Category: "Technical information"

Build Automator 2014.4.9.1326 released

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We found a small bug in the install, where it didn't copy the picklist information to the new folder structure.  This is fixed in build 1326.  

I had already started improvements on the FTP window so I decided, why not, and finished them!  It now shows the local files being uploaded and goes through the list as the files are being uploaded.  

We have also discovered that it seems that the shortcut on the desktop may not be updated with the new path.  If you get an error when trying to run Build Automator about there not being any Plugins, then that is the problem.  I'm not sure under what circumstances this happens.  It happened on a machine that had the shortcut pinned to the taskbar, so perhaps that has some bearing on it.

Arnor Baldvinsson

Build Automator 2014.4.9.1325 released

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Build Automator 2014


We have released Build Automator 2014 build 4.9.1325 

The update can be downloaded from our website at or by using the "Check for Updates" option under the Help menu in the program.
There are several new features in this build, but there are also a lot of fixes behind the scene that make the program more stable than it has ever been.  The new feature list includes:

  • Full support for Clarion 9 and 9.1
  • Full support for Setup Builder 8.1
  • Support for Code generation before build in Clarion 8, 9 and 9.1
  • Improvements in copy/paste and several fixes to synchronization in the project window
  • File and folder Drag & Drop support in actions
  • External text files can now be included in the "Write text to file" action
  • Programs can be forced to run elevated (will prompt for administrator access)
  • Environment variables fully supported in scripts
  • Search locators make finding projects and variables easy

In previous builds there was a bug in the system that could sometimes lead to the wrong action being loaded, copy/paste being fragile, duplicating the wrong action item and so on.  This should be completely fixed now.  For more detailed list ofnew features and fixes please check out the version history page at

One of the major new feature is the updated MS-Build action which you use for Clarion compiles.  It fully supports all versions of the Clarion IDE, from Clarion 7 to Clarion 9.1.  It now also supports code generation in Clarion 8-9.1.  Code generation was not possible in Clarion 7.  There is one caveat that I don't have any solution for:  Softvelocity does not allow Clarion Professional to generate code with their ClarionCL.exe, which is the tool we use to generate code.  This is unfortunate as it limits the usefulness of this feature, but never the less, it is an important update for us.

Another feature that I want to highlight is the option to include external text filesin the "Write text to File" action.  This allows you to generate files that include data from other sources.  For example I have started using this to generate the export list for templates that need it.  I generate the export list with an external tool, then write template code to a text file which has an Include statement which includes the export list.  End result is a template file completely generated by Build Automator!  How cool is that?!

Arnor Baldvinsson

Build Automator Webinar recording

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I just wanted to re-post the link to the Webinar recording at Clarion Live that was recorded in June 2009. It is still very valid and an excellent introduction to Build Automator. You can view the webinar recording at

If you want to save the recording, right click on the link above and select "Save target" or "Save Link As" in your browser's popup menu and save the wmv video file. The file size is about 284MB. If you click on the link above the content is streamed to your viewer.

Arnor Baldvinsson

New build, 1.70.1277 (Beta 9)

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We have just released a new build. This is the ninth and LAST beta build we are releasing for version 2.0, which will be out in about two weeks. Just documentation and some minor polishing is needed and if any issues are found in this beta they will be fixed as soon as possible.

You can download the new build from

Note that you must have a valid Maintenance Plan to be able to install this build. This build is NOT available via the web update so you must download the full install. You do not need to uninstall previous version and your data will be preserved completely.

If you are currently using version 1.5 or the early 1.6 beta versions, I strongly suggest that you try this build.

Since version 1.5 we have added over 100 new features and fixes. See version history for more information

The fix list for Beta 7, 8 and 9 follows:

Fixes for Beta 7

  • Redundant debug information was being sent to the log file from E_Search_and_Replace_in_Textfiles. Fixed.
  • Clarion errors in log viewer were not color coded as errors. Fixed.
  • Copying and pasting action items sometimes fails. Can no longer be reproduced despite numerous efforts. Will tackle it if it comes up again, but I'm calling it fixed.
  • Main window sometimes appears outside of the visible area of the monitor(s). Fixed.

Fixes for Beta 8

  • Copy Multiple Files action does not expand variables correctly. Fixed.
  • Log File viewer had a one byte out of bounds memory problem. Fixed.

