Actions Comparison Table – Top Automation Systems

thumbnail of AutoMate Actions

A genuine Review and Comparison of Automation Systems or Automation Tools wouldn’t be complete without a detailed comparison of the functionality that the predefined Actions have to offer. Hence, below we have two more detailed tables for you – which list ALL Actions (in the recommended edition for an individual user) with their key properties. For AutoMate, WinAutomation, RoboTask, and Automation Anywhere.

To permit comparison, in these tables we allocate the Actions to the most appropriate Action Groups, rather than where the Automation Software Providers have placed their Actions. In addition, here we use a separation of Crucial Actions and Other Actions. This is to help highlight the usefulness of the Actions, because when you consider buying a modern Automation System like AutoMate, WinAutomation, RoboTask, and Automation Anywhere, it’s good not to be blinded by the number of presumed Actions if you don’t need most of them anyway (or if they are mere duplicates of other Actions with very similar functionality)!

The difference between Crucial Actions and Other Actions:

  • Crucial Actions: Needed for the majority of situations, or functionality that cannot normally be replicated/emulated. You could say, these are must-have Actions.
  • Other Actions: Useful for specific situations. You could say, these are nice-to-have Actions, however these Actions can generally be replicated/emulated using a combination of Crucial Actions.

To ensure an unbiased classification, we have first made a list of Actions considered to be crucial. Only thereafter we looked at what each Automation System has to offer. – However, note that related Actions have been kept together.

Here’s the first glimpse at the results of the Actions comparison:

AutoMate WinAutomation RoboTask Automation Anywhere
Required workarounds Total 74 139 163 188

 

Mark these words!Before you look at the subsequent Action comparison tables, you should first understand the following 3 points if you are unfamiliar with modern Automation Systems:

Note these 3 important points first!1) The more specialized an Action is, the narrower is its functionality, ie the less flexible you are in using the Action (pure logic). Also, the more peculiar your goal is, the less likely that a specialized Action can help you achieve it. Often you will need to use a certain combination of more general Actions.

2) Each Action has a specific functionality. The fact that a specific Action isn’t offered in one or the other Automation System doesn’t mean that the functionality isn’t achievable, it’s just not (yet) offered as predefined (built-in) Action. Often, a certain combination of more general Actions can help you achieve the desired functionality (possibly better than a predefined, built-in Action).

Example for both points: The If, Loop, Replace Text, Read Text from File, and Write Text to File Actions are very general Actions with functionality that is not only useful but needed for the majority of Automation situations. Using primarily those general Actions in WinAutomation, I was able to build a small tool that automatically creates, reads, manipulates, and writes XML files – long before I even heard of AutoMate that offers 16(!) specialized XML Actions (ie predefined, built-in), while WinAutomation offers none.

In order to be able to use AutoMate‘s specialized XML Actions, you’ll need to understand the structure of XML files (which are plain text files) – just as well as you need to understand it when you use general Actions like I did. So, don’t you think that if you understand the structure of XML files, that you can build and manipulate one without using any of those 16 specialized XML Actions? Of course, you can!

Now with AutoMate and its 16 designated XML Actions, rebuilding this tool was of course quicker and easier. However, I also noticed that the mere existence of those specialized Actions limited my creativity: Seeing those predefined, built-in Actions, I felt confined to accomplish my goal with the functionality that those 16 Actions offered. – Don’t underestimate this psychological impact of the mere existence of specialized Actions.

3) The very purpose of modern Automation Systems is to allow the user to design an Automation for anything. Generally, all top Automation Systems allow you to do this. However, depending on your current goal, one System will be more suitable than the other, ie implementation will be easier and quicker. – Nonetheless, depending on your next goal, again a different Automation System may be more suitable.

You should choose the Automation System that will best suit most Automation goals you are likely to have in the near future. So, in addition to reviewing the subsequent Action comparison tables, also review our more general Comparison Table with key points about the top Automation Systems, and our 10+1 most striking points to note in our Automation Software Review. Plus, of course, Automation Software Systems – What really matters!

Variables (Data types) are in Title Case (ie Text, List, Number are Variables – text, list, number not).
Text in parentheses indicates additional options – or notes that could be helpful to you.

 

