UiPath Community 2022.8 Preview Release

UiPath Community 2022.8 Preview Release

Studio Desktop (Studio, StudioX)

Legacy to Windows project migrator

With the introduction of the new compatibility frameworks Windows and cross-platform, we are improving the performance and future-proofing our platform. Even though the Windows-legacy framework is still supported, and you can use it to to create, maintain, or execute projects, we recommend the newer options. Starting with 22.8, we are bringing an integrated migrator that allows you to convert existing legacy projects to the recently introduced Windows compatibility, which is based on .NET 6 and brings compiled projects and 64-bit support.

Text editor

We are introducing the capability to edit text files directly in Studio. This includes syntax highlighting for popular filetypes like JSON and XML, and programming languages like C# and VB.

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Same sequence designer between Studio and StudioX

One major improvement in StudioX was the clean sequence design where unnecessary bodies and sequences were no longer shown. We are now bringing the same experience to the Studio profile.

Improved missing activity placeholder

We know that there are times when you have a missing activity and it is difficult to understand why. This is why the designer panel will now show the name, the type, and the annotations of the activity that cannot be loaded on the canvas.

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Configure values for activities in libraries

Starting with 22.8 you can configure values for input arguments.


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Data Manager

We enhanced the Data Manager with several features that should empower both Citizen and RPA Developers to handle data and resources much easier.

Keyboard shortcuts

You can now use the keyboard shortcuts to delete (Del), copy (Ctrl+C), or paste (Ctrl+V) variables and arguments.

Header

The options in the header have been reordered for better usability and we’ve added a few extra options.

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New option was placed at the beginning of the header. New Variable and New Argument will bring a pop-up window to create one variable or argument in StudioX while in Studio it will create it inline and you can edit it from there.

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To add multiple variables or arguments at the same time, you can use the Bulk create variables which can be found under the Variables context menu and New Arguments (Bulk) can be found under the Arguments context menu.

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Group by activity

When enabled, this will group all variables to their corresponding scope.
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Sync with an active scope

If I have a sync in focus (in my example below, a second Use Excel File 2 scope), only show the variables that can be used in that scope. So taking that example again, I should only have listed the variables in the Main as well as in the selected scope.
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Filtering

This has now been extended to all resources available in Data Manager. As before, changes are persisted when you close the project or StudioX.
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First run experience – Quick tour

We would like to provide citizen developers new to StudioX with a first run experience to get them familiarized with how to build an automation and what tools they can use. This should also give them a consistent experience to get started with StudioX and a clear structure on how to ramp up.

The first time a citizen developer starts StudioX, they will be given a quick tour of the product to help them learn the different aspects of StudioX. Some of the highlights are:

  • essential panels and what they do
  • how to add an activity
  • how to configure an activity
  • how to run a task
  • how to publish a process

This experience will be available in StudioX for now and will be available in Studio starting with 22.10.

Marketplace templates (StudioX)

Starting with August, citizen developers will now have the option to start a project from a template from Marketplace. The content here is targeted at typical use cases for business users and if you would like to contribute with templates, you can create a listing on marketplace under the StudioX Product and the Template Category.

The option to have this feed available is governable in both Studio and StudioX.

Selecting project type (StudioX)

We have added an option to select the project type in StudioX to allow more advanced users to have some flexibility in terms of what they are choosing as a framework. This should allow citizen developers to start a Cross-platform project or use the older format of Windows Legacy. The default framework is Windows.

Studio Testing (Test Suite)

Timer Activities

The Testing Activity Pack now includes the possibility to test time ranges with the new Timer Activity. It allows to start and stop timers and their output can be easily verified. This improvement allows easy performance testing for the tested application.

Mobile Automation

A new, highly requested activity to retrieve the Session Id of your Mobile Device Connection, to execute advanced commands, is now available. You can simply store the Session Id in a Variable and use it wherever needed. In addition, this can also be logged to more easily identify the Mobile Device execution in a Cloud environment.

