RPA Autohotkey GUI editor Topic is solved

Discuss Robotics Process Automation. RPA is a rapidly growing field with 6 figure incomes and an extreme workforce shortage. This sub forum will be used to discuss aspects of RPA as it relates to both scripting languages and RPA software such as UIPath or Automation Anywhere
blue83
Posts: 83
Joined: 11 Apr 2018, 06:38

RPA Autohotkey GUI editor

28 Aug 2019, 14:15

Hi,

Is it possible to have one editor based on Autohotkey that looks like WinAutomation editor, or BluePrism or UiPath editor or ...

I mean I am not so much an expert in creating apps like in automation of business processes, but for promoting Autohotkey I think it would be a great thing if someone go into that.

Pullovers Macro Creator was on right track, but this project is dead for three years.

Personally I am using VS Code, but for promoting AHK I think It would be a good idea.
ahkrpa
Posts: 14
Joined: 16 Apr 2019, 17:34

Re: RPA Autohotkey GUI editor  Topic is solved

09 Sep 2019, 16:45

@blue83
RPA Tools like the ones you mentioned are currently coming up short in enterprises around the world... At best they handle 40-60% of basic requirements... Moreover, they are pretty much tapped out these last few years now that the simplest tasks are all queued up... Reason I mention is to suggest that rather than burn cycles contemplating ways to reduce AHK to the lowest common denominator, you should just go ahead and learn it... Demand is rising for tip to tail solutions in the areas that RPA Tools leave completely uncovered... As important, the lemmings who have sacrificed their formative years learning only how to drag and drop a third party canned procedure simply can not be innovative... They will be cutting and pasting along with their competitors, none of whom is any longer capable of truly original thought... So, instead of waiting, dive in with AHK or Python or any Windows compatible language... They are all more powerful than the RPA Tools, although nothing is or likely will ever be, better suited to the task of automating Microsoft Windows than AHK... Just sayin...
blue83
Posts: 83
Joined: 11 Apr 2018, 06:38

Re: RPA Autohotkey GUI editor

10 Sep 2019, 06:44

Hi ahkrpa,

Yes, I totaly agree with you.

Case closed :D
SOTE
Posts: 966
Joined: 15 Jun 2015, 06:21

Re: RPA Autohotkey GUI editor

28 Feb 2020, 02:03

blue83 wrote:
28 Aug 2019, 14:15
Is it possible to have one editor based on Autohotkey that looks like WinAutomation editor, or BluePrism or UiPath editor or ...

I mean I am not so much an expert in creating apps like in automation of business processes, but for promoting Autohotkey I think it would be a great thing if someone go into that.

Pullovers Macro Creator was on right track, but this project is dead for three years.

Personally I am using VS Code, but for promoting AHK I think It would be a good idea.
Pullovers Macro Creator can pretty much do what the RPA tools can in terms of automation. What the RPA tools are doing that Pullover Macro Creator isn't, is packaging precanned scripts and mini applications for drag and dropping (complete with pretty icon or picture representing the mini program) and making pretty graphs of your code. Note- people might want to see the below AHK scripts:
DRAKON for AHK- https://www.autohotkey.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=3108
AutoHotFlow- https://www.autohotkey.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=6399.
Something like the above could be added to a restart of Pullover Macro Creator or AHK version of a RPA tool.

What is often overlooked with the hype over RPA, is the programmers making the tool and making the "activities" and packages that are used by the RPA programs for drag and drop. Even then, the RPA developer still has to add some written code to modify what a sequence will do or a sequence is written entirely in a scripting or programming language. It's that all the written code is "hidden" behind a picture of a sequence in a larger group of sequences or in the representational flowchart.

Unfortunately, since business people don't know or understand written code, they tend to fall in love with these flowcharts. Which RPA tools are providing for them. But these flowcharts and UML (yes that too), fail at a certain level of complexity or become too cluttered for easy understanding. Consequently, I think bullet points on a PowerPoint or annotated pictures of the GUI work better than UML to help non-programmers understand what a program does. At least in the case of RPA tools, the flowcharts can be auto generated from the code or sequences (a more "zoomed" out larger view), which is a plus. A feature that would be great for an AHK RPA tool (something like DRAKON or AutoHotFlow). And it might be easier, if the flowchart is generated after you have dragged and dropped something into a sequence or from an "action list", as opposed to trying to generate the code from the flowchart.

I think part of the issue with making an AHK RPA tool, is once a person knows how to write code they often don't need visual representation. They become use to speed typing, not dragging and dropping or flowcharts. Usually they can go find the libraries that will do a task and include them into their program or modify parts of borrowed code to work with their project. Years ago I experimented with a tool called Limnor (http://www.limnor.com/studio/limnorstudio.png), which is a visual codeless language for .NET. It was/is probably the best of this type of codeless programming languages. It's great if you are a beginner to programming and making simple programs, but when you start making very complex programs it breaks down. The visual charts become more confusing than they are worth, troubleshooting specifics becomes a nightmare, and often so many of your "actions" (really functions) have written code associated with them that you are often better off just typing them out.

However, I do think there is an intersection point between visual codeless programming and written code, and that is where RPA tools can be. They took a step past visual codeless programming languages, by allowing written code to be packaged up into drag and drop mini programs. Like say PDF2TXT. The written code used to make it isn't seen. The RPA developer just drags the mini program on the screen into a sequence, then types any adjustment or modifications as needed. Instead of writing 100 lines of code, they simply had to write maybe 1 line (for adjustments). Great if you can find an activity or package that does specifically what you need. If not, that RPA developer will have to write those 100 lines of code, but do they know how?

On the other hand, a big problem with written code (and you can see this in the help subforum) is finding existing libraries and getting them to work in your project. RPA tools have semi-solved that part of the problem. The RPA developer can have a long list of packaged written code at his disposal or downloaded to his IDE. Very convenient. A possible restart of Pullover Macro Creator or new AHK RPA tool would do well to add this functionality, where you could visually drag and drop AHK scripts into a larger project and where you can obtain ready made packages/activities (written in AHK) from a central location. The other possibility is an open source RPA tool (like OpenRPA- https://openrpa.openrpa.dk/), instead of AutoHotkey being added as just written code into a sequence, having the added functionality of allowing AutoHotkey scripts to be converted into downloadable packages/activities or the AutoHotkey coded sequence saved by itself, so that it too can be dragged and dropped into many projects.
blue83
Posts: 83
Joined: 11 Apr 2018, 06:38

Re: RPA Autohotkey GUI editor

28 Feb 2020, 09:10

Thank you SOTE on this great observation regarding future of Ahk in RPA world.

Blue

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