My forrays into automation

After a  Long time off the blog-o-sphere, this humble being is back with a bang!!!
    With tremendous amount of free time at his disposal and being an automation freak Mr.Manu Varkey took leave the blog-o-sphere and facebook-o-sphere and set out on a spiritual quest to automate every tiny bit of his official routine.
    It all began with this thought "I spend a lot of time on this task. I should write a program automating it!"
 (Source: . Thanks Randall, for this excellent strip. )

    Today Mr.Manu Varkey is glad to announce the first public release of his crazy automation effort!!! - the CMB Automiser Ver-2.0. The archaic excel macros where the program had its humble beginings are also released for a historical perspective! And Yes; being an ardent free software enthusiast all codes are released under the GNU GPL-3.0 license.

 CMB Automiser

CMB Automiser is a CPWD billing application using computerised measurement books. CMB Automiser has been developed in hope of being useful and as time saver for CPWD staff and contractors working in CPWD. Workflow is divided into three interfaces - Schedule View, Measurement View and Bill View. Schedule view implements an interface to input the agreement schedule/import the schedule from an ods file. Measurement View allows to input/manipulate details of CMBs and includes a number of convinience measurement item patterns. The Bill View module allows billing of these measurement items and implements part rates, excess rates for deviated items, custom previous bill support etc. 
    Both CMBs and Bills can be rendered to pdf from the respective modules. In addition Bill View also exports final bill variables into an ods file for further processing.



From Source: 

CMB Automiser source can be downloaded from and can be installed using python install. It has been tested with Python 2.7 and TeX Live 2014, and has the following extra dependencies.
Python Modules:
undo - included along with application.
ezodf - included along with application.
libxml - Not included
dill - Not included
Latex Modules:
xr-hyper, hyperref, longtable, tabu, lastpage, geometry, hyphenat,
xstring, forloop, fancyhdr

Binary Packages

Fedora 21 :  CMBAutomiser-2.0.0-1.noarch.rpm


 Excel Macros

CMB automiser (Excel) 

The grand ancestor of CMB Automiser. This app based on excel macro infrastructure is no longer maintained and should be considered abandoned for lack of portability and stability in favour of Gtk, Python and Latex powered CMB Automiser.

Excel Estimate Pro

First foray into excel based macro programming. Uses standard schedule of rates and analysis to generate estimates and justification statements. Being excel based, it is inherently not portable and less stable. A sequel to this app is planned as a full blown app or as a module of CMB Automiser if time permits.

Drawing Estimater

Uses export data from Autocad drawings coupled with specially designed block library and layers to create automated electrical estimation from AutoCad drawings. The program while fine for personal use is cumbersome for a third party to use. While the concept being exotic further development is hampered by proprietary nature of the CAD ecosystem.


CMB automiser (Excel):  cmb template - ver 1_4_8.xlsm
Excel Estimate Pro:  SCHEDULE VER 5.xlsm, DAR 13 2014 NOV REV1.xls
Drawing Estimator:  DRAWING


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