Self-contained UiExplorer with no installation for process evaluation purposes

pb
#1

Hi all,

As we all know it’s sometimes hard to convince customers to make a commitment (f.e. involve IT) without knowing first that they will for sure get the benefit.
On the other hand, it might be difficult to properly assess workload for a project without knowing how the interaction will look like from robot perspective.
Obviously, best case scenario is to check with full Studio and do a PoC, but that’s not always feasible.

With above in mind - would it be possible to extract UiExplorer as a no-installation .exe for these kind of situations?
We could then just have it on a USB/Google Drive/Sharepoint/wherever and check how the robot will see the application straight up during assessment workshop (or equivalent).

This could save a lot of headache in situations where the process is clear and on the surface looks like a simple automation project, but becomes a pain as the application is just one big blob (or has UI structure straight from hell) and you need to build layers of workarounds to do basic stuff.

If redistribution is a concern I think most of serious companies would be fine with having a “watermarked” version, non-redistribute clauses etc. as long as it would allow as a peek of how the actual development will go without needing customer to commit resources beforehand (which in some cases can take a lot of time due to procedures for 3rd party installations etc.).

Thoughts?

6 Likes
Ui Explorer as standalone
Use UiExplorer for feasibility analysis, without install Studio?
Ui Explorer as standalone
#2

Bumping this as we also need this.

Installing UiExplorer is often needed to asses how long time a project will take, and sometimes to just see if the project is even possible to do

Having UiExplorer as described above, or even have it as a normal (standalone) installer without licence requirements would save a lot of time and headaches.

Besides what @andrzej.kniola wrote above, we also need it to see if workflows work on WIN 10 AND 7 at the same time.
We have both in production, but only WIN 10 dev machines :frowning:

2 Likes
#3

Very useful, this will help a lot.

I was having discussion today morning that it will be useful to have a enhanced version of recorder outside Studio as well. This enhanced version of recorder should be able to
a) Create a video of whole process
b) Capture selectors if available
c) Capture images if selectors are not available
d) Create a recording (i.e. UiPath code) of whole process

#4

Hi,

So I’m currently working on a process for an attended user, and I’m having some issues regarding stability on that specific group of PCs that the user is using as they are of older date and IE tends to semi crash, as in not closing but won’t take input and is giving an error box.

Now if I had UiPath Explorer as a portable version where I would be able to see selectors of the error boxes popping up on the users PC, I would be able to go back to my dev pc and update the code to handle that box.

Currently I’m stuck as I have no way of getting the selector unless I start installing full studio on the older PC, add the PC in orchestrator just for me to run the dev license so I can open UI Explorer to get a selector, seems a bit overkill just for a tool that can give you selectors.

Btw there is no option for us to upgrade the PC to newer hardware or move the user to another group of PCs to use. This is public sector and that is just how it is unfortunately.

So please consider making Ui Explorer as a standalone tool that you can download or you get when you buy enterprise license.

#5

@Rasmus_J - Can you try using inspect.exe to find the selector and see if that works.

#6

@Akash_N_Jain Where is that located?
Nothing to find in C:\Program Files (x86)\UiPath\Studio
I don’t have community but I have the enterprise version installed

#7

It is part of OS and UiPath. Please check this: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/34760513/how-to-install-the-inspect-tool-on-windows-10

#8

Thank you, as a temporary fix it seems like I can extract the data I need to do a patch, but it is in no way user friendly and my request still stands for a Ui Explorer portable standalone version.

1 Like
#9

Hi there,
You could copy the whole “C:\Program Files\UiPath\Studio” folder inc subfolders to a flash drive and execute “UiPath.Explorer.Launcher.exe” on the PC you need to investigate. It works for me. No Studio installation needed.

However an official portable UiPath.Explorer would be indeed more elegant solution.

Cheers

1 Like
#10

Related, albeit a little different use case for the same:

1 Like
#11

I did this with the CE but after we got Enterprise, even though the files looks the same, it refuses to run. I tried from a network drive that has worked many times with CE

#12

A small update to the inspect tool, got to say I gave up on this. Not user friendly and though I could extract most of the data needed, I was not able to see all data that UI Explorer sees and I simply gave up after almost two hours trying to find the data and reading up on the inspector tool.

