We’re pleased to announce that we’ll soon be introducing a brand new tool in MAX RM called Automation Manager.
With Automation Manager, your technicians can create powerful custom scripts that can be used for Automated Tasks and Script Checks, without the need to write actual code – instead, you can use Automation Manager’s flexible drag-&-drop interface to compile scripts. Choose from hundreds of ready-made components, covering the full range of Windows IT system commands, to extend the Dashboard’s automation capabilities to exactly match your technical and business needs.
Automation Manager is a power tool for IT pros that we’re releasing in Beta, so you have a chance to play with it and become familiar with its functions. It’s a Windows application that technicians can download to their own device in order to create custom scripts, which you then upload to the Dashboard – it’s not something that needs to be installed on end-point devices. However, in order to run the custom scripts, end-point devices need to be running the latest RC Agent and have .NET Framework 4.5.1 or above installed.
Here’s a screenshot with a quick overview:
To download Automation Manager (Beta), go to Settings > Script Manager, then click the download link top right of the dialog –
Step by step guide to builder a script…
Here’s an example of how to build a script to check for a folder on a device and add one if not found:
1. Open up Automation Manager, then click File > New, or hit the New button to start a new script (1). Give the script a name and a description and click OK (2).
2. Now pick a desired module from the list on the left (3), in this case ‘Folder Exists’ and drag it to the middle panel (4) – if you add one by mistake you can always remove a module by right clicking its title bar and selecting Delete. If you click the name of the module you’ll see helpfile info about it in the right-side panel (5).
3. Now add the ‘If’ module to add a condition (6) – you want to instruct the script to do nothing if the folder exists and to add a folder if it does not. Drag the ‘Create Folder’ module across to the ‘Then’ section (7). You now have all the building blocks in place, and you can start to fill in the variables and values.
4. In the ‘Folder Exists’ module, fill in the ‘Folder’ field if you want to pre-populate the script to look for a specific folder. Or you can leave it blank, in which case the user will be able to specify which folder when they go to use the Automated Task in the Dashboard. In this example we’ll leave it blank (8).
We now need to instruct the ‘If’ module to add the folder if it doesn’t exist: Click the chain icon next to ‘Variable’ and select ‘Folder Exists’, with value ‘Conditional’ (9), and click OK. Then, set ‘Condition’ to ‘equals’, and for ‘Value’ type in ‘False’ (10). This will trigger the ‘Then’ step if the folder specified by the user in the Automated Task cannot be found.
5. Now we can specify the parameter input fields that should appear in the Automated Task – click ‘Start’ at the top of the script (11), then on the ‘Input Parameters’ tab click ‘Add’ (12). Fill out the form (13):
- ‘Name’ is a variable and can’t have spaces in it.
- ‘Display’ is the label of the field in the Automated Task or Script Check.
- ‘Type’ lets you select the data input for this field
- ‘Value’ is the data input field, which you can either leave blank or you can prepopulate its value, which can also serve as an example value to the user.
Repeat this step to add a second data input option so the user can specify the name of the folder to add.
6. Now as a final step, you need to link the modules to the correct parameter input fields you just created. Under ‘Folder Exists’, click the link icon to the right of the ‘Folder’ field (14), then select ‘CheckFolder’ (15). Repeat this step for the ‘Create Folder’ module. Now you’re ready to locally test your new script!
7. To test your script, select ‘Run’ under the ‘File’ menu or click the little play icon top left of the dialog. Now enter the parameters you want to test with (16) and hit OK. This will run the script locally on your machine.
8. In Automation Manager, view the ‘Output’ tab to view local logs for the script (17), and verify on your local machine that the script executed correctly (18) – success!
9. Go ahead and save your new script to your local disk. Now open up ‘Script Manager’ in the MAX RM Dashboard, click ‘New’ to upload the script (19), select if you want this to be a Script Check or an Automated Task (or both), then hit Save.
10. Add the new Task to one or more devices just as you would any other task. You’ll notice the parameter input fields you specified in Automation Manager, including the example text/pre-populated value, are available for the user to fill in as they configure the task (20).
Congratulations! You’ve just created your first custom script using the all-new Automation Manager!
- .NET Framework 4.5.1: End-point devices need to running .NET 4.5.1 or above in order to execute Automation Manager scripts. It is up to you as the customer to ensure devices are configured to run the scripts. We’re working on a new Automated Task to install this .NET version to help you update devices from the Dashboard.
- PowerShell 2.0: Devices need to be running PowerShell 2.0 or above to execute the scripts.
- Agent v10.3.4 RC and above: End-point devices need to run 10.3.4 and above to execute Automation Manager scripts. Scripts automatically show ‘(RC)’ after the name, which will disappear once we make the Agent GA.
- Windows only: Automation Manager is built on top of Windows IT and creates PowerShell scripts behind the scenes. It’s not compatible therefore with other operating systems such as OS X
- Office 365: For running Scripts and Tasks that include Office 365 modules, the device needs to have Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant installed, and have either Microsoft Online Services Module for Windows PowerShell or Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell installed.
Beta Release – Give us your feedback!
We’re releasing Automation Manager in beta in order to give you a chance to play with it and test in your local environments. At this stage the interface is in English only. The new Builder is an expansive tool and this gives us the best opportunity to gather feedback along the way so we can move to a full release as soon as possible. We’ll also be using the beta period to build up our knowledge base material and make the tool as easy to use as possible. So please let us know how you get on and where we can make further improvements.
Full release notes will go out with the Dashboard release.