active Directory, WMI, HTTP, FTP/SFTP, File Management and Operations, PGP and Cryptography, Timers, DLL Calls, Environment Variables, Object Types, GUI automation, Reading/Writing Data, Terminal Emulation, Telnet, SNMP and many more.

Active Directory Management

Automate 7 contains fifteen new Active Directory actions which can aid Network Administrators and IT Technicians with their day-to-day activities by automating a variety of elaborate tasks such as bulk creation, retrieval, management and deletion of groups, user accounts and other Active Directory objects. These actions eliminate repetitive, mundane and time consuming procedures associated with Active Directory management.

 

WMI trigger

WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is a management technology implemented by Microsoft which allows scripts to monitor and control managed resources. As SQL (Standard Query Language) is used to query a database, WQL (WMI Query Language) is used to query WMI information. The new WMI trigger encompassed in AutoMate 7 is capable of monitoring WQL queries and can launch a task when a WQL query returns true or more than zero rows.

 

MSMQ Communication

MSMQ (Microsoft Message Queuing) is a communications service developed by Microsoft that allows client applications to send and receive messages from each other. The new 'MSMQ' action allows communication with MSMQ message queues. Options include the ability to create, delete or clear a Microsoft Messaging Queue on a local or remote machine as well as the ability to send, retrieve and wait for MSMQ messages.

 

XML Manipulation

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a widely used system for defining data formats. A total of seventeen new XML actions are encompassed in AutoMate 7 which perform a variety of XML related procedures. These actions are capable of transforming, merging, validating and signing XML documents. They can read, create, edit or delete XML nodes as well as extract XML fragments and save them to a file - and much more.

 

Management of Environment Variables

Environment variables are a set of dynamic values consisting of system environment information that can control the behavior of various programs. AutoMate 7 includes a group of new actions designed to automate the management of environment variables. Such actions can create an environment variable, set an environment variable with a specified value, delete an environment variable, append data to the value of an environment variable and read the value of one or more environment variables and save them to an AutoMate variable or dataset.   

 

Enhanced File Manipulation

AutoMate 7 contains an assortment of new file related actions providing more control and management of files. Such actions include the 'Concatenate Files' action, which concatenates two files into a single output file. The 'Calculate File Checksum' action can calculate the checksum of a file allowing the most accurate way to compare two files. The 'Split File' action allows splitting of a file into parts of a fixed size and the 'Join File' action merges a previously split file. Additionally, the Touch File action "touches" file(s) in order to update their creation, modified or last accessed date/time.

 

Retrieval of File Information

The new 'Get File Information' action is capable of retrieving various information regarding one or more files (i.e. file name, extension, attributes, creation and modified time). The information can be stored into an AutoMate variable or dataset for use in subsequent task steps.

 

Web Service Capabilities

The new 'Web Service' action performs native Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) operations utilizing Web Services and Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) files.

 

Improved Task Decision Making Functionality

'If' is an extremely useful action because it allows decisions to be made during the execution of the task depending on the result of an expression evaluation. AutoMate 7's decision making capabilities are further improved with the edition of the 'If Compare Files' and 'If Last Step' actions. The 'If Compare Files' action, allows comparison of two files and controls task flow depending on whether the files are identical or different. The 'If Last Step' action controls task flow depending on whether the previous task step was a success, general failure, or failed because of a specific error.

 

Increased Service and Process Capabilities

AutoMate 7 contains new actions which provide more management of system services and processes. The new 'Get Service State' action populates an AutoMate variable with the current state of the specified service (i.e. Stopped, Running, Paused etc.). The new 'List Services' action creates and populates a specified AutoMate dataset with the services installed on the system along with their current state. The new 'Get Process Information' action creates and populates an AutoMate dataset with information about the specified Windows process. This information includes process name, process ID, process start time, resource usage by the process - and much more.

