Install and use Automation Workshop

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through downloading, installation and basic configuration of Automation Workshop. During the process a simple Task will be created to demonstrate some essential features along the way.

How to download Automation Workshop? The very first step to start using Automation Workshop is downloading the software. Automation Workshop is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows. To check your System type, click the Start button, then right-click Computer and choose Properties. While 32-bit version of Automation Workshop works on all systems, using 64-bit version on 64-bit Windows systems may optimize its performance and resource management.

Control panel - System

When sure about Windows version, go to the Download section of Febooti Software and choose the appropriate installation package. Note that 32-bit version of Automation Workshop is provided in self extracting executable (.exe), ZIP archive (.zip) and Microsoft Installer (.msi) format. 64-bit version is available in Microsoft Installer (.msi) format.

How to install Automation Workshop? Locate the downloaded installation file and start the setup of Automation Workshop. This will open the Setup Wizard which will lead you through a few simple steps of installation.

Install - Welcome to the Febooti Automation Workshop Seup Wizard

Welcome. The setup is initialized and Automation Workshop is ready for being installed.

Install - End-User License Agreement

End-User License Agreement. Read and decide whether to accept the terms of agreement of using Febooti Automation Workshop.

Install - Options

Options. Enable or disable software update notifications and choose whether to create a desktop shortcut.

Install - Destination Folder

Destination Folder. View or modify the Febooti Automation Workshop application folder path.

Install - Ready to install Febooti Automation Workshop

Ready to Install. Click the Install button to actually start deploying Automation Workshop files and adding the application to the system. Automation Workshop services are also started during this step.

Install - Installing Febooti Automation Workshop

Completed. Congratulations! Febooti Automation Workshop has been installed in specified folder. Click the Finish button to exit the setup application.

Install - Completed the Febooti Automation Workshop Seup Wizard

Starting the Automation Workshop. After being installed, Automation Workshop services are already running. However, Automation Workshop manager has to be opened manually (as any other application on your computer). Locate Automation Workshop in Start Menu or double-click its Desktop shortcut to run the graphical user interface (GUI) of the software.

How to create a Task in Automation Workshop? Choose New Task from File menu to open the Task Wizard. Task Wizard is a tool that allows creating and configuring Automation Workshop Tasks. During the process the user is guided through seven steps of Task configuration. The navigation through the steps is done by using Next and Back buttons. You can return to one of previous steps and modify the settings.

Task - Welcome

Welcome. Get acquainted with basic concepts of the Task creation.

Task - Triggers

Triggers. Here user can add Triggers (conditions that, when met, automatically execute the Task).

Task - Actions

Actions. Here user can add Actions (operations that are actually performed upon Task execution).

Task - Run As

Run As. Specify user credentials to be used when executing the Task.

Task - Reports

Reports. Choose whether successful or failed Task execution will be reported to specified email.

Task - Task

Task. Give Task a recognizable name and, optionally, write a description.

Task - Finish

Finish / Advanced. The Task has been created. Push the Finish to save and activate the Task or visit Advanced options.

Let us create a simple Task which displays "Hello, World!" message when manually started. Tasks that are started manually do not require Triggers (automatic execution conditions), so let us skip directly to the Actions step.

Once in the Actions tab, we have to add an Action which will display the "Hello, World!" message. Push the Add button and choose Show Message Action from Dialog Boxes category.

Add action - Show message

As you can see, the Dialog tab contains two parameters, namely, Title that specifies the message window title and Message to display that specifies what will be shown. Put cursor into the Title parameter input and type "Hello, World!". Put a cursor into the Message to display input field and type "Hello, again." there. The configuration of the Action is essentially completed at this point. However, let us see another available options:

Show message - Hello, World!

Variable Wizard dynamic values. While the cursor is still in the Message to display input field, notice the Variable Wizard button (on the right side of the field). It opens Variable Wizard which can provide dynamic values instead of fixed ones (including the output of previous Triggers and Actions, if they are associated with the same Task). For example, the Date returns current date which is dynamic value since it is different every day or, in other words, the dynamic value is contingent upon the date when the Task is started. Variable Wizard can return a number of both system specific and Task specific dynamic variables. Let us replace the text "Hello, again." with current date.

Show message - [Date]

Erase the "Hello, again." text. Then click the Variable Wizard button. Choose the Date variable from the Date / Time category and click OK.

Show Message options. Most important options of all Actions and all Triggers are always put on the first tab. However the rest of the tabs may include other options that need to be specified or can be useful.

