Customers like to (re)use the methods of the support team …

Link to Officer and Sergeants Powerpoint Slidedeck I was doing some code cutting the other day for a customer.


I had sent a DOS batch file to Customer A, in response for an urgent fix request.  The DOS batch file enables Customer A to use a particular web application.

The Help Desk send me an email, "Customer B have this VBscript file which doesn’t work."

Customer A shared the DOS batch file Customer B, who thought they’d have a stab at re-writing it into VBscript.

VBscript file received from Customer B:

Set objWSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objWSHShell.Run ("dosomething.exe /commandlineparameters", 3, True)
objWSHShell.Run ("dosomething2.exe /commandlineparameters", 3, True)

Now there’s a few problems with this file:

  • no checking to see if dosomething.exe exists.
  • no checking to see if dosomething.exe & dosomething2.exe return an error.

Here’s my ruggerised, ready for deployment version:

Option Explicit
On Error GoTo 0Dim objWSHShell, objFSO
Dim sDoSomethingParameters, sDoSomethingFilePathName, sDoSomethingCommandString
Dim boolFileExists, boolResult
Dim intDoSomethingResult
Const intWindowStyleHideAndActivate = 0
sDoSomethingFilePathName = "C:\doer\DoSomething.exe"
boolResult = False
intDoSomethingResult = 555
Set objWSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Call fn_CheckIfFileExists(sDoSomethingFilePathName, boolFileExists)

If Not boolFileExists Then
   ' exit with File Does Not Exist
   WScript.Quit (2318)
End If

sDoSomethingParameters = " -q -a qwerty"
sDoSomethingCommandString = sDoSomethingFilePathName + sDoSomethingParameters

intDoSomethingResult = objWSHShell.Run (sDoSomethingCommandString, intWindowStyleHideAndActivate, True)

If intDoSomethingResult <> 0 Then
   ' execution of DoSomething and parameters failed.
   WScript.Quit (1708)
End If

' if we're gotten here, it's worked, and we can exit the script!
Wscript.quit (0)


Function fn_CheckIfFileExists(fnFilePathName, boolResult)
On Error Resume Next
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objFile = objFSO.GetFile(fnFilePathName)
On Error GoTo 0
If objFSO.FileExists(fnFilePathName) Then
   boolResult = True
   boolResult = False
End If

Set objFSO = Nothing
Set objFile = Nothing

End Function

I’m reminded of the maxim:
Customers like to (re)use the methods of the support team, but they don’t really understand them.

If you click on the picture, you’ll get to view the powerpoint file, where I saw the original maxim.

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