The Master Automator
Automate tasks with OpalisRobot 4.04.
I don’t know about you, but I have way too many things to do and way
too little time in which to do them. OpalisRobot is designed to free up
a bit of that time by automating some of those tasks—and it won’t even
ask for a coffee break.
The first thing I noticed once I installed it was the cool interface.
It seemed to have every function broken down into specific areas—such
as objects, computers, logs and, of course, the workspace—from which all
jobs are created.
I started poking around to see what job or task to automate first. I
decided on a simple backup and began by dragging an object—in this case
a date and time event—from the objects window up to the workspace window
From there, I entered the time I wanted this event to run and named it
“Test Backup.” Now all I needed to do was to build the task. I dragged
the Run Program Task to the workspace and named it, “Run Test Backup.”
I browsed the server for the NTBackup program and clicked OK to create
the task. I then dragged my mouse pointer from the “output” arrow of the
newly created Date/Time event to the “input” of the newly created task,
creating a link between the two. I applied my changes (it’s not done automatically)
and waited for it to work. Sure enough, at exactly the time I set, the
test backup ran on its merry little way.
The backup job seemed simple enough, but I wanted to see what else this
tool could do. This time, I created a file-management job that would copy
a file from a floppy to the hard drive according to a schedule. I created
the job using the wizard in the workspace window, browsed to the floppy
as the source, and specified a folder on the hard drive as the destination.
Like the backup, it worked like a charm.
Thus far, I’d been able to create a backup job and a file-management
(copy) job; now I wanted to get to the nuts and bolts of the package.
This time, I set up a monitoring job to check the CPU load on a server
using one of the built-in samples. I picked the “Monitor CPU load > 80”
sample and saw that I could use Boolean operators to modify it.
This sample is designed to increment a counter each time the CPU load
is greater than 80 percent. Another event in the job resets the counter
each time the load is less than or equal to 80 percent. A third event
in the job then triggers a log entry and resets the counter when the value
is equal to or greater than 60 on the counter—which is an indication of
a CPU load of 80 percent for, in this case, a 60-second block. Just for
fun, I configured a pop-up notification message to appear when it completed;
as expected, it came up wonderfully. I could have just as easily set up
an e-mail notification, an interactive message task or a pager task. I
could have even written a Web page!
|OpalisRobot’s simple, intuitive interface makes automating
tasks a matter of dragging and dropping objects.
I like this program and found myself wanting to monitor all sorts of
things. The cool thing about Opalis Robot is that it takes very little
time to learn. Creating and scheduling tasks, setting up logging or notification
and monitoring are basically drag-and-drop operations. Want to monitor
servers or even network performance? Want to automate backups or do a
little file management? Get a Robot to do it!
Jim Idema, MCSE, CNA, is president of Idema Enterprises Computer Consulting, a West Michigan-based computer consulting firm specializing in networking solutions to business.