The ability to automate a process can be very helpful in making your job easier. In IDEA, this means creating macros or IDEAScripts that automatically perform multiple functions in IDEA. At the touch of a button, your IDEAScript can import a file for you and perform all the analytics you need. This can save you time and stress and has the added benefit of ensuring the exact process is being duplicated each time you run it.
In most situations, new IDEAScripts are either written by hand or created by recording a macro at the same time the analytics are being performed. However, there are times when you may need a script after you’ve already gone through the process that you need to record. You could always go back and record the macro as you step through the process again, but that could be time-consuming. Or perhaps you already have the file but don’t remember or were not given the steps that were used to create it. It may be better to use one of the built-in methods of recording a script from a file that is already created.
Project Overview is a frequently overlooked feature of IDEA. But it can be very useful, especially when you need to capture the steps that were used to generate an IDEA database. A very powerful tool within Project Overview is the ability to make scripts.
Start by opening IDEA and the project that you want to create an IDEAScript from. Then click the Home tab and the Project Overview button at the top, left of the IDEA window.
The Project Overview window will open. Click the Graphic tab at the top to view a chart displaying all of the databases in the current project. Arrows leading from databases on the left to those on the right indicate relationships between those files:
Click the IDEAScript icon at the top, left.
A new window will open showing the same chart of databases, but you’ll notice that all of them are now greyed out. Left-click to select the databases you need the IDEAScript to recreate. The databases you select will no longer be greyed out.
It is possible to select multiple databases from different operations. Also, make sure to include each step that is required.
When all the required steps are selected, determine if you want to create an IDEAScript or a Visual Script by clicking the corresponding radio button at the top. Then click Finish.
If you chose Visual Script, the Visual Script Editor will open with the recorded steps already listed. You can make further changes if you like then just save the new macro.
If you selected IDEAScript, you’ll get a message indicating that the new script will be generated once Project Overview is closed. Click OK and close Project Overview. The IDEAScript window will open automatically with the script already inside. Make whatever changes you require then click File>Save As to save the new file.
One thing to note is that steps in Project Overview are not recorded while the project is shared. If you would like to use Project Overview to record macros, it is recommended that you lock the project before you begin operations that you need to record.
Perhaps the file you want to record the steps for wasn’t created by you. If you didn’t go through those steps in your instance of IDEA, they won’t be recorded in your Project Overview. Fortunately, there is another option. You can easily generate an IDEAScript right from the History of the file.
Simply open the database in IDEA and click History in the Database group under Properties.
Then simply right-click anywhere in the History and select Copy all IDEAScript. The IDEAScript window will open. Make any changes that are necessary and click File>Save to save the new IDEAScript.
Saving IDEAScripts from history has the benefit of being faster, but it will only allow you to record the steps specific to generating that specific file. So if there are other analytics that you need to record outside of those steps, it may be better to use Project Overview.
We hope this will be very helpful to your team. And, as always, if you have questions about this Tech Tip or other IDEA questions, please give our help desk a call at:
888-641-2800 Option 4
Or email us at [email protected]