UiPath Community 2022.12 Release

UiPath Community 2022.12 Release

The last release of the year brings the first preview for our next Enterprise release, 2023.4. In addition to the new features mentioned below, this release brings another important change—we’re unifying the two Community update channels (Preview and Stable) into a single channel. From now on, there will be one version of the Community Edition that automatically receives updates every two months, allowing all users to receive the latest features in Studio, StudioX, Assistant, and Robot as soon as they’re available. All existing installations will be updated to version 2022.12 regardless of the selected update channel.

Studio and StudioX

Search activities from all official packages

Starting with this release you can explore and use activities without the need of installing the package in advance. Any activity search will look over the packages available on the official feed and allow you to use the activity with a simple click. As a prerequisite Studio needs to be connected to Cloud and to have a cross-platform project.

Define values for activities in libraries

We are re-enabling the ability to define predefined values for custom activities created via Libraries.

Data Manager Refresh

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Using the Refresh button in the Data Manager now allows each category to be refreshed individually instead of blocking the interface while this happens. The categories that are loading will have a spinner flagging that and the resources will be disabled until they’re read. This should make it faster and the interface should become more usable.

Repair Tool for Microsoft Office compatible with the 2021 version

We’ve added compatibility with Microsoft Office 2021 for the Repair Tool. Simply select it from the version and you’ll be able to generate a Repair Plan to target this version.

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Test Suite (Studio)

Export as Library.

Since 22.10 it is possible to export a project you are working on into a library in case you come to the conclusion that it would make sense to reuse the components.

For this release, we have made the option more visible and moved it from the context menu into the ribbon.

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Show in Project Explorer

With the introduction of the Test Explorer panel, we received feedback that it is sometimes hard to keep track of items within your project as you can find them in the project view as well as in test explorer. In an attempt to make navigation easier, we have introduced a task within Test Explorer that allows you to focus on the same item in project explorer.

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Create an Execution Template based on an existing template

Through execution templates, you can wrap test cases at runtime to use your defined execution conditions for multiple scenarios. For example, instead of copying, pasting, and maintaining multiple test cases, you can create a single template that acts as a boilerplate to wrap the test cases at runtime.

In order to make it easy to create new templates we now allow you to define an existing template as your starting point when creating a new one.

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Return null on the empty test data queue

[Get Test Data Queue Item] activity so far threw an exception when the test queue was empty. This turned out to be very inconvenient and required developers to surround the call with a try catch.

We have adapted the behavior similar to standard queues, returning now null in case the queue is empty.

Draw Pattern (22.12.X preview)

Besides standard touch commands, there are situations where an app expects a certain custom touch command when e.g. drawing a pattern on the screen. In order to automate such kind of complex commands we have added a new activity that allows you to draw patterns with multiple points.

Ideally, you start recording the pattern on Mobile Device Manager using the pattern recording button, and then import the recorded points into Studio.

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Positional Swipe (22.12.X preview)

So far, our swipe activity was restricted to swiping from one control to another. In cases where no control could be identified on the screen, you were not able to perform this operation. This is why we have added a new capability to our mobile activities, allowing you to swipe from and to specific points on the screen.

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Sync with Active Document

To improve navigation within Studio we have added a new button in the project view toolbox called ‘Sync with Active Document’. When selected, the currently open document in the designer will also be focused on within the project panel.

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Robot & Assistant

Robot

Warm executor

Starting with 22.12, some performance improvements were made for the start-up of a process. Whenever you start the Robot, by default, the following pre-loaded executors are automatically launched:

  • On Windows: Windows and Legacy
  • On Mac: Cross-platform (Portable)

You can overwrite the default behavior by adding the UIPATH_PRE_LOADED_EXECUTOR user environment variable to the robot machine with the value None. This way, the pre-loaded executor only starts when the first process is run.

Note:

The pre-loaded executor feature is only available for attended execution processes started from UiPath Assistant, RobotJS, Studio, or the command line interface. An unattended job starting from Orchestrator launches a single executor when the job starts.

Assistant

Favorites section

Starting with 22.12, in the Assistant Launchpad, below the “UiPath Products” section, a new group called “Favorites” will be available. When Assistant is used in single column view, this group will be visible in the Automations List in the Home tab. Other groups can still be created in Launchpad, and they will also appear in the Home tab.

Navigation improvements

In 22.12 we did some changes in the way you can navigate between menus while you use Assistant in a single column.

