One of the first customer support cases I handled at Embotics involved using vCommander variables to pass information out to a script. I was new to vCommander myself, of course – as was the customer – but we both had the same feeling. We knew that there was a variable that would provide the data we needed, but we couldn’t figure out which one it was, and that was frustrating.
The reference tables in the documentation were exhaustively complete. There were hundreds of variables listed, but no means to really narrow down the search. Needless to say, it took a very long time to close the support case, and although the customer ultimately was satisfied, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had to do better.

Happily, our wise and talented Senior Technical Writer, Helen Abbott, agreed. She spent countless hours trying to make it as easy as possible to locate the right variable. She broke the monolithic tables down into smaller, purpose-based ones, and improved the navigation of the help articles to streamline users to the right tables. She correlated variables to UI elements. She stripped away variables that were infrequently used in favor of those we were seeing in the field. She made things better.

But we’re Embotics, and we don’t stop at better. We deliver the best.

So, after this admittedly long preamble, let me introduce you to the new Variable Assistant coming in vCommander 5.6:

vrbl-sstnt.png

Anywhere you can use a variable in vCommander’s UI, you can now click #{..} to launch the Variable Assistant. It automatically filters out variables which are not compatible with the current context, and you can further refine the filtering using a quick search. The Variable Details provide a description of the value being returned, so you can be sure you’re getting what you need.

While the development team was building this great feature, they also went through a standardization effort to make sure that the names of all the variables were clear and made sense. But don’t worry – all of the variables will be updated during your upgrade so you don’t have to go back and manually fix things.

We’re very excited about the Variables Assistant, and expect that it will be a big help to customers looking to make the most of vCommander’s comprehensive automation capabilities.

If you aren’t already notified about our new releases, send us an email and we’ll make sure you can start using the Variables Assistant on release day.

#{awesomeFeature.thanks}

Ted Rodney. Embotics Support