Automate Desktop

Overview of Triggers

Chapter 6 | Automate 101

Triggers are key in getting your tasks to run. In this tutorial, we highlight four of the most popular triggers. This video will be your guide to setting triggers and will show you how you can use triggers to get your tasks to run. Pat Cameron, Director of Automation, gives you a tutorial on the four most popular triggers available in Automate. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Overview of the Schedule trigger
  • Overview of the File System trigger
  • Overview of the Keyboard Shortcut trigger
  • Overview of the Email Shortcut trigger

Watch this chapter now to create your triggers in Automate.



[Pat Cameron:] Let's take a look at how you can use triggers to get your tasks to run. We're going to use the same tasks that we used in the previous video. I'll just run it. All it does is open up a file that says hello, so we'll be able to see the results when a task does run. So, you can go to edit triggers, and we'll add, and we're going to take a look at four of the most common ones.

[00:00:30] The first trigger that's very common is a schedule. I need this task to run on certain days of the week, certain days of the month, multiple times a day, and so I just set that schedule for when I want it to run. So, this I'm going to set for Monday through Friday, and I'm going to put a start date of January first, and then I'm going to set the time to 2:00 in the afternoon.

So, as you can see, you've got lots of dropdown boxes, very easy to set up this job when you need it to run. Now, I don't [00:01:00] want this to run on holidays, so I can set an exclusion, and I will just select holidays, and then the US holidays is the one that I'll find here. All right, so it's going to run Monday through Friday, but not if it's a holiday.

If it's a temporary job you can put an end date, and if the server is not available when it's supposed to run, what do you want to do for rescheduling? So, we've got lots of options here. If we okay that, when I go take a look at it, it will show [00:01:30] me exactly when that task is scheduled to run.

All right, let's take a look at another very common trigger, this is a file system trigger, and what this will do is it will monitor for a new file or a file change in a directory. So, what you need to do is set the folder, where does this file get created, or where is this file stored? Do you want to include sub folders when you're looking for it? And do you want to wait for the file to be accessible before you trigger this event? [00:02:00] And then you have these options under file, and also folders. And you can base your trigger on size as well. You can set a filter, I am just going to do star dot star, so any new file that goes into that folder will trigger this event.

All right, so let's create a new file. So, I'm going to put a new file into that sample task [00:02:30] input directory, and as soon as that file arrives we should see our task run. There's our new text document two, and there's our hello file, so that task was triggered by the file.

All right, now, you can combine these, certainly. I'm not going to in this example, but you could certainly combine multiple triggers.

The next one is just a keyboard shortcut. You know, maybe if you've got a report that you need to run, and you've got a lot of keystrokes, and you want to be [00:03:00] able to just set a hotkey, you can certainly do that.

So, I've got a Alt-T, as you can see, we can look for a text string, or we can look for other processes to be active. Just going to use that Alt-T. Now, you have to trust me that I'm hitting Alt-T, and that's going to cause our task to run, so we should see our hello in just a second. There we go.

All right, now, the last trigger that we're going to look at is the email trigger. [00:03:30] This one is fairly new, I think it was just added in the last year and a half or so, maybe two years. Right now it just works with Exchange, but we are working on adding other mail protocols.

So, what's the email address that we want to monitor? I'm going to log in to the Exchange server, and then the discover will help me find my mail server. And then you can set your authentication. [00:04:00] We're going to monitor the inbox, but you can monitor any folder that's there. And then here's our filter, so these are the different fields that you can use. I'm going to get anything that's from an email address, and I'm going to just use my Gmail account.

So again, you just set your specifics for your filters and okay that. Now I'll go ahead and I'll send an email, and here you can see my inbox, and it [00:04:30] came in already. And, in just a second, you should see the hello come up. Okay? So, if there was an attachment that we needed to process we could do that with our task. Lots of ways to use email.

So those are kind of the four most common triggers that are used in Automate. A quick way to make sure that your tasks run when they're supposed to.


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Chapter 7: Getting Started with System Settings