UIAutomation - General

:warning: The UI Automation 22.12 preview activities package has been published slightly delayed, so please update your activity package to 22.12.0-preview version using the Studio->Manage Package utility:

2022-12-21_13h00_48

New native events monitoring framework

In the context of the Call Center initiative, where execution performance is critical, we improved the event monitoring usability and performance, by implementing new sets of events supported by different types of application technologies: wnd, ctrl, java.

Main native events exposed for each of these technologies:

  • wnd, ctrl: Appeared, Disappeared, Text changed, Focus gained, State changed, Selection changed
  • wnd Top level windows, in addition to the previous list: Foreground gained, Minimized, Restored
  • java: Appeared, Disappeared, Text changed, Key pressed, Click, Mouse move, Focus gained, Focus lost, Enabled, Disabled, Selection changed, Mouse entered, Mouse exited, Cell selected, Cell value changed, Mouse pressed, Mouse released, Menu selected, Menu deselected, Menu canceled, Popup menu visible, Popup menu invisible, Popup menu canceled

All these events are available through the Application Event Trigger activity, that is meant to help setting up a trigger based on a native event for any type of UI element. The user needs to indicate the target element on screen and then choose the native event from the list of events supported by that element.

For example, the editable text of the Notepad application is a ctrl element, and the Event type list displays the available events for this technology:

application-event-trigger

The Application Event Trigger activity exposes these properties:

  • Target element – selected UI element. Only strict selectors are supported, without anchors.
  • Scheduling mode – used to select if the event handlers will be executed sequentially, concurrently or one time (possible values: Sequential, Concurrent, OneTime).
  • Include children – when selected, the children of the specified UI element are also monitored. Supported by all event types, except Appear and Disappear.

PDF automation with Protected Mode enabled

For UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities 22.10 and older and Adobe Reader DC version 22.003.20258, PDF automation may be affected. It was not possible to identify individual elements in PDF documents, instead the entire document was selected. The issue was caused by a security option available in Adobe Reader DC, Enable Protected Mode at startup, which is enabled by default.

Starting with UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities 22.12, you can automate Acrobat Reader even if you have the Enable Protected Mode at startup option enabled.

Browser startup timeout configurable from Use Application/Browser and Open Browser activities

Previously we had a static timeout of 60 seconds to start the browser. This proved to be insufficient in unattended cases, on low spec machines, when the workflow is started from the Orchestrator and a new session is created.

Since users may need to set a longer timeout for the browser startup, we made it configurable from the Use Application/Browser and Open Browser activities. The following project settings have been added:

UI Automation Classic → Browser → Open browser timeout (seconds)

UI Automation Modern → Application/Browser → Open browser timeout (seconds)

Workaround for Simulate Click with MV3 Extension

A new workaround is available for the known issue Click activity with Simulate fails on specific web page elements.

The workaround is available through a new project setting UI Automation Classic → Browser > Enable workaround for simulate click with MV3 extension (default: false).

The purpose of this setting is to allow users that have many workflows affected by this issue to apply this workaround through a simple switch - instead of manually checking each Click activity from their workflows and then change the change the input method from Simulate to any other input method (Chromium API, Hardware Events, Window Messages).

Select item activity improvements

We improved the Select Item activity to support complex HTML dropdowns, like non-native and non-SAP Fiori/Salesforce dropdowns.

Check support for non-standard checkbox controls

We have added check support for non-standard checkboxes. This includes labels that have a for attribute, which indicates the hidden checkbox, labels that have a single (hidden) checkbox descendent, and other case that are highly reliable.

Improved support for Chromium-based embedded browsers

We improved the support for Chromium-based embedded browsers (Electron, CEF 103+) and added support for orphaned WebView2 windows.

We also added support for the latest WebView2 runtime 106.0.1370.34.

Improved Modifiers field for event data

Previously, for event data that returned modifiers, the Modifiers field consisted of an unreadable bitmask, having the int data type. Therefore, without having some additional skills to search for information, users might have been confused.

The Modifiers field for event data is now mapped to the NKeyModifier enum and returns a string (such as Shift, Alt, or Ctrl) instead of an integer when toString() method is called. For example, before this change the returned value for Modifiers was 23, while now it is Shift, Alt, Ctrl.

