Action Center preview updates: Trigger un-attended processes through forms

Action Center preview updates: Trigger un-attended processes through forms

A few weeks ago, we launched a public preview of revamped Action Center for Business Users.
Today we are happy to share some new exciting updates to the Action Center preview!

Action Center offering now enables business users to submit business data and trigger un-attended Robots through form-based input. A brand-new option “Processes” was added for users who would like to trigger un-attended automations from a web interface and track processes triggered by them. This makes it super easy for various business user persona(s) to interface with UiPath Robots, all from a web interface.

How to enable new Action Center Services

This service must be enabled at the individual tenant level in your UiPath Automation Cloud account.

  • Launch your Automation Cloud (cloud.uipath.com/<your account>/portal_/home)
  • Navigate to Admin > Tenants > Edit Services from the three dots menu
  • Select the check box Actions and Processes and proceed to save
    (no additional licenses to be added)
  • Wait until the status changes gets reflected and the status turns to green
  • While inviting users to an account, add them to ‘Automation User’ group. Existing users could be edited to be part of ‘Automation User’ group (cloud account > admin > users)

Who is the target persona?

Business users who need to submit some business input/data to trigger un-attended Robot from web interface and track its completion for the processes triggered by them. Action Center provides an out-of-the-box way of on-boarding business users to UiPath to have Human-in-the-beginning (through Processes) and Human-in-the-loop (through Actions)

What are these processes and how do they get listed for a user?

There are two primary ways in which un-attended Robots can be triggered today:

  • Submitting some data to a “Queue” created in Orchestrator as a queue item and a process scheduled periodically to read from it or added as a trigger to automatically start when queue items arrive
  • Start job with or without providing input parameters against the process created in Orchestrator

Business users will be presented with a cross folder view of all processes that they can trigger. Processes feature for business users is meant to expose both ‘Queues’ and ‘Processes’ as per their access control defined in a corresponding Orchestrator, so that they can submit some data and trigger a robot execution, track its progress and eventually view the results written by the Robot wherever applicable.

How does this work?

With this update, we are re-using existing concepts of process triggering through “Queues” and “Start Job” to a business user friendly interface powered by out-of-the-box generated form based input.

How to bring up forms through Queues

  • Create Queue in Orchestrator, attach a Queue Schema to the ‘Specific Data’
  • Create a process that reads queue item from this queue and processes this data into downstream systems as per the business scenario
  • Ideal to add this process as a queue trigger to the above queue, so that a job gets scheduled as and when a queue item is submitted.
  • Manage access control to users through Folder permissions ( Queue [View], Transactions [View, Create])
  • Now, this queue should be listed for the end user with options to ‘run’ and ‘view details’ from the “Processes”

How to bring up forms through Jobs

  • Create a workflow with input arguments for the main xaml and publish to Orchestrator
  • Create a process in the right folder from the above package, provide default values if any
  • Manage access control to users through Folder permissions ( Processes [View], Jobs [View, Create])
  • Now, this process should be listed for the end user with options to ‘run’ and ‘view details’ from the “Processes”

Business user experience

  1. User logs on to cloud portal, navigate to “Processes”

  2. Click on “Run process” icon and will be presented with a form.

  3. Users fills all mandatory fields and submits, click on refresh to view latest status of this transaction.

  4. Up on completion, user can navigate in to details page to view / copy output

Demo Video

Sample Workflows

  1. Form based input through Queues
    Download the workflow here: Relocation Expenses.zip (27.6 KB)

    • Create a queue ’ Relocation Expenses’ & upload RelocationInvoice_QueueSchema.JSON in the workflow zip to the Specific Data
    • Create a process trigger for every new queue item
  2. Form based trigger through Jobs
    Download the workflow here: DispatchSalesQuote.zip (26.2 KB)

Lined up next in the preview

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:handshake: We look forward for your continuous feedback and suggestions to improve our offering

8 Likes

This is really great! One of my main goals (to increase traceability and reduce user input errors) is to have all my processes submissions through a custom web portal using Orchestrator APIs. Of course some processes do not demand manual submission but, for the ones this is a reality, structured submissions save a lot of support time (despite of all known problems to handle and manage Excel files).

From the tests I’ve made, this is only available through automation cloud. As my orchestrator is on-premises (due to cibersecurity policy) I couldn’t find it there :frowning:. It would be really nice to have it also inside Orchestrator.

It would be great if it was possible to gather automatically the logged in user and pass it as an argument inside the queue item.

Another idea is to allow the creation of submissions using something like the Form Creator from Studio. Cascade Dropdowns and some other fancy stuff.

Really good job. Keep doing awesome updates :slight_smile: !!

2 Likes

Hi @rdgagp , thanks for your feedback. I have made a note of the current user requirement, what we do implicitly is to pass the current userID as referenceID in queue item and the job, is that useful to you?. We plan to add upload file(s) option to this generated form based on keyword. Simple dropdown is in our backlog as well. We understand custom form requirements, at this point we are exploring options what’s the best design time approach for mapping studio based forms to un-attended processes.

Currently, this is cloud preview. We plan to make this available on-premise by end of this year tentatively.

2 Likes

Hi @Liji ,

Good to hear all that. Now I get where does the Reference number come from :slight_smile:.

Honestly, for me would be a good feature, since activities dependent on the user account could be executed during the process and, in that way, it would prevent people submitting information about it (reads: people filling the information in a ‘User’ field as someone else). I understand that having the user data in the Transaction Item could bring privacy issues but having the option to do or don’t do it would be great.

Looking forward to have this feature in the On-Prem Orchestrator.

Thank you.

1 Like

hi,

In my process i am using action center as a validation station for document. But i do not want to wait till i get the response. How do i fetch the responses after my process is completed? which acticity can help me know that user has responded for the assigned task?

Also in the action center I am not able to update field values. how can this be achieved?

Hi, If you use ‘wait and resume’ in the same workflow , the platform takes care of auto-resuming the job based on user input real-time based on Robot availability.
However, if you would like to query user input in another workflow , you could explore APIs (swagger /Tasks , /TaskForms) to get status of Tasks and to get action/ TaskData etc for a completed Task, but this is going to be more of a poll mechanism Vs event driven if you would have workflow suspend waiting for this Action completion. Any specific challenge in suspending the workflow in your scenario ?
cc @Amol_Awate

@Pooja_Parekh, since you are using action center to create validation station task, this activity internally uses GenericTasks APIs. Hence to fetch the task data for such a task, you can use /tasks/GenericTasks/GetTaskDataById. In the response you can find status. If status is pending, that means the action/task is assigned to a user but not complete. If the action is completed, the status would be Completed. In the same response you can also find the data.

If you are not able to edit the task in action center, most likely the task is not assigned to you. If the task is still unassigned, please assign it to yourself, so that you can edit it. If it is assigned to some other user, then you need to be a Task Admin to be able to reassign the task to yourself, before you can act on it.