Crucial Actions * AutoMate WinAutomation RoboTask Automation Anywhere
Required workarounds here 15 30 41 49
User Interactions
Send Keystrokes / Insert Keystrokes / Send Keystrokes / Send Keys Send character(s) to window of active application Send character(s) to window of active application Send character(s) to window of active application (or ANY specified window) – can automatically block user input during this Action, can automatically release modifier key(s): Alt, Ctrl, Shift, Win-key; not AltGr Send character(s) to window of active application (or specified window accessable during design-stage!)
Hold Down Key / Press/Release Key / Shift Keys State / – Hold down modifier key(s): Alt, Ctrl, Shift, AltGr, Win-key Press/ Release modifier key(s): Alt, Ctrl, Shift, Win-key (not AltGr) Press/ Release modifier key(s): Alt, Ctrl, Shift, Win-key (not AltGr) achieved with Insert Keystrokes Action above (but not Win-key)
Release Key / – / – / – Release modifier key(s) achieved with Press/Release Key Action above achieved with Shift Keys State Action above achieved with Insert Keystrokes Action above
Press / – / – / Manage Windows Controls Press specified button, page tab, link or column header on specified window (Note: allows native communication with standard Windows’ control objects (only), hence is more reliable than Send Keystrokes and Click Mouse Actions, and works even when control objects have moved and when target application is in background) – often makes the system hang! use Move Mouse to Image and Insert Keystrokes or Send Mouse Click Action (Note: WinAutomation offers no Actions for native communication with standard Windows’ control objects (yet) – for applications other than Excel and text file access you have to use keystrokes and/or mouse clicks, and image recognition – and hence target application must be in foreground window/ focused) achieved with Move to Object and Click Action – works reliably and recognizes any control immediately :-) Press specified button, page tab, link or column header on specified window accessable during design-stage (Note: allows native communication with standard Windows’ control objects (only), hence is more reliable than Insert Keystrokes and Insert Mouse Click Actions, and works even when control objects have moved and when target application is in background) – works only sometimes ie is unreliable
Check / – / – / – Check, Uncheck, or Toggle checkbox or radio control use Move Mouse to Image and Insert Keystrokes or Send Mouse Click Action (also see Note in cell 4 from top) achieved with Move to Object and Click Action achieved with Manage Windows Controls Action above
Move Mouse to Object / – / Move to Object / – Move mouse pointer to center of specified Windows object or control use Move Mouse to Image Action (also see Note in cell 4 from top) Move mouse pointer to center of specified Windows object or control use Image Recognition Action
Move Mouse / Move Mouse / Move / Insert Mouse Move Move mouse pointer to specified coordinates: relative to foreground window, screen, or current position Move mouse pointer to specified coordinates: relative to foreground window, screen, or current position Move mouse pointer to specified coordinates: relative to current position or to absolute coordinates on screen (only) Move mouse pointer from specified source coordinates to specified target coordinates (must specify both coordinates!)
– / Move Mouse to Image / – / Image Recognition use workaround Move mouse pointer over (any position of) specified image on screen/ foreground window (and left-click it) – Note that you need not know and specify source image during design-stage (ie target image can be anywhere!) use workaround Send (left, right, or double) mouse click if target image (specified by file or screen capture during design-stage) is found in source image (specified by screen capture during design-stage) – Note that you need to know source image too!
Click Mouse / Send Mouse Click / Click / Insert Mouse Click Click (once, double, hold down) or Release mouse button (left, center, or right) Click (once, double, hold down) or Release mouse button (left or right only) – can first move mouse to specified coordinates and wait specified milliseconds Click (once, double, hold down) or Release mouse button (left, center, or right) Click (once, double, hold down) or Release mouse button (left, center, or right; on window accessable during design stage!) – must first move mouse to specified coordinates (relative to screen or window)
Block Input / Block Input / – / – Block or Unblock user input from keyboard and mouse Block or Unblock user input from keyboard and mouse achieved with Send Keystrokes Action use workaround (can block user input only for entire runtime of Automation via Task Properties!)
– / Display Message / Show Message/Play Sound / Message Box achieved with Dialog Action below Display message box Display message box (and play any .wav file; cannot be stopped if chosen) Display message box
– / Display Input Dialog / Input Box / Prompt for Value achieved with Dialog Action below Prompt user to enter text (single line, multi-line, or password) Prompt user to enter text (single line or password) Prompt user to enter text (single line or multi-line)
– / Display Select from List Dialog / – / – achieved with Dialog Action below Prompt user to select from list use workaround use workaround
– / – / Question Dialog / Prompt for Yes/No achieved with Dialog Action below achieved with Display Message Action above Prompt user to answer Okay/Cancel or Yes/No to question in message box Prompt user to answer Yes/No to question in message box
– / Display Select File Dialog / Open Dialog / Prompt for File achieved with Dialog Action below Prompt user to select file(s) Prompt user to select file(s) Prompt user to select file(s)
– / Display Select Folder Dialog / Browse for Folders / Prompt for Folder achieved with Dialog Action below Prompt user to select folder Prompt user to select folder Prompt user to select folder
– / Display Select Date Dialog / – / – use workaround Prompt user to enter date (and time) or range of dates (and time) use workaround use workaround
– / – / Save Dialog / – achieved with Dialog Action below use workaround Prompt user to specify folder, filename and extension to save file use workaround
Dialog / – / – / – Display customized dialog to show or collect information: message box or input box (any screen position), selection box (dropdown, checkbox, radio button, or plain list), open file, save file, or browse for folder achieved with 6 Actions above (however: fixed center screen position for all boxes, and no Checkbox and Radio button list; but: empty and multiple selection and new/additional user entry allowed, also in all dialogs can auto-select answer after specified seconds) achieved with 7 Actions above (however: fixed center screen position for all boxes, and no Checkbox, Radio button, and plain list; but: in Question Dialog Action can auto-select answer after specified seconds) achieved with 5 Actions above (however: fixed screen position for all boxes, and no Checkbox, Radio button, and plain list)
Get Selected List Item / – / – / – Get currently selected item(s) of list box or list view (also see Note in Press Action above) use workaround (also see Note in cell 4 from top) use workaround achieved with Manage Windows Controls Action above
Get Selected Tree Item / – / – / – Get currently selected item of tree view (also see Note in Press Action above) use workaround (also see Note in cell 4 from top) use workaround achieved with Manage Windows Controls Action above
Select Item / – / – / – Select item from list, tree, or combo box (also see Note in Press Action above) use workaround (also see Note in cell 4 from top) use workaround achieved with Manage Windows Controls Action above
Get Text / – / – / – Get text from control on window (also see Note in Press Action above) use workaround (also see Note in cell 4 from top) use workaround achieved with Manage Windows Controls Action above
Set Text / – / – / – Set text of control on window (also see Note in Press Action above) use workaround (also see Note in cell 4 from top) use workaround achieved with Manage Windows Controls Action above
Variables
Create Variable / – / Create Variable / Variable Operation Create new Variable – Note: All Variables are Global by default (.exe Automations cannot be created); to restrict a Variable to the current Automation execution only, mark it as Private Variable – also note that Variables must be created before they can be used, and they are not automatically assigned sensible default names! achieved with Set Variable Action below – Note: In line with possibility to create .exe Automations, all Variables are Local by default; to use Global Variables, select in Variables Manager the option Variable is persistent – also note that Variables are created (and deleted) dynamically (ie automatically), and are automatically assigned sensible default names!
Create new Variable – Note: All Variables are Global by default (.exe Automations cannot be created); to restrict a Variable to the current Automation execution only, either create it in Local Variables tab of Task Editor, or use Remove Variable Action at end of Automation – also note that Variables are created (but never deleted) dynamically (so to use Set Variable Action is not actually necessary), however there is no automatic naming! Create new Variable – Note: In line with possibility to create .exe Automations, all Variables are Local by default; to use Global Variables, select in Variable Manager the option Read from text file – also note that Variables must be created before they can be used, and there is no automatic naming!
Set Variable / Set Variable / Set Variable / Variable Operation Set value of Variable created earlier Set value of new or existing Variable Set value of new or existing Variable Set value of Variable created earlier
– / – / Evaluate / – achieved with Set Variable Action above (Expression Builder allows use of any mathematical and other functions, incl. BASIC functions)
partly achieved with Set Variable Action above – however, no functions (BASIC or other) in WinAutomation! Perform calculation and assign result to specified Variable (can use BASIC functions too) partly achieved with Variable Operation Action above – however, no functions (BASIC or other) in Automation Anywhere!
Increment Variable / Increase Variable / Increment Variable / – Increase Variable by specified amount Increase Variable by specified amount Increase Variable by specified amount achieved with Variable Operation Action above
Decrement Variable / Decrease Variable / – / – Decrease Variable by specified amount Decrease Variable by specified amount achieved with Increment Variable Action above (set a negative value) achieved with Variable Operation Action above
– / Generate Random Number / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Generate random number(s) between minimum and maximum value (can allow duplicates) achieved with System Variable: RandomValue achieved with Variable Manager by creating a Variable of type Random and selecting Random Number (from – to)
Generate Password / Create Random Text / – / – Generate random Text string of specified length (eg to create password) Generate random Text string of specified length (range), using specified characters at random achieved with Unique File Name Action (ie cannot set any properties other than specified mask!) achieved with Variable Manager by creating a Variable of type Random and selecting Random String (string length)
– / Get Items Count / – / – achieved via Variable properties Retrieve number of items of List or number of rows of Datatable (also achieved via Variable properties) use workaround (loop list and count items) use workaround (loop list and count items)
Create Array / Create New List / Delimit Variable / – Create empty Array (1-dimensional ie List, or 2-dimensional ie Datatable) Create empty List (1-dimensional only, Datatable can only be imported!) Turn any Text string with ANY delimiter into standard comma-delimited Text (Note that List Variable actually is comma-delimited Text string!) – can also use Create Variable Action above; can also use Options: Variables to create Global Variable, or Local Variables tab in Task Editor to create Local Variable – Note: No Datatable Variable in RoboTask! achieved with Variable Operation Action (or with Variable Manager) by creating Variable of type List – Note: No Datatable Variable in Automation Anywhere!
ReDim Array / – / – / – Change size of existing Array achieved with Add Item to List and Remove Item from List Actions below achieved with Set Variable Action above (it does allow to resize List Variable, ie comma-delimited Text string) use workaround (Variable Operation Action does not allow to resize List Variable!)
– / Add Item to List / – / – achieved with ReDim Array Action above Add new item of same type to List achieved with Set Variable Action use workaround
– / Remove Item from List / – / – achieved with ReDim Array Action above Remove item at specified index from List achieved with Set Variable Action use workaround
– / Sort List / Sort Text / – achieved via Variable properties Sort List items (by up to 3 properties) Sort List items (ascending or descending; can ignore case) – Note that List Variable actually is comma-delimited Text string use workaround
– / Remove Duplicates from List / – / – use workaround Ensure that each List item is unique (absolute, ie cannot consider case-sensitivity – so use additional Change Text Case Action if needed) use workaround use workaround
Flow Control
Goto / Go To / – / – Continue execution at specified Label Continue execution at specified Label use workaround use workaround
Label / Label / – / – Mark start point of steps/ Actions by giving it name Mark start point of steps/ Actions by giving it name use workaround use workaround
