If you are technical sounds with good software background, there should not be any concern for you to write some simple coding in order to run some repetitive tasks. But if there is a choice, I think most of us would not prefer to write low level coding and that is how this utility comes handy in. Named as WinAutomation, it simplifies the code writing with nicely designed and user-friendly interface so that all the repetitive tasks can be automated, minimizing all the manual and non-productive boring repetitive tasks in daily life.
WinAutomation by Softomotive (aff) is an powerful automation tool that is able to simplify and automate any routine tasks in the most convenience and reliable way. For every repetitive tasks you have done every day, regardless of simple or complex, it will able to automate tasks in minutes without the need of writing any single script.
The major features of WinAutomation are:
- Visual Job Designer
With a very powerful built in Visual Job Designer, you are allowed to build predefined actions by using drag and drop feature via a visual editor. You don’t even need to write any single code or have any programming background, everything is in visual and the complex task can be automated just in minutes.
- Plenty of Predefined Actions
It has more than 130 powerful predefined actions that you can use them to build blocks of tasks. Some common actions include files download, emails sending, mouse clicks automation, screenshot capturing and all of these predefined actions can be used and combined to become a very powerful automated task.
- Macro Recorder
With the macro recorder feature, every mouse and keyboard event which has been performed by you can be recorded and then converted into executable task. This executable task can be replayed at later time at any speed as you like. This will be very helpful especially for routine tasks which need to be done in daily basis. By recording the whole complete process, you are no longer need to do it manually and repeatedly, just replay the recorded task and it will help you to complete the whole process with more effectively, and more importantly it is error free. If you would like to add some conditions or some logic to the recorded task, it allows you to do so by editing and modifying through the Visual Job Designer.
Another great feature that has been delivered by WinAutomation include the support of variables that are used to pass data from one action to another. These variables can be used to hold text, numerical, date & time, Boolean values as well as handle lists (arrays) and DataTables (two dimensional arrays) that eventually allows you to build a more complex logic and tasks.
- Flow Control, Conditionals, Loops
Same as programming language, it also supports flow control structures such as GoTo action, IF/ELSE construct, loops that repeat a block of actions number of times until those conditions are met.
- Integrated Debugger
You probably may encounter some automated jobs that not able to execute the tasks as expected, and if you need a debugger tool to help you troubleshoot to identity the problem, then the integrated debugger will able to disable actions, watch each action as it executes, set breakpoints to pause execution, execute the job step by step and also inspects the variable values and system changes.
- Exception Handling
Some tasks may fail during half way of execution due to some reasons like dependency system is down, hard disk space full and etc. All of these errors will be thrown out as exception and in order to have a more user friendly error message or to execute another set of logic, these exception need to be caught and handled properly. WinAutomation has the exception handling feature which you can rely on to catch those exceptions easily.
- Image Recognition
If you have any GUI-based automation task, then this feature may be very useful. Typically GUI may take some times to load very much depending on network speed, server request latency and etc, and the GUI loading time may vary from case to case, so solely depend on mouse pointer coordinate may not be sufficient. And now with Image Recognition technology, it is able to “see” what’s on the screen and will wait till the specific image or page to appear before performing the next action.
- Task Scheduler
With a user friendly UI, you can schedule any job to execute easily either by daily, multiple times a day, on specific days of the week or month, or run on specific dates and times. The next scheduled run time for each of job will be displayed as well so that you are aware on of it.
You can include a triggering action to execute specific events whenever a specific condition is met. For instance, have a trigger to purge log files when the log files is more than two months old.
- Event Log
Every transactions performed by WinAutomation are captured in event log to simplify the tracking purpose just in case you want to know which jobs were run at what time.
- Compile to EXE with Job Compiler
You can compile any job into a standalone .Net executable file so that it can be run in any computer without having WinAutomation being installed, but this feature is only applicable for Professional Edition.
Softomotive, the developer of WinAutomation, has made available a license to My Digital Life to review WinAutomation.
In our usage, installation of WinAutomation is very simple and straight forward, just like how most Windows apps are installed. The user interface of WinAutomation is clear cut and simple, especially for users who use backup software or any jobs-based application before. Using Win Automation may get more complicated (but not hard nor confusing) though. Depending on the tasks and jobs user wishes to automate, user may have to design an automated job by selecting from hundreds of actions in Job Designer, or use a very simple Macro Recorder to record mouse moves, mouse clicks and keystrokes for playback as automated job. The best thing is that no programming nor scripting required to create the automated process, significantly benefit non-advanced users.
While WinAutomation may require a slight learning curve on initial use, developer does provide many example jobs that can be used right away. The examples are grouped into 3 levels of difficulties, namely Beginner (e.g. Run Calculator, Open Web Page, Copy File, Send Text to Notepad), Intermediate (e.g. Count Lines of Text File, Sort Lines of a Text File, Rename Multiple Files, Find and Delete Empty Files, Find Files Modified Since Yesterday, Append Line to Excel), and Advanced (e.g. Zip and Email Files, Get Folder Size, Find Files with Specific Text, Download Folders from FTP, Rotate Excel Data, Run External Job).
Once a job is created, trigger can be set to fully automated the execution of the automated tasks without user input or interaction. The main strenght of WinAutomation is flexibility and full customization. Thus, WinAutomation has the potential to allow user to develop and build own program to replace any other program, such as backup software. Job Compiler which creates a standalone EXE out of any automated job provides an easy way for programmers to build easy application too.
In summary, this is definitely a great Windows utility tool for people who feel that he or she is always doing repetitive tasks regularly, and looking for a way to perform the tasks automatically. WinAutomation is compatible to run in Windows XP, 2000, 2003, Vista, Server 2008 as well as Windows 7 (in both 32-bit and 64-bit) suitable for both home and office environment. Users can click here to download a full 30-days trial professional version for immediate use. WinAutomation Professional Edition (aff) costs $199 a license while WinAutomation Standard Edition (aff) costs $129.00 a license.
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