Automation / macro tool selection (end-user, not testing)
Posted on 2012-08-19
A user wants to automate some application usage and wonders which short list of tools to consider, whether macromania, macromagic, winbatch, autoit, or something else?
This is for using, not testing, applications. The user wants to automate periodically performed tasks and, for most of them, to schedule the execution. A separate scheduler, such as Task Scheduler (or a superior 3rd party product), can also be purchased.
Does a thread for macro tool selection already exists? I'll be glad to read it. :)
All applications run on Windows (7, usually x64). Cross-platform portability is not required.
* Open an application, select parameters with typical GUI features such as option buttons, boxes, drop-down lists, then specify an export file name and click OK to perform the export. Do this several times in a session, once per week.
* Perform tasks within an application that does not have its own macro/scripting language. At a glance, all of these applications appear to have uniquely named dialogs. NOT all of them have keyboard shortcuts for each button (e.g. Alt+o for Open).
No application requires a command-line interface. CLI automation is nice-to-have.
Most applications have some sort of logon name and password required to enable and perform internet-based data downloads for update of locally stored data. So the automation must be able to learn whether the login was successful, the download completed, etc.
Automation of browser interaction (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, IE) is not required but highly desired, as application vendors eventually adopt server-based models.
More than recording and running keystroke memory is required. For the macro language, easy-to-learn (or a robust wizard) is more important than fully-featured. The user has programming experience but codes only on weekends (if then). For the learning curve, if good documentation or online tutorials are not available, then a strong online community must be available.