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 framework 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:
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.
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.
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.
Ok, now that we’ve made our input parameters, it’s time to map them.
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.
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:
From the Console, Right Click -> RCT Runner
Then click Finish and see what happens… Looks like it worked!
And guess what, the Dialog didn’t lie, the 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.
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.
Ok, now lets run it again… but this time we use it to remove the account
Oh good, it worked
Double checking the computer, yep, garytown is now removed from administrators:
And Confirmed it works on entire collection… at least if the machines are on:
Ok, Example 2, using a PowerShell Script as an Action
On the Start Action, Added a Parameter “Notes” For Example, which we will pass into the PowerShell Script.
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:
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:
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.
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