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Getting Started with AutoBloks

Overview

Welcome to AutoBloks! AutoBloks is a process automation tool that can be used to automate virtually any task on your computer but is also uniquely positioned to perform automated functional testing of applications.

Tutorials

The best way to get started is with one of our Tutorials. We will walk you through the basics of the application using a guided approached designed to gradually ease you into the tool. Even if you don't follow along in the tool itself, you can always read through the topics and use the included screenshots as a reference.

Terminology

Before we start talking about what AutoBloks can do, it is important to clarify some of the terminology being used.

Scenario
Used to organize one or more processes to be executed in a sequence.
Process
One or more activities executed in a sequence to automate a task. A functional test is just one example of a process.
Activity
An action that can be performed as part of a Process.
Activity Call
A reference from a Process to an Activity with instructions for how it will be performed.
Element
Any user interface element (e.g. window, button, or image).
Variable
A placeholder of for data that is referenced by name and whose value can potentially change over time.
Expression
Specially formatted text where Variables are evaluated and replaced by their current values.
Parameter
The definition of the type of data that can be passed to/from an action (e.g. an Activity).
Argument
The actual data that is being passed to a Parameter.
Session
The environment under which your Process executes to perform automated Activities.

User Interface

The effectively use the application, some familiarity with the user interface is important.

AutoBloks Interface Highlights

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

The following describes each of the numbered elements in the screenshot above:

  1. The Ribbon Command Bar contains frequently used commands organized on tabs. Selecting File will open the full-screen Backstage Menu for additional commands. Just above the Ribbon is the Quick Access Toolbar with commonly used commands that will always be available.
  2. The Activities tool window allows you to browse all of the available Activities.
  3. The Document Area is where individual documents are loaded and accessible on individual tabs. This screenshot shows the Process Editor which allows you to view the Activity Calls that are being made by the Process and modify the instructions of those calls. Any Report you open will also be displayed in the Document Area.
  4. The Variables tool window is used to browse pre-defined Variables and manage user-defined Variables available to Activity Calls.
  5. The Watch tool window allows you to evaluate any Expression to assess the value it represents.

Using Internet Explorer

If you plan to automate the Internet Explorer web browser, you will need to make sure your machine is properly configured.