UiPath Community 2021.12 Preview Release

UiPath Community 2021.12 Preview Release

Studio

For the latest release we are bringing a lot of under the hood improvements to the general performance of Studio. You will see a faster startup time, a faster workflow analyzer and an optimized compilation process.

Additions to the + Sign Support in Studio

You can now use the functionality provided by the + sign in StudioX in Studio for the Duration Picker and to create a variable.

When using an activity where you would need to save the output as a variable, you have an option to use Create Variable within the plus sign. This is equivalent to using Ctrl+k to create a variable within the activity field.

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For activities that accept TimeSpan as an input, we’ve added the Duration picker within the plus sign. It removes the need to remember the syntax and makes it easier to configure it:
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Reopen HTTP Request wizard

Starting with 1.9.3-preview of the WebAPI package the HTTP Request wizard can be reopened to edit and test your requests.
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Max Iterations and Index id

You can now indicate a maximum loop counter when using while and do while activities.

Set Environmnet Variable activity

Use this activity to set user variables.
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StudioX

UIAutomation within Word and Desktop Outlook Scopes

The Use Word File and the Use Desktop Outlook App application cards now allow UI Automations related to their referenced window, without the addition of a Use Application/Browser card. The UI Automation for a Word file or desktop Outlook can be simply done within the initial application card. This should help simplify the design and avoid nesting activities, making it easier to automate Word / Outlook-related activities with UI Automation.

Data Manager enhancements

We’ve made some changes to the Data Manager in StudioX to expand on some of the existing functionality:

You can now Configure the Project Notebook settings directly from the Data Manager by right-clicking on the file and selecting configure:
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You can now view Arguments properties directly from the Data Manager by expanding an argument.
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You can also Delete an argument directly from the Data Manager by right clicking on them and selecting Delete argument.
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New activities & enhancements

In order to use these, you’ll need to update your System package to latest

The Else If activity has been ported from Studio into StudioX. The activity is useful when multiple conditions must be evaluated.
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For Each File in Folder and For Each Folder in Folder have an option to skip items where access is denied. This is to avoid cases where the run would be interrupted.

Assistant

Starting with 21.12, in the Marketplace widget, you will be able to sort the list of ready-to-go automations by the following options: Recommended (Default), Alphabetical, Rating, Most Downloaded.

Note: If you are using Automation Ops to govern widgets, in order to use this new feature, you have to create a new Automation Ops policy using the 22.4 template and deploy it to the users.

Assistant for macOS

We are very proud to announce that UiPath Assistant will also be available on Mac to enable employees to easily run and manage cross-platform automations from their personal digital assistant. The interface and functionality are like the one already used on Windows but have some specifics.

More details here: Assistant on Mac - Preview

Depending on your environment, to install Assistant for macOS, please use one of the following dmg files:
Download for Intel macs
Download for Apple Silicon (e.g. M1)


UIAutomation

Generic & Classic UIAutomation

Chrome UIAutomation on Linux docker containers – an improved version of https://forum.uipath.com/t/chrome-automation-on-linux-robots/354232

Start Process activity – the activity was enhanced to be able start a process asynchronous (default) and synchronously.

Salesforce automation with specific reliable and resilient to change selectors based on the sfl-path, sfl-name and sfl-type attributes is now available for Firefox as well.

UI automation for Java – McBeans framework has been improved.

Modern UIAutomation

Drag & drop activity

This activity enables the common interaction of dragging an object over a target. To configure it, simply indicate the source and destination elements; the activity will take care of the rest.
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New Visibility enforcement for elements

With this release there is a new option for enforcing the visibility of an element, either when interacting with it (in Click/Type activities), or when checking its state (in Check app state ). The previous visibility verification was also renamed to a more appropriate name ( Interactive ), and it will work just like before, ensuring the targeted element is in the DOM and can be interacted with, even if it’s scrolled below the fold or even minimized.
The new option, Visible, will ensure that the element is actually rendered on the screen and would be visible to a human.
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Store variables’ default value in Object Repository elements

When working with descriptors that contain variables, editing and validating them in Object Repository was difficult because variables have real values only at runtime. With 21.10, if variables have a default value defined, it will also be stored in the Object Repository element, to enable live editing and real-time validation in Studio.

