Cross-platform automation - build, run, manage

Introduction

For those of you following our announcements at Forward IV event, you probably are aware of our ventures into a cross-platform world, where you can build and run your automation on both Windows and Linux. The features below are part of our initial steps into a world that is culturally and technologically open.

Designing Cross-platform automation

As always, new projects start in Studio, with the development of a new automation. Starting with this release, we have some new options available that will allow you to build and deploy on multiple platforms.

The cross-platform new project type

To build cross-platform automation, Studio 21.10 offers a new compatibility level for .NET based workflows that come with the ability to execute automation on various operating systems:

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Cross-platform supported packages/activities

The cross-platform support grows organically with every upcoming release. As of now, the following packages are supported:

  • UiPath.System.Activities
  • UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities (Modern design)
  • UiPath.ITAutomation.Activities
  • UiPath.Orchestrator.Activities
  • UiPath.WebAPI.Activities
  • UiPath.Testing.Activities

Update the project dependencies

Update the package dependencies to the latest available versions via the Studio->Manage Packages utility. For convenience, only the cross-platform compliant activities packages are listed. E.g.:

You can now proceed with building the automation using the available activities. While for the time being, we have a limited number of Linux compatible activities, we will continue to add them as they become available.

Executing Cross-platform automation

Once the development is completed, we can continue to the second step.

Cross-platform automation can be executed on both Windows and Linux robots. For ease of deployment and scaling, we offer two Linux Docker containers::

  • A container that provides a standard Robot running on Linux. This can be used to run cross-platform with any supported activity except the UI automation ones. More details on @erghe 's forum post.
  • A container built for running UI automation, which, besides the Robot, offers the entire underlying required infrastructure: a Chromium browser, with a preconfigured UiPath extension, and few more utility packages useful to watch the robot execution. More details on Chrome automation in Linux container post.

Whatever platform you choose to build for, UiPath continues to innovate and provide you with the best tools for bringing your automation ideas to life.

8 Likes

Amazing!

UiPath was well prepared for the framework change happening across major platforms. :v:

4 Likes

@gheorghestan

Hello Gheorghe,
excellent :+1:

I saw your impressive presentation yesterday on Demo Day 2021.10, great.

A few tiny questions: I don’t know so much about Linux, but shouldn’t it also be possible to execute automation workflows in a Linux VM? Will you offer for this an own robot installation package for Linux in the future? I think that automation in the area of setting up SAP systems can be very interesting here. This could save administrators a lot of time.

Best regards
Stefan

6 Likes

@StefanSchnell

Hello Stefan,
Thank you for your feedback. Excuse me for my late reply.

In the near future, we plan to offer Robot installation packages for the most popular Linux distributions e.g. Debian, RedHat such that one will be able to install it and run automation on a Linux machine, physical, or VM.

Today, we chose to offer preconfigured Docker containers that include everything needed to run automation, to ease the life of the IT teams and make the whole infrastructure management process smoother. Moreover, the containerized software always runs the same, regardless of the infrastructure while isolating the Robots from their environment, ensuring that it works uniformly despite differences for instance between development and staging.

Best regards,
Gheorghe

2 Likes

@gheorghestan

Hello Gheorghe,

great to hear that you offer Robot installation packages in a near future.
It is hardly to wait to experiment with it. :wink:

Thanks and best regards
Stefan