Fixes for Beta 9

June 10, 2011

  • MS-Build action modified for more flexibility.
  • MS-Build action can now handle both Clarion 7 and Clarion 8.

June 11, 2011

  • MS-Build action can now handle code generation in Clarion 8. Note that this is only enabled for Clarion 8 if a solution is selected. If a Clarion project file (*.cwproj) is selected, then it is available for Clarion 7 also, but this will not work in the Clarion 7.0 - Clarion 7.2 builds.
  • Added Copy, Paste and Duplicate to the pop up menu on the Action Items list.
  • Implemented a Duplicate option for the Action Items list. It can be activated by using the popup menu or by using Ctrl-D.
  • Implemented Alt-Enter on Action Items list to open the Action Items Properties window.
  • Hotkeys are now visible on popup menu on the Action Items list.

June 12, 2011

  • Added Windows 7 compatibility to "Generate XP/Vista/Win7 Manifests" action.
  • Added option to exclude dependency to "Generate XP/Vista/Win7 Manifests" action.
  • Implemented Ctrl-E on Action Items list to execute the selected action item(s).

Fixing the Copy/paste issue was huge. I have it verified fixed now! It was a rare and completely random problem that cropped up when pasting items into the action item list. After a lot of debugging I was able to isolate it and realized there was a vulnerability that had the potential of failing - it should never have failed, but some circumstances obviously made it fail. Essentially what happened was that in projects with multiple project items the last one would sometimes be act as it was selected even though it was not. I was able to put a Message() in the code to alert me if the mismatch happened and 3 months after I fixed it, the message popped up for the first time. I use Build Automator almost every day, so this shows how random and difficult to trace this problem was! When the message popped up and I saw that the selected project item was indicating the last, when in fact the first one was selected, and the pasting worked I knew I had caught that bug and fixed it:)

Please let me know as soon as possible if you run into any problem with this build! Note that you must have a valid Maintenance plan to be able to install it.

Tech Stuff: "Failed to execute target process..."

Build Automator news, Technical information 5 feedbacks »

When we first released the Build Automator one of the first people to download the demo got an error after running the program once. It was an obscure error that we had never seen or heard about, the message only stating "Failed to execute target process (Error Code 5)"
Error message

I posted questions about this on several developer newsgroups and did not get much information back. But my luck was about to change! Few hours after I posted a fellow Clarion programmer and photography enthusiast, Marty Honea, called me and asked if this customer was using Internet Explorer 7. He had run into a similar problem few months earlier and got information that this was caused by security settings in IE7 and he gave me information about how to fix this.

This was on April 30 and I posted this right away to my customer but didn't hear back from him until today. Apparently I wasn't receiving his emails for some reason. The fix I had sent to him worked perfectly.

First of all, the fix:

Open Explorer and navigate to the executable that is showing the error. Right click on the EXE file. At the bottom of the properties window, on the "General" tab there is a section at the bottom, called "Security" which shows a text about that "this file may have come from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer"

This section ONLY shows up if the file is blocked! Click the "Unblock" button on the right, under the "Advanced" button and this whole section disappear and so does this cryptic error message!

Next, some digging:

Tonight I decided to do some research and see what I could come up with. Apparently this comes from a zone protection that is implemented in IE7 and under Vista. From what I understand this may also happen under XP. When a file is downloaded or copied the OS seems to add an alternate data stream to it that indicates where it came from. When the file is run, or opened, the source of this datastream is compared to the computer where the program is currnently running and if they don't match, the zoning restrictions kick in. In this particular case the abrevity and obscurity of the message is such that it's impossible to figure out what is causing it.

Most people haven't heard much about Alternate Data Streams (ADS) sometimes also called "Additional Data Streams". This is a feature of the NTFS file system that allows anyone to attach data to a file, rather than add to the file. Not only that, this data doesn't show up anywhere unless you know where to look. Until XP SP2 you could create additional streams using notepad and save the file to something like myfile.txt:additionalstream.txt Notice the colon in the filename? That's the indicator that the data should go to an additional stream, rather than into the file itself.

The interesting thing is that if you view the size of the file in Explorer, or any other software that doesn't specifically look for ADS, the software will not report the ADS at all! It is, for all intents and purposes, completely hidden from view. This opens up the rather strange possibility of having a hard drive full of 0 byte files, but the drive is full of data!&#59;)

Some resources:

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