Start Task / Run Job / Start Task / Run Task Execute another Automation from within AutoMate (must wait for it to complete; can pass information to called Automation) – Note: NO .exe anyway! Execute another Automation from within WinAutomation (simultaneously or wait for it to complete; cannot pass information to called Automation) – Note: when compiled to .exe, this one will be integrated Execute another Automation from within RoboTask (simultaneously or wait for it to complete; can pass information to called Automation) – Note: NO .exe anyway! Execute another Automation from within Automation Anywhere (must wait for it to complete; cannot pass information to called Automation) – Note: when compiled to .exe, this one will be integrated
Stop Task / End Job / Stop Task / Stop Task Stop execution of current Automation (successfully, aborted, or specified error code and text, ie can pass information to calling Automation) Stop execution of current Automation (successfully or with error information) and with exit code, ie can pass information to calling Automation Stop execution of any specified Automation (cannot pass information to calling Automation) Stop execution of current Automation (cannot pass information to calling Automation)
Pause Task / Wait / Pause / Delay Pause execution of current Automation and resume after or at specified time Pause execution of current Automation and resume after specified number of seconds Pause execution of current Automation and resume after specified number of milliseconds Pause execution of current Automation and resume after specified number of seconds (or random from/to)
Wait for Window / Wait for Window / Wait for Window / Wait for Window Wait for window (visible or hidden) to open, close, become focused, or lose focus (can specify additional object controls or text in window) Wait for window (visible only) to open, close, become focused, or lose focus Wait for window (visible, hidden, child, empty caption) to open, close, become focused, lose focus, or change caption (can wait specified time in seconds or infinitely) Wait for window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage; visible only) to open or close
Wait for Pixel / Wait for Image / – / Wait for Screen Change Wait until color code of specified pixel(s) changes Wait until specified image appears on screen or focused window use workaround Wait for screen change in specified area of window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage)
– / Get Job’s Path / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Retrieve full path of currently running Automation (within WinAutomation or of compiled .exe) use workaround use workaround
If / If / If Then / If Variable Execute subsequent steps if specified condition(s) match Execute subsequent steps if specified condition(s) match Execute subsequent steps if specified condition matches (no nested conditions within one If Then Action); compare values as Text, Number, Datetime, or Boolean Execute subsequent steps if specified condition matches (no nested conditions within one If Variable Action)
Else / Else / Else / Else Execute subsequent steps if prior IF condition does not match Execute subsequent steps if prior IF condition does not match Execute subsequent steps if prior IF condition does not match Execute subsequent steps if prior IF condition does not match
End If / End If / End If / End If End of IF/ ELSE condition End of IF/ ELSE condition End of IF/ ELSE condition End of IF/ ELSE condition
Loops
Loop / Loop / Simple Loop / Loop Times Loop through specified range or specified number of times Loop through specified range Loop through specified range Loop specified number of times
Loop Expression / Loop Condition / While Loop / Loop Condition Loop while or until specified expression is true Loop while specified expression is true Loop while specified expression is true (compare values as Text, Number, Datetime, or Boolean) Loop while specified expression is true
Break / Exit Loop / Break / Exit Loop Break out of current Loop Break out of current Loop Break out of current Loop Break out of current Loop
End Loop / End Loop / End Loop / End Loop End current Loop End current Loop End current Loop End current Loop
Text
– / Get Text Length / – / String Operation: Length achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Get length (in characters) of specified text (also achieved via Variable properties) achieved with System Variable: StrLength Get length (in characters) of specified text
Get Sub Text / Get Subtext / STR Extract / String Operation: Sub String Get subtext from specified source text (specified number of characters from specified start position) Get subtext from specified source text (from start or specified position, to end or specified number of characters) Get subtext from specified source text (specified number of characters from specified start position) Get subtext from specified source text (specified number of characters from specified start position)
– / – / STR Between / String Operation: Before/After achieved more precisely with Find Text Action (using Regex) – Note: Regex allows you to extract (or replace) ANY text achieved more precisely with Parse Text Action (using Regex) – Note: Regex allows you to extract (or replace) ANY text Get subtext from specified source text (all characters between specified before and after string, from specified start position) – alternatively, achieved more precisely with RegExp Loop Action below Get subtext from specified source text (specified number of characters between specified before and after string) – Note: you are limited to this Action, ie you CANNOT use Regex!
Insert Text / Append Line to Text / STR Insert / – Insert ANY specified characters (at beginning, end, or specified position) into specified source text Insert new line (only!) of specified text at end (only!) into specified source text Insert ANY specified characters at specified position into specified source text use Variable Operation Action
– / – / STR Delete / – use Get Sub Text and Replace Text Action use Get Subtext and Replace Text Action Delete specified number of characters from specified position in specified source text use String Operation: Sub String and String Operation: Replace Action
Trim Text / Trim Text / STR Trim / String Operation: Trim Remove ANY specified characters from beginning and/or end of specified source text Remove all whitespace characters (eg space, tab, new line) from beginning and/or end of specified source text Remove ANY specified characters from beginning and/or end of specified source text Remove all whitespace characters (eg space, tab, new line) from beginning and/or end of specified source text
Convert Case / Change Text Case / – / String Operation: Upper Case OR String Operation: Lower Case Convert specified text to upper or lower case Convert specified text to upper, lower, title, or sentence case achieved with System Variable: LowerCase/ UpperCase Convert specified text to upper case or lower case (two separate Actions)
– / Convert Text to Number / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Convert (input) Text representation of number to its numerical equivalent achieved via mandatory selection to compare values as Text, Number, Datetime, or Boolean use workaround
– / Convert Number to Text / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Convert number to (output) Text, using specified format achieved via mandatory selection to compare values as Text, Number, Datetime, or Boolean use workaround
Format Date Time / Convert DateTime to Text / – / – Convert current or specified Datetime value to Text, using one of the GIVEN formats Convert specified Datetime value to Text, using ANY specified format achieved via mandatory selection to compare values as Text, Number, Datetime, or Boolean use workaround
– / Convert Text to DateTime / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Convert specified Text (ANY specified format) to Datetime value achieved via mandatory selection to compare values as Text, Number, Datetime, or Boolean use workaround
– / Join Text / – / String Operation: Join use Loop Array Action and Set Variable Action (to loop through List and extract its items to build Text string) Convert List to Text value by combining its items with ANY specified delimiter achieved with RegExpr Loop Action (ie can use ANY specified delimiter), because List Variable is comma-delimited Text string anyway! Convert List to Text value by combining its items with ANY specified delimiter
– / Split Text / – / String Operation: Split achieved with Find Text Action (using Regex; can use ANY specified delimiter) Convert Text value to List, using ANY specified delimiter (incl. Regex) achieved with RegExpr Loop Action below (ie can use ANY specified delimiter) – Note that List Variable is comma-delimited Text string! Convert Text value to List, using ANY specified delimiter (NO Regex!)
Find Text / Parse Text / STR Pos / String Operation: Find Find ALL occurrences of specified text in specified source text (from specified start position, case-sensitive, can use Regex!) Find FIRST OR ALL occurrences of specified text in specified source text (from specified start position, can ignore case, can use Regex!) Find FIRST occurrence (only) of specified text in specified source text (from specified start position, can ignore case, can use Regex!) – Note: RegExp Loop Action below is more powerful Find FIRST occurrence (only) of specified text in specified source text (from specified start position, can ignore case, but CANNOT use Regex!)
– / – / RegExp Loop / – partly achieved with Find Text Action partly achieved with Parse Text Action Find ALL occurrences of specified text in specified source text or text file, and save all found expressions and all subexpressions (and their positions and lengths) as Lists (ie comma-delimited Text strings) – Note: This Action offers a very convenient way of using Regex – you simply tick desired options (this should suit all those who find using Regex too complicated, incl. Automation Anywhere software designers 😉 use workaround – Note: CANNOT use Regex in Automation Anywhere!
Replace Text / Replace Text / STR Replace / String Operation: Replace Replace ALL occurrences of specified text in specified source text with specified replacement text (from start position, maximum number of times, can ignore case, can use Regex!) Replace ALL occurrences of specified text in specified source text with specified replacement text (can ignore case, can use Regex!) Replace first, last, or all occurrence(s) of specified text in specified source text with specified replacement text (can ignore case) – Note: RegExp Replace Action further below is more powerful Replace ALL (or specified number of) occurrences of specified text in specified source text (from specified start position) with specified replacement text (can ignore case, but CANNOT use Regex!)
– / – / RegExp Replace / – partly achieved with Replace Text Action partly achieved with Replace Text Action Replace ALL occurrences of specified text in specified source text or text file with specified replacement text (and save number of replacements made; can use found subexpressions in replacement text! – Note: Again, this Action is very convenient – you simply tick desired options! use workaround – Note: CANNOT use Regex in Automation Anywhere!
– / – / RegExp Match / – use workaround use workaround Check if specified text exists in specified source text or text file (and save first or last found expression and all its subexpressions as Lists (ie comma-delimited Text strings) – Note: Again, this Action is very convenient – you simply tick desired options! use workaround
File management
Get File(s) Information / Get Files in Folder / Search for Files / – Get ALL Windows file (and folder) information from specified file/s (and (sub)folders) matching specified conditions (exclude mask, all Windows file attributes) Retrieve List of files in specified folder (and subfolders; can filter and sort by up to 3 file properties) Create List of ANY files or folders (ie across different folders(!) – and their subfolders, if ticked) that match specified condition: newer/older than (or between specified dates), and save List as specified text file – can exclude path information, can insert specified text before List and/or after List, can insert specified text before each line and/or after each line achieved via Variable Manager: System Variables
– / – / Get FilePath Part / achieved with Get File(s) Information Action above Retrieve part(s) of specified file path (root path, folder, filename, filename without extension, extension) achieved with System Variables achieved via Variable Manager: System Variables
Copy File / Copy File(s) / Copy/Move File / Copy Files Copy file(s)/ folder(s) in specified source folder (and subfolders) to specified target folder if they match specified conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) Copy file(s) in specified source folder to specified target folder – Note: Can first use Get Files in Folder Action to populate Variable with more specific file list Copy any specified file(s), ie across different folders(!) – and their subfolders (if ticked) – to specified target folder (can process hidden and system files too) – Note: Can first use System Variables to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too Copy file(s) in specified source folder to specified target folder if they match specified conditions (size, newer/older than modified/created date)
Move File / Move File(s) / Copy/Move File / – Move file(s) from specified source folder (and subfolders) to specified target folder if they match specified conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) Move file(s) from specified source folder to specified target folder – Note: Can first use Get Files in Folder Action to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too Move any specified file(s), ie across different folders(!) – and their subfolders (if ticked) – to specified target folder (can process hidden and system files too) – Note: Can first use System Variables to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too use Copy Files Action (to target folder) and Delete Files Action (in source folder) – Note: Cannot first use System Variables to populate Variable with more specific file list, since System Variables are very limited (eg file attributes are not accessable)!
