The NHS trust was able to save significant time and up to £15,000 by using Macro Scheduler to perform the automation.
September 20, 2022
University Hospitals Dorset Saves Up to £15,000 Automating Maternity Healthcare Records with Macro Scheduler
December 21, 2021
Last week we released Macro Scheduler maintenance update 15.0.20:
- Added: ChromeGetWindows, ChromeSwitchWindow, EdgeGetWindows, EdgeSwitchWindow functions
- Added: Copy Let assignment option to watchlist menu (creates Let>variable=value on clipboard)
- Fixed: edge case with some strings not being quoted properly in variable expressions
- Updated: changed PPI zoom cut-off for larger icons
July 19, 2021
If you are signed up to the Windows Insider program you can already try Windows 11. Here’s Macro Scheduler 15 running happily in Windows 11:
November 12, 2020
Did you know that since v15 you can run Excel VBA macros from directly within your Macro Scheduler code? We’ve added a helpdesk article showing you how it works here.
May 27, 2020
The world has changed during the past 9 weeks or so, and some of the MJT staff have been putting Macro Scheduler to good use to help them during lockdown.
But Macro Scheduler came to the rescue.
One simple automation script monitored a handful of web pages 24/7, refreshing every minute or so. It watched our local Supermarket looking for slots, and it monitored the white-goods stores waiting for any one of half-a-dozen freezers to be re-stocked.
A few days went by. No luck. Was this going to work? Would there ever be any slots? On day 6 I received a text on my phone – I’d been smart enough to use Zapier so Macro Scheduler would notify me via text wherever I may be.
A freezer had become available on the John Lewis website! We scurried over to the laptop and hurriedly clicked on the link. It’s no exaggeration to say our hearts were in our mouths. This was important! We didn’t even read the description. We just needed a freezer. Added it to our cart. Paid for it. Got the confirmation email. A few seconds later none were available again. We had successfully managed to purchase a freezer during the few minutes one online retailer had some.
Since then, over the past 8 weeks or so we used Macro Scheduler to tell us when those supermarket deliveries are available. They only pop up once or twice a day if we’re lucky – but when they do, we hear our little notification beep and off we run to the laptop and start shopping! It has been a Godsend, and it hasn’t failed us yet. Thanks to Macro Scheduler we top-up our little freezer every two weeks, and lockdown has been largely worry-free.
The process was simple. Here are some of the commands we used. IECreate, IENavigate to get us to the pages we were looking for and IEGetAllText helped us scrape the text from the page, then we used Position to see if the text we were looking for was, or wasn’t, on the page. All contained in a nice little loop, watching and waiting 24/7.
April 9, 2020
We find ourselves in challenging times. At MJT Net we’re all working from home, with the difficulty of trying to educate and entertain our children at the same time.
Of course there is also a great deal of financial uncertainty. Businesses and people everywhere are feeling the pinch, ourselves included.
Clearly though, the biggest challenge is being felt by our amazing health services, which are under incredible pressures.
Behind the scenes, healthcare IT departments are working against the clock, often with huge volumes of data. So it’s great to know that Macro Scheduler is reducing the burden during the current crisis.
Here’s what Tom, a Clinical Systems Developer at an NHS hospital in Northern England, told us last week:
“In a crisis situation, we needed a straightforward automation tool which could help us make quick changes to a wide range of systems – without time to write API code. We found that Macro Scheduler more than fit the bill: it rapidly enabled us to automate repetitive tasks and to free up needed resources – ultimately giving us the time to better support our clinical staff in fighting coronavirus. In particular we have been very impressed with its ability to easily integrate with Google Chrome – like many organisations a lot of our tools are web-based and our ability to build automation into these workflows is a real game-changer.”
If you work for a hospital on the front-line of coronavirus care and would benefit in using Macro Scheduler, or require additional licenses, please contact me using your official work email address, tell me what you need Macro Scheduler for and we will see how we can help.
We’ve worked closely with a few UK hospital trusts over the years. In particular, Bournemouth Hospital has used Macro Scheduler extensively to automate dozens of clinical and administrative processes within the trust. You will find a case study we did with them a few years ago here. Many times Macro Scheduler has been used to streamline processes that save the time of clinicians. And that can mean more patients get seen.
March 19, 2020
We find ourselves in challenging times. Things here in the UK seem to be changing rapidly every day. Only last night we heard that our schools will close tomorrow and this morning it was announced they were likely to remain closed for the rest of the academic year. So no school until September. I am already working from home. All of us here at MJT are working remotely, so we’re all safe and able to support you. But with two boys at secondary school I am now preparing for having them both at home and having to make sure they do their work while trying to do mine. Could be interesting!
