Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

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OSA-Wannabe?
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Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#1 Post by OSA-Wannabe? » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:10 pm

I literally heard about OSA about 20 minutes ago, so forgive me if I seem niave. I am sincere in my desire to know if OSA can be used to automate things like:
  • Downloading attachments from email messages.
    Converting pdf attachments to text
    Parsing that text for specific words/character combinations.
    Using parsed text to fill out fields in a 3rd party software program.
    Using parsed text to open specific websites and enter parsed text into the form found online.
    Parsing text from the web and using results to fill out fields in a 3rd party windows based software program
Just a few of the things I would want to do, but have no idea how to do.

Anyway just wondering if I'm at the right place or not.

Thanks in advance

Automate
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#2 Post by Automate » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:02 am

Welcome to OSA.

OSQ was written to control devices in the home such as lights, thermostats/HVAC, garage doors, etc. It can be used to do other types of "automation" such as those you list but they are not the primary reason for developing the software. OSA includes a powerful scripting language which was developed by Microsoft called PowerShell. Using PowerShell and custom written scripts, many of the tasks you list could be accomplished.

OSA-Wannabe?
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#3 Post by OSA-Wannabe? » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:12 am

So Powershell all by itself would accomplish many of these tasks. Honestly, I've opened powershell a few times and I've even read a bit about the program, which then drove me to find alternatives. I consider myself to be a fast learner, but powershell baffled and confounded me... mostly because everything I read gave me the impression that it was used by the majority of people for ordinary 1 or 2 step processes, or extremely basic things. I think that my tasks are much more complex, I tried a couple of automation software programs. I was getting really good at one in particular, when the trial period ran out...so every script I wrote with that program apparently is lost or cannot be transcoded. And now I find myself once again confused to the point that I don't even know where to start or even how to begin to automate a single task. Would OSA combined with Powershell be a good place for me to start?

Automate
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#4 Post by Automate » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:13 am

What other programs did you try?

Do you need to control devices such as lights, thermostats or TVs? If not, you may not need OSA.

PowerShell is built upon MS .NET so you can use the full power of .NET in a PowerShell script. This means if you can find a .NET library (also called an assembly or DLL) that does some special function such as convert a file to a PDF, then you can use it in PowerShell.

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kherron
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#5 Post by kherron » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:25 am

Another point that needs to be mentioned here is, OSA is ONLY the engine.

Communications between all the different devices, and in your case 3rd party software and Websites, are handled through a "Plugin" interface.
The Plugin is what allows the OSA engine to be able to send or receive information from the device.
Downloading attachments from email messages.
Converting pdf attachments to text
Parsing that text for specific words/character combinations.
Using parsed text to fill out fields in a 3rd party software program.
Using parsed text to open specific websites and enter parsed text into the form found online.
Parsing text from the web and using results to fill out fields in a 3rd party windows based software program
You could write a single plugin that does all the specific tasks above, but something like this would only be useful for your applications.
As, @Automate what saying, YES, OSA can do these things, but it will still require you to write a plugin to perform all the task.
OSA was designed mainly for Automating devices like lights, sensors, cameras, TV's, Thermostats, Pumps, Fans, etc... Not software automation.

I would suggest that you download Visual Studio Express, and start learning one of the .Net languages, and create an application specific to your needs.(VB, C#, C++)

OSA-Wannabe?
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#6 Post by OSA-Wannabe? » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:34 pm

Automate wrote:What other programs did you try?
I tried:
Macro-Expert... well ... a few days anyway... I completely ran out of time for messing with Macro-Expert so I didn't accomplish anything with it before the trial ran out.

Win Automation: I spent nearly 10 hours a day with this program. Created over 600 lines of code/script/automation with the help of several people hanging out in the program's Forum. Got terribly hung up/stuck in "Regex" ... time expired. * Big Sigh *
Automate wrote:Do you need to control devices such as lights, thermostats or TVs? If not, you may not need OSA.
I don't think that I have any controllable devices presently.
Automate wrote:PowerShell is built upon MS .NET so you can use the full power of .NET in a PowerShell script. This means if you can find a .NET library (also called an assembly or DLL) that does some special function such as convert a file to a PDF, then you can use it in PowerShell.
A win automation guru turned me on to a program called "Xpdf" it turns .pdf files into .txt files.
I was using it with that program for a while. So I think I'll do a search for a .NET library or an assembly or a DLL that utilizes Xpdf. That would be a perfect place to start. Thanks for giving me the language for the search term.
!MUAH! (Virtual Kiss)

Automate
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#7 Post by Automate » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:10 pm

I like to use the site AlternativeTo. You put in the name of a program and it gives you names of alternative programs, some of which are free or open source. So when you put in WinAutomation you get http://alternativeto.net/software/winautomation/

AutoHotKey and AutoIt are two free programs it returns. Not sure if they will do everything you need but its worth a look.

OSA-Wannabe?
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#8 Post by OSA-Wannabe? » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:20 am

Very cool website. Have you ever tried autoit?

I think I'll go for AutoHotKey since autoit hates me. LOL (nice sublimation there aye?)

Automate
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#9 Post by Automate » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:59 am

OSA-Wannabe? wrote:Have you ever tried autoit?
Just a little bit.

OSA-Wannabe?
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Re: Is OSA appropriate/useful for...

#10 Post by OSA-Wannabe? » Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:41 am

Yes, me too. So far I can open autoit (I think?) and stare blank faced at the resulting blinking cursor to the right of "1".

OH and apparently it's ScITE-Lite editor at this stage ... inside of autoit.

WHEW! how perplexing!

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