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Activity Call

Overview

An Activity Call is a set of Instructions given to an Activity which define how that Activity should be executed. These Activity Calls are grouped together to create the foundation of your automated Process.

Activity Call Screenshot

Note: The example screenshot above is from a pre-release version of AutoBloks and may differ slightly from the current product.

In the screenshot above of the Process Editor, the list of Activity Calls (1), and the Instructions (2) for the selected Activity Call are highlighted.

Adding an Activity Call to a Process

To add an Activity Call to a Process, you first need to locate the desired Activity in the Activities tool window. Then adding your Activity Call is as simple as dragging the Activity from the Activities tool window to the desired location in your Activity Calls list.

Screenshot Animation of Drag and Drop Operation

Note: The example screenshot above is from a pre-release version of AutoBloks and may differ slightly from the current product.

Manipulating the Activity Call List

There are several ways to manipulate the Activity Calls List. Using the mouse, you can drag-and-drop an Activity Call to move it in a new location. Press the CTRL key during a drag-and-drop operation to copy the Activity Call to the new location instead of moving it. Clipboard operations of Cut, Copy, and Paste are supported as well Delete, and all can be performed using standard keyboard shortcuts or via the Activity Call's context menu.

Instructions

The Instructions pane is where you can define all the details about how the corresponding Activity is to be executed. When you select an Activity Call in the Activity Calls List, you will be able to edit the Instructions. Except for the Comment Activity, these details are separated into three sections identified as tabs on the left edge of the pane: Identification, Arguments, and Options.

Identification

Screenshot Call Instructions Identification

Note: The example screenshot above may differ slightly from the current product.

The Identification tab is used to define how an Element is located. Many Activities are designed to interact with the user interface of an application, so they must be told how to find the proper Element. There are several options for how to identify an Element, and those options are discussed in detail within the Element Identification topic.

Arguments

Screenshot Call Instructions Arguments

Note: The example screenshot above may differ slightly from the current product.

The Arguments tab allows you to populate any Input and Output Arguments for the Activity Call. Input Arguments allow you to pass data into an Activity, and Output Arguments allow you to receive data back from the Activity. Output from one Activity Call can be stored in a Variable and used later as input into a future Activity Call. Some arguments will be required, and those are indicated by a red asterisk (*) next to the Argument Name. Below the Argument Value control, you will also see a description of the type of data expected for that Argument. These guides serve as a useful productivity tool to make sure you are giving the Activity the data it needs to run successfully.

When specifying the value for an Input Argument, you can choose to enter an explicit value, use a Variable, or combine text and Variables together. Refer to the Expression Syntax topic for details on using an Expressions as input.

When working with an Output Argument, the value must be placed into a User-Defined Variable. You specify the Variable by placing the Variable name in curly braces (e.g. {MyVariable}).

Options

Screenshot Call Instructions Options

Note: The example screenshot above may differ slightly from the current product and/or not show all the available options.

These options will provide greater control over how an Activity Call is executed.

On Error
When an error is encountered during playback (e.g. element not found), this setting allows you to control how AutoBloks responds to the error.
  • Use the default setting - The default setting will be used. Select File then Options to open the AutoBloks Options dialog. Select the Run tab and define the default response using the Default error response option.
  • Show prompt with options - The user will be prompted about the error and provided with options about how to proceed (e.g. retry, continue, stop)
  • Fail the process and abort remaining activities - Log the error and stop executing the process
  • Log error and continue to the next activity call - Log the error, but try to continue the execution
  • Log warning and continue to the next activity call - Log as a warning and try to continue the execution
  • Ignore completely and continue to the next activity call - Log information about the error without impacting overall results and try to continue the execution
Always step over
When turned on, playback will always skip over the Activity Call even if you are stepping through the Process on a call-by-call basis. This can be beneficial, for example, if the mouse position from a previous Activity Call is crucial to the successful execution of the current Activity Call and pausing on the Activity Call might allow for the mouse location to be moved. Refer to the Playback topic for more information about stepping through a Process.

Disable an Activity Call

If you want to stop an Activity Call from being executed but don't want to delete it, you can disable it instead. Right-click the desired Activity Call and toggle the enabled state by selecting the Activity Call Enabled command from the context menu. This will disable the Activity Call. To re-enable the command, simply select the command again to toggle the enabled state back on.