For others I would say you are better off trying to copy the whole install folder an see if you can get the UI Explorer to run.

1 Like
#13

Mine is CE

#15

Hi all
I have also had the same need and after som investigation I managed to create a “portable” version of UiExplorer only by using the following public nuget packages:

  • UiPath
  • UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities

The idea is to download the above packages from MyGet.org. Unpack them and run the UiExplorer.exe file.

Beware of file dependencies!

If UiPath believes this use of the packages is not OK, then please remove this post.

I have created an empty package which you can download. Follow the steps in the README file and you will have a standalone-UiExplorer available.
Please notice that I do not offer any support on the suggested solution.

NOTE: Use only on workstations which do not already have UiPath Studio installed.
NOTE: When changing workstation you might have to run the install again on the new workstation.

UiExplorer_Portable_Clean.zip (303.3 KB)

Best Regards,
Martin

4 Likes
#16

Hi @mmc

I think it’s safer if you don’t share the files directly but offer a short write-up on how to achieve it.

This would be for both our user’s safety (in the end, it’s better if they use files provided with the installation) and to cover the situation legally (it might be on the edge or plain not allowed to share just piece of the software like that).

1 Like
#17

Hi @loginerror

I accept you answer. However what I have shared is just a batch file and not UiPath files/packages.
Inside the zip-file I shared I have made a small README on how to obtain the UiPath packages as public files through Myget.
What my batch-script is doing is actually just unpacking the nupkg files in a folder, so that one can start the application directly.

I just think the solution is more “nice” than creating a copy of the whole UiPath Studio installation (Community / Enterprise) - approx. 360MB vs. 80MB.

But again - your answer is accepted :-).

Have a nice weekend.

Best Regards,
Martin

#18

Actually, my bad. I took another look and your solution is exactly what it should be :slight_smile:
(no UiPath files, just a guide with placeholders to be filled manually)

Feel free to bring back the link.

For anyone who will use it, please note that this is in no way officially encouraged by UiPath, but might just be the workaround if you are desperate while waiting for the actual implementation :slight_smile:

2 Likes
#19

Please note that a statement like that (not encouraged but also not forbidden) from providers employee responsible for interaction with users of the product, depending on circumstances and context, can be interpreted as an acknoledgement of a valid use.

In practice this solution does encourage creation of a standalone derivative work from a part of UiPath Platform (to use wording from the licenses).
This can set problematic precedence - if it is ok to extract one part to circumvent an obstacle, what other part can be used like this? Screen scraper is, from user perspective, an equivalently accessible feature (its preview mode works just like UiExplorer and its purpose is the same - assist in dev process in interaction with application) and they both work on a small subset od functionality.
What makes one ok and other possibly not?

Licensing terms are usually a pain to go through anyway, adding more grey area doesn’t help. It should either be specifically allowed (with caveats and/or for specific purposes only like interoperability evaluation or debugging) or forbidden.
Currently license terms forbid derivation and IMHO weakening that opens a real can of worms. The script itself, AFAIK, is fine (an. IP lawyer might disagree), but executing may or may not break the license.
Its like with emulators - you can write one, as long as you dont use it.

IANAL and its your software, so it’s your call.

Personally I find the possibility of a valid workaround very useful, but personal opinions don’t matter much in IP rights world.

That’s why this topic was created - sure you can hack something around, but as a professional company you can’t. So unless this is, even temporarily, endorsed, it is really useable ‘safely’ if your company does not care if it breaks the license or not.
What should we answer if a customer asks if its ok to do this? Saying no while doing it is hypocrisy and a red flag for customer. Saying is professional advice to possibly break the license, which is also a red flag. It’s a no win unless you don’t do it.
Some will, but some use CE for prod in enterprises so they don’t care about licenses anyway.

1 Like
#20

I agree and it will require some more investigation before I can reinforce my previous statement (which I will cross out for now).

At this point, I feel like it should be allowed as long as it is just for one’s own use (and not sharing/reselling), but feel is not legally binding and your remarks from the previous post are correct.

3 Likes
#21

Taking into account that

  • the use of UiExplorer for process evaluation purposes would be a useful feature
  • we don’t have the time to deliver it soon
  • it has a quick workaround (thanks @mmc)

we will make sure to open the licensing terms so that they explicitly allow the above as a valid use.

4 Likes