Categories: Automation Posted by Mateusz Jazdzewski on 1/4/2012 2:23 PM | Comments (0)

 

Every company have to handle large amount of repetitive tasks. They consume valuable time. This time can be reclaimed and used more productively by using automation. automate

Automation of the respective tasks historically was achieved by writing custom application. It’s a perfectly good solution to the problem, but it doesn’t come without its problems:

Not every company has a developer available to automate tasks and hiring an external contractor can be expensive. The code needs to be serviced, and often a few years down the line it may turn out to be a can of worms. You may no longer have access to the developer who wrote the original application , there may be no documentation you can reference, or perhaps the programming language has changed, or the source code is missing. Aahh! Any of these problems can results in the need to rewrite the whole application from scratch.

What if there was a way of automating repetitive tasks without the need for knowledge of any programing or scripting language? Well there is, and it is called Automate.

Automate is IT and business process automation software published by Network Automation. It is a very comprehensive platform which allows anyone to run tasks on a schedule or triggered by an event. It also allows a non-developer to script without any knowledge of programming. In addition, most system administrators will appreciate the logging and monitoring functionality included as well as an excellent automated problem resolution tool.

Automate task builder contains up to 461 activities (based on version) which can be dragged and dropped from a palette and placed in the desired sequence.

In addition to tasks Automate offers a number of triggers which can be applied to a task. Those include schedule Watcher, Folder Watcher, Performance Watcher, Event Log Watcher, Service Watcher, Process Watcher, Startup Watcher, Idle Watcher, Window Watcher, Key Watcher, SNMP Trap Watcher and WMI.

Activities include:

- If a file exist in folder A copy it to folder B, rename it, than change its permissions to read only, compress it, FTP it to remote location and send an email to you when done. In addition you can tweet: “I am the greatest system admin in the world!” You deserve some form of gratification…

- Every day at 3:00 am run a SQL query then place the results into an Excel spreadsheet, split that one spreadsheet according to some criteria into 3 different files, then play some music to celebrate, wait 3 min for your favourite tune to complete, then encrypt the 3 files, generate a key file, email that key file to your customer, connect to his network and place the files where he expects them to be.

- When the event log shows a specific error, restart the corresponding service. Then IM your IT Manager “It failed again!”, should the error repeat after the service restart, restart the whole server and send email to all your users informing them that there is unplanned maintenance work happening and that the server will be back in 5 min, then in five minutes ping the server to check if it’s live and send another email confirming that the server is back up.

As you can see there is a lot Automate can do for you. It’s impossible in a short blog to describe all 461 events and activities, but I am sure you will want to find out for yourself what Automate can do for you by downloading a free, fully functional 30 day trial to test it. It’s available here

As you can see Automate is an interesting alternative to automating repetitive tasks using custom code. It saves you time (both by performing repetitive tasks for you as well as learning new programming language). And as we all know time is money…

If you are interested in Automate give us a call on 0 8456 580 580 or email sales@qbssoftware.com

Categories: Automation Posted by Dustin M. Snell on 6/29/2011 9:17 AM | Comments (0)

Why SharePoint?

SharePoint is a popular software system developed by Microsoft for small to large organizations, typically associated with web content management and document management systems. For many organizations, SharePoint is a mission critical component of their operations; it facilitates intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling and process/information integration.

As organizations work to automate various business processes, it is important that their automation platform supports direct code-free interaction with all of the systems that are utilized in these processes; SharePoint is, increasingly, one of these critical systems.

The SharePoint Action

Sharepoint

With the introduction of Version 8, AutoMate now supports native code-free automation of SharePoint Server. The new SharePoint Action joins the ever-expanding library of more than 400 actions and activities. The action supports the automated creation, deletion, and modification of lists, list items, documents, sites, groups, roles and more. It supports SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Example Uses

The SharePoint action combines capabilities for automation of both administrative tasks, such as adding Users and business tasks such as adding new documents and updating sites. The workflows below show a few examples of how this functionality might be used:

For a step-by-step example showing another sample use of the new SharePoint Action, please see the following article: "Automating SharePoint Downloads in 3 Easy Steps"

Activities Supported by the SharePoint Action

Activity

Description

SharePoint - Add List Item

Adds an item to an existing SharePoint list.

SharePoint - Add to Role (Permission Level)

Adds the user to the specified role definition.

SharePoint - Add User to Group

Adds a user to the specified group.

SharePoint - Check In

Checks in a document. Checking documents in and out allows users to obtain exclusive write access to a document, eliminating the need to merge changes from multiple authors.

