In continuation of my PowerCLI post regarding automation. I have decided to blog about another tool in my tool belt, AutoIt. AutoIt is a freeware BASIC like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI and general scripting. I have used AutoIt to automate installs to thousands of machines when the vendor told me that we would have to manually click through the install on every system, an example would be things that do not have command line or silent switches etc.
It uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, mouse movement and window/control manipulation in order to automate tasks in a way not possible or reliable with other languages (e.g. VBScript and SendKeys). AutoIt is also very small, self-contained and will run on all versions of Windows out-of-the-box with no annoying “runtimes” required!
AutoIt was initially designed for PC “roll out” situations to reliably automate and configure thousands of PCs. Over time it has become a powerful language that supports complex expressions, user functions, loops and everything else that veteran scripters would expect.
- Easy to learn BASIC-like syntax
- Simulate keystrokes and mouse movements
- Manipulate windows and processes
- Interact with all standard windows controls
- Scripts can be compiled into standalone executables
- Create Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs)
- COM support
- Regular expressions
- Directly call external DLL and Windows API functions
- Scriptable RunAs functions
- Detailed helpfile and large community-based support forums
- Compatible with Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / 2008 / Windows 7 / 2008 R2
- Unicode and x64 support
- Digitally signed for peace of mind
- Works with Windows Vista’s User Account Control (UAC)
I highly recommend the tutorial section in the Online Documentation and the forums are a good resource as well. This program is free and great for automation, they do accept donations and that is a great way to support open source projects.
Soon I will post about VMware orchestrator…