Assistant

Governance

Marketplace Governance: Starting with 2022.8, we give additional governance capability for the Marketplace Widget within the Automation Ops: now you can filter the content shown in Assistant by choosing if you want to see only ready-to-go automations developed by UiPath or not.

Policy Settings: We added new Automation Ops policy settings in the Feature Toggles tab (please also check the attached screenshot below):

  • Enable Task Capture: We added the option to show/hide the Task Capture button

  • Group processes by folders: We added the option to enable/disable the user’s ability to group processes by folder. Also, we added the option to allow users to change this option directly from Assistant by adding a checkbox setting in the policy.

  • Minimize Assistant while a process is running: We added the option to enable/disable the minimization of Assistant while running a process.

  • Automatically start Assistant with OS: We added the option to enable/disable the start at login; If checked, the Assistant starts at login time in tray mode.

  • Log Level changes: We added the option to enable/disable the Log Level picker from Assistant. By default, Log Level changes are enabled, but they can be disabled by switching to No.

Note: To use these new options, update your policy template to 2022.10 version.

Diagnostic Tool

With this release we bring a new feature that offers the users the ability to start the Diagnostic Tool directly from the Assistant. This will automatically run the Diagnostic Tool and offer the user the resulting .zip.

For macOS users, we offer the ability to collect log files and archive them so that users can have easy access to them.

UX improvements

In this release we did also some UX improvements in different areas of our product: a few labels were changed and the “Stay offline” option was moved to Orchestrator Settings section.

UIAutomation

Improvements

  • The KeyboardShortcuts activity now offers a DelayBetweenKeys property that can be used to set a delay between keystrokes, similar to the Classic behavior.

  • The TakeScreenshot activity now supports RegionSelection (F3).

  • For consistency, we have enabled the modern selection screen for the Classic activities and Recorders.

Generic support

Support to automate Chromium Widgets/Electron with html selectors, for on-screen rendering (Chromium v80 to v102)

We often see the need to automate native Windows applications embedding web applications with the help of Electron/Chromium Widgets technology. From now, the web module rendered inside a Chromium widget can be automated with standard web selectors (html, webctrl), instead of IA2-based selectors (wnd, ctrl). This brings all the web automation power at hand when automating desktop applications embedding web applications through Chromium widgets.

Kinaxis Java support

We have improved the Kinaxis Java support, with proper grid table cell identification and data extraction.

VB6 improved support

SelectItem activity can be now used with VB6 drowpdown controls. Also, we have added data extraction support for VB6 grid components: MSFlexGridWndClass, ListView20WndClass and MSHFlexGridWndClass.

Computer Vision

Enable Scrolling

The CV activities can now be used to automate any scrollable content in webpages or apps by using the F2 or Delay option when indicating. The 3 seconds counter will reset with each mouse scroll and a Refresh will be triggered at the end of this timer, generating a new screenshot, and capturing the scroll direction value in a new property called ScrollDirection to Up or Down. If ScrollDirection is None, no scrolling will be performed at run-time.

At run-time, the ScrollDirection’s value is used to search for the target element; if it is not found during this first attempt, the robot will do a top-most scroll and then try again while scrolling down.

The NumberOfScrolls property sets the scrolling speed at run-time (default value is 2), while DelayScreenshotAfterScroll is useful when working with dynamic content such as icons that load when scrolling.

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When extracting tables in scrollable pages or apps, we recommend setting the ScrollableTable property (“Scroll” property in previous releases) to True; otherwise, an incomplete table might be extracted.

A quick demo can be seen here.

Token Authentication for UiPath Screen OCR

When using UiPath Screen OCR as a standalone activity, there is no need for inputting the CV API Key anymore if you are logged to your UiPath Cloud account.

Updated Design for CV Click, CV Get Text, and CV Extract Table Activities

The activity card design has been slightly updated to match the corresponding UIA activities.

