Thursday, May 22, 2008


One my colleagues found this program called Automate! and I found it to be a nice way to do some simple application scripting.

After playing with it makes, the system seemed to break down all the functionality down into simple terms. I also like it from a perspective that it will take a non-coder less time to absorb - plain english tests. The language is so plain that you don't need to know about variables and structures to get productive. It did seem a little more than record/playback because you have to structure your script to look for object; meaning that you don't "record" in regular terms, you actually have to know how to use the application to determine locations, etc.

Why am I writing about this tool, well from my experience, I have a hard time getting people to write scripts from a point of view of automating redundant tasks, that seems to be a hard concept to get people to do absorb. Part of it is because often we don't treat our automation efforts like development projects (although that is changing).

I think context is what matters. For me, I'm relatively language agnostic meaning that I don't care what language I'm in, I'll learn it and try it out. But for some people, that's not their strength. Automate is language independent, albeit vendor lock, it can be a useful tool.

I'm only saying that this is an interesting tool for those people are out there. I wish there was an open source alternative for this type of application, however many of the developers out in the open source world can already program, so this is definitely filling a niche. Actually, if there is an open source alternative (and I'm not talking about AutoIT or autohotkey), please let me know. I know a bunch of people who would like to know this information.

It comes with 30 eval, but after that it can range from $800 to sky's the limit.