Announcing Right Click Tools 4.0 - Whats New in Builder

Recast Software recently released the new 4.0 version of the Right Click Tools. This is the first in a series of deep dives of updated features within the new version.

Let's start with updates to a favorite automation platform: Builder.  So what is builder exactly?  Builder is a Framwork for creating your own Right Click Tools.  It has all of the actions available at your finger tips, which you can merge with PowerShell scripts and create very powerful automation runbook type automations.  Take a look:

Right Click Tools Builder version 4.0

On the left you have a list of the Custom Actions you've created.  The Middle area is your "Work Board".  You start with a single "Starting Point", where you can create parameters, and pick the output you want to display.  The Right side contains the list of actions you can choose from.  Find the one you're looking for, drag it from the options pane to the work board, draw your arrow and apply the parameters.  No code needed.  If you're familiar with the Right Click Tools, then you're already part way there.

Here are a couple examples.  While these are pretty simple, it does give you a glimpse of the possibilities.   Example 1 is a tool that will Add a user to a local group or Remove a user from a local group. We've set the default local group as administrators.  Scenario, you need to grant someone local admin rights on a workstation (or group of), for a manual software install.  Then when they are done, you want to remove them again.

Right Click Tools Builder version 4.0 example
Right Click Tools Builder version 4.0 example

We created a new Builder Template,  drag the "Add Local Group Member" Action onto the board, then drag an arrow from the Start Node to the Add Local Group Member action.  When you click on the Arrow, it turns blue so you know it's the active object, and shows you the required information that needs to be provided.  This means this information will need to be created on the Start Node.  Let's create Parameters that the Right Click Tool Admin User will provide as input.

Right Click Tools Builder template
Right Click Tools Builder template

So we've added an Input Parameter, type string and called it Member Name, we'll repeat this process for the other required fields.  For the next two fields, I'll also add default values, since most of the time, they will probably be what you want to input anyway.

Right Click Tools Builder Input Parameter
Right Click Tools Builder Input Parameter

Ok, now that we've made our input parameters, it's time to map them.

Map input parameters

Once you click on the Arrow, it will turn blue and show the list of Required Input Parameters.  Click the Required Parameter (in this case Computer Name), and match it to the Available Parameters.  Now that we have that done, lets finish connecting the Parameters.

Map input parameters
Choose mapping parameters
Choose the Node that has the Parameters Available (Start Node)
Choose the Node that has the Parameters Available (Start Node)
Choose the Node that has the Parameters Available (Start Node)

Alright, at this point, we have our parameters all mapped and this tool Should work... so lets try it out!

On our test machine PC03, lets see who is in the Local Admin Group:

See who is in the local admin group

From the Console, Right Click -> RCT Runner

From the Console, Right Click,  RCT Runner
Select action
Input parameters
Input parameters
Run action

Then click Finish and see what happens...  Looks like it worked!

Add user to local group

And guess what, the Dialog didn't lie, the Machine shows the account was added to the Administrators Group:

 Machine shows the account was added to the Administrators Group


Ok, so now we confirm that part work, lets go back and add the "Remove" feature.  

Add the "Remove" feature

We added the "Remove Local Group Member", and added the "Arrow" to connect the Start Action to the Remove action.  The setup is the same as the "Add Local Group Member", it requires the same parameters.  But now we need a way to let the Runner know which "Path" to take, Add or Remove.  So we've added a Boolean (Check Box) to the form and named it accordingly.  Then we just have to set the conditions on each action.  Run "Add" if Checked, Run "Remove" if UnChecked.

Run "Add" if Checked, Run "Remove" if UnChecked.
Run "Add" if Checked, Run "Remove" if UnChecked.

Ok, now lets run it again... but this time we use it to remove the account

Run action to remove the account

Oh good, it worked

Run action complete

Double checking the computer, yep, garytown is now removed from administrators:

Double check computer is removed

And Confirmed it works on entire collection... at least if the machines are on:

Confirmation screen

Ok, Example 2, using a PowerShell Script as an Action

Using a PowerShell Script as an Action
View: Tabbed results

On the Start Action, Added a Parameter "Notes" For Example, which we will pass into the PowerShell Script.

Add Parameter Notes

You can see that there is a Parameter in the Script called "Notes" which will actually pull the Parameter set when you run the action into the script.
Then click on "Show Progress Stream" and check the box:

Show Progress Stream

Enable "Check Box" on Show Progress Stream
When you run the Action you Created, you'll see results, and anything you specified in the script as output will show up:

Enable "Check Box" on Show Progress Stream

As we just demonstrated, RCT Builder has potential for you to automate tasks, or create new actions that might be unique to your environment.

Give it a try by downloading the latest 4.0 release from  Recastsoftware.com.