February brings the second preview release of this year, in preparation of our Fast Track Support (FTS) enterprise release.
Check the table of contents below to jump directly to sections dedicated to our products. It’s a long read, but we promise it is worth it.
- What’s new in Studio 20.2 Community Release
- What’s new in the StudioX 20.2 Profile
- Agent Desktop
- Activities Updates
- Orchestrator Updates
What's new in Studio 20.2 Community Release
In conversations with customers, Governance is the first question every enterprise asks about when we discuss about Studio and StudioX. And most have indicated a basic level of governance will be required for full adoption within their company. Read more about how to configure policies around feeds, settings and workflow analyzer rules here.
Source Control Settings
Choose which source control mechanism you want to use (Git, SVN, TFS) during or after install from the settings area. Not having to load all source control extensions brings a speed improvement in terms of Studio loading time. More on this here.
Show Execution Trail
A new debugging option in the Ribbon. When enabled, this option will show the exact execution path that the workflow took. More on this here.
Continue on Exception
As a result of this Debugging while ignorering exceptions v.2019.10.1 we are reintroducing Continue on Exception capability. This is only temporary until a full Exceptions Panel will be implemented. More on this here.
Git Authentication Method Dropdown
On the authentication / enter credentials screen for Git, users can now login either with user/password or with Git Token. Read more on this here.
Along with support for Swagger and Soap services, we’re introducing support for Postman Collections. This enables you to configure and run Postman Collections (chained API requests) directly from Studio. If you want to learn more on how to use Postman collections in our Libraries, please go here.
Prioritize Activities By Scope
Studio has added support for activities API that enables a better prioritization of activities when added via the Plus Sign. Activity packages need to implement support separately and when they do so, Studio will prioritize activities based on the current scope. More on this here.
Minor Improvements and Bug Fixes
- A whooping 699 bugfixes will enter this 20.2 release as part of our Speed as a feature initiative which aims at improving overall system health and performance. These are mainly carryover fixes merged from our latest 19.10 LTS release that did not catch the 19.12 Community release plus other fixes that came in the last 2 months.
- Added contextual menu Copy Paste Cut actions on all inner panel search areas.
- Project Panel copy-paste files: you can now copy and paste files from Windows Explorer into the project panel. Copy and paste also works with files from within the project panel.
- Shortcuts for creating Variables and Arguments (CTRL+K, CTRL+M, CTRL+SHiFT+M) now default to String type as opposed to Generic Value. This has been observed during usability tests, where users almost always go an change type back to String.
- Auto-create variable name from selected text in the expression: When an expression field is not empty users can use shortcuts to create variables or arguments, using the selected text. The text selection will be used as the variable or argument name.
- Switched TFS Open and Browse UI Screens to focus more on the browser which is easier to browse for processes and code.
- Plus sign support was added for CV Scope. Now you can add activities in place within a CV scope as well.
- Agent Desktop was added in the Send Feedback screen to enable sending feedback around Agent Desktop.
- Custom activities API was improved, now developers have access to language type information: VB or C#. This is in preparation for launching C# support.
What's new in the StudioX 20.2 Profile
As StudioX is approaching GA, we are focusing more and more on features that allow Enterprise level roll-outs.
Every enterprise that deploys StudioX should have a level of control over what and how is being automated.
For that matter, we brought a few Workflow Analyzer rules that should ensure the same level of quality in all workflows developed by you Citizen Developers. These rules check:
- That the workflow has only Unique Activity names (easy to troubleshoot)
- That we are not Using undefined references (like using Excel files that don’t exist yet)
- That there are no Unused Saved values (variables)
- That we have no Empty container activities (eg: Use Excel file activity without any action in it)
- And that there are No activities without output set even though they that require it (eg: Get text)
In order to control what the automations do and prevent misuse, you can now track certain information in an Audit trail. This includes:
- The application path or the URL of the webpage used in the automation
- The Excel file used
- The Word file used
- The Outlook account used
- Sent Mail, Reply to Mail Forward email will also log the To and Cc fields.
An example of how this looks in the Logs can be seen in this screenshot.
Getting started experience
Since StudioX is mainly dedicated to task automation, in order to help you get started, you now have access to a few task templates and also to a few common scenarios to help speed up your discovery process.
We added 4 new templates that you can start a project from. These are fully functional workflows annotated with description of all the actions used. They are easy to reconfigure to serve your specific purposes.
