Steampunk Spotter

Mastering Ansible Playbook creation with Steampunk Spotter's Assisted Writing Feature

June 8, 2023 - Words by  Sara Platiše - 3 min read

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In today’s fast-paced world of automation, efficiency is key. Simplifying and speeding up playbook writing can significantly maximize productivity and help you achieve automation goals. That’s why we are excited to introduce Spotter’s Assisted Playbook Writing feature. In this blog post, we will delve into the powerful capabilities of Spotter and how it transforms how you create playbooks.

The feature is available in Steampunk Spotter’s Visual Studio Code extension. You can install the extension from the Visual Studio Marketplace or Open VSX Registry. The extension requires a Steampunk Spotter user account and the Steampunk Spotter CLI installed in the console that you use with VS Code by default.

Enhanced efficiency with inline suggestions

One of the standout features of Spotter’s Assisted Playbook Writing is its inline suggestions. By enabling the feature’s settings, you can access a wealth of time-saving suggestions that enhance playbook writing. Spotter allows you to configure the number of suggestions displayed, giving you complete control over the assistance level. Moreover, Spotter offers the flexibility to turn off the predefined regular expression # spotter: and replace it with # your query if that aligns better with your workflow. Customizing Spotter to your preferences ensures seamless integration into your playbook creation process.

Let’s take the example of writing a playbook on how to create a new EC2 instance. With Spotter, you only need to type the following sentence: # spotter: Create a new EC2 instance. Spotter’s suggestions will appear as soon as you start writing, allowing you to select the most suitable option by pressing TAB.

Effortless task addition

Spotter’s Assisted Playbook Writing doesn’t stop at simplifying the initial playbook creation. You can also effortlessly add tasks to existing playbooks. Let’s say you have a playbook requiring a self-signed OpenSSL certificate. Spotter can come to your aid by providing suggestions for writing this task.

You trigger Spotter’s suggestions box by writing the sentence that describes the task – name: Generate a self-signed OpenSSL certificate. With a simple press of the ENTER key, you can choose the most relevant suggestion that aligns with your requirements.

Streamlined workflow creation

Spotter’s Assisted Playbook Writing takes the automation process to a whole new level by enabling you to create comprehensive workflows effortlessly. Let’s explore how simple it is to create a playbook with multiple tasks using Spotter.

In this demonstration, we showcase writing a playbook that includes various tasks. We prompt Spotter to provide suggestions for playbook creation by writing sentences, starting with creating a ServiceNow incident, then continuing with creating an AWS EC2 instance, installing the Apache2 package, and closing a ServiceNow incident. By leveraging Spotter’s capabilities, you can quickly develop the skeleton of a playbook that extends beyond a single task, accelerating your automation initiatives.

Steampunk Spotter: your secret weapon for effortless playbook writing

Spotter’s Assisted Playbook Writing feature offers a game-changing solution for playbook creation. By simplifying the process, providing intelligent suggestions, and streamlining workflow development, Spotter empowers automation engineers to achieve their goals more efficiently.

To experience the benefits of Spotter’s Assisted Writing feature firsthand, we invite you to try Spotter out and explore its capabilities.