Runtime browser switcher

If you created a workflow using a specific browser, say Internet Explorer, and would later like to switch it to another browser like Chrome or Firefox, now you can do that using a simple dropdown in the Project Setting, called Runtime browser . Pick any of the available browsers, and make sure to test the workflow to verify everything works correctly.

Inject JS script activity

The Modern framework now has the capability of executing custom JavaScript code inside the web page you are automating. Pretty powerful stuff, use it wisely :wink:

Table extraction: extract URLs from links and images

When extracting a table that contains links or images, from now on their URLs will also be extracted and available to use if needed.

Use app/browser audit logs

There is a new flag in Project Settings > UIA Modern > Robot logging > Log audit information , that allows you to disable the logging generated by the Use app/browser activities.

Check app state as a Retry scope condition

With this latest release, you can use the Check app state activity as the condition of a Retry scope, in order to execute a set of activities in a loop until a specific application state is achieved.

SAP UIAutomation

Expand SAP ALV Hierarchical Table activity

Introducing a new activity that allows identifying any cell inside SAP ALV hierarchical table. After the identification of the cell all typical UI activities can be performed, such as Click, Double Click, Get Text, Get Attribute or other. For more, please visit the documentation here.

Improve UX when SAP GUI Scripting in not properly configured

We have worked on UX improvements to allow user better to understand what is happening, when SAP WinGUI automation is not working correctly. In most cases the main reason was misconfiguration or not complete configuration of SAP API Scripting interface.

From now on, we are providing clear guidance, which settings are not correct, e.g.:
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Object Repository for SAP WinGUI activities

From now on, all SAP WinGUI Activities are supported and work with Object Repository.

Computer Vision

You can now fully extract the content of a vertically scrollable table using the CV Extract Table activity. This option is activated via a new boolean Property in the Options section called Scroll.

Scrolling in CV Extract Table is a preview feature with a few known issues which we’re releasing to gather as much feedback from the Community as possible:

  • There is a preset limit for total table height of 30.000 pixels. This can be overridden by editing the desired Extract Table activity in your .xaml and adding a new property MaxTableScrollHeightInPixels=“30000” with the whatever value is necessary for you.

  • When working with 4k resolution and large tables, table detection might not be as reliable - we’re working on fixing this in the next preview release. Until then, we recommend indicating the specific table region vs. the entire window.

  • When working with scrollable tables containing a static non-scrollable footer row, we recommend indicating the table using region selection.

  • Community users might consume allowed data per minute very fast with large tables.

  • Very text-dense tables might hit an internal limitation of the UiPath Screen OCR extraction that will trigger it to detect only a random sub-set of the entire set of textboxes.

  • Scrolling, as it will be visible at run-time, will continue beyond the footer area of the detected table as a speed optimization.

Activities

Mail Activities

UiPath.Mail.Activities 1.13.0-preview version comes with new improvements and a few bug fixes.

Support for Cross-platform (.NET 5)

Many of the activities from UiPath.Mail.Activities package can be used in a cross-platform (.NET 5) Studio process. Outlook Desktop, Exchange and IBM Notes activities are not supported on this platform.

Known limitations:

  • When running on Linux, interactive authentication (e.g., in Use Outlook 365 or Use Gmail when not using connections) won’t work, since the Linux robot is not intended for attended automation. Use Integration Service Connection instead.
  • Using Word documents as bodies is not supported.
  • In HTML Editor, available in activities like Create HTML Content or Send Email, inserting images from clipboard does not work for cross-platform projects, you will get a runtime error.
  • File system limitations:
    • Absolute file paths will not work if the workflow was created based on a Windows file system and will run on Linux (or vice versa). Only relative paths will work, and of those, usually only paths that are within the current project folder.
    • File paths starting with “\” or “/” are considered relative on Windows but are absolute on Linux. Ensure your paths, relative or otherwise, never start with “\” or “/”.
    • Furthermore, “\” is a valid path separator on Windows but not on Linux. We try to handle this transparently for you, but it may fail in certain scenarios, thus leading to “invalid path” errors.