 

Cryptography

A variety of new cryptography actions are added to the AutoMate 7 family of actions which can fully automate encryption and decryption operations. These actions include the ability to create/delete key containers, generate key pairs, sign/verify files as well as encrypt/decrypt files. Additionally, the new Cryptography actions support both PGP and OpenPGP encryption.

 

Added Security Associated Actions

The new 'Generate Password' action generates a random string using any possible printable character between the specified minimum and maximum sizes. This string conforms to the defacto standard for strong passwords. In cases where certain tasks should only be run by certain users, an 'Authenticate' action has been added as well. This action suspends task execution and provides a few ways for the user to authenticate himself/herself before continuing.

 

Create/Define Object Type

The new 'Create Object' action creates an Automate Object from a defined custom type or web service while the 'Define Type' action defines a custom object type or types defined in a web service.

 

Twitter and Instant Message Functionality

The 'Twitter' action can perform automated status message updates on a valid Twitter account and a variety of other Twitter actions, such as Get Status, Delete Status, Send Direct Message, Get Friends, Get Followers and much more. The 'Send IM' action can be used to send an instant message via Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, or ICQ.

Timers

Timer actions are added to AutoMate 7 which can be used to gauge the execution time between the start and end of a running task.   

 

Holiday Support

The Holidays section located in System Options provides the addition of future holidays. This feature can be used in conjunction with the Schedule trigger to allow custom schedules to be made.

 

Enhancements to Existing Features


Enhanced Task Builder

The new Task Builder supports a fully customized Available Actions list, multiple document support, find and replace, stack viewer and improved action search with filtering for quickly finding a desired action. Multiple tasks can now be opened within the same Task Builder interface at the same time. When more than one task is open, tabs are created at the bottom of the Steps pane representing each task. Each tab is labeled with the name of the corresponding task. The steps of the desired task can be viewed by simply selecting the proper tab. When a task is selected, the Steps pane becomes populated with steps of that task and the Status bar and Debug pane show data for that task. The Debug pane contains two new views. The Comments view is used to view comments added the current task. The Stack view shows the task execution depth of the current task.

 

Exchange, TLS/SSL E-Mail Support

AutoMate 7's 'Get E-mail' and 'Send E-mail' actions now support the ability to send e-mail messages through SMTP and WEBDAV (Exchange Server) protocol as well as retrieve and/or remove e-mail from a POP3/IMAP/WEBDAV (Exchange Server) mail box. A new 'Exchange' action has also been added allowing the creation, retrieval, modification and deletion of Exchange objects. AutoMate 7's e-mail actions also support Explicit and Implicit Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security, which are cryptographic protocols that provide security and data integrity for communications over SMTP, IMAP and POP3 protocols.

 

Improved Compress File Action

AutoMate 7's File Compression engine now supports the compression/decompression of files up to 2GB in size.

 

Updated FTP/SFTP Engine

AutoMate's internal FTP engine is compatible with all FTP connection methods, particularly security-based connections. This includes both explicit and implicit FTPS (FTP Secure or FTP-SSL) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols. Certificate Authenticity is supported for those servers that require clients to authenticate themselves using a certificate. SFTP (or Secure FTP), which uses Secure Shell (SSH) protocol is also supported. Additionally, it supports Tumbleweed Secure Transport, the industry's most secure Managed File Transfer solution.

 

SQL Queries Session Support

AutoMate 7 now allows for multiple queries to simultaneously occur on the same database by simply adding a session name to each 'SQL Query' action within a task.

 

Enhanced Performance Trigger

The Performance trigger has been upgraded to support monitoring of hundreds of new system metrics, either locally or on a remote machine. Specific performance counters can now be monitored, which is useful because counters provide information as to how well the operating system or an application, service, or driver is performing. Automate's Performance Trigger can greatly assist Network Administrators in determining system bottlenecks and fine-tune system and application performance.

See Also

Professional Edition vs. Premium Edition

Contacting Network Automation