The Behavior tab of Show Message Action allows specifying whether the message window will be closed automatically and how the Task will be continued. By default the message window stays on screen indefinitely until it is closed by user. If you enable the Continue automatically after x seconds, the message window will be closed automatically after the specified time has passed. On Ok button option allows specifying whether the Task will be continued or stopped after the "Hello, World!" message has been displayed.

Show message behavior - Continue automatically after: 60 seconds

The Options tab of Show Message Action allows choosing whether to display graphical icon along the message text and its type, such as information, question, warning, error or none. You can test these settings from Dialog tab, by pressing Test button.

Dialog box - This dialog box will close in 57 seconds

Run As settings. When a Task is executed it uses specified user account to perform its Actions. For example, a folder or network share may or may not be accessible depending on access rights of particular user. Generally you can choose to execute the Task from different user accounts depending on whether some user is logged in or not when the Task is started. In this case, though, the Task can only be started manually due to lack of Triggers. Which also means that this Task will always be executed when some user is logged in. For this Task the default setting to Run Task as currently logged in user will suffice. Push Next to go to the Reports tab.

Task - Run As

Reports settings. When the Task completes (either successfully or with error) it can send email report to specified address. Mark the necessary checkboxes and specify From and To addresses for email report delivery.

Task - Reports

Task settings. Give Task a name which will let you identify the Task later in the task pane of Automation Workshop manager (e.g. Hello World). You can also write a short description if necessary. This Task is enabled setting determines whether the Task will be operational immediately after finishing the Task Wizard.

Task - Task name, Location, Description

Proceed to the Finish step and click the Finish button to save and activate the Task. The Task Wizard closes at this point and the user is returned to Automation Workshop manager.

The Task pane now should contain the newly created Hello World Task. You can run the Task by either selecting the Task icon in Task pane and pushing the Run button on the toolbar or choosing the Run Task option from the context menu.

Setting the default SMTP server. Start the Hello World Task. Task execution details are displayed in the log pane of Automation Workshop manager. Note the "Could not send notification email: could not connect to SMTP server. The requested address is not valid in its context" error being displayed in the log pane. In order to fix this error and avoid similar ones in the future, you should set up the default SMTP server which will be used by default for all email related operations (unless specified otherwise). (Quick troubleshooting - SMTP server configuration in email clients and Test SMTP connection / send test email)

Open Options from Tools menu and go to the Email Server tab. Enter your SMTP server with authentication settings and credentials (if necessary).

Options - Email Server properties

Now go to the Email Settings tab and input From and To email addresses that will be used by default to send the Task completion notifications. Change character set and priority settings if necessary.

Options - Email Settings properties

Return to Email Server tab and push Send button to send test email. If test email successfully arrives to specified mailbox, SMTP server and notification email addresses are correctly set.

Using Log manager. We have already seen log pane that displays current information and error messages without any filtering. However, there is more advanced log file viewer available in Automation Workshop. You can access it by clicking the Log button in Automation Workshop toolbar or from Tools menu. Log manager shows all events for specified period of time. Additionally log entries can be sorted, filtered by date, by event type and otherwise. Read more on using Log manager.

Triggers. The Hello World Task is a simple one. It even does not include any Triggers. Triggers are sets of criteria that, when matched, automatically start the Task. Automatic Task execution is the main advantage of using Automation Workshop. The Task can be started when Automation Workshop detects some specific file activity, on predefined schedule or some other system event. See more on available Triggers.

Actions. This Task performs only one operation, namely, displays "Hello, World!" text on screen. There are many more Actions that allow not only to perform numerous file operations, but also send email, execute external programs or commands in Windows command prompt as well as even automatic Task management functions as well. See the growing list of available Actions.

Further help. While using Automation Workshop, note the Online Help links virtually everywhere in the software. These links open context relative help page in your default browser. In most cases the information provided is directly connected with settings or other features of Automation Workshop currently in front of you. Otherwise, feel free to visit the main section of online help to access the comprehensive knowledge base dealing with every aspect of the program - Read more about rich functionality of Automation Workshop in online knowledge base.

Conclusion. This guide had shown how to download, install and run Automation Workshop. A very basic Task is created to illustrate the main features of the software. The Task created displays the "Hello, World!" message in a window (with current date). Some basic insight into the idea of dynamic values of Variable Wizard has been given along with information how to configure the default SMTP server and email addresses for automatic notifications.

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