New activities and enhancements:

  • There is a new activity Get Email By Id that retrieves the email with the specified ID. This activity can be used within Use Gmail, Use Outlook 365, and Use Desktop Outlook App scope activities. The ID to pass to this activity can come from an Integration Service Trigger or can be the output of another process. Having a MailMessage object, you can access the Id via MailMessage.Headers(“Uid”).
  • Use Desktop Outlook App activity got a new parameter “Account mismatch behavior” which indicates how the activity should behave in case the email account cannot be matched on the machine where the workflow is running. There are two possibilities to choose from: Fail or UseDefaultEmailAccount.
  • For Each Email activity has a new parameter “Retrieve attachments” that allows you to specify whether to retrieve the attachments along with the email. If you are not interested in doing something with the attachments (i.e., saving them on disk), it is recommended to not retrieve them at all.
  • Save Attachments and Save Email Attachments activities now offer the possibility to exclude inline attachments from saving by unchecking the “Exclude Inline Attachments” option.
  • Reply To Outlook Mail Message activity was enhanced with new parameters: ReplyFrom, NewSubject, Importance, and Additional Recipients (BCC, CC, To).

Bugs fixed

  • Now Send Exchange Mail Message activity does not send anymore the inline attachments as normal attachments, when the activity is used to forward an existing email.
  • An issue has been fixed in Save Email Attachments that caused the activity to not save the expected attachments. This happened when using two successive Save Email Attachments activities for the same email but with different filters.
  • An issue has been fixed in Save Mail Message that caused the activity to fail when the resulting file was set to be created in the project root folder.

Excel Activities

Support for Cross-platform (.NET 5)

Many of the activities from UiPath.Excel.Activities package are available now for a cross-platform (.NET 5) Studio process. Excel Workbook activities as well as CSV activities can be used in a new cross-platform project in Studio.

New activities and enhancements

In order to use these, you’ll need to update your Excel package to latest

  • Use Excel File activity has a few new parameters:
    • Keep excel file open can be used keep the Excel file opened after running the task instead of closing it. It can be used to review the file after a task is run.
    • Resize window can be used to resize the Excel window file, with the options None, Minimize and Maximize. If you have set Show Excel Windows to false in the Project Settings, the Resize window property will be ignored as the Excel windows will be hidden at runtime.
  • Create Pivot Table and Refresh Pivot Table have the Layout property, which enhances the layout and format. The compact form optimizes for readability, while tabular and outline forms include file headers.

Word Activities

Support for Cross-platform (.NET 5)

Many of the activities from UiPath.Word.Activities package are available now for a cross-platform (.NET 5) Studio process. When creating a new cross-platform project, install a recent version of the Word package. The activities available are Append Text, Read Text & Replace Text in Document.

PowerPoint Activities

In order to use this, you’ll need to update your Excel package to latest

Enhancements

Add Text to Slide has an option to clear the existing text in the content placeholder before adding the text to it.

Document Understanding

This new release brings with it a couple of improvements to ML Activities. To begin with, we provide a better experience of the ML Extractor by having it consume the newly launched the Digitizer package.

Furthermore, we also updated the ML Extractor Trainer: now you can not only persist your training data locally or in a private AI Center Dataset belonging the orchestrator instance you are connected to, but also to a public one, which you can connect to by providing its API Key and URL (find details about the specific AI Center Datasets here).

Test Suite

In this release we have fixed plenty of minor issues within Studio and additionally introduced handy improvements for your daily work.

