Purpose of this page: This page contains links, tips, and anything of interest in regards to using AutoIt in libraries. In addition, I have included a few of my major scripts that I have created for production for my workplace. This page will be updated when I come across new resources or when I have script updates to post.
What is AutoIt?: AutoIt (http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/) is an automation scripting language designed exclusively for the Microsoft Windows environment. The language, along with the software tools that you would download from the AutoIt homepage are distributed under a freeware license. This means while you do not need to pay to use AutoIt, there are certain restrictions in using the software. Read the license before use.
Some of the more basic features of AutoIt:
- BASIC like syntax
- Since OML is also structured like VB, AutoIt will be easier to learn once past the syntax differences (see handout for some examples)
- Even if you do not have OML/VB experience, AutoIt follows the same general programming logic like other languages.
- Automation of multiple program workflows
- AutoIt has the ability of automating tasks in multiple programs, unlike program specific macro tools, like OML in Connexion.
- GUI Creation
- Since AutoIt was built for the Windows environment, AutoIt is able to take advantage of several features in Windows. For example, AutoIt allows users to create their own graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Menus, toolbars, buttons, input windows, text editors – if you have seen it in Windows, you could probably build it using AutoIt.
- Regular Expressions Support
- AutoIt recently added Regular Expression support, making AutoIt more flexible when you need to look for patterns in data/variables.
- Compiling scripts to standalone .exe files
- AutoIt allows you to compile AutoIt files to .exe files, meaning that you do not need AutoIt installed in order to run AutoIt scripts on multiple computers.
Use of AutoIt in libraries: The following are various resources that deal with AutoIt in libraries. If the page contains scripts, I will try to note which ILS company or other software the scripts are programmed for. If you have a resource to add to the list, please contact me at b.yoose[at]gmail[dot]com so I can add it to the list.
- Scripts Using AutoIt, Harvey E. Hahn
- A very detailed account on using AutoIt in library workflows. Recommended reading for anyone in the library world interested in using AutoIt. Hahn goes into detail about scripting for III’s ILS, but the page offers general observations as well. Contains scripts for OCLC Connexion and III.
- AutoIt Documentation, Penn State University Libraries
- Page contains information about AutoIt use in Penn State. If you are also looking for script documentation examples, there are a few provided. Contains scripts for OCLC Connexion and SirsiDynix.
- IUG scripts page, Alan Brown
- Scripts that are written in conjunction with Perl and Tera term (ssh) languages. Contains scripts for III.
Presentations and articles:
- Belvadi, Melissa. (2007). Automating Tasks: Macros, Millennium scripting with AutoIt, and Telnet scripting with Perl. 2007 MOBIUS Annual Conference.
- Hahn, Harvey. (2006). AutoIt and Millennium: “Smart Scripting.” WILIUG Conference; Kenosha, WI. (note that the presentation is in two parts)
- Presentations by the author can be found on her website.
My Scripts: These are select scripts from my work at Miami University. First, a few legal things to get out of the way:
- Scripts are copyright (C): 2009 by Miami University Libraries. Libraries
may freely use and adapt these with due credit. Commercial use
prohibited without written permission.
- These scripts are available on an “AS IS” basis. There is no warranty nor guarantee that the scripts will work as advertised. By downloading the attached script, you (the user) acknowledge and accept the risks associated with installing and executing these scripts.
- Basically, user beware!
At my time at Miami University, I have scripted many different workflows for the Technical Services department. By far, the most involved scripts deal with receipt cataloging, copy cataloging, and ordering. Each zipped folder contains the .au3 files and a cheat sheet that I have created for the staff members as an introduction to the new macro sets.
- Function Library: TSCustomFunction
- The below .au3 scripts will not run if you do not download this script to your “….AutoIt3Includes” folder.
- Receipt Cataloging
- One of my earlier major sets with AutoIt. Very automated workflow.
- Copy Cataloging
- Not as automated as its cousin Receipt, but focused more on data entry and repetitive searching that was done manually up until the AutoIt Script.
- Ordering Notifications from GOBI
- Fairly new script set, and fairly limited as to what it can handle. This was scripted for the 80% of notification orders that come through YBP’s GOBI.
- This script uses an accompanying PHP script, which I will post soon. The PHP script uses Amazon’s API to compare prices between Amazon and GOBI. With AutoIt’s hide window functionality, this search is done without the staff person seeing the browser, only notifying staff if the Amazon price is cheaper :c)