Delete File / Delete File(s) / Delete File / Delete Files Delete file(s) in specified folder (and subfolders) that match specified conditions: exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes (and send to Recycle Bin) Delete file(s) in specified folder – Note: Can first use Get Files in Folder Action to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too Delete any specified file(s), ie across different folders(!) – and their subfolders (if ticked) – Note: Can process hidden and system files too, can send to Recycle Bin, and can first use System Variables to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too Delete file(s) in specified folder if they match specified conditions (size, newer/older than modified/created date)
Rename File / Rename File(s) / Rename File / Rename Files Rename file(s) in specified folder (and subfolders) that match specified conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) Rename file(s) in specified folder, using one of 7 (very convenient!) Rename schemes – Note: Can first use Get Files in Folder Action to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too Rename any specified file(s), ie across different folders(!) – and their subfolders (if ticked) – Note: Can first use System Variables to populate Variable with more specific file list, considering file attributes too Rename file(s) in specified folder if they match specified conditions (size, newer/older than modified/created date)
Read from File / Read Text from File / Text Loop / Read from CSV/Text Read specified file (any text file) – specified number of bytes, from specified position, as single Text value Read specified file (any text file) as single Text value or as List of Text values Read specified file (any text file) as List of Text values (only) – to read text file as single Text value use System Variable: TextFile Read specified file (.txt only) as List of Text values delimited by any specified character, OR Read specified file (.csv) as List of Text values delimited by comma or tab – (Note: to read as single Text value use Variable Manager: Add Variable – Create from Text Fileas single Text value or as List of Text values)
Write to File / Write Text to File / Write Text File / – Write specified text to specified file (append at end or overwrite) Write specified text to specified file (append at end or overwrite) Write specified text to specified file (append at end or overwrite; can suppress trailing End-of-Line characters) use workaround (no Action for this?!?)
Folder management
– / Get Subfolders in Folder / – / – achieved with Get File(s) Information Action Retrieve List of folders in specified folder (and subfolders; can sort by up to 3 file object criteria) achieved with Search for Files Action (using Folders only and Recurse to subfolders) use workaround
Create Folder / Create Folder / Create Folder / Create Folder Create specified folder (and missing parent folders) in specified parent folder Create specified folder in specified parent folder Create specified folder in specified parent folder Create specified folder in specified parent folder
Remove Folder / Delete Folder / Remove Folder / Delete Folder Delete specified folder (and all files and subfolders) and send to Recycle Bin Delete specified folder (and all files and subfolders) Delete specified folder (if it is not empty) and all files and subfolders Delete specified folder (and all files and subfolders matching specified conditions: size, newer/older than modified/created date)
– / Copy Folder / – / Copy Folder use Create Folder and Copy File Action (works for subfolders too) Copy specified source folder into specified target folder use Create Folder and Copy/Move File Action (works for subfolders too) Copy specified source folder into specified target folder if it matches specified conditions (size, newer/older than modified/created date)
– / Move Folder / – / – use Create Folder, Copy File, and Remove Folder Action Move specified source folder into specified target folder use Create Folder, Copy/Move File, and Remove Folder Action use Create Folder, Copy Files, and Delete Folder Action
Rename Folder / Rename Folder / Rename Folder / Rename Folder Rename specified folder Rename specified folder Rename specified folder Rename specified folder if it matches specified conditions (size, newer/older than modified/created date)
Excel
Open Workbook / Launch Excel / – / Open Spreadsheet Open specified Excel workbook (visible or invisible) Open specified Excel workbook or launch new workbook (visible or invisible) use Run Program/Open Document Action – Note: RoboTask offers no Actions for native communication with Excel (yet), ie Excel (like other applications too) must be in active/foreground window! Open specified Excel workbook (visible only); can load “Add-ins” and worksheet specified by name
Create Workbook / – / – / – Create Excel workbook (from template), visible or invisible achieved with Launch Excel Action above use Send Keystrokes Action (also see Note above) use Send Keys Action
Close Workbook / Close Excel / – / Close Spreadsheet OR Save Spreadsheet Close specified Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible), and save it (or don’t save) Close specified Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible), and save it (or don’t save) use Send Keystrokes Action (also see Note above) Close specified Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only), and save it (or don’t save) – two separate Actions (but same functionality!)
Activate Worksheet / Set Active Worksheet / – / Activate Sheet Activate worksheet (specified by name or index) in Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) Activate worksheet (specified by name or index) in Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) use Send Keystrokes Action (also see Note above) Activate worksheet (specified by name or index) in Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only)
Add Worksheet / Add New Worksheet / – / – Add new worksheet (any type; as last or before active one) to Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) Add new worksheet (as first or last) to Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) use Send Keystrokes Action (also see Note above) use workaround
Delete Worksheet / Delete Worksheet / – / Delete Worksheet use Send Keystrokes Action use Insert Keystrokes Action use Send Keystrokes Action (also see Note above) use Send Keys Action
– / Get First Free Column/Row / – / – use workaround Get first free column and/or row of active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) use workaround use workaround
Cells to Dataset / Read from Excel / – / Get Cells Read values of specified cell/s (of active or any other worksheet) of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible), and save as Datatable Read values of specified cell(s) of active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible), and save as Datatable use Send Keystrokes or Clipboard Actions (also see Note above) Read value(s) of active cell or specified cell(s) of active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only), and save single cell in User-defined Variable, or multiple cells/all cells in System Variable as List (must use in Loop to retrieve entire Datatable!)
Set Cell OR Dataset to Cells / Write to Excel / – / Set Cell Write value (or write values of specified Datatable; two separate Actions) to specified cell/s (of active or any other worksheet) of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) Write values of specified Datatable to specified cells of active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) use Send Keystrokes or Clipboard Actions (also see Note above) Write value of specified Variable to active or specified cell (one only) of active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only)
Insert Column/Row / Insert Column/Row / – / Insert Column/Row use Send Keystrokes Action use Insert Keystrokes Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use Send Keystrokes Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use Send Keys Action
Delete Column/Row / Delete Column/Row / – / Delete Cells use Send Keystrokes Action use Insert Keystrokes Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use Send Keystrokes Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Delete active or specified cell (and shift cells left or up, or delete entire row or column)
Clipboard
Get Clipboard / Get Clipboard Text / Get Text / Assign from Clipboard Retrieve clipboard content as Text into a Variable Retrieve clipboard content as Text into a Variable Retrieve clipboard content as Text into a Variable Retrieve clipboard content as Text into a Variable
Set Clipboard / Set Clipboard Text / Put Text / Assign to Clipboard Send specified Text to clipboard Send specified Text to clipboard Send specified Text to clipboard Send specified Text to clipboard
Multimedia
Play Audio / Play Sound / Show Message/Play Sound / Play Beep/Play Media File Play specified system sound or audio file/s (wav or mp3) – Note that Automation execution continues during playback (ie audio can be used as soundtrack during Automation execution), and playback can be stopped by sending another Play Audio Action with stop command Play specified system sound or audio file (wav only!) – Note that Automation execution pauses during playback (ie with this Action audio cannot be used as soundtrack during Automation execution), and playback cannot be stopped! – Use Run Application and Terminate Process Action instead Play specified system sound or audio file (wav only!) when showing message (only) – Note that Automation execution continues during playback (ie audio can be used as soundtrack during Automation execution), however playback cannot be stopped! – Use Run Program/Open Document and Terminate Process Action instead Play beep (?!?) or specified audio file (wav or mp3) – Note that Automation execution pauses during playback (ie with this Action audio cannot be used as soundtrack during Automation execution), and playback cannot be stopped! – Use Open Program/File Action instead (and another workaround to stop playback)
System
– DateTime
– / Get Current Date and Time / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Get current date or date and time achieved with System Variable: DateTime achieved with Variable Manager: System Variables
– Processes
Run / Run Application / Run Program/Open Document OR Run Program as User / Open File/Open Program/File Run specified (Windows or Console) application (or open specified document associated with application) in normal, minimized, maximized, or hidden window (and wait for it to load, to end, or continue immediately), and return specified process information) Run specified Windows application (or open specified document associated with application) in normal, minimized, maximized, or hidden window (and wait for it to load, to end, or continue immediately), and return process ID Run specified Windows application (or open specified document associated with application) in normal, minimized, maximized, or hidden window (and wait for it to load, to end, or continue immediately) – alternatively, can run program with rights of another user (two separate Actions) Run specified Windows application, or open specified document associated with application (two separate Actions, but better use Open Program/File Action)
– / Run DOS Command / – / – achieved with Run Action above Execute specified DOS command or console application in invisible mode, and retrieve its output, error and exit code use workaround use workaround
End Process / Terminate Process / Terminate Process / – Forcibly end process(es)/ application(s), specified by name or ID Forcibly end process/ application, specified by name or ID Forcibly end process/ application, specified by name (if several processes match specified name, terminate oldest, newest, or all) use workaround
Print / Print Document / Print Document / Print File/Print Multiple Files Print specified file on default printer, on any other specified printer, or on all accessable printers Print specified file on default printer Print any specified file(s), ie across different folders(!), on default printer Print specified file(s) on default printer if they match specified conditions (size, newer/older than modified/created date) – two separate Actions
– Services
Services / – / – / – Manipulate specified Windows Service/ Device (start, stop, pause, resume, get state, list, install, or uninstall) on local or specified remote system partly achieved with 4 Actions below partly achieved with 2 Actions below partly achieved with 5 Actions below
– / Start Service / Start Service / Start Service achieved with Services Action above Start specified Windows Service/ Device Start specified Windows Service/ Device (can pass parameters, can wait for it to actually start) Start specified Windows Service/ Device
– / Pause Service / – / Pause Service achieved with Services Action above Pause specified Windows Service/ Device use workaround Pause specified Windows Service/ Device
– / Stop Service / Stop Service / Stop Service achieved with Services Action above Stop specified Windows Service/ Device Stop specified Windows Service/ Device (can retrieve parameters, can wait for it to actually stop) Stop specified Windows Service/ Device
– / Resume Service / – / Resume Service achieved with Services Action above Resume specified Windows Service/ Device use workaround Resume specified Windows Service/ Device
– / – / – / Get Service Status achieved with Services Action above use workaround use workaround Save current status of specified Windows Service/Device in Variable
– Window
– / Get Foreground Window / – / Get Active Window Title achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Retrieve title and handle of currently active (focused) window achieved with System Variable: Current-Window-Caption (without hyphens) Retrieve title of currently active (focused) window
Focus Window / Focus Window / – / Activate Window Bring (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to front Bring (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to front achieved with Window Command Action below Bring window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage; visible only) to front
