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Using Macro Express with Content Management Software


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Hi-

 

I need some help I have been working for months now on a project to write a Macro that will complete all the monotonous and repetitive button-pushing steps to our CMS platform.

 

Everytime I think I have it all sorted it and it runs perfectly, the next time I run it the Macro acts erractically. It will start out okay and then halfway through it navigates incorrectly.

 

I am using Text Type finds to "activate" the text links on the page and to put in the copied and pasted text I need.

 

The problem I think is that our CMS has erractic lag times...and has become increasingly unstable so that I need to have error logs.

 

I've used wait for window commands and delays and loops and nothing seems to get the job done satisfactorily each and every time.

 

I am new at Macros but this was suggested to me to help with the carpal tunnel I experience everytime I have to hit Save and confirm on each of the 26 steps...and heaven forbid that someone wants to change something.

 

Thanks in advance to any direction you can provide!

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Welcome to the sticky spot. I think most users start by creating simple keystroke recorded macros and get very excited. However when one tries to take it to the next level and need something reliable timing becomes a huge issue. I don't know exactly what your problem is so I can only give general advice.

 

First change your mindset to one of "enter and verify" loops. Instead of thinking simply "enter and move on" think instead about how you will build a loop around this entry replete with check and more importantly recovery handlers. I have written many macros for a handful of big clients where we are entering data in a Java based web window. It's a nightmare. 95% of the time the system is responsive and then once in a while it decides to ponder the meaning of life, the universe and everything and I get a 13 second delay where normally it is ready for input again in 200mS. So typically I will click or tab and paste thru the fields then go back and go thru them all again and verify everything made it into the appropriate field. Then hit the OK button and test the results screen as well. I find it's also handy to have loops where it tries fast the first time then goes increasingly slower each time. And if after 3 attempts I'll log the error and move on. You might not need to get that crazy but you get the idea.

 

Try using windows controls. There is a tutorial about it in the sample file using Windows calculator. Not all applications have windows controls but if your application does you will be a very happy camper as you can use things like "Wait for Control" and send text to control as well as getting text form controls. No more clipboard to deal with and the application doesn't even have to be visible!

 

Try moving as much of your processing internal. IE instead of moving around doing copies, pastes, and other manipulations in Excel try coping the entire table into a variable and manipulate it there. There are some conceptual hurdles but once you get over it you will realize there are no timing errors when being handled this way and it's about a million times faster.

 

I hope this helps and maybe if you can give some more detail we can give you some more ideas.

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