Toad World® Forums

[Automation] New Activities Not Placed Where I Put Them


One of the big selling points regarding TDP is Automation, and specifically how easy it is to build an automation after minimal training, especially because of the unique 'Drag ‘n Drop’ aspect of the automation canvas.

But. TDP, at least all the versions I’ve used (back to TDA 2.5 or so) has always had this weird issue where dragging and dropping new activities onto the automation canvas (stage, whatever) doesn’t always place the activities where you dragged them to. It’s been driving me nuts for years, but I’ve only recently obtained some screenshotting software that make it easy for me to capture what I’m talking about.

In the first screenshot, I’ve got an example of a basic automation template that we use - no issues here:

TDP 3.8 Automation S1.png

While this works, it doesn’t actually do anything useful, so we need more - and here is where our problems (and my frustration) begins. If I drag any activity - doesn’t matter what it is - and attempt to place it after the “Set Variable” activity as represented by the label “Date_Mth_Yr”, like so:

TDP 3.8 Automation S2.png

It’s a little hard to see, but I’m placing the “Grouping Activity” activity on the green ‘node’ that follows the “Set Variable” activity - at least I’m attempting to. When I release the mouse button to ‘drop’ the activity on the canvas:

TDP 3.8 Automation S3.png

Huston, we have a problem. Toad, for whatever reason, automatically forces the new activity to come before the existing activity, even though I was clearly dragging it onto the canvas after****the existing activity.

No amount of attempting to drag the new activity to below the “Set Variable” activity works - the only way to fix the ordering is to drag the “Set Variable” activity to above the new activity - which, quite frankly, is backwards. Really backwards. Really, really backwards.

I’d dearly love to know if there’s some kind of stupid setting that I turned on that causes this, though I doubt that’s the case. If it’s not a setting, could this please be fixed? Pretty please?!

I can second this motion. I’ve been building automations for a few years and have always had this problem. Really annoying.

What is really weird about this is that is does not always do that but when it does start doing it, keeps on doing it on that automation session. I have gotten used to it as it is easy enough to fix (once you get used to the very non-intuitive way of fixing it). I would not mind seeing that go away. Do you have specific steps that can always cause this to happen? If so share them with the Toad people, intermittent problems are the hardest to solve.


The steps I shared in the screenshot result in the issue occurring 100% of the time for me.

Oddly enough, it does not occur inside containers like the “Group Activities” - only on the main ‘canvas’.

I am on Data Point 3.7.0 and I can’t get this to happen (tried a few times). I did what you did but it puts it right where I dragged it to.

Try clicking on the line coming out the the set_Variable step and then dragging group_activities step there. I remember that helping when I did have this problem.

I hate to say I agree with all of you. I personally have spent many many hours trying to fix that issue as well as asking other developers to try to fix this. Unfortunately the design surface is from Microsoft Windows Workflow. We use their designer and customize the activities and the work they do for TDP. This design surface is very encapsulated and I can’t get to the code that is having the issue. Microsoft did a redesign a year back or so but they did a rewrite and the changes are not backwardly compatible. Plus they won’t fix any bugs in the version. So the bottom line, is I would have to write my own design surface to fix this. That’s not a bad idea but other new features keep getting in my way.

So…I suggest you avoid the user of drag and drop. If you just use a single click it will work much better. The new activity will drop where ever you last had focus.

Hi Debbie,

It would figure that Microsoft would be at fault somewhere in here… /sigh.

But seriously, thanks for the explanation - I’ll work that into my training, as it has been one of the hangups in passing some of the automation work - maintenance if nothing else - off to someone else.