Headless browser support

Hi,
I’m just wondering if you ever concidered supporting one of the headless browser liek phantomjs? Maybe I haven’t noticed it but as far as I’ve seen there is no such thing there (yet?). This could be really useful if it would be possible to record on chrome or ie and use selectors magic to run it via headless browser. Or am I missing something?

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Hi @STEMPPA1
Check this link, you may get some idea. Me too not sure about the PhantonBrowser or Ghost driver kind of options in UiPath.

Regards,
Ranjith.

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@STEMPPA1 I see there is no response on the question regarding headless browser; were you able to make any progress. Can you pls share your experience.

Nothing more than what @ranjith pointed out.

You might not use the the Invisible mode or headless Browser in the way you are thinking, I don’t think after recording from UiPath using Web-Recording you can run in a headless way but it it possible to automate web automation using Headless Chrome and the Puppeteer framework requires proper scripting to automate the same.


I’m not sure whether I was right for what you have asked.

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Any news on this topic? Is this on UiPaths roadmap? Every automation framework nowadays allows for headless browser automation. Considering how remarkably powerful this tool is, it’s more and more a glaring omission imho.

Cheers
Strat

Want to skip the discussion? Scroll down to the -> :jack_o_lantern::jack_o_lantern: marker, for my pseudo-hidden browser workaround solution.

Hi, I was trying to get a hidden browser-type behavior from a "Hide Window Activity".

Spoiler alert: I did not.

But I have found something, that might be a little useful.

Problem Definition % Solution Requirements

I tried to nail down original purpose for the Hide Window Activity. It is touted as having the ability to make your browser “invisible”, But after I turned my browser’s invisible, I could not scrape any data, and could not find any UI elements. This made me reconsider the concept of window invisibility. At this point, the evidence supported a more HTML Show/Hide tags intention… (uipath does live in a UI element world). I’m not an expert, but from the Client Side, attempting to “find” a DIV set to display: None (i.e. Hide) would be less than ideal. But maybe there is a way to interact with an invisible selector or element. I have not as of yet. The uipath documentation for Hide ‘Window Activity’ offers this nugget: Hide Window hides the window.

These are my business requirements:

  1. Obscuring data scraping activities from random workplace gawkers (I work in an "open seating" office space, with long communal tables.

  2. I’d like to share automation solutions for my colleges. But I feel that my solutions need to be better suited to a multi-view multi monitor workstation but maybe I’m overthinking it? I’ll post anything interesting as I explore this concept.

Experimental Results & Work Around

:jack_o_lantern::jack_o_lantern::jack_o_lantern::jack_o_lantern::jack_o_lantern:

"Hide Window Activity" scope?

  • I was not able to scrape any data from an invisible browser, specificity tested on "Get Text”, “GET Full Text", GET Structured data". Errors ranged from FindElementException to HRESULT E_FAIL

What can be done on a browser in a Hide state?

  • I successfully completed the following on an invisible Hide Window. I triggered a Message Box message displaying a local string variable. I was able to "Close Tab" (i.e. browser), and a "Close Window" during a "Hide" state. In a flow chart I was able in invoke two workflows and pass arguments between the two and have them write their passed variables to a text file.

How I used these observations to enable a pseudo-hidden browser?

  • I noticed that the "Hide Window" and its pair partner "Show Window" were fast.
  • So if my goal is to minimize (not eradicate) visibility of the running process
  • Then by book-ending the screen scrapping activity, I could compete any normal screen scrapping workflow while the browser was mostly hidden.
  • It looks like tiny flashes on the computer monitor.
  • The real trick is breaking the scraping actives into small chunks that can support the illusion of a hidden browser.

That’s my pseudo-hidden browser. My use case is very limited, and a bit trivial. But it gives me what I think I need. Any thoughts about a more specific jargon to describe the Problem definition, or a more accurate conception of how uipath should be applied to similar use cases would be greatly appreciated. (I’m very new at this)

Thanks so much.
pseudoHidden-with blank URLs.zip (6.8 KB)

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2019.10 will include that, see here (UIAutomation 2019 Preview part)

More docs will follow :slight_smile:

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@STEMPPA1, I think this problem we can solve with selenium. We know in selenium we can automate the browser in headless mode why not we create a custom activity in .net that have headless capability and then we can use custom activity in our uipath project… we can discuss on this if you interested…

Hi @naveen_kumar

We have already introduced headless browser support, see here :slight_smile:

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Try to give this a read.

Though it uses third party packages but if it solves your purpose then why not.

Hey, is there any use case available for the same? Some sort of practice material.