Visualization of data variations
In 21.10 we introduced Test Explorer - a neat new panel that provides you a view on all your quality assets and test results at a glance.
For data driven Test Cases we are displaying every variations separately including the argument values.
To clean up this view we decided to change the visualization a bit…

  • The name of the variation is changed to:
    (1) First_name: Vincent…
    (2) First_name: John…
    So we show the index at the beginning, followed by the first argument+value followed by 3 dots
  • On hover, a tooltip is shown with the following format:
    argument1: value
    argument2: value
    argument3: value
    So we show a list view with all arguments + values

Shortcuts for Test Explorer Tabs
We have added the possibility to use shortcuts for common task within Test Explorer to improve the efficiency of your day to day work.

  • Ctrl + Alt + T - Open Test Explorer panel. You can use this anywhere within the Designer panel.
  • Alt + T - Open Test Results sub-panel in Test Explorer . You can use this only in the Test Explorer panel.
  • Alt + A - Open **Activity sub-panel in Test Explorer . You can use this only in the Test Explorer panel.

Refresh of Test Explorer
So far a general refresh within Studio did not necessarily also refresh the content within Test Explorer. This could lead to a situation where you created new artifacts within your project view which are not immediately visible in Test Explorer.
With this version every task triggering a general refresh in Studio will also refresh Test Explorer.

Execution Duration
When you run Test Cases from Test Explorer the result will now also include the execution duration.

Object Repository in Test Automation projects
Maintenance is challenging specifically in Test Automation, where you have to deal with probably 1000s of Test Cases at a time. Object Repository provides the necessary capabilities to reduce maintenance significantly.
In 21.10 Object Repository was not available within Test Automation projects - we have fixed this issue now.

Mock activity children can’t be deleted when the designer is zoomed in
When the designer is zoomed in (the root activity is different from the original one, the ActivityBuilder), activities from the right hand side of a Mock activity can’t be deleted. This was a bug we have fixed in this release.

UI Freeze when updating test data
When updating a test data source that is used by multiple test cases the UI freezes for a few seconds while updating the Test Explorer panel. We have fixed this issue

Please tell us what you think

Which features excite you the most and you are going to try right away? We want to hear what you think! Please use the image button below :slight_smile:

17 Likes

These are nice updates! My favorite QoL change is

However, could you elaborate on background process Test Automation?

2 Likes

Great to hear about faster startup time! And Chrome UI Automation in Linux containers :heart_eyes:

1 Like

Hello UiPath Developer Team,

great additions. :star_struck:

I tried the Assistant for Mac OS X and it offers fantastic possibilities. :star_struck:

Also I tried this morning the SAP UIAutomation ALV Hierachical Table Activity. Wow. :heart_eyes:
One of the best implementations I have ever seen to make complicated operations simple. A set of SAP labels is analyzed, which appears to the user as one ALV unit, and the data is made available for a selection and for the processing. Again, wow. Chapeau to @LevKushnir and his developer team.
For anyone who wants to try this: TAC SE38, Report BALVHT01, enable checkbox “Collapse item” in the selection screen and execute.

Best regards
Stefan

3 Likes

Nice :sleeping::sleeping::sleeping::+1:

1 Like

Nice :clap::clap:

1 Like

Nice :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face:

i like SAP improvements.
Cheers Team

Great improvements, team. When is the GA for this release? We have some customers with internal policies restricting the use of “preview” releases.
Thank you.

2 Likes

Loved this release :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

1 Like

As we transition from IE to other browsers, some UiElementExists activity do not work as expected so instead I have been using GetAttribute activity to check for relative visibility. Can`t wait to use the following!

New Visibility enforcement for elements
The new option, Visible, will ensure that the element is actually rendered on the screen and would be visible to a human.

Check app state as a Retry scope condition

Thank you as always UiPath ~ :star_struck: :clap:

1 Like

nice

Thanks for improvements

Thankyou

Can you provide any more details about the “UI automation for Java – McBeans framework has been improved.” Any changes to activities, performance, specific to automating Java applications?

For me new Drag & Drop Activity is really helpful . i hope UiPath provides packages for test execution reports for cross platform , that would be awesome

22.4 is the GA date for all these features

2 Likes

Could you detail a bit what you mean by test execution reports for cross platform?