2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2018 10:10 AM by paul.mcdougall@hydro.com.au

    User Experience for Windows Desktop Applications


      Hello Thwack Users


      I think I found very interesting stuff for you today and wanted to ask for your opinion.


      During the last few weeks, I have received the same question from few companies.

      When I am presenting SAM and WPM features and talking about UX User Experience, I received questions about simulating Windows Desktop applications.

      Due to the technical difficulties, I think we will not see something like that in the near future embedded into SolarWinds.


      Currently desktop applications would need to have CLI interface that would allow to initiate actions via PowerShell or, at least, a simple command line.


      However, there is hope! I have found Microsoft library called UI Automation. The purpose of the library is to help programmers with access to user interface (UI) elements.

      This is the MS library: UI Automation Overview | Microsoft Docs

      Library by itself would not be very much useful for SolarWinds, but... someone actually created a PowerShell extension for UI Automation. But wait, there is more!

      The project is open-source and includes even an application called UIAutomationSpy, which allows a person to track reference IDs of the buttons, switches and other GUI elements from within any application.

      Those references can next be used to write a PowerShell script and it can "click" on the buttons. I think this could be used to create scenarios similar to what WPM is doing for web applications.


      Link to the UI Automation PowerShell Extensions is below:

      CodePlex Archive


      Could you share with me, if something like that would be interesting for you?

      Is there a demand for such SAM templates with User Experience for Windows Desktop Applications?

      If yes, I will use my spare time to test this solution and try to integrate it with SAM.


      Kind regards,

      Marcin Kazmierczak.


      IT-Indago Ltd. - Authorized Reseller & SolarWinds Certified SCP Professional

      IT-Indago – Be In Control!  |  Follow us on Facebook & LinkedIn

        • Re: User Experience for Windows Desktop Applications

          Hi Marcin,


          This is a fantastic concept. I'd be keen to help also, and have plenty of powershell experience.

          I'll explore the projects you've linked too



          • Re: User Experience for Windows Desktop Applications

            I’ve had a lot of exposure to Compuware’s APM User Experience Management (UEM) of which must be the worlds most expensive product.  Short story, the product is crap but a great attempt at almost nailing such an amazing concept.  We used this product on several transaction robots (aka remotely deployed PCs with agents running on them) which would use a combination of screen scraping and other smart techniques to run user transactions. These metrics would then feed back to the APM server for processing to display onto a magnificent dashboard. Nice if it actually worked without so many bugs. In my opinion Solarwinds knows only too well that marketing such a product would mean having to get it right the first go. Getting it wrong would be marketing suicide.