Do Absolute Analog Recording

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Let's once again use our trusty over-simplified TwoDialogs sample application to learn how to use absolute analog recording and use it to discover the value as well as the dangers associated with absolute analog recording.

Steps:

(1) Run TwoDialogs sample AUT.  By default this will be located in C:\Program Files\SmarteSoft\SmarteStudio\Samples\TwoDialogs\TwoDialogs.exe

(2) Start SmarteStudio and create a new test and call it TwoDialogsAnalogAbsolute.

(3) Press the Record/Learn button in the toolbar of SmarteStudio.

(4) When the "Select an Application to Record" dialog is displayed, choose the TwoDialogs.exe application and ignore the library list - we will not be using any library for analog recording.  Press the Select button.

(5) The Recording Activity dialog will be displayed with an empty grid.

NOTE:  this recording session is going o be a little different from previous sessions.  Previously we could interrupt our object-related recording/learning with other activities and because SmarteStudio was recording activity related only to the target application, our recording or object learning would be unaffected.  However, in analog recording, SmarteStudio is monitoring the mouse and keyboard for the entire system - for all applications.  This means that if you answer an email in the middle of analog recording, or log in to a secure system, all the steps including mouse movement, keystrokes, etc., will all be recorded.  However, note also that screen contents are not recorded by SmarteStudio.

(6) If the TwoDialogs UI has been occluded, bring it back to the front so you don't have to hunt for it when you start recording.

(7) When you're ready to record the session, hit Ctrl+4 on the Recording Activity dialog.

RAforAnalogAbsolute

NOTE: Pressing the Analog button on the Recording Activity dialog starts a relative analog recording session.  Use the Ctrl+4 key sequence to start the absolute analog recording session.

SmarteStudio will begin recording all mouse and keyboard activity until you stop the recording.

Note also that the prompt in the notification/status area of the Recording Activity dialog is different from that for relative analog. It tells you that "Your mouse and keyboard activity is now being recorded."

 

A minimized window will be created that indicates that analog recording is in progress and allowing you to stop the recording.

AnanlogRecodingStopDialog

(7) Go to the TwoDialogs AUT and click anywhere in the application's window to start the analog recording.

Click the mouse on the empty "Please enter your name" text box.

Type a name in the text box.

Hit the <tab> key or click the left mouse button to advance the input position to the second text box.

Type another name.

Move the mouse to the OK button and press the mouse left button.

(8) When you have recorded enough, switch to the Analog Recording dialog box and press the close button or hit the keys Ctrl+Break.

NOTE: If you use the "close" button on the Analog Recording dialog, the movement of the mouse to the Analog Recording dialog, and the mouse-click on the Close button will be recorded as part of the analog recording output.  This might not be a desirable outcome at playback time because the Analog Recording dialog will not be present and the mouse click will be played in a potentially random place on the screen.  For this reason, Ctrl+Break is probably a better option to terminate analog recording.

NOTE: The grid will have no entry added until you end the analog recording with the Close button in the Analog Recording dialog.  When you do, it will add an entry to the grid.

AnalogRecordingRelativeComplete

(9)   You can now record additional analog sessions, if you wish.

(10) You can record normal object activity before and/or after the analog recording.  When you have finished all recording press the Finish button or hit Ctrl+3.  Notice that the Analog entry is added to the grid.

(11) The SmarteStudio screen will now be restored and will have placed focus in the editor pane of the SmarteStudio with TwoDialogsAnalogAbsolute.js script displayed.  You should see code something like the following:

       //Plays recorded events from "Analog\Analog0003.arf" file

       SeS('Simulated').DoAnalogPlay("Analog\\Analog0003.arf");

(12) Press the Play button on the SmarteStudio toolbar to playback the recording you made.  Be sure not to interfere with the mouse or keyboard whilst the recording is playing back.

NOTE: You will see all mouse and keyboard activity reproduced as the analog recording plays.  The recording will start from the point where you left-clicked the mouse to begin the recording (step 7 above) and will end with clicking the close button in the Analog Recording dialog or at the last action before you pressed Ctrl+Break.

(13) When the analog playback is complete, use the mouse to move the Two Dialogs AUT to a different location on the screen.  Play the recording again, and watch the operation unfold.  The most important thing to realize is that the absolute analog recording will playback the recording wherever the application is positioned on the screen wherever the AUT was positioned when you made the recording.  Absolute analog recording records relative to the top-left corner of the system screen.  Try this for yourself, but be sure to minimize all applications before starting.