– / Set Window State / – / – achieved with 3 Actions below Restore, maximize, or minimize window (specified by title, class, or handle) achieved with Window Command Action below partly achieved with 2 Actions below
Maximize Window / – / – / Maximize Window Resize (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to its maximized state achieved with Set Window State Action above achieved with Window Command Action below Resize window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage; visible only) to its maximized state
Minimize Window / – / – / Minimize Window Resize (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to its minimized state achieved with Set Window State Action above achieved with Window Command Action below Resize window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage; visible only) to its minimized state
Restore Window / – / – / – Restore (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to its normal state achieved with Set Window State Action above achieved with Window Command Action below use workaround
– / Set Window Visibility / Window Command / – achieved with 2 Actions below Hide visible window or show hidden window (specified by title, class, or handle) Focus, Maximize, Minimize, Restore, Close, Hide, or Unhide current window or window specified by title, class, or handle (can process hidden and/or child and/or all matched windows) use workaround
Hide Window / – / – / – Hide visible window (specified by title, class, or handle) achieved with Set Window Visibility Action above achieved with Window Command Action above see above
Unhide Window / – / – / – Make hidden window (specified by title, class, or handle) visible achieved with Set Window Visibility Action above achieved with Window Command Action above see above
Move Window / Move Window / – / – Move (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to any specified screen position Move (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to any specified screen position use workaround use workaround
Resize Window / Resize Window / – / Resize Window Resize (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to any specified dimension Resize (visible or hidden) window (specified by title, class, or handle) to any specified dimension use workaround Resize window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage; visible only) to any specified dimension
Close Window / Close Window / – / Close Window Close (visible or hidden) window (request or force) specified by title, class, or handle Close (visible or hidden) window specified by title, class, or handle achieved with Window Command Action above Close window (selected from the windows open(!) during design-stage; visible only)
Connectivity
– Web
HTTP / Download from Web / Download File / Web Recorder: Download File Perform Get, Put, Post, Delete, Head, Trace, or Options HTTP request, to download file or webpage at specified URL (and save file) – many options, incl. using FTP, HTTP, or SOCKS proxy – does not require browser Perform Get or Post, to download file or webpage at specified URL (and save file) – many options, but not (yet) using proxy – does not require browser Download file or webpage at specified URL (and save file) – can use FTP, HTTP, or SOCKS proxy (only option) – does not require browser Download file or webpage at specified URL and save as specified file name – only Web Action that does not require browser, hence best corresponds to competitors’ Actions
Web Browser / – / – / Web Recorder: Open Browser use specified web browser (and where possible, interact natively: only Firefox and IE): Open, Close, Get value, Set value, Wait, Click, Extract Table, Extract Source, Navigate, Create Session use Run Application Action to open any browser, use Download from Web Action to extract source code, extract tables, etc use Run Program/Open Document Action to open any browser, use Download File Action to extract source code, extract tables, etc Open browser (IE only!) with specified URL (and display webpage specified by title or URL)
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Close Browser achieved with Web Browser Action above use Send Keys Action (with Close command to browser) or use Terminate Process Action use Send Keystrokes Action (with Close command to browser) or use Terminate Process Action Close browser (IE only!)
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Navigate URL achieved with Web Browser Action above use Send Keys Action use Send Keystrokes Action Navigate to specified URL in already opened browser (IE only!) and display webpage specified by title or URL
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Extract Source achieved with Web Browser Action above achieved with Download from Web Action above achieved with Download File Action above Extract webpage source code of specified URL
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Extract Data achieved with Web Browser Action above use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Extract specified text from webpage at specified URL (page specified by title or URL; can specify before and after keyword)
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Extract Table achieved with Web Browser Action above use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Extract table (specified during design-stage) from webpage at specified URL (page specified by title or URL) and save results in specified csv file (can append to existing csv file)
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Manage Web Controls achieved with Web Browser Action above use workaround use workaround Select browser web control (IE only!, specified during design-stage) from webpage at specified URL (can search web control by caption, index, or tag attributes)
– Email
Send Email / Send Email / Send Email / Send Email Create and send specified Email (ALL options, incl. Attachments, HTML, etc) using specified server Create and send specified Email (most options, incl. Attachments and HTML) using specified server Create and send specified Email (most options, incl. Attachments and HTML) using specified server Create and send specified Email (most options, incl. Attachments and HTML) using specified server
– / – / POP3 Open / – achieved with Get Email Action below use workaround Connect to specified POP3 server (incl. SSL) use workaround (also see Note below)
– / – / Check for Email / – use workaround use workaround Check for new Email on specified POP3 server (can use SSL) use workaround (also see Note below)
– / – / POP3 Messages Count / – achieved with Get Email Action above use workaround Retrieve number of new messages and total size use workaround (also see Note below)
Get Email / – / POP3 Mail Loop / – Manage (Get all headers, Get messages, Get single message, Delete messages, or Delete single message) and download Emails from specified server (POP3, IMAP, or Exchange server; incl. SSL) use workaround Parse key parameters (Subject, From, To, CC, Date, and Size) of each Email message (specified by Order number) in loop without (yet) downloading entire messages from server (so that you can choose which ones to download) use workaround (Note: Get Email Action(s) only available with Integration Pack)
– / – / POP3 Download Email / – achieved with Get Email Action above use workaround Download Email message (specified by Order number) and save as .eml file (and extract and save attachments) in specified folder use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Parse Email / – use workaround use workaround Parse entire message of (downloaded) specified Email (EML) file to extract Subject, From, To, CC, Date, and Message, and extract Attachments to specified folder use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / POP3 Delete Email / – achieved with Get Email Action above use workaround Delete Email message (specified by Order number) use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / POP3 Close / – achieved with Get Email Action above use workaround Disconnect from POP3 Email server use workaround (also see Note above)
– Database
Open SQL Connection/ Connect / – / – / Connect to specified OLEDB database achieved with Execute SQL Statement Action below achieved with SQL Query Action below Connect to specified OLEDB database
SQL Query / SQL Query / Execute SQL Statement/ SQL Query / Send SQL query (or other statement) to OLEDB database Connect to specified OLEDB database, send SQL query (or other statement), retrieve data, and disconnect Connect to specified OLEDB database, send SQL query (or other statement), retrieve data, and disconnect Select statements only
– / – / – / Insert/Update/Delete achieved with SQL Query Action above achieved with Execute SQL Statement Action above achieved with SQL Query Action above Insert, Update, and Delete statements only
Stored Procedure / – / – / Run Stored Procedure Run or update specified Procedure stored on OLEDB database server (and output result to Datatable) use workaround use workaround Run or update specified Procedure stored on OLEDB database server (and output result to csv file – remember, no Datatable Variable!)
Close SQL Connection/ Disconnect / – / – / Close specified OLEDB database connection achieved with Execute SQL Statement Action above achieved with SQL Query Action above Close specified OLEDB database connection
– FTP
FTP / – / – / – Perform ANY FTP activity (Log on, Log off, Upload, Download, Delete, Rename, Create Folder, Change Folder, Remove Folder, Synchronize Folder(s), FXP, Advanced – the latter allows you to achieve pretty much any FTP functionality!) achieved with 15 Actions below partly achieved with 14 Actions below partly achieved with 11 Actions below
– / Open FTP Connection / FTP Log on / Connect achieved with FTP Action above Connect to specified FTP server Connect to specified FTP server Connect to specified FTP server
– / Open Secure FTP Connection / – / – achieved with FTP Action above Connect securely to specified FTP server use workaround achieved with Connect Action above
– / Close FTP Connection / FTP Log off / Disconnect achieved with FTP Action above Disconnect from specified FTP server Disconnect from specified FTP server Disconnect from specified FTP server
– / List FTP Directory / FTP PWD / – achieved with FTP Action above Retrieve List of files and List of subfolders of current folder on FTP server Retrieve List of files and List of subfolders of current folder on FTP server use workaround
– / – / FTP File Loop / – achieved with FTP Action above achieved with Invoke FTP Command Action below Retrieve File name or File path, Size, and Last update time for List of files or List of folders in specified FTP folder (and subfolders) – can use include and exclude mask use workaround
– / Change Working Directory / FTP Change Folder / Change Folder achieved with FTP Action above Change current folder on FTP server Change current folder on FTP server Change current folder on FTP server
– / – / FTP Transfer Type / – achieved with FTP Action above achieved in each FTP Action where relevant Select transfer type binary or ASCII achieved in each FTP Action where relevant
– / Download File(s) from FTP / FTP Download / Get Files achieved with FTP Action above Download file(s) from specified FTP file path(s) to specified local folder (transfer type can be auto too; can give files unique name) Download specified file from current FTP folder to specified local folder (transfer type must have been set earlier using FTP Transfer Type Action) Download file(s) from specified FTP file path to specified local folder (must select transfer type binary or ASCII)
– / Download Folder(s) from FTP / – / Get Folder achieved with FTP Action above Download folder(s) from specified FTP folder path(s) to specified local folder achieved with FTP Command Action below Download folder from specified FTP folder path to specified local folder
– / Upload File(s) to FTP / FTP Upload / Put Files achieved with FTP Action above Upload specified file(s) to current FTP folder (transfer type can be auto too; can give files unique name) Upload specified file to specified FTP folder (transfer type must have been set earlier using FTP Transfer Type Action) Upload specified file(s) to current FTP folder (must select transfer type binary or ASCII)
– / Upload Folder(s) to FTP / – / Put Folder achieved with FTP Action above Upload specified folder(s) to current FTP folder achieved with FTP Command Action below Upload specified folder to current FTP folder
– / Delete FTP File / FTP Delete File / Delete Files achieved with FTP Action above Delete specified file from FTP server Delete specified file from FTP server Delete specified file(s) from FTP server
– / Rename FTP File / FTP Rename File / Rename Files achieved with FTP Action above Rename specified file on FTP server Rename specified file on FTP server Rename specified file(s) on FTP server
– / Create FTP Directory / FTP Create Folder / Create Folder achieved with FTP Action above Create specified new folder (and missing parent folders) in current FTP folder Create specified new folder in current FTP folder Create specified new folder in current FTP folder
– / Delete FTP Directory / FTP Remove Folder / Delete Folder achieved with FTP Action above Delete specified folder (and all its files and subfolders) from FTP server Delete specified folder (and all its files and subfolders) from FTP server Delete specified folder (and all its files and subfolders) from FTP server
– / Synchronize FTP Directory / FTP Synchronization / – achieved with FTP Action above Synchronize files (and subfolders) of specified local folder to FTP folder or vice versa (can use include or exclude mask) Synchronize files (and subfolders) of specified local folder to FTP folder or vice versa, or bidirectional (can use include and exclude mask, can also create exact copy of source folder) use workaround
– / Invoke FTP Command / FTP Command / – achieved with FTP Action above Send ANY command to FTP server (and retrieve server reply code and reply text) Send ANY command to FTP server use workaround

