Yes, it is true! After delays upon delays, WinAutomation v5 is finally available. We are all proud (and exhausted) here and I'd like to take the chance to introduce the most important new features:
To start with, WinAutomation now has a set of new actions related to UI Automation. When it comes to automating desktop application there is no need to rely to mouse coordinates any more. WinAutomation now sees "inside" other applications and you can instruct it to do things like Press a button, Select a menu item, Populate a text field, Get the text of a window and so on. And, of course, there is an action for each of the above activities and more.
This brings us to the new macro recorder, which in v5 has been rebuilt from scratch. The old functionality is still there but now a more intelligent mode is on by default. So, now, the macro recorder understands your intentions and converts the recorded steps using the new, high-level UI Automation actions. It is a joy to use and watch!!
Custom GUI Builder: here all the fun is contained in one single new action, "Display Custom Dialog". This action features a Form Builder for creating HTML based forms to be used by your Jobs. You have plenty of controls at your disposal and the fact that the form is in HTML allows the use of CSS to uniquely customize your forms.
Live Helpers in another important new feature that makes the process of building a Job much easier. In order to select a UI Element or a Web page element to use with UI Automation and Web Automation actions respectively, all you need to do is move the mouse over the element in the application or any open Internet Explorer browser. It may not sound important in the first place but it is one of the features that once you've used them you can't do without.
Last but not least, now we have support for Functions. Extremely useful for large Jobs, you can now break down Jobs into smaller, reusable components than can be called again and again from different parts of the Job.
The improvements list doesn't stop here though. We have many new actions, performance improvements and bug fixes. All in all, WinAutomation v5 is a major step forward and we are confident that every user will enjoy the upgrade.
The truth is that the release took much longer than planned, but I think that the list of major new features, partially justifies the delay. We also wanted to make our new version as bug-free as possible; therefore an extensive beta testing period was necessary. In any case however we'll take this valuable expertise we gained and we'll make sure that next time we'll be more accurate in our predictions.
One last thing: we wouldn't have made it without a little help from our friends. Friends who have been teasing us in the forum all this time providing valuable feedback. Thanks people, you are all great!
P.S. We'll come back with a detailed blog post to explain this, but in a nutshell our upgrade policy is simple. If you already own a previous version of WinAutomation and you have also purchased the Software Assurance Plan, there is no need to purchase an upgrade; you will receive your license for the new version by email within the following days.