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Macro Scheduler 14.2 – Python, JSON, XML and Auto Documenting Macro Recorder

Friday, November 7th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

I am pleased to announce that we have today released Macro Scheduler 14.2

Amongst other things this new version includes the following great new features:

  • Self Documenting Macro Recorder with snapshots of Windows/Objects being Activated/Clicked on
  • The ability to run Python code within your macros!
  • A native JSON Parser
  • A native XML Parser using XPath

Here’s an overview of these main new features, but for a more complete list of improvements view the history list here.

Self Documenting Macro Recorder

Ever recorded a macro and then tried to edit it but couldn’t figure out which bit did what? Well, now when you record a macro the macro recorder will take snapshots of windows that are activated and objects that you click on. These will be inserted into the script as image comments, right above the line of code they refer to. So, now, it’s easier to see exactly what your macro is doing and which bits you want to edit/copy.

Run Python Code Inside your Macros

In 14.2 there’s a new function called PyExec. It allows you to run real Python code and get back the values of any Python variables you specify. You’ll need to install the Python 2.7 DLL to your Macro Scheduler folder (or compiled .EXE folder) – there’s a link in the help file to a zip file with all the files you need.

You can run any Python code and even use third party Python imports. This is pretty wild IMO – the possibilities are endless. Here’s a simple example:

/*
First ensure Python27.dll and imports are in your Macro Scheduler program folder.
Download and unzip this file:

https://www.mjtnet.com/software/python27.zip

*/

Let>url=http://ip.jsontest.com/

/*
python_code:

import urllib2
import json

# grab data from http://ip.jsontest.com/ - see www.jsontest.com
response = urllib2.urlopen('%url%')

# load the json
dict = json.loads(response.read())

# get the ip member
myip = dict["ip"]

# make a nice string representation of the dict
sdict = json.dumps(dict)

# Anything we print to IO is returned in the PYExec output var
print "All Done"
*/

//Load the Python code to a variable
LabelToVar>python_code,pcode

//Run the code and request the values of the sdict and myip variables ...
PYExec>pcode,output,sdict,myip

//Display the IP address
MessageModal>Your pubic IP is: %myip%

Parsing JSON

In the last few years JSON has become a very popular way to transmit data objects. Most web services now use it so it cannot be ignored. While you can parse JSON using string handling/regex having an easy to use native parser is essential. Enter: JSONParse

In the above Python example we used Python’s own JSON handling to extract an IP address from some JSON retrieved from a web service. Here’s how we can do the exact same thing using native MacroScript code:

HTTPRequest>http://ip.jsontest.com/,,GET,,JSON
JSONParse>JSON,ip,myIP
MessageModal>Your pubic IP is: %myIP%

And here’s an example which gets data out of a more complicated structure:

//Requires Macro Scheduler 14.2

/*
MyJSON:
{ "uid" : "1234",
  "clients" : ["client1","client2","client3"],
  "people" : [{"Name":"Marcus","Age":"21"},{"Name":"Dorian","Age":"18"}],
  "color" : "red",
  "size" : 14 }
*/

LabelToVar>MyJSON,sJSON

JSONParse>sJSON,uid,result
JSONParse>sJSON,clients,result
JSONParse>sJSON,clients[1],result
JSONParse>sJSON,people[1].Name,result

Parsing XML

Of course XML is also still very popular. Up til now we’ve had to parse XML using substring handling/regex or use Microsoft’s XML object via VBScript – which is a little over-complicated IMO. We now have a simple to use native XML parser function – XMLParse. Here’s an example:

//Requires Macro Scheduler 14.2

LabelToVar>XML,sXML
XMLParse>sXML,/bookstore/book,val,numBooks
Let>k=0
Repeat>k
  Let>k=k+1
  XMLParse>sXML,/bookstore/book[%k%]/title/text(),val,len
  MessageModal>val
Until>k=numBooks

/*
XML:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>




  Everyday Italian
  Giada De Laurentiis
  2005
30.00



  Harry Potter
  J K. Rowling
  2005
29.99



  XQuery Kick Start
  James McGovern
  Per Bothner
  Kurt Cagle
  James Linn
  Vaidyanathan Nagarajan
  2003
49.99



  Learning XML
  Erik T. Ray
  2003
39.95



*/

How to Download/Upgrade

If you have a valid maintenance plan you can download the update from your account here. If your maintenance has lapsed you can also purchase upgrades and renew maintenance from within your account.

Trial versions can be downloaded here.

Be Gone Poodle!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

Our servers have been patched for Poodle, the SSL3 vulnerability. Basically we’ve just disabled SSL3 and SSL2. These are no longer needed anyway as all modern browsers support their successor, TLS.

Those using IE7 or lower (why oh why!?) will, by default, not be able to load www.mjtnet.com without making a small change.

If for some unearthly reason (there really isn’t one) you HAVE to use one of those ancient browsers you can simply go into advanced settings, disable SSL2 and SSL3 and enable TLS 1.0.

