XLnow OnScript

When I started this review of XLnow OnScript, I was really quite curious about scripting - what all is it used for, and why all the big fuss about it? Writing this review gave me just the impetus I needed to do a little research.

Scripting is used by system administrators to manage computers in a network. Some of these administrators manage hundreds or even thousands of computers and user accounts!

When you think about all the types of businesses there are, depending on these computer networks, then you can imagine just how many varied uses and requirements there are for scripting languages. Scripts are used by system administrators to manage logs, monitor processes, read or write to the registry, manage accounts, printers, and other services.

Some of the more common scripting technologies include VBScript, JScript, Perl Script, Python Script, HTML Application, and Windows Scripting. If you are a programmer like I am, then you are probably somewhat familiar with at least one of these technologies.

I found from my research that some system administrators avoid scripting because they think it is time-consuming and difficult. They think it requires you to learn a bunch of technical jargon, and [shudder] yet more acronyms.

But the truth is, scripting is an extremely powerful tool that can actually make your life easier and your work more efficient. Even small business owners like me can benefit greatly from scripting technology.

Scripts will help eliminate repetitive work. Sometimes we techies feel so tired and chained to our workstations simply because of the tedium involved with repetitive computer operations.

Anytime you find yourself repeating an operation (like typing the same commands or clicking the same buttons in sequence, this could be handled by a script. Can you imagine how much time could potentially be saved?

Scripts don't need to be long and complicated. Often a script of 10 or 15 lines will handle a complex task just fine.

Web developers are probably familiar with VBScript or JScript. I can tell you that I've used both of these scripting languages quite successfully, and I really don't know much about either one! JScript reminds me a lot of C language, so simple routine aren't too difficult to understand. And simple routines can be very powerful!

OnScript is a great tool that will help you write all sorts of scripts, for all sorts of purposes. You don't have to fully understand a scripting language to use it. You don't have to remember every acronym.

Let me elaborate a bit on the best features of this useful scripting tool (OnScript).

Reference and Auto List

You just have to click on the Objects tab to find a wealth of scripting reference information. Instead of trying to remember the format of a blue zillion Subs and Functions, you can find it right there. You'll find objects from A to Z, or more precisely Acrobat to ZRush.

OnScript uses something called Auto List Members to help further jog your memory. When you enter the name of a control in your code, the Auto List Members feature presents a drop-down list of available properties for that control. If you type in the first few letters of the property name and OnScript will finish typing for you.

You start up the Auto List Members feature by positioning the cursor after a function name, CreateObject, New statements and press Ctrl+J.

OnScript will finish typing your functions and variables for you, or show you a list of choices if appropriate. This saves time and effort, since you don't have to keep typing in these long names. OnScript features IntelliSense to complete names for you, or it shows you the Members list, and highlights the closest match.


OnScript lets you save your scripts and run them in different workspaces. You can easily create new workspaces, or switch to existing workspaces.

With OnScript you can locate a remote computer in the network that has additional script resources by using the Select Machine Name dialog. Then simply add it to the current workspace.

Status and Debugging

The status bar shows the programming language of the script you are working on, the line number of the insertion point, distance from left margin to the insertion point, CAPS and NUM LOCK status, overtype mode on or off. Just move your cursor over the toolbar icons to see what they do.

You can set breakpoints for script debugging, toggle breakpoints, and view either the output or the immediate tab. Inserted text that is not recognized as a code element appears on the immediate tab. OnScript also allows for the use of external debugger, like the one that comes with Windows 2000 and XP.


You can set the fonts and font colors the way you want. (Certain code elements default to various colors so it's easy to set up.) You can customize text elements according to whether your script is based on VBScript, JScript, Perl Script, Python Script, HTML Application, Text Document, Windows NT Command Script, Windows Script Component, or Windows Script Host.

In summary, OnScript is a great scripting tool that could take the pain out of writing scripts, and should be quite useful to system administrators or anyone who uses scripting to automate their computer processes.

Kathy Salisbury
The Great Mind Review Team
Great Mind Software


click here to see the Amazon.com listing

sugg. retail price: $89.95

Which edition: Desktop or Network?

The Desktop Edition allows you to install the product on up to three machines, for example at work and at home on a desktop machine and on a notebook.

The Network Edition license allows you to install the product or portions of it on any machine in your organization. In addition you may install OnScript on any home or portable computer you own.

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