Today I’m happy to announce the availability of UiPath 2018.4. This latest release is our Long Term Support version and offers multiple features to help you in terms of security, agility, scalability, and improved developer experiences.
Long Term Support (LTS)
Param Kahlon,Chief Product Officer UiPath
2018.4 is the first LTS release since 2016.2 and includes features and components that have been stabilized over our last 4 feature releases. You can learn more about our product support lifecycle here. For those of you that have standardized on using LTS releases in addition to the specific 2018.4 new features covered in this blog, you also get access to the previous 2 years of innovation. It’s a great time to upgrade and accelerate your time to RPA value.
In today’s cyber landscape we know security is critical for you. This release extends our existing enterprise-grade security capabilities.
Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) support
We have added support for SAML 2.0 which allows Orchestrator to handle both single sign-on and multi-factor authentication. You can now access your Orchestrator instance with the same set of credentials used within your organization, thus improving your security posture.
Smart Card Robot Authentication
Many of you use Smart Cards to provide strong identity protection for your users. Now Unattended Robots can also authenticate via Smart Cards to start sessions on machines, including support for the Common Access Cards used by the US Department of Defense and Personal Identity Verification scenarios.
Accelerate your time to RPA value with the UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform—88% of UiPath deployments finish in 6 months or less. The 2018.4 Release builds on this important strength with additional automation agility.
Reliable, standardized, secure automation of SAP business processes
Many of you are automating business processes that include SAP systems. We have added an API-based automation component to include in your workflows that integrates with SAP BAPI (Business API). This automation component is more reliable, secure and flexible for the automation of any complex SAP-based business process. It is easy to implement as it requires no coding.
Support for Google Suite
To be enterprise-ready and built with the user in mind, an RPA platform must deliver tight integration with your productivity suite. For those of you using G Suite, we have built a set of activities for Gmail, Drive, and Sheets—Calendar and Docs soon to follow! There are 16 initial activities, ready to be dragged and dropped into your automation workflow: They include file access, sending and receiving emails, and read/write operations for cells, columns, rows, ranges, & files in Sheets. This automation component is available via UiPath Go!, the world’s first marketplace integrated with an RPA platform.
Native Citrix XenApp Support
You often have virtualized environments to simplify management and compliance. We have enhanced our Citrix support beginning with XenApp so that automations are now performed natively without the need for OCR. This means many existing UI Automation activities are supported and Citrix automation is faster and more reliable.
Document understanding improvements
Documents are at the heart of many of your automations and this release brings significant improvement in this area:
* Digitize Documents. We have extended the OCR activity to digitize documents. This lets you create an activity that takes an input document (PDF or image formats) and returns the text version + the document object model for that document. Text is read contextually and organized into logical sections and it can also identify tables and checkboxes.
* Validation Station. If OCR recognition is unable to correctly extract required data from a document, a human can assist the process. For such cases, we have delivered an improved experience that allows for simple validation of fields and any required correction of data in a simple and user-friendly manner.
Flexible attended automation
We have made several improvements to attended robot scenarios. Specific automations can be configured to AutoStart as soon as an end user logs in to the system. This lets the user focus on the task at hand and not on robot management. Users can also pause and resume an active automation to make collaboration with Attended Robots easier. Finally, we are providing visibility into the tasks a robot is working on, enabling the display of custom status messages at any point in the execution of a workflow.
We know you need to deploy RPA at enterprise scale. You manage large numbers of processes from front to back-office. You have large and growing digital workforces you need to keep running smoothly. With 2018.4, we raise the scalability bar further.
You can now subscribe to Orchestrator events and send them to any external Dynamic Case Management (DCM), Business Process Management (BPM), or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Multiple users can be informed, for example, that there is a new queued item, a schedule has failed, or a process has been updated. This allows Orchestrator to seamlessly integrate into your existing management systems and process simplifying your IT environment.
Previously if you wanted to disable one of your Robots to reassign a license, you needed to contact your IT support team and wait for them to reconfigure the machine. As of 2018.4, this is no longer required as you can now easily enable and disable non-production and unattended machines directly within Orchestrator.
Developers using non-dedicated PCs and non-persistent virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments are now easily supported. You can create and configure Floating Development Robots and connect to them from any defined machine. This combined with Studio licensing from Orchestrator delivers a full floating Studio experience.
Developer experience improvements
The UiPath developer community numbers more than 200,000 and improving developer productivity is always a focus for us in every release. This time we are adding the following new capabilities.
New Theme support
Users can now select between the existing light and a new dark theme in Studio and Orchestrator. The dark theme is an eye-soothing gray and blue, optimized for low light use making the whole UI easier on the eyes. This was one of the most frequently requested features from our community. Keep that feedback coming.
Global Exception Handler
The new Global Exception Handler project template is aimed at executing a process every time the workflow encounters an error. When the error occurs during execution, the Global Exception Handler steps in and performs a user-defined action. It may either continue the execution and re-throw the exception, ignore the error, retry to execute the activity or abort the execution. The Global Exception Handler comes in handy during debugging, as the activity which threw the error is highlighted making it easier to correct it.
We now enable you to build a project, save, and share with your team to use as a template, speeding up the development process. Any automation you create, along with all its dependencies, libraries, invoked workflows, custom components, and so on, can be saved as a template.
RPA is delivering terrific results and rapid business value, but we are at the beginning of our journey together as we continue to improve. Today’s release marks an important milestone with new capabilities that accelerate everything. We encourage you to download UiPath version 2018.4 today and experience all these new capabilities for yourself. We will keep listening to your suggestions and working hard to advance our roadmap; please continue to let us know how we can improve.
If you are interested in the more technical aspects of what’s new in 2018.4, additional information about all the new features can be found in the release notes.
We would also like to invite you to an exclusive webinar that will guide your steps into the next year with all the practical wisdom you need to reach your automation goals.
On January 24th, 2019, at 11:00 AM ET, Jairo Quiros (Equifax) and Cortney Dominguez (World Fuel Services) will share the best practices of their world-class RPA teams.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.uipath.com/blog/product-and-updates/2018-4-release-long-term-support-and-accelerated-time-to-rpa-value