 

Other Actions * AutoMate WinAutomation RoboTask Automation Anywhere
Required workarounds here 59 109 122 139
User Interactions
– / Set Key State / – / – use workaround Toggle on/off: Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock achieved with Send Keystrokes Action above achieved with Insert Keystrokes Action above
– / Get Mouse Position / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Retrieve current mouse pointer coordinates on screen/ foreground window use workaround (Note: It is not necessary to know mouse pointer coordinates in order to move mouse to desired position) use workaround (Note: It is not necessary to know mouse pointer coordinates in order to move mouse to desired position)
– / – / Browse for Computers / – use workaround use workaround Prompt user to select computer on local network use workaround
– / Display Notification / – / – use workaround Display specified message in inobtrusive semi-transparent message box during execution of Automation from within WinAutomation (not in .exe) use workaround use workaround
Authenticate / – / – / – Stop present Automation until user is authenticated (via log-on or password) use workaround use workaround use workaround
Variables
Create Object / – / – / – Create AutoMate object of defined custom type or web service use workaround use workaround use workaround
Define Type / – / – / – Define custom object type(s) defined in web service use workaround use workaround use workaround
– / Shuffle List / – / – use Create Array Action, and Array/List Variable properties to retrieve number of List items; now use Loop Action with Functions in Expression Builder to generate random number between zero and number retrieved earlier, and use this as index to add Array item to new Array Create random permutation of items in specified List use workaround – Note that List Variable actually is comma-delimited Text string use workaround
– / Find Common List Items / – / – use Loop, If, and Create Array Actions to create new List of items common to both source Lists Compare two Lists and create new List of items common to both source Lists use Simple Loop, If Then, and Delimit Variable Actions to create new List of items common to both source Lists (also see Note above) use Loop Condition, If Variable, and Variable Operation Actions to create new List of items common to both source Lists
– / Subtract Lists / – / – use Loop, If, and Create Array Actions to create new List of items that are in first List but not in second List Compare two Lists and create new List of items that are in first List but not in second List use Simple Loop, If Then, and Delimit Variable Actions to create new List of items common to both source Lists (also see Note above) use Loop Condition, If Variable, and Variable Operation Actions to create new List of items common to both source Lists
– / Retrieve Table Column as List / – / – achieved via Variable properties Retrieve Datatable column (by name or index) into List use workaround (Note: RoboTask does not have Datatable Variable!) use workaround (Note: Automation Anywhere does not have Datatable Variable!)
– / – / Remove Variable / – n/a – however, Public/Global Variable value will affect other Automation executions unless a) Variable has been marked as Private/Local, b) Automation has been disabled, or c) deleted – hence use unique (ie Automation-specific) Variable names! n/a – Variables are Local by default, ie they get automatically deleted at end of Automation execution Delete specified Variable (use at end of Automation in order to prevent that Global Variable value affects other Automation executions) – Note: Better use Local Variables tab in Task Editor, or use unique (ie Automation-specific) Variable names! n/a – Variables are Local by default, ie they get automatically deleted at end of Automation execution
Flow Control
– / – / Continue / – use workaround use workaround Skip all further loop Actions, and begin new loop iteration – Note: This is a very convenient, thoughtful Action (on top of the typical Break/Exit Loop Action) since it helps to avoid those deeply nested If/Else conditions inside loops – Let’s hope the other software vendors pick this up! use workaround
Return / – / – / – Exit current function (with specified value) and return execution to calling function n/a n/a n/a
If File Exists / If File Exists / – / If File Exists/If File Does Not Exist/If File Size/If File Date Execute subsequent steps if specified file matches specified conditions (exists, does not exist, accessible, not accessible, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) Execute subsequent steps if specified file exists/ does not exist achieved with System Variable: FileExists Execute subsequent steps if specified file exists/ does not exist, or if file date (created/ modified) or file size (KB) matches specified range (four separate Actions)
If Folder Exists / If Folder Exists / – / If Folder Exists Execute subsequent steps if specified folder matches specified conditions (exists, does not exist, newer/older than, all Windows folder attributes) Execute subsequent steps if specified folder exists/ does not exist achieved with System Variable: FolderExists Execute subsequent steps if specified folder exists/ does not exist (two separate Actions)
– / If Service / – / If Service Running/If Service Not Running use Services Action with Get State property and If Action Execute subsequent steps if specified Windows Service/ Device is running, paused, stopped, installed, or not installed use workaround Execute subsequent steps if specified Windows Service/ Device is running/ not running (two separate Actions)
If Process Running / If Process / – / If Application Running/If Application Not Running Execute subsequent steps if specified process is running/ not running Execute subsequent steps if specified process is running/ not running achieved with System Variable: IsProcessExists (yes, it really has that strange name!) Execute subsequent steps if specified application is running/ not running (two separate Actions)
If Window Exists / If Window / Check for Window / If Window Exists/If Window Does Not Exist Execute subsequent steps if specified window exists, does not exist, is focused, not focused, or hidden) Execute subsequent steps if specified window exists, does not exist, is focused, or not focused) Check if window (specified by caption) exists or is active (can also stop current Automation in either case – can alternatively use System Variable: WindowExists) Execute subsequent steps if specified window exists/ does not exist (two separate Actions)
If Pixel Exists / If Image / – / If Image Recognition Execute subsequent steps if specified screen pixel(s) have specified color Execute subsequent steps if specified image exists/ does not exist on screen/ foreground window use workaround Execute subsequent steps if target image (specified by file or screen capture during design-stage) is found in source image (specified by file or screen capture during design-stage); can left-click it
If Compare Files / – / – / – Execute subsequent steps if comparison of two files matches specified conditions (size, CRC/Hash, creation date, modified date, last accessed date, attributes) use If Action with file properties of both files use If Action with System Variable: FileSize and FileAttributes for both files use workaround (Note that File properties are not part of System Variables!)
– / – / – / If Script Successful/If Script Unsuccessful use workaround use workaround use workaround Execute subsequent steps if specified VBS (visual basic script) or JS (java script) run was successful/ unsuccessful (two separate Actions)
– / – / – / If Task Successful/If Task Unsuccessful use If Action with error code from Error Handling in other Automation use If Action with error code from Exception Handling in other Automation use If Then Action with System Variable: LastErrorCode Execute subsequent steps if specified other Automation run was successful/ unsuccessful (two separate Actions)
– / – / Wait for Task / – use workaround (only relevant for triggered Automation, since Start Task Action must wait for called Automation to complete anyway – see above) use workaround Pause execution of current Automation until (another) specified Automation ends (if already running; can wait specified time in seconds or infinitely) use workaround (only relevant for triggered Automation, since Start Task Action must wait for called Automation to complete anyway – see above)
– / – / – / If Ping Successful/If Ping Unsuccessful use Ping Machine Action and If Action use Ping Action and If Action use Ping Host Action and If Then Action Execute subsequent steps if Ping to specified IP address was successful/ unsuccessful (two separate Actions)
– / – / – / If Web Control use Web Browser Action and If Action use workaround use workaround Execute subsequent steps if specified Web Object Control exists/ does not exist on specified webpage
If Last Step / – / – / – Execute subsequent steps if prior step succeeded/ failed (with specified error code/s) – Note: also achieved with Error Handling in each Action achieved with Exception Handling in each Action use If Then Action with System Variable: LastErrorCode, or Run Error Handling Automation achieved with Begin Error Handling and End Error Handling Actions below
If Text Contains / – / – / – Execute subsequent steps if specified target text contains/ does not contain specified text (can ignore case, can use Regex) use Parse Text Action and If Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use STR Extract Action and If Then Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use String Operation: Find Action and If Variable Action
– / – / – / Else If just use new If Action or nested conditions! just use new If Action or nested conditions! just use new If Action! Execute subsequent steps if specified condition matches (no nested conditions!) and prior condition was not met
Select / – / – / – Execute steps following Case step that matches result of expression specified here just use If Action, or Label and Go To just use If Then Action just use If Variable Action
Case / – / – / – Execute subsequent steps if Case step matches expression result of enclosing Select step n/a n/a n/a
End Case / – / – / – End of Case steps n/a n/a n/a
End Select / – / – / – End of Select condition n/a n/a n/a
– / – / – / Begin Error Handling achieved (more precisely, ie with detailed error list, but bulk error handling) in every Action where relevant! achieved (more precisely, ie with short error list, but error-specific error handling) in every Action where relevant! achieved with Advanced settings in Task Editor (Continue, Stop, Run Error Handling Task, or Run Error Handling Task and Continue) Continue, Stop, Take screenshot, Run other Automation, Log file, Send Email (Note: We would expect this not to be an Action but to be automatically taken care of within each Action!)
– / – / – / End Error Handling n/a n/a n/a End Error Handling (thank God for this Action! 😉
Loops
Loop Array / – / – / – Loop through elements of specified Array (1-dimensional ie List, or 2-dimensional ie Datatable) achieved with For Each Action if 1-dimensional Array (ie List); for 2-dimensional Array (ie Datatable) use nested loops use workaround – Note: List Variable actually is comma-delimited Text string, and RoboTask does not have Datatable Variable anyway! achieved with Loop List Action if 1-dimensional Array (ie List); for 2-dimensional Array (ie Datatable) use nested loops – Note: Automation Anywhere does not have Datatable Variable anyway!
Loop List / For Each / – / Loop List Loop through items of List, delimited by ANY specified character/s (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order) Loop through items of List use workaround – Note that List Variable actually is comma-delimited Text string Loop through items of List
Loop Dataset / – / Dataset Loop / Loop Each Row In An IE Table/Loop Each Row In A SQL Query Dataset/Loop Each Row In An Excel Dataset/Loop Each Node In An XML Dataset Loop through specified rows of specified Datatable (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order) use nested loops Loop through elements of results of SQL Query (only!) and extract them as comma-delimited Text strings Loop through specified rows of specified source (four separate Actions) – Note: Automation Anywhere loops List Variable here; also note that Loop Each Email Message Action is only available with Integration Pack (four separate Actions)
Loop File Contents / – / Text Loop / Loop Each Row In A CSV/Text File Loop through contents of specified file (delimited by ANY specified character/s) use For Each Action with text file read as List (delimited by new line), or with List created with Split Text Action (delimited by ANY specified character/s) Loop through contents of specified file or specified text (delimited by new line only) Loop through contents of specified file (delimited by new line only)
Loop Files / – / File Loop / Loop Each File In A Folder/Loop Each Folder In A Folder Loop through all (not excluded) file (and folder) names of specified folder (and subfolders) that match specified conditions: newer/older than, and all Windows file attributes (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order) use workaround Loop through ANY (not excluded) specified file or folder names (ie across different folders(!), and their subfolders if ticked) that match specified condition: newer/older than (or between specified dates) – can also retrieve file size and date when created or last modified Loop through all file names OR Loop through ALL subfolders in specified folder (two separate Actions)
Loop List Control / – / – / – Loop through items of specified list box or list view of specified window/s (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order) use workaround use workaround use Loop List Action with Manage Windows Controls Action
Loop Tree Control / – / – / – Loop through items of specified tree view (at specified branch level) of specified window/s (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order) use workaround use workaround use Loop List Action with Manage Windows Controls Action
Loop Processes / – / – / – Loop through filenames of specified processes currently running (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order) use workaround use workaround use workaround
Loop Windows / – / Window Loop / – Loop through all open (visible or hidden) windows (after sorting items in ascending/ descending alphabetical order), and retrieve caption, class, and handle (can limit to certain windows specified by caption and/or class) use workaround Loop through all open (visible or hidden; including child) windows, and retrieve caption, class, and handle (can limit to certain windows specified by caption and/or class) use workaround
Text
Pad Text / Pad Text / – / – Add any specified character(s) to beginning AND/OR end of specified source text until text is of specified length (or specified number of times) Add any specified character(s) to beginning OR end of specified source text until text is of specified length use Simple Loop Action with STR Pos and STR Insert Action use Loop Condition Action with Variable Operation Action
– / – / – / String Operation: Compare use If Action use If Action use If Then Action Compare two specified Text strings (can ignore case) and return TRUE/FALSE
– / – / – / String Operation: Reverse achieved with Functions in Expression Builder use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Reverse specified Text string (ie order of characters)
File management
Split File / – / – / – Split specified file into parts of ANY size use workaround use workaround use workaround
Join File / – / – / – Merge previously split parts of file (and send parts to Recycle Bin) use workaround use workaround use workaround
– / Get Temporary File / – / Create File use Functions in Expression Builder and Write to File Action Create empty temporary file object (saved in Temp folder on disk) use System Variable: TempDir and Write Text File Action Create empty file of specified name (incl. extension) in specified folder
– / – / Unique File Name / – use workaround use workaround Generate unique file name (using specified mask and/or specified folder path) use workaround
Calculate File Checksum / – / – / – Calculate checksum of specified file, using specified algorithm use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions
Concatenate Files / – / – / – Concatenate files matching conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) into specified target file use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions
Set Attributes / – / File Attributes / – Set specified attributes (Archive, Read-only, Hidden, System) of files in folder (and subfolders) matching conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) use Get Files in Folder Action and If Action to change file or folder attributes – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Set specified attributes (Archive, Read-only, Hidden, System) of specified file or folder use workaround (Note that File properties are not part of System Variables!)
Touch File / – / – / – Touch file(s) in folder (and subfolders) matching conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) to update creation, modified, or last access time with ANY specified Datetime use Get Files in Folder Action and If Action to change creation, modified, or last access time with ANY specified Datetime – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround (Note that File properties are not part of System Variables!)
– / – / – / Create File Shortcut use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Create file shortcut for specified file and save into specified target folder
Folder management
– / Empty Folder / – / – use Delete File and Remove Folder Action Delete all files and subfolders in specified folder use Delete File and Remove Folder Action use Delete Files and Delete Folder Action
– / Get Special Folder / – / – partly achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Retrieve full path of ANY Windows special folder (eg Desktop, Cookies, History, Recent, MyMusic, ProgramFiles, etc) partly achieved with System Variables use workaround
Change Folder / – / Change Folder / – Change working folder n/a (no concept of working folder) Change working folder n/a (no concept of working folder)
