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Home > Success Center > Kiwi CatTools > Kiwi CatTools 3.11 Administrator Guide > Activities > Creating a custom activity > The custom activity type file (.ini)

The custom activity type file (.ini)

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Created by Caroline Juszczak, last modified by Caroline Juszczak on Jun 28, 2016

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Activity types in CatTools

 

Activity types are defined within CatTools using text files (.ini files) and are stored in the \Activities sub folder within the root CatTools directory. Each .ini file represents a separate item in the 'Type' drop-down list in the Add/Edit scheduled activity details form setup form.

 

When CatTools starts, it searches for all the .ini files in the \Activities sub folder and reads their contents. All the activity types found are then available for selection in the activity Type drop down when defining activities.

 

To add a new custom activity type, you need to create a new .ini file defining the activity and its characteristics.

 

The .ini file sections overview

 

The contents of the .ini file are divided up within [sections]. The main sections inside the INI file are as follows:

 

[info] section

This is required and identifies the .ini file as a CatTools file.

 

[info]

cookie=CatTools

version=3

author=SolarWinds

 

[Activity] section

This is required and defines the name used within the CatTools user interface (i.e. the Activity type drop-down list field) and within scripting. ??It also defines the unique key (id) of the activity type in the CatTools database.

 

[Activity]

name=Custom.Activity.Template

script_main=Main.Custom.Activity.Template.txt

script_client=Client.Custom.Activity.Template.txt

description=Collects information from devices and creates a custom report

report_file=%AppPath%Reports\Master Custom Activity Template.txt

report_overwrite=1

client_threads=0

id=3999

 

Although the file name of the .ini file may be similar (or the same) to the [Activity] section name item, it is the name item that defines the activity name within the user interface and not the .ini file name.

 

CatTools reserves id's from 0 to 3999 for predefined activity types. You can use the number range from 4000 to 4999 for the custom activity types you create, however you must ensure the number is unique.

 

[item] sections (Activity Options)

Each item section defines the input fields used within the CatTools user interface for the Activity setup screens.

Example:

 

[item_value1]

name=Use alternate command

type=string

checkbox_show=1

checkbox_default=0

value_default=

required=0

info="Alternative command to capture data from device."

 

Each input field in the CatTools user interface for Activity options has a separate [item_xxx] type section.

The name item sets the text (or label) to be displayed next to the input or selection field.

The type item describes the type of input or selection field adjacent to the name text/label.

The checkbox_show and checkbox_default items describe whether a checkbox should be displayed and its default value of checked or unchecked.

The value_default item sets the default value to be used when adding a new activity to the database.

The required item tells the user interface if the field must contain valid data or not (for example: must be an item from within a predefined list or whether the user can enter their own values). 0=not required, 1=required.

The info item is the description associated with this field. This text is displayed in the status bar of the user interface when a field has focus.

 

The above [item_value1] section is an example of a checkbox and standard text box input field within the user interface.

 

If you need to limit a range of numerical values that can be entered into an option field, then use the type or 'range'.

The range option example below, contains a checkbox and an input field that accepts numerical values between 1 and 2000.

 

[item_value2]

name=Days until entries expire

type=range

checkbox_show=1

checkbox_default=0

value_default=30

range_min=1

range_max=2000

required=1

info="Remove entries older than X days from the Master report"

 

Check box input fields can only accept values of 0 or 1. Any value other than a 1 is considered a 0. A check box example is below.

The check box is defaulted to 1 (checked).

 

[item_value3]

name=Resolve IP addresses to hostnames

type=checkbox

checkbox_show=1

checkbox_default=1

info="Resolve all IP addresses found to hostnames via reverse DNS lookup"

 

The size (length of the data that can be entered) of each field is determined by the design of the CatTools database. Any data entered via the CatTools user interface that is too long for the field will be truncated accordingly.

 

The custom activity type .ini template

 

CatTools provides a starting point template file to help assist in the creation of a new custom activity type.

The template file is called Custom.Activity.Template.ini and can be found in the \Templates sub folder.

 

This template file is included as part of the predefined activity types in CatTools. As for all of the CatTools predefined activity types, it may (as and when required) be subject to updates and modifications with each new release of the CatTools product.

For this reason, you should never modify the template file itself in order to create a new custom activity type.

If you need to create a new custom activity type, take a copy the template file and save it to the \Activities sub folder giving it a new file name.

 

Creating your custom activity type .ini file

 

If adding a new custom activity type to CatTools, the first step will therefore be to take a copy of the template file Custom.Activity.Template.ini in the \Templates sub folder and save it to the \Activities sub folder giving it a new file name.

This will give you a new starting point activity type file to work with. ??When naming the file, try to use the naming convention:

 

Custom.Type.Name

 

Custom

being the text "Custom" to distinguish custom activity types from CatTools predefined types. ??They will also be grouped together in the activity 'Type' drop-down list field.

Type

the type of activity (Report, CLI, Connectivity, Update)

Name

the name of activity (ARPTable, SendCommands, PingTest, BannerText)

 

Editing the .ini file

 

The next step is to open the .ini file and make the required changes to the values within each section.

 

Below is an example of an .ini file with a number of items values highlighted.

 

The most important item values which MUST be changed are highlighted in Red. These items must be unique otherwise your activity type may not appear in the CatTools activity 'Type' drop-down list field.

Items values which may be changed if desired are highlighted in Green.

Additional comments are highlighted in Blue (Note: do not include any comments in your .ini file)

 

It is recommended that anything else that is not highlighted be left at its original setting.

You can however, customise some of the items such as the Name and Info items to make them more relevant to your activity.

 

The text value within the 'Name' item is the field Label that is displayed within the form.

The text value within the 'Info' item is the text that is displayed in the Status bar when you select the field in the form (i.e. gets focus).

 

Once you have made your amendments to the .ini file, remember to save it back to the \Activities sub folder.

You will then need to restart CatTools in order for your new custom activity type to be read into the activity 'Type' drop-down list field.

 

[info]

cookie=CatTools

version=3

author=SolarWinds enter your name or leave as the default

 

[Activity]

name=Custom.Activity.Template change to a unique activity name. example: Custom.Report.PortStatusNote: do not use spaces. Use a 'period' mark (.)

script_main=Main.Custom.Activity.Template.txt change to associated Main script name (use activity name and prefix with 'Main.' to keep unique)

script_client=Client.Custom.Activity.Template.txt change to associated Client script name (use activity name and prefix 'Client.' to keep unique)

description=Collects information from devices and creates a custom report change if required

report_file=%AppPath%Reports\Master Custom Activity Template.txt change to a unique report name

report_overwrite=1

client_threads=0

id=3999 ?? select a number within the range of 4000 to 4999. The number used here must be unique.

 

# Activity options

 

[item_value1]

name=Use alternate command

type=string

checkbox_show=1

checkbox_default=0

edit_button=0

value_default=

required=0

info="Alternative command to capture data from device."

 

[item_value2]

... add more options items as required (to a maximum of 10 options).

Last modified
07:20, 28 Jun 2016

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