As you might have read here, we have added a new browser automation input method along to the existing ones (Hardware Events, Simulate and SendWindowMessage), named ChromiumAPI .
Based on Devtools protocol, this feature comes with many benefits when automating a Chromium-based browser.
Edge and Chrome. Although, for 21.6-preview we have released only Edge support. Chrome support will soon come.
The Modern UseApplication/Browser, Click, TypeInto and Hover activities.
Here are some insights you might want to consider when design browser automation with the ChromiumAPI input method:
Sending keys/mouse input via hardware events means sending them to the operating system’s mouse/keyboard input stream. From there, the events are forwarded to the target application, the browser in our case, which parses them and sends them further to the web pages.
Sending keys/mouse input via ChromiumAPI means sending them directly to the browser. Therefore, this input method eliminates a communication channel that can fail (as any other communication channel).
In conclusion, directly communicating with the browser via this new method means fewer communication channels, thus improved automation reliability.
Hardware events need the elements to be on the screen, focused, in the foreground. The Chromium API does not have this requirement. It works while the browser is minimized and another tab is focused (mind that the modern activities tend to activate the working tab).
The ChromiumAPI sends trusted events triggers, which are the exact chain of events triggered when a human does the same action. This means that, besides the automation that worked with Simulate, a lot more is available now through the ChromiumAPI.
It allows sending hotkeys directly to the browser.
The ‘Clear before typing’ is natural with this method, since does not empty the target element field by default.
The ‘Click with modifiers’ actions are more efficient and reliable.
You need the latest UiPath Edge extension and the 21.6-preview UIAutomation.Activities package.
Note: When the browser is started with the ChromiumAPI, a ribbon shows up stating that the browser started in debug mode(highlighted below in blue). This message does not show up if the extension is installed via policy.
Enjoy! And do not forget that feedback is always welcomed!
Looking to hear from you.