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Scripting and automation

Posted by: | November 30, 2008 | No Comment |

Is there a difference between scripting and automation.  According to Dan http://blogs.msdn.com/dtjones/archive/2008/11/23/scripting-dba-actions.aspx  the answer is yes.   Scripting means you perform a task programmatically using a scripting language (PowerShell I hope).  Automation means that the script is automatically initiated as a scheduled task or a SQL Server job etc.

A quick search shows a number of definitions for automation:

"The replacement of manual operations by computerized methods."

"The automatic operation or control of equipment, a process, or a system."

"a system in which a workplace or process has been converted to one that replaces or minimizes human labor with mechanical or electronic equipment"

I would argue that there is a spectrum of activity ranging over:

  • perform task manually (GUI or command line)
  • script task
  • run script automatically

Creating 7000 users and mailboxes in AD\Exchange is something you would do with a script.  Would you have that script automatically initiated – I don’t think so. But I would argue that you are still automating that task.  The machine is doing the work – quicker and potentially (hopefully) more accurately.

My stance is that scripting is automation and whether you run the script manually or automatically in response to a task you are still automating.

There are some useful guidelines on scripting in the post that are applicable to any language.


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