SharePoint - Check Out

Checks out a document. Checking documents in and out allows users to obtain exclusive write access to a document, eliminating the need to merge changes from multiple authors. When a user checks a document out, that user is the only user who can save changes to the document. Other users can read the document, but they cannot make changes. The user who has the document checked out can update the document, and see the latest version of the document, but other users will not see the updates until the document has been checked back in. If you want to make changes to a file that resides in a SharePoint library, the safest way to do it is to check the file out.

SharePoint - Copy File (Document)

Copies a file from the source URL to the destination URL.

SharePoint - Create Folder

Creates a folder in an existing document library.

SharePoint - Create Group

Creates a new group.

SharePoint - Create List

Creates a new list. A SharePoint list is a collection of similar items. A list contains columns or fields that define the item data or metadata schema. Each item stored in a list shares the same schema. Technically lists also include libraries, but libraries are often seen as separate from lists or at least specialized forms of lists. In lists items are defined by metadata or by the columns of a list with documents being attached to that metadata. In a library, a document is the item with library metadata supporting the document. Lists in SharePoint resemble database tables in structure and behavior. Lists support various field or data types, and can have triggers that react to list events such as creating, updating or deleting items. In addition lists can be configured to filter, sort or group items based on item data or properties.

SharePoint - Create Role (Permission Level)

Creates a new role assignment in which to add items.

SharePoint - Create Session

Creates a new SharePoint session in which to attach subsequent SharePoint related activities to. This allows multiple sessions to exist within the same task. To end a session, use the End Session activity.

SharePoint - Create Site

Creates a new SharePoint site. SharePoint sites are, functionally, ASP.NET 2.0 web applications that are served using IIS and a SQL Server database as a data storage back end. All site content data, such as items in document libraries and lists, are stored within an SQL database named by default as "WSS_Content_[ID]".

SharePoint - Delete File (Document)

Deletes an existing file or document in a SharePoint library.

SharePoint - Delete Folder

Deletes a folder in an existing document library.

SharePoint - Delete Group

Deletes an existing group.

SharePoint - Delete List

Deletes an existing list.

SharePoint - Delete Role (Permission Level)

Deletes an existing role.

SharePoint - Delete Site

Deletes an existing SharePoint site.

SharePoint - Discard Check Out

Discards an existing check out. If you check out a file and make no changes to it, you can simply discard the checkout, rather than saving it. If your organization tracks versions, a new version is created each time you check a file back into the library. By discarding the checkout, you can avoid making new versions when you have not made any changes to the file. In some cases, you might make changes that you do not want to keep. Rather than saving the file, you can discard the checkout and thereby lose the changes.

SharePoint - Download File (Document)

Downloads a file from a SharePoint library.

SharePoint - End Session

Ends a SharePoint session initially created with the use of the Create Session activity.

SharePoint - Get Files (Documents)

Retrieves files from a SharePoint library.

SharePoint - Get Folder(s)

Retrieves folders from a SharePoint library.

SharePoint - Get Groups

Retrieves available groups and populates a dataset with the results.

SharePoint - Get List Items

Retrieves list items and populates a dataset with the results.

SharePoint - Get Lists

Retrieves available lists and populates a dataset with the results.

SharePoint - Get Roles (Permission Levels)

Retrieves available roles and populates a dataset with the results.

SharePoint - Get Sites

Retrieves available sites and populates a dataset with the results.

SharePoint - Get Users

Retrieves available users from the specified group and populates a dataset with the results.

SharePoint - Move File (Document)

Moves a file from the source URL to the destination URL.

SharePoint - Remove from Role (Permission Level)

Removes the specified user from the specified role definition.

SharePoint - Remove List Item

Removes an item from the specified list.

SharePoint - Remove User from Group

Removes the specified user from the specified group.

SharePoint - Rename Folder

Renames a folder from the specified SharePoint library.

SharePoint - Update Group

Updates information for the specified group.

SharePoint - Update List

Updates a list based on the specified field definitions and list properties.

SharePoint - Update List Item

Updates an item from the specified list.

SharePoint - Update Role (Permission Level)

Updates information for the specified role definition.

SharePoint - Update Site

Updates information for the specified site.

SharePoint - Upload File (Document)

Uploads a file to the specified site.

Our Commitment to You -- Complete Automation, Depth of Functionality

Many software vendors implement only token features so that their marketing department can position a given feature as "supported". Here at Network Automation, we take a different approach by embracing technologies thoughtfully and completely.  For serious automation, AutoMate is the platform you can rely on for SharePoint automation -- with depth of functionality that eliminates the need for code without making compromises.

Dustin M. Snell is the chief software architect and founder of Network Automation. His responsibilities include setting the company's product strategy and technical direction. Dustin's visionary leadership and natural technology aptitude enables Network Automation to continue its innovation and product growth as a leader in automation software. For more information, please visit, http://www.networkautomation.com/