As well as normal static text, messages sent out to Agent workstations can also contain 'Placeholder variables ' that are replaced with appropriate dynamic content when the message is shown at an Agent workstation.
The placeholder variables fall into two distinct categories - a small number of predefined ones (covering items such as the Day, Date and Time) and those representing the environment variables that would normally be present on an Agent workstation itself.
To identify a placeholder variable in a message simply surround it with double percentage signs (%%) - if the variable isn't one of the predefined ones, the Ticker Tape Agent software will look for it as an Operating System environment variable on the computer where it is running, allow you to include any environment variable present on your Agent workstations.
As an example, the following Agent message;
"Please note that, due to an unexpected power outage on the London file server, your Home directory, H:%%HomePath%%, is currently unavailable."
would replace the %%HomePath%% place holder with the Operating System Environment Variable value available on the Agent workstation, producing a message unique to each user;
Main Administrator interface with dynamic placeholder variable
Similarly, including one of the Ticker Tape predefined placeholder variables in a message, produces a dynamically changing message at the Agent - in this case including the current time at the Agent which will change in real-time as the message moves;
e.g. "To avoid losing work, please remember to log off before 10pm as scheduled network maintenance is taking place - it is currently %%LongTime%%" will produce a message similar to "To avoid losing work, please remember to log off before 10pm as scheduled network maintenance is taking place - it is currently 19:36:05 " at the Agent workstations.
Predefined variables reference
Note that the predefined variables below respect the regional settings on each Agent workstation, so may be shown differently from the examples below depending upon your O/S configuration - the ones below are typical on computers in the United Kingdom;
%%ShortDay%% - Mon
%%LongDay%% - Monday
%%ShortTime%% - 16:47
%%LongTime%% - 16:47:03
%%ShortDate%% - 23/09/2012
%%LongDate%% - 23 September 2012
Environment variables are generally set by the Operating System running on each Agent computer (as well as applications occasionally) for the use of other software installed on the computer. While the actual environment variables available on a computer are dependent upon the specific Operating System version installed and its general configuration, a number are standard and generally available in one form or another on most computers.
One quick way to see a list of the Environment Variables available on a particular computer is to run 'cmd' via the Start menu and type 'set' in the command window to list the available variables (type 'exit ' to close the cmd prompt.) In the listing below we see that the computer name where 'cmd' is being ran on is 'MCRWS0611' and the 'HomePath' variable we previously used above as well - e.g.;
CommonProgramFiles=C:\Program Files\Common Files
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