On top of the Templates, you now have a lot more Common scenarios to help you further build your automations. These are context aware, so you will find the most relevant scenarios first in the search. So if you are working inside an Use Outlook Account activity, you will see first the Common scenarios related to email processing.
Debugging your workflows
We know the experience with StudioX should be simple and straightforward, but every once in a while, your workflows will misbehave. In order to help you troubleshoot the faulty activity, you can now right click on any activity that is a suspect and click Run to this Activity. The workflow will run all Activities from the start and pause right before the chosen one. You can then check states in you files, applications and make sure everything is ok before pressing Continue.
You can now use all the Word Activities in StudioX. They are also available by default in any New project.
We’ve also enhanced the Excel package with:
- Save Excel file - as the name says, it will save your current workbook, so you don’t miss any changes done by the automation. This is in case you did any changes via the Excel interface, instead of using an Excel activity, which already saves the changes automatically.
- Save Workbook as PDF - A common request is the ability to save a workbook as a PDF file and send it by email, in order to prevent editing the values
- You can now decide what you can do with the Empty rows in a given range (skip all blanks, process, stop on first empty row (Default option))
In the Mail package we added the possibility to Save as Draft any email before sending it, just in case you want to double check for typos. Note: this option is already available in Studio.
New features (no particular order)
- To improve compatibility when opening projects built with StudioX in Studio, and keep consistent concepts, we’ve changed the scope of the named reference to an Outlook Account or Excel File to only be available inside the activity.
- You can now open the Used Excel files directly from the Data manager (right click -> Open)
- You can pass arguments to the target application of a Use Application/Browser activity from the properties panel. This enables you to do things such as opening a specific file.
This release comes with a lot of stability and speed improvements, along with a few cosmetic changes too, in order to allow users to discover the features more easily.
- Excel Workspace was renamed to Project Notebook to help clarify its purpose
- Card was a term not very familiar to users, so we changed the naming to define exactly what they do
Agent Desktop, the new central point for Attended Automation, was promoted from Community to Enterprise level. Thanks a lot for the ideas and love for it. Now, with your help, you can use it inside your company as well as for your own personal use. Together with this promotion, we improved the overall feeling of the product and delivered a number of bug fixes. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
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With Studio 20.2, you can now leverage our Robot.js SDK to trigger your local robot directly from existing applications (including browsers), allowing users to start processes from the context that they’re already working in, with all of the necessary contextual information to complete an automated task. And bonus, you can also pass input arguments to your processes.
Check out our Robot.js Preview Announcement Post to get started & tell us what you think!
Make sure you check Include prerelease option in Manage Packages to get access to all activities packs
UI Automation Activities
Selector case sensitiveness support
The wait is over: case sensitiveness support is out the door! Now, you can build selectors that are case-insensitive. Starting with this release, it can be easily achieved by adding a new attribute. More about this feature, here.
Working with disabled UI elements
There are cases when working with disabled elements brings automation design speed and comfort. Like inserting a date into a read only date field attached to a Calendar widget. Working with disabled UI elements is now more transparent for the user and the feature can be switched on/off at the project/activity level. Details here.
SAP automation is event better!
You can now click/double click and get text from SAP Trees separate elements in columns
UIA Worflow Analyzer Rules note: if you are upgrading from 19.12 preview release and want to use workflow analyzer rules coming from the UIAutomation package, make sure you clean up the folder located in your %localappdata%\UiPath\Rules.
Performing automations in tables from applications hosted inside a remote connection was complex and unreliable but it’s all made easier with the new Cell Support. You can now detect tables and cells. You can also interact with individual cells by specifying anchors contained inside the table.
A new option Validate Children has been added to the CV Screen Scope. The function will analyse CV activities inside the scope and let the user know if the elements that the activity tries to interact with are not present on their respective screen.
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UIAutomationNext [*codename*]*(v2.0.1-preview)* The all new and shiny **UiPath.UIAutomationNext.Activities** package is here! Enjoy awesome new features like the brand-new **auto-anchor selection screen** with multiple anchors support or new activities for checking the state of a UI element **CheckState** or record a hotkey on the spot **KeyboardShortcuts**.
Persistence Activities*(v1.1.0)* We’re excited to announce the improvements on our persistence activities package that enables our customers to build long running workflows by orchestrating multiple RPA workflows and Human tasks which is Generally Available since Nov’19
We now support the external task to enable integration scenarios where third party systems can sync tasks created by UiPath Robots. We have added two new activities that can add external tasks and wait for external task completion to resume a UiPath workflow.
