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Feb 11 / Greg

What is Autoit?

Here’s another product I couldn’t live without as an engineer.  I am a network engineer, but I’ve been doing server admin since the beginning of my career.  I also have my degree in computer science, so…I still like to program occasionally.  I am an efficient programmer, or lazy, however you want to look at it.  I want to be able to go start to finish on a script or program as quickly as possible.  This is why I latched onto VB6 back in the day.  I could start a new project, click save, and I had a working program.  Autoit is much the same, only better in some ways…did I mention it is completely free!

Autoit began life as a way to automate tasks in windows.  Say if you wanted to have it auto install a program and click a few buttons for you.  It has gone WAY beyond those humble beginnings.  It has com support, can use tcp sockets, has decent gui capabilities, can pack in files and has basic like syntax.  If you know and love the VB6 command structure, you will be right at home.  The help file is your first stop for anything, second are the forums.  The example code in both is phenomenal.

So, what have I used Autoit for:

  • Backup folder retention – keeps one week’s worth of files in it.
  • Serial LCD control
  • Parsing through a few hundred bind9 configs and updating them
  • SNMP polling of various kinds of devices
  • Stick adding for fantasticcontraption…I like to make catapults
  • FTPing files on a schedule
  • Checking IIS SMTP relay – send test email, check queue folder
  • Parse an LDIF from an LDAP server
  • Make a soundboard
  • Connect to all our L2 devices and pull configs, then parse and arrange all vlans on all devices
  • Parse the admin script from a WoW Mangos server and email all admins specific actions…Keeps admins from using .die all the time.

You will see me post my scripts from time to time.


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  1. Tom Waterloo / Apr 16 2009

    Will check it out. As a non programmer, I have used MacroExpress extensively to automate repetitive tasks. The last place I worked had a by hand order entry system. I put my data into a spreadsheet and automated cutting and pasting back and forth. The software company wanted 10,000 to write an automation process that I did in macroexpress in 15 mins at a cost of $29 for the softwre. – A great little program for non programmers using Windows.

  2. Greg / Apr 17 2009


    Thanks for the comment. I have used MacroExpress myself! I used to maintain an early 1980s Rolm PBX. When there were bulk changes, we would use ME to add them, then we would email the script to the other main site so they could use it. They were non-programmers, so it was a way to port the work. There was always some tweaking involved, so ME was really good for that.

    Though it would take a little longer to automate with autoit, you can do sooo much more with it. Bulk processing of information springs to mind. I can churn through gigs worth of text manipulating it in memory using autoit.


  3. Tom Waterloo / Apr 17 2009

    Will keep AutoIt in mind. Thanks for the tip.

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