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Scripting with Autoit

Ever feel the need to automate your frequent used programs or process you do on your computer. There are times you want to perform a number of steps to get the final results and perhaps verify you output. Many times you repeat these steps daily, or weekly. Wouldn’t it be great to:
  • Be able to reproduce these steps without errors?
  • Condense many program steps into one executable script?
  • Get daily reports?
  • And many more

There are tools available to support your automation needs. Such tools are Windows Batch files, VBScripts, SendKeys, Perl, Windows PowerShell, Visual Basic, and others. Here is a great tool called Autoit V3. It is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language with basic-like syntax and rich function set. It is designed for automating the Windows GUI (Graphical User Internet) and general scripting. It uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, mouse movement and window/control manipulation in order to automate tasks and processes in a way not possible or reliable with other languages (e.g. VBScript and SendKeys). AutoIt is also small, self-contained and will run on all versions of Windows out-of-the-box with no annoying runtimes required. This means that most people who have ever written scripts or used a high-level language should be able to pick it up easily. If you are not a programmer or developer, you can use the built-in recorder to develop your general automation.

AutoIt was initially designed for PC “roll out” solutions to reliably automate and configure thousands of PCs. This solution became a powerful language that supports complex expressions, user functions, loops and everything else that veteran scripters would expect and desire. Below are the main features:

  • Easy to learn BASIC-like syntax
  • Simulate keystrokes and mouse movements
  • Manipulate windows and processes
  • Interact with all standard windows controls
  • Scripts can be compiled into standalone executable
  • Create Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for control, management, and other user functions
  • COM support
  • Regular expressions
  • Directly call external DLL and Windows API functions
  • Scriptable RunAs functions
  • Detailed help file and large community-based support forums
  • Compatible with Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / 2008 / Windows 7 / 2008 R2
  • Unicode and x64 support
  • Digitally signed for peace of mind
  • Works with Windows Vista, 7, and 8 User Account Control (UAC)
  • The usual high-level elements for functions, loops and expression parsing
  • Contains a staggering amount of string handling functions and a Perl compatible regular expression engine (using the PCRE library).
  • Call Win32 and third-party DLL APIs

AutoIt has been designed to be as small as possible and stand-alone development tool with no external .dll files or registry entries required making it safe to use on Servers. Scripts can be compiled into stand-alone executable with Aut2Exe. Also supplied is a combined COM and DLL version of AutoIt called AutoItX that allows you to add the unique features of AutoIt to your own favorite scripting or programming languages.

AutoIt comes with a lite version of SciTe that makes editing scripts easy to use. Users can also download a complete version of SciTe that includes additional tools for more powerful and easier development.

An example of success - I used Autoit for a major client to export reports daily on file servers at a number of locations. Then I developed a download total using their GUI development kit to manager the download of the daily reports to the corporate server. To keep it more automated, an Autoit script was created to execute the GUI invoked by a task scheduler. This solution has been running since 2006. I also used this tool to develop the Access List Manager and VNC Manager. You can find both of these tools on my site.

Download here to try it or go to www.autoitscript.com to read more about before you download.