Getting Started with Automate

Chapter 1 | Automate 101

Before you begin, learn how to navigate through Automate with this detailed tour of the product. The following video provides a first look at some of the basics of interacting with the Automate Task Administrator. In this overview, Pat Cameron, Director of Automation, helps you get started by taking you on a tour of the basic functionalities provided with Automate—from viewing your folders and customizing preferences to setting defaults. In this video you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate through the Automate Task Administrator
  • View calendars to track your tasks and history
  • View logs for your task, system, and audit events
  • See the task builder and sample tasks, and get an overview of task builder actions

Watch this chapter now and get started with Automate.



[Pat Cameron:] Let's take a quick look at how to navigate through Automate. You can see here on my desktop, you can either go into the Task Builder. I'm gonna go into the Task Administrator. So this is the main screen that you'll come to and you can see you can organize your tasks in folders.

Down in the right hand corner, you've got some toggles that you can set for how you want your screen set up. If you want to see the column on the left side, if you want to see the output logs, you can toggle those.

Automate also provides a calendar that will keep track of, any of your tasks and when they're running. So you'll see history here and it will tell you if that task was successful, as well as the time and date that it ran. Got a couple different views, you can look at the week, you can look at it by the day, et cetera.

When you get to the point where you have scheduled tasks, you'll be able to see those here too as well as after a task completes. Automate provides a number of logs that can be used for troubleshooting and reporting. So one of those logs are the Task Events and this is gonna keep track of the start and the end time of each of your tasks, each step when it started and ended and you can customize this for what you want to see and you can also print it, PDF it if you want to send it to your auditors.

Also system events. These are starting and stopping and then audit events. Any changes that are made to any of the tasks that you build will be stored here. These preferences are great for kind of customizing how you want to see Automate when you log into it. You can set some different preferences here. You see I don't care for the Wizard so I'm gonna shut that off. The system settings then are used as defaults when you're creating tasks.

You can determine how you want to keep logs, how long you want to keep them. If you want to log to a database, you can do that as well. I like the sequel connections. We're going to be doing a video on all of these system settings and how they can help you create your tasks a lot quicker.

You can also set defaults. Which default user do you want to use. You can set up your email information so when you send out notification for failed tasks or if you use email within your tasks to send reports, et cetera. You don't have to build that connection every single time. And then a default for what is it that you wanna do when you have some type of an error in your licenses.

We include help text within the product and you can search it or you can read through the contents. You can see individual information about the administrator and the Task Builder and again, any of the functionalities within Automate, and it's got some nice examples as well.

Let's take a look at the Task Builder. These are some sample tasks that are shipped with the product and we're gonna open up this date and time task. You can see here you can set different properties for your task. You can also add triggers. What's gonna cause it to run? If you double click on a task, it will open it up and take you into the Task Builder. This is kind of the foundation of Automate. This is where the magic happens.

So over on the left hand side, you've got different actions that you can use. These are drag and drop into that work area, and we'll go through a few of them. Across the top, you have ribbon that you can have with different menu options, so you can run your tasks or step through them while you are doing your testing.

It's a good idea to add comments to your tasks so that other people know what it is that you're trying to do, and you can also use variables throughout your tasks. It makes them very dynamic and those variables are resolved at run time. I've got a date in my task here, so I'm just gonna format it in how I want to see that when I rename my file.

So when you add a step to a task, you go over to the left hand side, find the action that you want to perform. I'm going to create a folder so I just drag that to the work area and open it up and now I select the actual action that I wanna use and fill in the blank. So fill in that file or folder name. Read from a file. It does have a finder if you're on the system where that file exists so that you can bring that up in the task as well.

So I'm just gonna create a folder and I'm going to use the variable name that we created that is inside the directory. And then the next thing we're gonna do is we're gonna write to a file. So I'm gonna create a text file and I'm gonna write 'Hello' in it. And then the last thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna rename that file and you can see here I've created a file called Automate Test. I'm gonna add that date and time variable to it. So you can just click on that percent sign wherever you see it in a task. It will add that date and time stamp to that file and then I can go ahead and run this and what's it's gonna do, it's just gonna run that text file. So I'll just click on run and you can see it go through each step. There's my file with 'Hello', there's my date and time stamp on my file name and that's the tasks that we wanna run so there's our first task.

You can save that and then over on the left, as you can see, they're all kinds of different actions that you can use depending on the steps you need for your tasks and we'll be taking a look at a number of those in upcoming videos.

Ready for the next chapter?

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Automate Enterprise

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