Clearly though, the biggest challenge is being felt by our amazing health service, which is under incredible pressures. So, where possible I’d like to offer any NHS establishment free use of Macro Scheduler while this crisis lasts. If you work for the NHS and would benefit in using Macro Scheduler, or require additional licenses, please contact me using your NHS email address, tell me what you need Macro Scheduler for and we will see how we can help.
We’ve worked closely with a few NHS trusts over the years. In particular, Bournemouth Hospital has used Macro Scheduler extensively to automate dozens of clinical and administrative processes within the trust. You will find a case study we did with them a few years ago here. Many times Macro Scheduler has been used to streamline processes that save the time of clinicians. And that can mean more patients get seen.
March 12, 2020
It may not be immediately obvious that as well as setting the value of elements with ChromeSetElementValue and EdgeSetElementValue you can also send non-character keystrokes, such as Enter, or Page Down.
To do this, use the key codes for Edge and Chrome listed here.
ChromeSetElementValue>session_id,message_elements_1,First line //Press enter on the element ... ChromeSetElementValue>session_id,message_elements_1,\uE006 ChromeSetElementValue>session_id,message_elements_1,Second line
Note that when sending keystrokes only one can be sent at a time.
Recently someone needed to scroll down inside a div, in order to force the page to fetch more data. Issuing a Page Down on the div element did the trick:
So, ChromeSetElementValue sends keys as well as sets values – perhaps it should have been called ChromeSendKeysToElement and just maybe we’ll add that as a mapping if it helps.
Of course you don’t have to use the new Chrome/Edge functions – you can still use UI methods and use SetFocus, SendText and/or Image Recognition to locate page elements.
March 11, 2020
Are you automating web apps, or interacting with APIs?
Macro Scheduler is packed with features that help with automating desktop applications and simulating user input. But it also has great support for consuming web resources via HTTP requests, as well as built in functions for automating modern web browsers.
“Being able to move between GUI and API methods to handle our automation needs is priceless”
March 6, 2020
The new Chrome and Edge functions in Macro Scheduler 15 make it possible to locate frames and iframes and then manipulate elements within them.
What this means is that any subsequent interactions will take place against elements within that frame. So a subsequent ChromeFindElements call will attempt to locate the specific element within the frame, rather than the parent page, and ChromeElementAction will act against the given element within that frame.
//Find the frame using xpath ChromeFindElements>sessionID,xpath,//iframe[@src='/contact-form/formpage.html'],elements //switch browsing context to this frame ChromeSwitchFrame>session_id,element,elements_1,res
If xpath doesn’t mean anything to you see my recent post Using Macro Scheduler 15’s Chrome Functions which includes an explanation of using Chrome’s Developer Tools to identify elements.
At some point you may need to switch the browsing context back to the parent frame. To do this you call ChromeSwitchFrame/EdgeSwitchFrame again with a null index. Subsequent calls to the Chrome/Edge functions will then act against the parent frame.
Since each time you switch frames you change the context to that frame, calling ChromeSwitchFrame or EdgeSwitchFrame again (on a valid frame element within) will switch the context down another level.
//Find the frame using xpath ChromeFindElements>sessionID,xpath,//iframe[@src='/contact-form/formpage.html'],elements ChromeSwitchFrame>session_id,element,elements_1,res //Switch to the next frame down *within the current frame* ChromeSwitchFrame>session_id,index,0,res
Differences between Edge and Chrome
The Edge and Chrome functions work in the same way and are almost identical. There’s one major difference when it comes to switching frames. When specifying an element (rather than index) ChromeSwitchFrame requires the element ID, whereas EdgeSwitchFrame requires the full element object. As well as an array of element IDs, EdgeFindElements returns a second array of the objects:
This returns two arrays prefixed with the name passed as the return var (TheElements): FrameElements_1 … FrameElements_n and FrameElements_objects_1 … FrameElements_objects_n. For EdgeSwitchFrame use the second _objects array:
//switch to the frame EdgeSwitchFrame>session_id,element,FrameElements_objects_1,res
Let>CHROMEDRIVER_EXE=c:\chromedriver.exe //start a Chrome session ChromeStart>session_id //navigate to google.com ChromeNavigate>session_id,url,https://www.mjtnet.com/contact.htm //Find the frame ChromeFindElements>sessionID,xpath,//iframe[@src='/contact-form/formpage.html'],elements //switch to the first frame (the one with the fields) ChromeSwitchFrame>session_id,element,elements_1,res //now anything we do is inside that frame so we should be able to get the name field and enter something ChromeFindElements>session_id,id,name,inputs ChromeSetElementValue>session_id,inputs_1,john doe //Switch context back to parent ChromeSwitchFrame>session_id,index,null,res