Getting started in Linx

Getting started in Linx – A user’s experience

We’ve been writing about the benefits of using low-code software for a while now. This week’s post is about helping those of you who have downloaded Linx get started on your first project – automating a sales report.

To help us, we invited Franz Rodenacker, Head of User Experience at Digiata Technology Services, to tell us how he uses Linx at work, share some advice for first-time users and take us through the process of automating a sales report.

Lets get started…..

Q: What do you use Linx for?

I use Linx every day for all sorts of tasks. I find it particularly helpful for automating tedious manual tasks such as:

  • Creating a batch file to run a program with various configurations in a command prompt
  • Extracting information from a bunch of text files, cleaning the data and inserting it into a database
  • Removing duplicate photos from my photo store in the cloud
  • Synchronizing two folders on our network
  • Dumping mysql databases to disk and copying them to a backup network drive
  • Submitting a bunch of files to a cloud service to back them up
  • Checking if my website is up and making sure it has not been hacked (fetch a page and check the size or find some text)

My team members – mostly developers – also use Linx daily to:

  • Integrate external data with our systems
  • Automate software builds
  • Quickly create web services to test integrations (test-driven development)
  • Consolidate analytics results in a database for use in our own dashboard

Digiata also has a number of clients who Linx all the time. They use it to:

  • Fetch external price data and integrate it with their systems
  • Classic ETL: load manually-captured spreadsheets into their databases
  • Submit fund purchases and sales to a financial switch platform

 

Q: How should new users get started?

First, you need to identify a problem you would like to solve. This is usually some integration or automation task. For example you may need to:

  • Connect systems together (push or pull)
  • Automate something you currently do manually
  • Stay informed about something (email or SMS)
  • Use logic to eliminate a tedious task

Once you have identified the problem you need to solve, you’ll want to break that problem down into a series of steps you can program.

 

Q: Can you share a practical example?

I used to have to email our sales report to our sales guy every day. This was a manual process that wasn’t ideal for two reasons:

  1. When I was out of the office, he would have to call me to remind me to generate the report and email it to him.
  2. He starts work at 7am, while I only start quite a bit later. I’d arrive at my desk to find him waiting for the report.

I decided to use Linx to automate this task. Now the report is automatically generated at 4am each morning. My colleague is happy to have his sales report waiting for him bright and early. And I am happy because I get to start my day in peace and enjoy my days off.

To see how Franz did this, click here  Getting started in Linx – Automating my Sales Report (part 2)

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