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What is automate
- Automate is an expert tool to migrate data onto systems that are web-based from old "green-screen" applications. To date we have used it successfully on a number of large and complex projects to automate data migrations for the UK's largest Tour Operators onto their new strategic web platforms. There it has reduced manual re-keying of system data by more than 80%.
- Automate is used by the UK's largest tour operators to automate their day-to-day data loading tasks where it continues to deliver significant cost savings and substantial reduction of loading errors.
- Automate inputs data from your suppliers or internal teams in the raw supplied document format. Supported formats include Excel, PDF, Word, SQL database, unstructured text document, XML and CSV.
- A transformer is used to take your data in raw supplied format and convert it into a more usable format. A transformer is written, with or without our support, using standard Microsoft tools and minimal technical skills in most cases. Current transformers may be built in Excel, Access and in our Text Extraction Tool. Each loading task to be automated is driven by a spreadsheet row of data that is extracted from these input sources.
- The process of actually loading the transformed data onto the target system uses an approach called "Data Merge" which is very similar to the mail merge process that most people are familiar with. Using the Automate software, the user records the process of manually entering data onto the target system. The actual specific details of the recorded transaction such as season, passenger names, etc. are then replaced by placeholders. The placeholders are later merged with actual values from the supplied input data when the load process is run
- The tasks that are recorded are converted to automation scripts. Each script can have a number of constraints that determine how the script is run e.g. there may be a different script (or flow through the web application) for guaranteed vs. non-guaranteed inventory. The actual path that is taken through these recorded scripts is driven by the data for each row to be input.
- The system primarily loads data onto web-based applications or any system that uses a terminal emulator. Automate handles even the most complex web pages whose content dynamically changes depending upon user interaction. Automate has been refined over many complex data migrations for our customers. We have solved the vast complexity of web issues that arose in the field to produce a very robust and flexible product.
- The system audits all changes that the user enters to provide an important audit history.
- To improve the speed of loading data, several independent copies of automate can be run in parallel on a single machine and also several machines can be configured to run multiple copies of Automate to further spread the load.