But why bother doing that when you can just upgrade. Even those of you stuck using XP can upgrade to IE8 (or use a better alternative).

But if you need to do that you won’t be reading this unless you’ve connected via a different browser/PC!

According to our server logs 3% of visitors last month were using IE7 or less. That’s a low enough figure not to worry about lost visits and, anyway, it’s time these browsers and SSL3 were consigned to the scrap heap once and for all. Any other workarounds or fixes are just delaying the inevitable.

21% of visitors are still using IE8. They’re probably stuck on XP. I can’t wait to see that figure drop below 1%.

Macro Scheduler Referral Program

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

Want to earn a little extra cash? If you are a registered Macro Scheduler user, you can now recommend Macro Scheduler to your friends, colleagues, customers – or anyone else – and we’ll give you 20% of every sale you generate.

You’ll find details in your account at http://customer.mjtnet.com/

Macro Scheduler 14.1.05 Available

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

We have today released maintenance build 14.1.05. This makes a few small fixes and improvements. For full details please see the version history page.

Available from the usual places:

Trial Downloads | Registered Downloads & Upgrades | New Licenses

Macro Scheduler 14.1.04 Update – Another Wizard!

Friday, May 9th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

We have today released Macro Scheduler update 14.1.04.

Version History | Trial Downloads | Registered Downloads | New Licenses

This update brings the following new features:

A new IE HTML Element Wizard

This looks very similar to the Find Object Wizard we added in 14.1, but works specifically against HTML elements in IE windows to output IETagEvent functions. Here’s a quick video showing it in action:

This handy feature vastly simplifies the process of figuring out tag names and attributes and in many cases removes the need to trawl through HTML source or use IE’s Developer Tools.

The ability to search the code builders

We’ve added a search box at the top of the Code Builder tree so that you can now search for functions.

The ability to use any custom icons for the system tray

In our last update we finally updated the branding of Macro Scheduler to use our “gearhead” icon. If you’d prefer to use the old icons – or any custom icons you like – you can now do so.

Simply drop two .ico files containing a 16×16 icon into the Macro Scheduler folder called mainicon.ico and runicon.ico. When Macro Scheduler starts it will use mainicon.ico as the default icon in the system tray. When a macro is running it will alternate this with runicon.ico.

We’ve also included the old icons with the installer. After installing Macro Scheduler 14.1.04 you will see a subfolder called “oldicons” in the program folder. Use these if you want the old tray icons.

Version History | Trial Downloads | Registered Downloads | New Licenses

Forum Upgrade

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

After quite a few years we have finally upgraded the forum software to phpBB3. We had been stuck on an old unsupported phpBB2 release and in the interests of security and future support and maintenance we have now converted the forum to the latest phpBB3 release.

All being well you won’t notice any difference apart from a more modern look and feel. Your logins should still work as before and all your posts are intact. But any problems give us a shout.

There are some useful new features: the built in [code] .. [/code] tags now work without garbling the code and for larger scripts the new forum also now supports attachments. So if needed you can upload .scp files.

The new forums are accessible at http://www.mjtnet.com/forum/ although all old links should still work too.

Macro Scheduler 14.1.03 Available

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

We have today shipped maintenance build 14.1.03. Change History Here.

This build mostly fixes a few minor bugs but also has one fairly major change: We’ve replaced the application icons and system tray icon with our “Gearhead” logo ().

Why did we change the icon? Well we love that dude, and he represents what Macro Scheduler is all about!

More importantly, the main reason is consistency. As it stood the software didn’t fit with the brand image exhibited by the web site, which has become a product site pretty much dedicated to Macro Scheduler (I’d like to change the domain name to match but that’s a whole other story involving a lot of risk). It’s possible the old icons caused confusion to those who just downloaded the software from our website. In order to make the flow between website and software installation more seamless it made sense that software and website shared the same brand and therefore used the same logo.

Loops and Looping

Friday, April 11th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

A new article has been added to the knowledge base: Loop the Loop – all about the different ways you can create loops in Macro Scheduler.

New Knowledge Base

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

We now have a fancy new Knowledge Base system. Check it out at:

help.mjtnet.com

To get things started we’ve moved over the FAQs, the video tutorials and gone through the blog for juicy articles we think should be in the knowledge base.

This new home puts all the support resources under one roof and there’s an easy way to email support if you can’t find what you are looking for.

We’ll be adding new articles on an ongoing basis and if there’s anything you think should be included, or you have an idea for a tutorial please do not hesitate to drop us a line.

OpenSSL and Heart Bleed – All Safe Here

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Marcus Tettmar

You may have heard about the OpenSSL vulnerability called Heart Bleed. If not there’s some info here.

mjtnet.com is safe!

I just wanted to let you know that our servers have been patched with the latest update and are not vulnerable. As a precaution we also reissued our SSL certificate. The company we use for e-commerce transactions – WorldPay – is also safe and secure.

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