Automation Workshop v2.0 released

Automation Workshop v2

After more than a year of development we are proud to announce release of a new major Automation Workshop version — v2.0.0. This release introduces two new action categories — Compare and Flow. From now on it is easier than ever to create tasks, that have easy to use comparison logic included right into the task without writing a single line of code. You can use comparison actions to check for file / folder existence with various options, such as, folder is empty, file is accessible, and much more. Also, you can use generic IF, that supports various data types out of the box, for example, strings (text starts with, text ends with, text contains, etc.), numbers (equal, grater than, less than, etc.), and even PCRE compatible Regular Expressions for advanced users.

IF file action
IF file action
IF folder action
IF folder action

Read more about conditional branching: action flow explained.

If you are one of Automation Workshop users that has many tasks in multiple folders, then you can take advantage of Task Finder — a new tool that allows you to quickly find task by name, trigger/action count, and more.

Version 2.0 is fully compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and also introduces a numerous bug-fixes and improvements.

Use links below to check out new features, and download the latest version!

All Febooti apps are compatible with Windows 8

Windows 8 Start Screen

We are proud to announce that all of our software programs are Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 RC compatible. The official release of Windows Server 2012 is scheduled to early September. We will do another round of extensive testing at that time and most probably we will be compatible with Windows Server 2012 without need to rewrite any code, because there should be no breaking changes in RTM.

General availability for Windows 8 is scheduled for October 26, 2012. For Windows Server 2012 — September 4, 2012. If you have a MSDN or TechNet subscription, you can grab a copy right away.

What’s new in regards to the Microsoft new OSes? There are some improvements and bug-fixes in Automation Workshop v1.3. There were some code path that we were not aware of, and due to some changed behavior in Windows 8 API implementation, we needed to make some tweaks and fixes for File / folder watcher. Also, with every Windows release we need to update known OS list in Variable Wizard. See full list of changes.

All other programs work without any problems. Automation Workshop is the most complex of our software, so naturally it gets more bugs and more attention.

Screenshots from Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Version 1.2.2 of Automation Workshop released

A new version of Automation Workshop released. Version 1.2.2 fixes one rare and in the same time serious bug, where server machine in domain can run out of resources because Automation Workshop is spawning too many Service Agents. This can be observed using Windows Task Manager — multiple AutomationWorkshopAgent.exe programs are running under the same Session and the same user account.

As always updating is straightforward — run Setup program and follow onscreen instructions. It is recommended to backup everything (Tools menu -> Backup), and then stop Automation Workshop service before you proceed.

Folders can not have a dot at the end

Automation Workshop have a small UI glitch. When you try to rename folder by appending one or more dots “.” at the end of the folder name, nothing happens. Dots just disappear. This behavior is caused because of the way Windows handles file/folder renames, and Automation Workshop uses OS File System folders behind the scenes.

Automation Workshop New folder

What does this mean for you as a user. You can not have folder with “.” at the end. For explanation and more info, and a similar bug in Windows Shell read here: Disappearing folder – bug in Windows 7.

Most probably this will be fixed in next Automation Workshop version.

We have just released Automation Workshop v1.2

After more than 1/2 year of development, we have released Automation Workshop v1.2 (see list of changes). The most exciting new feature is Automatic backup.

We implemented automatic backup using our own Automation Workshop actions, namely, Zip files Action, Export registry Action, and a couple other. This means that Automatic backup is acting like regular Automation Workshop task — it writes in Service log file (success and failures), it can be easily extended or changed, users can even implement they own backup tasks easily.

Also, it is interesting to note that our internal automated test cases have just passed more than 1500 items. We are using a special kind of test driven development. Of course if we split all test cases into smaller peaces, there will be far more than 15,000 items, but in our metrics it is more that 1500, and each of the test case has taken [on average] more than 1 hour to build. So it is approaching a one year of full time work (WYE).

And one more thing, in 753 days Extended support for Windows XP will end. For our users this means, that after this date we will stop releasing fixes for Automation Workshop on Windows XP. Windows Server 2003 support will end about year later. Both Windows XP and Server 2003 are based on the same codebase, so most probably Automation Workshop will run on Windows XP a year after Extended support ends.

From scripting to Visual tool and back to scripting

In the beginning there was a IT World without an easy to use automation solution. Then came Febooti Software and in November 03, 2008 they released Automation Workshop. And IT professionals were happy, because they could create Automation Workshop’s Tasks using GUI, instead of writing boring Batch (.bat) scripts, VBScripts, JScripts or even PowerShell scripts.

This is our story. After the launch of Automation Workshop, we were happy, because many recurring tasks now could be created without writing single line of code. Our users were happy too, because they could reduce costs by using our software.

But time passed and support requests came in. And many people were perfectly satisfied with Automation Workshop, however they needed some small thing/tweak/feature/improvement that were not available using Automation Workshop’s standard features.

So now in year 2011 we released Automation Workshop v1.1 that features a new Action – Execute script.

This is Action that can execute JScript (.js), VBScript (.vbs), PowerShell (.ps1) and Batch (.bat) scripts. Now we are feeling that we are somehow returned to the starting point where users need to write scripts, write code instead of using elegant and intuitive GUI tool. But this is not the same place where we were in 2008. Now users can combine both strengths – Visual GUI tool and power of the scripting.

Also, it is interesting to note that this new action Execute script combines scripting from 3 different PC eras:

  • Batch file – 1981 (with the first version of MS-DOS);
  • JScript – 1996;
  • VBScript – 1996;
  • Windows PowerShell – late 2006.