We enable our users to assign one or more tasks in the current workflow to a user in Orchestrator by using an email address or a username registered in Orchestrator using Assign Task activity.
This initial set of activities that were release as part of our General Availability in Oct’19 which was our first stable official version comprised of seven activities.
- Start Job to Get Reference
- Wait for Job and Resume
- Add Queue Item and Get Reference
- Wait for Queue Item and Resume
- Create Form Task
- Wait for Form Task and Resume
- Resume After Delay
How to use
Watch the webinar to get an idea of how to build a Long Running Workflow using the persistence activities coupled with Orchestration Process and Tasks covering the Developer Experience (Studio) and Business Experience (through Orchestrator Web portal)
Once the activity package is installed, it should be visible in the UiPath Studio as shown below:
Reach us and provide your valuable feedback creating a new topic in the User Voice category by clicking here.
IT Automation Activities
We are excited to announce new enhancements to IT Automation activities packs.
Active Directory Domain Services activities
UiPath.ActiveDirectoryDomainServices.Activities version 1.1.0 brings a new activity Rename Object that allows to rename an Active Directory object (i.e. its common name).
We also fixed an issue that was causing the User Exists activity to always output ‘False’ when both
Location parameters were set. Now the activity works as expected.
Azure Active Directory (AD) activities
UiPath.AzureActiveDirectory.Activities version 1.1.0 comes with three new activities:
Get Group by Name - Gets detailed information about the first group having the specified displayed name.
Assign License - Assigns a license for a user.
Remove License - Removes a license for a user.
Many new exciting things are brought to you by UiPath.VMware.Activities version 1.1.0. We added activities for managing Folders and Tags, activities for VMware Tools and we enhanced Get VM List & Get Template List activities with the possibility to filter by tag and tag category.
The new activities are:
Assign Tag to VM - Assigns a tag to a virtual machine or template.
Remove Tag from VM - Removes a tag from a virtual machine or template.
Assign Tag to Folder - Assigns a tag to a folder.
Remove Tag from Folder - Removes a tag from a folder.
Create Folder - Creates a new VM and Template folder.
Get Folder - Retrieves the details of a folder.
Rename Folder - Renames a folder.
Move Folder - Moves a folder to a new location.
Delete Folder - Deletes a folder and all its subfolders.
Mount Tools Installer - Mounts VMware Tools Installer for a virtual machine. The virtual machine must be powered on.
Unmount Tools Installer - Unmounts VMware Tools Installer for a virtual machine. The virtual machine must be powered on.
Upgrade Tools - Upgrade the VMware Tools for a virtual machine. The virtual machine must be powered on.
The IntelligentOCR Activities
This month brings a new set of features to the Document Validation Station:
The option to Discard Changes - in case users decide to start over with processing a specific document
The option to submit a reason for exception to why a document is being reported as an exception. This will allow you to build more specific exception flows when processing documents.
You can find more information on the Document Validation Station, including these two new features, here.
The star of the month, though, is the Position Based Extractor again, that this month learned how to process form tables! Go check it out and let us know your thoughts!
Folders are Out of Preview
Folders are Out of Preview
Woohoo! With the latest tweaks, the Folders feature is now 100% ready for show time. Enable it in the Settings page and discover the new functionalities.
Dedicated Roles for Major User Types
To make transition to Modern Folders easier, the Settings page allows you now to quickly create dedicated roles for major user personas that might use Orchestrator: Automation users, Tenant Admins or Folders Admins. You can edit, delete and re-create these roles as you need.
Based on your feedback, the Tasks functionality has been augmented to incorporate a couple of new usability improvements. All of this without the hassle of going back to the grid view every single time. Explicitly:
- We added the ability to navigate from one task to another while in form view.
- You can now assign/reassign the task from within the form itself.
- After validating a task form, you have the option to automatically move on to the next one while in form view.
(v1.0.0 - Preview)
The new Microsoft Dynamics 365 activities go beyond UI based automation by using direct data access to your entities. In addition to being able to create, update and retrieve entity data you can upload and download attachments, and remotely execute Actions and Functions. This package includes the following activities:
Microsoft Dynamics Application Scope - manage a secure connection to Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics Object - easy to use wizards to configure and test activities for operations on Microsoft Dynamics Objects from within UiPath Studio.
· Insert Record
· Update Record
· Delete Record
· Get Record
· Search Records
· Upload Activity Attachment
· Download Activity Attachment
· Upload Note Attachment
· Download Note Attachment
Actions and Functions
· Execute Action
· Execute Function
· Get Chat Member
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