6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2014 11:02 AM by joey RSS

    Automator Challenges


      I'm testing out Automator before we make the switch from Data Pump.  I'm having a few frustrations, and I would love to hear other's expereince.


      I'm frustrated about the XPRJ editor as a windows program being missing.  Since the file format is moving to dprj instead of xprj the files have changed from XML to a new format and can't easily be edited in a text editor.  It seems the only way to edit these is by using the Project Editor in the web interface.  The interface is clunky, as I have to first browse to the project that I want to edit, do the editing, and then download the project to where I had it stored in the first place.


      The Open Project interface is quite a challenge.  We have over 800 projects stored in a common directory, but each process (170) has it's own folder.  I don't want to set up 170 named paths.  When I view the root directory as a named path, then I have to scroll through all 800 projects to find the one I want to edit.  Typing the full file path of the file isn't a great option either. I really wish there was a windows file browser interface implemented here. 


      Uploading to the web and storing within the Automator itself is an option, and with the search feature, that may work better.  But really requires us to break the file structure we have used for saving projects and models over the last 10 years.  It also prevents anyone other than a Automator user from seeing what a model or project does.


      I'm finding it takes me 3-5 minutes just to edit an input file path.  I used to be able to do this in less than 30 seconds. Multiple that for a large process change (some of ours have close to 100 projects), and it becomes an expense change.  And I don't think this is just due to a learning curve. 


      Also frustrating that when I try to check an email while waiting for a page to load, most of the times the Automator times out. I set the Session Expiration Alert to 10 minutes, but that still isn't very long - especially if I have a phone call or someone asks me to look at something at their cubicle.


      Has anyone encountered similar frustrations? Are there solutions, is this just something you're just trying to learn to live with? I welcome any and all input.

        • Re: Automator Challenges
          Olly Bond

          Hello Joey,


          I'm faced with the same challenge in two weeks - I'm assuming that an upgrade will seamlessly transfer the processes from the existing DataPump 11.6 to the new Automator, which I assume can run fine off XPRJ files in read only mode.


          Is there not an export processes, import processes routine you can try? I guess if you are coming from an older version of DataPump that XML export of process definitions might not be available to you.


          I hear rumours that some sort of DRPJ Utility might be on the way. I'd certainly welcome that - as I'm sure anyone who has to manage a large collection of models and projects will too.


          Best wishes,



            • Re: Automator Challenges

              Yes, there is an import/export process,but I have not tested that yet. 


              One big gotcha we are seeing is that drive letter file references have to be converted to a UNC path.  We used to have every input file go to a local drive referenced with the letter.  Those failed and we had to convert to UNC. I'm thinking about editing all XPRJ files in something line notepad++ to do a mass search and replace all rather than editing every project by itself.


              Good luck on the upgrade.  I look forward to hearing your experience. And if the dprj editor is true, that would be welcome news! Still not the final solution, but helpful.

                • Re: Automator Challenges
                  Olly Bond

                  Hi Joey,


                  Why not make the switch to UNC in XML, using the old Utility, before entering the world of pain that is DMOD/DPRJ?


                  Get everything clean on the old DataPump, export the processes as XML, and then try importing these.


                  That should save you having to manually edit any project or model files in Automator.


                  All the best,



                    • Re: Automator Challenges

                      Yes, we plan to do that, and thanks for confirming the idea. We use Notepad++ to make batch XML changes, but I suppose the utility could do it as well.


                      Let me point out two other frustrating points:

                      1) Jumping from one window to another via the navigation bar doesn't prompt if you want to save your changes. I lose work at least once a day doing this.

                      2) The timeout is too short.  I get a phone call or asked to help someone, and I lose work. You can set the amount of time after a popup message is displayed to different values (10 minutes being the max - too short in my opinion), but I don't see a way to set the amount of time until a popup is displayed. I'd love this to be 4 hours or more.


                      Love to hear your thoughts.

                        • Re: Automator Challenges
                          Joseph Territo



                          I am also wanting to transition from Datapump 11.6 to Automator. I was wondering how your experience has gone thus far, and if you have any steps you would encourage I take prior to transitioning that you have found beneficial and/or after the fact once you have moved over to Automator.

                  • Re: Automator Challenges



                    To be honest, we're just now starting the transition.   The pain points with Automator were bad enough that we looked at several alternatives.  In the end, we're going to stick with Automator.


                    I'll try to add some comments to this as we get more experience.