UIAutomation – Modern

:warning: The UI Automation 22.12 preview activities package has been published slightly delayed, so please update your activity package to 22.12.0-preview version using the Studio->Manage Package utility:

2022-12-21_13h00_48

Computer Vision in Unified Target

Building and running reliable automation is the key to success for any automation program. The Unified Target concept is the UiPath solution for ensuring the UI automation-based robots are reliable and trustworthy.

Computer Vision is an important AI powered targeting image-based technology that in some situations is the only one that can be used to reliably automate an application. Use-cases span from CV being used atomically to automate certain areas/elements that the driver cannot drill into, to VDI automation where CV is the only viable technology, and everything in between.

We are very happy to announce Computer Vision is now part of the Unified Target solution to help customers:

  • reduce the complexity of building UI-based automation. Customers should not know nor care about technical underlying concepts like selectors, ML-based screen searches, or OCR technology. They should simply point and click the screen elements: the rest is UT’s job.

  • to increase the reliability and resilience to changes, in UI-based automation. Often, customers do not control application UI changes. The UiPath robots must deal with these situations out of the box, and be smart enough not to break, remaining uninfluenced by the UI deterministic changes.

Enabling Computer Vision as targeting method can be done in Project Settings > UI Automation Modern:

enable-cv-in-ut

If CV is enabled in Project Settings, a CV analysis is automatically performed when starting to indicate, when clicking on an element found using the driver while indicating or when scrolling.

CV can also be enabled in the Helper via a new toggle labeled Enable Computer Vision, having 3 possible states (disabled, enabled & all OK, enabled & with errors):

enable-cv-states

At run-time, CV is implemented as any other targeting method: first method to find the target wins (is used to target that specific UI element).
Scrolling Support:

  • Design-time
    o Scrolling is supported as usual in the UIA indicate experience.
    o A CV refresh is automatically triggered when scrolling stops.
  • Run-time
    o no CV Run-time Auto-scroll support: for now, we don’t support auto-scrolling as we do in CV activities.
    o Mouse Scroll activity should be used when automating scrollable content with a CV target in Unified Target

Object Repository is fully supported: no extra friction on top of the usual OR support for UI elements defined by selectors.

Drag & Drop activity now works with CV targets as well.

Known Issues & Limitations:

  • no auto-anchors suggested by the AI model at design-time for CV targets yet.
  • UIA activities not supporting CV targets yet:
    o Extract Table - extracting table data still needs to be done in separate UIA & CV activities (Extract Table Data & CV Extract Table)
    o Click Trigger & Keypress Trigger
    o Check/Uncheck & Select Item - CV is available in the Helper only for the purpose of adding CV anchors.
    o Recorder
    o Check App State (standalone)

Modern Click & Keypress triggers

We have migrated the most used Classic triggers to the Modern framework. The new ClickTrigger and KeypressTrigger modern activities are designed to identify the elements via a unified target concept, use an Object Repository element and offer a friendlier user interface.

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SetText modern activity

SetText activity just got a modern version. It can identify targets with the unified target concept, and it can use an ObjectRepository stored element. Moreover, it can cache the target element to increase the execution speed when executing repeatedly e.g., when synchronizing text between multiple UI elements.

No scope for activities working with UIElement as an input

Modern activities require an application card/scope, to minimize the area of searching the target element, thus, increasing the automation reliability. However, when the activities receive an UIElement as input, they do not require the scope. So, all the modern activities have been updated accordingly.

Inject Js Script Modern/Classic activities got a new property: ExecutionWorld

ExecutionWorld property sets the JavaScript world for a script to execute within. The ‘isolated’ option allows the content script to make changes to its JavaScript environment without conflicting with the page. The ‘page’ option allows the script to interact with the page as well.

Document Understanding

In this release, we focused on improving the accessibility of Document Understanding and PDF Activities in Studio, as well as the experience of the Field Level Rule feature (details on configuring them here and on the experience using them in the Validation Station here), after receiving your feedback :blush:

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:

14 Likes

New updates are awesome :heart_eyes:

1 Like

I want to ask you one question. I’ve set the stable channel, but does the updated version force Bate to behave correctly?
capture
in the startup dialog, it is a beta version.
startuplogo

When I check Studio HELP, it is as follows, so is it correct to say that this is stable version?
studio-version

2 Likes

…and one follow-up question to @patent-atanaka’s question:

Why can’t we select the update channel anymore in the Help section of Studio?

Best, Emerald.