– / – / – / Open Folder n/a n/a n/a Folder content is not assigned to Variable (I don’t know what this Action actually does!?!)
– / – / – / Create Folder Shortcut use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Create folder shortcut for specified file and save into specified target folder
Synchronize Folders / – / Synchronize Folders / – Synchronize all files in specified folders (and subfolders; bidirectional or unidirectional) matching conditions (include mask, exclude mask, read-only attribute) use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Synchronize all files in specified folders (and subfolders; bidirectional or unidirectional) matching conditions (include mask, exclude mask) – can process hidden and system files too, can create exact copy of first source folder, can log all synchronization information use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions
Excel
Get Active Worksheet / – / – / – Get active worksheet (name and/or index) of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: RoboTask offers no Actions for native communication with Excel (yet), ie Excel (like other applications too) must be in active/foreground window! use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions
Activate Cell / – / – / Go to Cell Activate specified cell(s) in active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) n/a (no concept of active cell/s) n/a (also see note above) Go to specified cell (relative or absolute) of active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only)
Get Active Cell / – / – / – Get active cell(s) in active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) – Note that, strangely, the active cell is then not used in Set Cell and Dataset to Cells Action! n/a (no concept of active cell/s) n/a (also see note above) use workaround
Get Cell / – / – / – Read (formatted!) value of specified cell (of active or any other worksheet) of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) use Insert Keystrokes Action (to read formatted value) – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use Send Keystrokes Action – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use Send Keys Action (to read formatted value) – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions
Set Cell / – / – / – Write value of specified Variable to specified cell (of active or any other worksheet) of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible or invisible) achieved with Write to Excel Action above use Send Keystrokes Action Write value of specified Variable to active or specified cell (of active worksheet) of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only)
– / – / – / Excel: Find/Replace use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Find (and Replace) specified text in active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only; can match case, can match entire content, but NO Regex!)
– / – / – / Excel: Run Excel Macro use Send Keystrokes Action use Insert Keystrokes Action use Send Keystrokes Action Run Macro (specified by name; with optional Macro arguments) in active worksheet of Excel workbook opened earlier (visible only)
Clipboard
Paste / – / Paste / – Paste text from clipboard use Get Clipboard Text Action and Send Keys Action (with Ctrl-V) Paste text from clipboard use Assign from Clipboard Action and Insert Keystrokes Action (with Ctrl-V)
Copy / – / Copy / – Copy selected text to clipboard use Send Keys Action (with Ctrl-C) and Set Clipboard Text Action Copy selected text to clipboard use Insert Keystrokes Action (with Ctrl-C) and Assign to Clipboard Action
Cut / – / Cut / – Cut selected text to clipboard use Send Keys Action (with Ctrl-C and Del) and Set Clipboard Text Action Cut selected text to clipboard use Insert Keystrokes Action (with Ctrl-C and Del) and Assign to Clipboard Action
Clear / Clear Clipboard Contents / Clear Clipboard / Clear Clipboard Empty clipboard Empty clipboard Empty clipboard Empty clipboard
Multimedia
CD Player / – / Eject/Load CD Tray / – Perform (full!) control over system’s CD Drive to play Audio CD use Run Application and Insert Keystrokes Action Eject or Load specified CD/DVD drive use Open Program/File and Send Keys Action
– / – / Write to Disk / – use workaround use workaround Write any specified files and folders to CD/DVD RW drive – ALL options you could wish for! use workaround
– / – / Erase Disk / – use workaround use workaround Delete table of contents (or all data) on specified CD/DVD RW drive (and eject when complete) use workaround
Speak / – / – / – Speak specified text, using Windows speech synthesis engine and selected voice (and save voice file) use Run Application and Insert Keystrokes Action use Run Program/Open Document and Send Keystrokes Action use Open Program/File and Send Keys Action
System
– DateTime
Set Date and Time / – / – / – Set system clock to specified date and time, or synchronize it with specified internet time server use workaround – Note: only useful for professional System Administrators; changing computer time has implications! use workaround – Note: only useful for professional System Administrators; changing computer time has implications! use workaround – Note: only useful for professional System Administrators; changing computer time has implications!
– / Add to Date Time / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Add/subtract specified number of seconds, minutes, hours, or days to/from (any) specified Datetime value use workaround use workaround
– / Subtract Dates / – / – achieved with Functions in Expression Builder Calculate time difference between two specified dates (in seconds, minutes, hours, or days) use workaround use workaround
– Processes
Change Printer / Set Default Printer / – / Set Default Printer Change default printer Change default printer use workaround Change default printer
– / – / – / Get Default Printer use workaround use workaround use workaround Retrieve name of default printer
– / – / – / Remove Printer use workaround use workaround use workaround Remove specified printer from system
Log Off / Log Off User / Log Off / Logoff Log off current user (by force possible) Log off current user (by force possible) Close all programs and Log off current user (no options) Log off current user (no options)
Lock Workstation / Lock Workstation / Lock Workstation / Lock Computer Lock workstation (to protect it from unauthorized use) Lock workstation (to protect it from unauthorized use) Lock workstation (to protect it from unauthorized use) Lock workstation (to protect it from unauthorized use)
Shut Down / Shutdown Computer / – / Shutdown Close Windows and shutdown local system (by force possible) or specified remote system Close Windows and shutdown, restart, suspend, or hibernate local system (by force possible) achieved with Log Off Action above and selecting Shut down or Shut down and Power off Close Windows and shutdown local system (no options)
Restart / – / – / Restart Close Windows (by force possible) and restart local system or specified remote system partly achieved with Shutdown Computer Action above achieved with Log Off Action above and selecting Restart Computer Close Windows (no options) and restart local system
Suspend/Hibernate / – / – / – Suspend or Hibernate local system (by force possible) – can wake up at specified time partly achieved with Shutdown Computer Action above partly achieved with Log Off Action above and selecting Suspend or Hibernate use workaround
Volume / – / – / – Change ANY volume or tone settings on local system use Insert Keystrokes Action use Send Keystrokes Action use Send Keys Action
Empty Recycle Bin / Empty Recycle Bin / – / – Permanently delete all content in Windows Recycle Bin (show confirmation, show progress information) Permanently delete all content in Windows Recycle Bin (no options) use Delete File Action (all files) with specified Recycle folder (usually C:\RECYCLER\*) use Delete Files Action (all files) with specified Recycle folder (usually C:\RECYCLER\*)
– / Take Screenshot / – / Capture Desktop/Capture Window/Capture Area use Send Keystrokes Action (with PrtSc – or respective shortcut key) Save screenshot of entire screen (or foreground window) to Clipboard or as file (gif, jpg, png, tiff, bmp, etc) use Send Keystrokes Action (with PrtSc – or respective shortcut key) Save screenshot of entire screen (or specified window or specified screen area) as png or bmp file (only!) – three separate Actions
– / Control Screen Saver / – / – use Send Keystrokes Action Enable, disable, start, or stop screen saver use Send Keystrokes Action use Send Keys Action
Display / – / – / – Change device, resolution, color depth, and/or frequency settings for screen display use Insert Keystrokes Action use Send Keystrokes Action use Send Keys Action
Environment Variables / – / – / – Manipulate specified Windows Environment Variables (get, set, append to, remove, or list) of user, system, or process use workaround partly achieved with System Variable: EnvironmentVar (get only) use workaround
Get Process Information / – / – / – Get all Windows information of process specified by name or ID (running on local or specified remote system) use workaround partly achieved with System Variable: IsProcessExists (yes, that’s the name!) – only information if process (specified by name) exists use workaround
Get Volume Information / – / – / – Get all Windows information of specified volume(s)/ drive(s) use workaround use workaround use workaround
Log Event / – / – / – Log specified message (of type information, warning, or error) to Windows Event Log – Note that Windows Event Log entries can be used as trigger to run Automations within AutoMate (no .exe anyway) use Write Text to File Action to append message to Windows Event Log – Note that Windows Event Log entries can be used as trigger to run Automations within WinAutomation (of course not in .exe) achieved via Advanced tab of Task Editor (and selecting Duplicate Task Log Messages to Common Log) – Note that Windows Event Log entries cannot be used as trigger to run Automations! use workaround – Note that Windows Event Log entries cannot be used as trigger to run Automations!
Write to Log / – / Log Message / Log to File Add specified message to AutoMate’s own event log use Write Text to File Action (WinAutomation’s own event log can only be viewed but not interfered with!) Add specified message (of type information, warning, error, or neutral) to RoboTask’s own event log Add specified message to Automation Anywhere’s own event log
Registry / – / – / – Modify Windows Registry (read, create, change, delete, or rename value data; create, rename, delete key) use workaround – Note: only useful for System Administrators; changing Registry has implications! achieved with 9 Actions below use workaround – Note: only useful for System Administrators; changing Registry has implications!
– / – / Add Key / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Add specified Key name to Windows Registry use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Delete Key / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Delete specified Key name from Windows Registry use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Rename Key / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Rename specified Key name in Windows Registry use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Read Value / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Retrieve specified Value name of specified Key name use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Write Value / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Write specified Value name (of type String or Integer) into specified Key name use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Delete Value / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Delete specified Value name from specified Key name use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Rename Value / – achieved with Registry Action above use workaround (also see Note above) Rename specified Value name of specified Key name use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Export / – use workaround use workaround (also see Note above) Export specified Key (Registry branch) to specified file use workaround (also see Note above)
– / – / Import / – use workaround use workaround (also see Note above) Import Key information from specified file into Windows Registry use workaround (also see Note above)
Active Directory / – / – / 15 Active Directory Actions(!) – used by Network Administrators use workaround – Note: only useful for professional Network Administrators use workaround – Note: only useful for professional Network Administrators use workaround – Note: only useful for professional Network Administrators
Call Function / – / – / – Call specified Function defined in present Automation n/a n/a n/a
BASIC Script / – / BASIC Script / Run Script Run specified embedded or external BASIC script use Run Application Action to execute VBS Run specified embedded or external BASIC script Run specified external VBS (visual basic script) or JS (java script) defined in present Automation
DDE / – / – / – Send any command to any DDE-enabled application use workaround use workaround use workaround
Execute DLL Function / – / – / – Execute specified method in managed or unmanaged Dynamic Link Library (DLL) use workaround use workaround use workaround
– Wait
Wait for File / Wait for File / Wait for File / – Pause execution of current Automation until file(s) matching conditions (exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) is created, deleted, changed, or available (ie no longer used by another application) Pause execution of current Automation until specified file is created or deleted – can continue anyway after specified number of seconds Pause execution of current Automation until specified file is available (if currently used by another application) – can wait specified number of seconds or infinitely) use workaround
Wait for Process / Wait for Process / Wait for Process Start/Wait for Process Finish / – Pause execution of current Automation and wait for process (specified by name or ID) to start or end Pause execution of current Automation and wait for process (specified by name) to start or end (can continue anyway after specified number of seconds) Pause execution of current Automation and wait for process (specified by name; oldest, newest, or all if same name) to start or end (two separate Actions) – can wait specified number of seconds or infinitely, can retrieve exit code of process that ends use workaround
– / Wait for Service / – / – use workaround Pause execution of current Automation and wait for service/ device (specified by name) to start, pause, or end (can continue anyway after specified number of seconds) use workaround use workaround
Wait for Pointer / Wait for Mouse / – / – Pause execution of current Automation and wait for specified mouse pointer to match, differ, or change Pause execution of current Automation and wait for specified mouse pointer to match, differ, or change (can continue anyway after specified number of seconds) use workaround use workaround
– Automation Software Actions
Backup AutoMate / – / – / – Backup all Automations, Triggers, Constants, and System Preferences (to be able to restore AutoMate installation) achieved centrally in admin view (Backup of Automations only!) use workaround use workaround
Enable/Disable Task / – / Enable Task/Disable Task / – Enable or Disable execution of specified Automation within AutoMate to prevent triggered or unauthorized execution (can also be achieved centrally in admin view) – Note: Automations cannot be compiled to .exe anyway! achieved centrally in admin view (WinAutomation Console) – does not work for Automations compiled to .exe Enable or Disable execution of specified Automation within RoboTask to prevent triggered execution (two separate Actions; can also be achieved centrally in admin view) – Note: Automations cannot be compiled to .exe anyway! achieved centrally in admin view (Security: Properties) – also allows encryption and password protection of each Automation – does not work for Automations compiled to .exe
– / – / Enable Automation/Disable Automation / – use workaround use workaround Enable or Disable triggered execution of any Automation within RoboTask (two separate Actions; can also be achieved centrally in admin view) – also see Note above use workaround
Shutdown AutoMate / – / Exit RoboTask / – Close AutoMate incl. Event Monitor and Task Service (and all running Automations) use Terminate Process Action above (does also work for Automations compiled to .exe) Close RoboTask incl. Event Monitor and Task Service (and all running Automations) use workaround
– / – / Minimize RoboTask / – use Send Keystrokes Action use Insert Keystrokes Action Collapse RoboTask window to Windows System Tray use Send Keys Action
– / – / Restore RoboTask / – use Send Keystrokes Action use Insert Keystrokes Action Restore RoboTask window from Windows System Tray use Send Keys Action
Trigger Task / – / – / – Start specified Automation (with all its settings) as if it were triggered – Note: This seems to have no other effect than if you just run the desired Automation just use Run Job Action above just use Start Task Action above just use Run Task Action above
– / Get Command Line Arguments / – / – achieved with Run Action above Retrieve console command line arguments (if Automation is compiled or executed through command line) use workaround use workaround
– / – / Comment / – n/a n/a Allows to comment the Automation internally in Task Editor – Note: We would expect this not to be an Action since it exhibits no activity during execution! n/a
Connectivity
– Web
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Find Broken Links use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions use workaround – Note: You can download a tool with this functionality right here on the site, see Automation Solutions Find broken weblinks at specified URL (on webpage or entire website) and save results in specified csv file (can append to existing csv file)
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Search by Caption achieved with Web Browser Action above use workaround use workaround Search browser web controls in all open windows of IE (only!) for specified caption
– / – / – / Web Recorder: Go Back achieved with Web Browser Action above use Insert Keystrokes Action use Send Keystrokes Action Navigate to previous URL
