To help you better understand of what a typical Automator session might consist, let's look at the steps you would likely perform during one.
This sequence of events does not have to be followed exactly. Depending on your needs, you may perform fewer or more steps than those listed below, and the order in which you perform them may differ.
Before we can begin working with Automator, we need to create an XML project file. Automator can utilize XML project files created either via Monarch Complete or Project Editor. We will create the Automator Tutorial project file via Project Editor.
When creating a project file you may perform the following steps:
q Specify general settings - General settings include an author for the project file, its name and a description of it.
q Specify input file - Input settings include the input file type (text or database), the input file(s) you want to assign to the project, how multiple input files should be grouped, etc.
q Select a model file - You should assign a model file to the project to specify which data will be extracted from the input file.
q Specify export settings - When you specify project export settings, you also specify an export (or number of exports) of output files and specify any distribution actions you want to apply to them.
q Specify prerequisite settings - When you specify prerequisite settings, you also add a file prerequisite or a command line prerequisite to the project. Any prerequisite you add must first be met if the associated process is to run.
q Specify script settings - Script settings allow you to specify pre-export and post-export scripts to modify the input and output files, respectively.
Create a Process
Once you have created or identified the project file(s) you want to work with, you can create a process. Creating a process includes multiple steps, such as the following:
q Specify general settings - General settings include a name and description of the process, how many projects per job setting (i.e, one per job or multiple ones per job), the project(s) to be assigned to the process, etc.
q Specify advanced settings - Advanced settings include a priority setting, and whether to allow parallel jobs and process retries.
q Specify job log disposition settings - These settings determine what will be done with the job log after the job has run, and when (i.e., under what circumstances) the specified action will carried out.
q Specify input file monitoring settings - These settings enable you to tell Automator to monitor a particular location, then trigger the running of a process when a specific input file (or any file of the specified file type) appears in that location.
Run the Process
Once you have completed the process configuration, you can
q Run the process manually.
q Schedule the process to run.
q Configure an input file specification which will trigger the process to run when a particular input file arrives in the specified location.