1 Like

Overall, I want to take my hat off to the UiPath Team, especially for providing the UiPath Test Suite. I have been in testing for more than 15 years already. The UiPath Test Suite is by far the most flexible and comprehensive tool for test automation. Therefore, I’m very much looking forward to future improvements, especially for test management. :partying_face:

2 Likes

good to know! I was just trying to propose a drop-down list in the properties of a custom activity created via Librairies.

UiPath Studio Team,

For heavens sake, please fix the bloat in the Studio product. :worried: :worried: :worried: :worried: :worried:

I’m on Studio 2022.12.x Beta update applied last night and currently working on a project. Every time the flow comes out of Debug mode, the cursor clocks for more than 5 minutes in the main designer surface.

For the love of life, whatever happened to the smooth and fluid Studio that we fell in love with once upon a time.

thank you!

One Generic Observation about the Update -

Evetime we write an Expression in any activity - Say If Activity or Excel Application Scope

Even if the Expression is Correct - The activity is taking 5-6 Seconds to evaluate and then respond. In the old version as soon as we leave the control from the editor - The Evaluation was Quick.

E.g -
If I put the below in an Excel application scope - Studio is taking 5-6 seconds to validate and then respond
Path.Combine(in_Config(“ExcelFolder”).toString , in_Config(“ExcelPath”).toString)

This I have noticed whenever we are writing expressions.

Thanks
Mukesh

1 Like

see same behavior - extremely sluggish in identifying Expression syntax issues

The latest update has broken all my existing workflows that use powershell. Syntax that was fine previous to the update now break with no way to fix. See image for minimal repro. Or just try to use ‘invoke powershell’. Im frankly surprised others haven’t been yelling about this already. It stopped me from running my nightly updates last night.

5 Likes

@AndyMenon performance and responsiveness of Studio will be a top priority for us towards the 23.4 release. We have already identified some root causes and working towards fixing them.

Can you please share a sample of the project that is making Studio slow for you? This would help us to identify and fix the specific issue.

@mukeshkala & @ton_roelandse we are aware of the validation lag and have a potential fix for this that is under evaluation by our development team. If all goes well, you will see this improved in 23.2 (next community release).

Thanks for your feedback.

1 Like

Super , Thanks for the Update @alexandru

Hi @alexandru ,

The project is a simple sequence that demonstrates the use of a UiPath Marketplace component that is still under construction and sharing it would mean sharing incomplete work.

Here are a few other issues I am seeing and where possible I’m tracking them with screen shots. I will post them as updates to this response.

Issue #1:

Checking project for validation errors… window launches when the Debug button is hit and does not go away unless I click the X button . Once I hit the X button, the No Errors reported window shows up. Studio environment freezes as long as this window is up and the project does not launch to run in Debug mode.

I have to close the .xaml file, or randomly edit an activity and resave the file to launch the project in Debug mode. Sometimes I have to do it more than once. :neutral_face:

Issue #2:

When a new activity is added to Studio and populated with its attributes, Right Clicking on it launches the Debug menu, but the Debug options such as Toggling Breakpoints are disabled.

As a solution I have to Cut the entire activity and paste it back into the designer and sometimes Save the file before I can right-click on the activity and add a Breakpoint to the activity. :neutral_face:

Note: Will post screen grab when this happens the next time

Issue #3:

Copy pasting an activity that has been annotated with comments does not work well.
When trying to copy paste an activity that contains annotations, one of the two happens when pasting the copied activity

The activity is not pasted at the desired location
The activity is pasted, but it overwrites all the other activities within that sequence :neutral_face:

Note: Will post screen grab when this happens the next time

Issue #4:

When a library method is invoked in a flow, and an argument that is marked as Required in the library component is populated with argument values, the error message refuses to go away despite the argument being populated.

As a workaround I have to either recreate the entire activity after deleting the existing one.
Or, I have to do a fake edit to the value provided to the required argument and save the project for the error message to go away :neutral_face:

Thanks,
Andy

2 Likes

Hi @mukeshkala ,

On a related note, I also see that when we populate a variable and exit a field in the properties window (for example, the output DataTable name in the Excel Read Range activity, and hitting Enter on the keyboard) , an error dialog stating “Object reference is not set…” pops up.

The variable populated in the properties window is nowhere to be found, and we have to populate the variable once more, and exit the properties window by moving the mouse and clicking into the designer window to prevent the error dialog from showing up.

:worried:

1 Like

2022.12 is the version which is minimum required now to run community edition. … Please correct me If I am wrong here …

One Question - Can we stop the automatic updates to studio at 2022.12 ?