– / – / Fill Web Form / – use workaround use workaround Fill specified form (incl. hidden fields) on specified web page (can use auto log-on (username and password), auto-submit, and auto-download file from protected area) – Note: This Action uses RoboTask’s embedded browser, which allows native communication with any web form, ie is more reliable than Keystrokes and Mouse Actions use workaround
– / – / Wait for Done / – use workaround use workaround Pause execution of Automation until user clicks Done button in RoboTask’s embedded browser – allows user to interact freely with any website (incl. page back/forward button), eg to enter Captcha, click links, etc use workaround
Execute Web Service / – / – / – Execute specified web service call, using provided URL and parameters use workaround use workaround use workaround (Note: Web Service Action only available with Integration Pack)
– Network
Connect to Network / – / Dial Up/Hang Up / Internet Connection Connect to another network, using VPN or dialup (or disconnect specified or all connections) use workaround Connect or Disconnect specified Dial-up connection (only!) Connect or Disconnect specified Dial-up connection (only!)
– / – / Check Connection / – use workaround use workaround Check if specified Dial-up connection is connected use workaround
Ping Machine / Ping / Ping Host / – Send Ping request to another computer/ server and time its response time Send Ping request to another computer/ server and time its response time Send Ping request to another computer/ server and time its response time achieved with If Ping Successful Action (timed via System Variable Date)
Map Drive / – / – / – Connect specified drive letter to network path (using current user or different user) or disconnect use workaround use workaround use workaround
Exchange / – / – / – Communicate with MS Exchange Server to Create, Get, Modify, Delete, or Move object types (Appointment, Contact, or Task) use workaround use workaround use workaround
MSMQ / – / – / – Create, Delete or Clear MSMQ queues, or Send, Retrieve, or Wait for MSMQ messages use workaround use workaround use workaround
– / – / Send Command / – use workaround use workaround Send specified command to remote RoboTask Automation on specified server (can use password) – Note: works together with Listener trigger of RoboTask (another RoboTask installation (anywhere) can start any specified Automation based on received command) use workaround
– / – / Send Network Message / – use workaround use workaround Send specified message to specified (or all) system(s) connected to the same Local Area Network (LAN) – requires Windows Messenger service to be installed on both (or all) systems use workaround
Compression
Compress Files / Zip Files / Pack Files / Zip Files Compress file(s) and folder(s) matching conditions (include subfolders, exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes), using any methods provided (eg zip, gzip, 7zip, tar, etc) – many options! Compress specified file(s) and folder(s) to archive (zip only!) – options: none, lowest, normal, highest; password; comment Compress specified file(s) and folder(s) to archive (zip only!) – options: add and replace, update and add, move, freshen; none, normal, fast, superfast, maximum; include hidden and system files; store file names in 8.3 format; exclude folder paths; password; comment Compress specified file(s) and folder(s) to archive (zip only!) – options: add and replace, move and replace, update only if newer; normal, fast, superfast; password
Decompress Files / Unzip Files / Extract Files / Unzip Files Extract specified (not excluded) file(s) and folder(s) into specified target folder, using any methods provided (eg zip, gzip, 7zip, tar, etc) – many options! Extract specified file(s) and folder(s) of specified zip-file (only!) into specified target folder – options: supply password Extract specified file(s) and folder(s) of specified zip-file (only!) into specified target folder – options: overwrite, skip older files, use folder names; supply password Extract specified zip-file (only!) into specified target folder – options: overwrite; supply password
Timer
Start Timer / – / – / – Start new timer use Get Current Date and Time Action use System Variable: DateTime (includes seconds) or even use mSeconds use System Variable: Date (includes seconds) or even use Second
Stop Timer / – / – / – Stop specified timer use Get Current Date and Time Action again use System Variable: DateTime (includes seconds) or even use mSeconds use System Variable: Date (includes seconds) or even use Second
Read Timer / – / – / – Read specified timer use Subtract Dates Action use Evaluate Action to calculate difference use Variable Operation Action to calculate difference
Cryptography
Create Key Container / – / – / – Create new key container at user or system level (key size up to 8192) use workaround use workaround use workaround
Delete Key Container / – / – / – Delete specified key container at user or system level use workaround use workaround use workaround
Generate Key Files / – / – / – Generate public and private key files from existing key container at user or system level use workaround use workaround use workaround
Encrypt / – / – / – Encrypt file matching conditions (incl. subfolders, exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes), using specified encryption type (Passphrase, Public/Private key, PGP, or OpenPGP) and algorithm use workaround use workaround use workaround
Decrypt / – / – / – Decrypt encrypted file matching conditions (incl. subfolders, exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes), using specified encryption type (Passphrase, Public/ Private key, PGP, or OpenPGP) and algorithm use workaround use workaround use workaround
Sign / – / – / – Sign file matching conditions (incl. subfolders, exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes), using private key(s) use workaround use workaround use workaround
Verify / – / – / – Verify signature of file matching conditions (incl. subfolders, exclude mask, newer/older than, all Windows file attributes) use workaround use workaround use workaround
Social Media
– Instant Messaging
Send IM / – / – / – Send Instant Message (via Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, or ICQ) use Run Application and Insert Keystrokes Action use Run Program/Open Document and Send Keystrokes Action use Open Program/File and Send Keys Action
– Twitter
Twitter / – / – / – Perform Twitter activities (Search, Update Status, Get Status, Delete Status, Get Direct Messages, Send Direct Message, Get Timeline, Get Mentions, Get Friends, Get Followers, Follow User, Unfollow User) achieved with 38 Actions below use workaround use workaround
– / Specify Twitter Account / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Log in to specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– – Tweets
– / Post a Tweet / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Create new/reply tweet on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Get Tweet / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve all information of tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Delete Tweet / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Delete tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Retweet a Tweet / – / – use workaround Retweet tweet (specified by ID) to make it visible to followers of specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Get Retweets of a Tweet / – / – use workaround Retrieve (up to 100) retweets of tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Get Retweeted Tweets / – / – use workaround Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account, retweeted by others use workaround use workaround
– / Get Tweets Retweeted to Me / – / – use workaround Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account, retweeted to me use workaround use workaround
– / Get Tweets Retweeted by Me / – / – use workaround Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account, retweeted by me use workaround use workaround
– / Get Twitter Mentions / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID), mentioning user of specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Search for Tweets / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account, matching specified search term use workaround use workaround
– – Timelines
– / Get Twitter Public Timeline / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve 20 most recent tweets made by non-protected users who have custom user icon use workaround use workaround
– / Get Twitter Home Timeline / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account, tweeted or retweeted by user and friends use workaround use workaround
– / Get Twitter User Timeline / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) of Twitter user (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– – Users
– / Get Twitter User / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve all information of Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Get Twitter User Friends / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve all information of friends (since specified friend) of Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Get Twitter User Followers / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve all information of followers (since specified follower) of Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Follow Twitter User / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Follow Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Unfollow Twitter User / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Unfollow Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Block Twitter User / – / – use workaround Block Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Unblock Twitter User / – / – use workaround Unblock Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Search for Twitter Users / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of Twitter users matching specified search term (searches description field too) use workaround use workaround
– – Direct Messages
– / Get Received Twitter Direct Messages / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of direct messages since direct message (specified by ID), received on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Get Sent Twitter Direct Messages / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Retrieve specified number of direct messages since direct message (specified by ID), sent via specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Send Twitter Direct Message / – / – achieved with Twitter Action above Send specified direct message to Twitter user (specified by name or ID) use workaround use workaround
– / Delete Twitter Direct Message / – / – use workaround Delete direct message (specified by ID) on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– – Lists
– / Get Lists of Twitter User / – / – use workaround Retrieve all lists created and owned by Twitter user (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– / Create New Twitter List / – / – use workaround Create new (public or private) list on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Delete Twitter List / – / – use workaround Delete specified list on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Get Timeline for Twitter List / – / – use workaround Retrieve specified number of tweets since tweet (specified by ID) for specified list of list owner (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– / Get Members of Twitter List / – / – use workaround Retrieve all Twitter users who are members of specified list of list owner (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– / Get Subscribers of Twitter List / – / – use workaround Retrieve all Twitter users following specified list of list owner (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– / Subscribe to Twitter List / – / – use workaround Subscribe to specified list of list owner (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– / Unsubscribe from Twitter List / – / – use workaround Unsubscribe from specified list of list owner (specified by name) use workaround use workaround
– / Add Member to Twitter List / – / – use workaround Add Twitter user (specified by ID) to specified list on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Remove Member from Twitter List / – / – use workaround Remove Twitter user (specified by ID) from specified list on specified Twitter account use workaround use workaround
– / Get Memberships of Twitter User / – / – use workaround Retrieve all lists of which Twitter user (specified by name) is member (being followed) use workaround use workaround
– / Get Subscriptions of Twitter User / – / – use workaround Retrieve all lists which Twitter user (specified by name) is subscribed to (follows) use workaround use workaround
XML
Start XML Session / – / – / Start XML Session Create new XML session for specified text (or existing or new file) use Display Input Dialog Action (with property multi-line) or Read from Text File Action use System Variable: TextFile to read specified text file Create new XML session for specified text (or existing file)
End XML Session / – / – / End XML Session End specified XML session to unlock associated XML file not needed in workaround not needed in workaround End specified XML session to unlock associated XML file
Create XML Node / – / – / Insert Node Create new node (incl. specified attributes) in specified XML file at specified XPath use Replace Text Action use STR Replace Action Create new node (incl. specified attributes) in specified XML file at specified XPath
Delete XML Node or Attribute / – / – / Delete Node/Attribute Delete specified node (incl. specified attribute) in specified XML file at specified XPath use Replace Text Action use STR Replace Action Delete specified node (incl. specified attribute) in specified XML file at specified XPath
Edit XML Node / – / – / Update Node(s) Modify value of node or (single!) attribute of first or all nodes at specified XPath use Replace Text Action use STR Replace Action Modify value of node or (single or multiple!) attribute(s) of all nodes at specified XPath
Evaluate XPath Expression / – / – / Execute XPath Function Retrieve result of specified XPath expression use Parse Text Action use STR Pos or RegExp Loop Action Retrieve result of specified XPath expression
Read XML Node / – / – / Get Node(s): Single Node Retrieve value of node (or attribute) selected by specified XPath use Parse Text Action use STR Pos or RegExp Loop Action Retrieve value of node (or attribute) selected by specified XPath
XML Node to Dataset / – / – / Get Node(s): Multiple Nodes Create Datatable of node values, or node attribute values, or unique XPaths for node(s) selected by specified XPath use Parse Text Action to create List/s – can also use Launch Excel Action to write retrieved values directly into new Excel workbook use RegExp Loop Action to create List/s (comma-delimited Text strings) – can also use Run Program/Open Document and Send Keystrokes Action to write retrieved values directly into new Excel workbook Create List of node values, or node attribute values, or unique XPaths for nodes selected by specified XPath (List must be looped!)
Extract XML Fragment / – / – / – Retrieve collection of nodes (XML fragment) at specified XPath and save to specified file use Parse Text and Write Text to File Action use STR Pos or RegExp Loop Action and Write Text File Action use String Operation: Find and Send Keys Action
Dataset to XML / – / – / – Obtain XML (text) from specified Datatable use Launch Excel and Read from Excel Action to read Excel Datatable, then use Loop and Parse Text Action to retrieve desired XML (text) use Run Program/Open Document and Send Keystrokes Action to read Excel Datatable, then use While Loop and STR Pos or RegExp Loop Action to retrieve desired XML (text) use Open Spreadsheet and Get Cells Action to read Datatable as List, then use (nested) Loop Condition Action and String Operation: Find Action to retrieve desired XML (text)
Output XML / – / – / Save Session Data Save current XML as specified xml file or text variable use Write Text to File Action (in workaround we already use XML as Text variable) use Write Text File Action (in workaround we already use XML as Text variable) Save current XML as specified xml file or text variable
Validate XML File / – / – / Validate XML Document Validate specified XML session data (to be well-formed, schema compliant or DTD compliant) use Parse Text Action use STR Pos or RegExp Loop Action Validate specified XML session data (to be well-formed, schema compliant or DTD compliant)
Verify XML Document / – / – / – Verify that specified XML file has not been modified, using specified key container (at user or system level) or key file use workaround use workaround use workaround
Sign XML Document / – / – / – Sign specified XML file, using specified key container (at user or system level) or key file use workaround use workaround use workaround
Transform XML / – / – / – Transform specified XML text into HTML file, using specified XSLT file (and parameters) use Replace Text and Write Text to File Action use STR Replace and Write Text File Action use String Operation: Replace and Send Keys Action
Merge XML Files / – / – / – Merge two XML files (at specified XPath) use Read Text from File, Parse Text, and Write Text to File Action use System Variable: TextFile to read specified text file, use STR Pos or RegExp Loop Action and Write Text File Action use Read from CSV/Text, String Operation: Find, and Send Keys Action

 

* Note: Regardless of the naming in AutoMate, WinAutomation, RoboTask, and Automation Anywhere, or any other Automation System, the Crucial Action Groups for Automation Software are:

  • User Interactions
  • Variables
  • Flow Control
  • Loops
  • Text
  • File and Folder Management
  • Excel
  • System, and
  • Connectivity

All Automation Systems we discuss on AUTOMATION.all-time-best.com offer Actions that fulfil (at least) the basic functionality required in these Action Groups.

Also remember: In most cases it’s fairly easy to combine a few general Actions to achieve the same (or better) functionality that another Automation System offers as specialized Action (ie predefined, built-in). You will know best how much you can and want to pay extra for saving you a minute here and there, right?

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