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“Click type” and “Mouse button” have been added to CV Click.

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“Save to” has been added for CV Extract Table and CV Get Text.

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Coming Soon

Using OCR – Chinese, Japanese, Korean with a CV API Key

Planned Aug, 29th

The OCR-CJK engine will be available by using a CV API Key as well:

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Currently available endpoints per region:

More info on CJK-OCR can be found here.

New CV AI Model

Planned Sep, 5th, it will be announced in the Cloud Server Release Notes

A new iteration of our CV AI Model will be deployed soon. This new model is significantly better performing when working with tables and OCR data due to a change in the internal neural net architecture.

Nearest Geo Location Rerouting for UiPath CV Cloud Server

Planned Sep, 9th will be announced in the Cloud Server Release Notes

As announced in our 22.7 Preview Release UiPath Forum post, we deployed a new CV service endpoint in the US to better serve the customers closer to that region. By our estimates, customers closer to the US than to the current endpoint deployment in West Europe can see more than 100ms decreases in latency by simply switching to the new service URL.

To speed up the migration and make it effortless for our customers, we are implementing an automatic nearest geo-location endpoint selector for https://cv.uipath.com based on the request IP.

Endpoint Value Server Location
https://cv.uipath.com Nearest geo location based on the request IP
https://cv-eu.uipath.com West Europe
https://cv-us.uipath.com US

To restrict the CV automations to using a specific endpoint, one can manually edit the values in either:

  • Project Settings > Computer Vision > Server
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  • CV Screen Scope Properties > Server > URL value

Activities

Excel

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

New activities

The activities below have been added to the Modern Excel package. They were part of the Classic activities but now can be used within the Use Excel File scope without having to use the Show Developer flag to list them:

  • Invoke VBA
  • Get Cell Color

Document Understanding

In this release, the Document Understanding team focused on enhancing the digitization algorithm, which means that the digitization of native PDFs may be faster & more accurate than before (applied when the “Apply OCR on PDF” flag is set to “auto” or “false”). Shall you find the above is not happening as we would hope, please do bring it to our attention and report eventual issues :blush:

Furthermore, we have added multi-value field support for the ML Extractor & the ML Extractor Trainer, so that multi-value fields sent from the Document Manager can be consumed and used in the activities.

We look forward to your feedback, please reach out to us either via the Insider Portal or via reporting an issue in Studio :pray:.

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:

25 Likes

One small change for UiPath, one giant improvement for UiPath users :+1:

12 Likes

It’s nice to have the convertor from legacy, but what to do when activities are missing? UipathMailActivities on legacy has get message from exchange, in the .NET 6 this activity does not exist anymore… :frowning:

6 Likes

It is nice BUT… support of new frameworks is not huge. E.g. I am quite often using activities (like “Is True”) from Microsoft.Activities package which is NOT compatible. Also using some packages from Marketplace which are also NOT compatible. There are also completely missing all Exchange related activities (which is however known and documented issue)

Is there any workaround how to use Windows-legacy packages in Windows compatibility project?

6 Likes

Hi @loginerror,

Wonderful to see some of these updates. I did try some of them. Thought I will updated some findings here. Let me know if this needs to be a feedback post instead.

I tried this and looks like it is not released yet to some regions? I have tested this on both the Windows version and Windows legacy version of a Library project.
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I do not see the options for additional Input type in Activity Layout window.

I added a json file to test this out, but the option to open it in the Text Editor does not come up.

However when I right click on the NewActivity.xaml I do get the option open in text editor, but when clicked nothing happens either.

So both Type 1 and Type 2 errors.


I remember @postwick mentioning this in one of his feedback posts. Great to finally not have to guess which library/activity does the missing activity refer to.


This will greatly help and avoid calculation of timespans for the execution.
I do think a similar function needs to be part of the REFramework as people who do not use custom web.config with Nlog can also get the execution time for the entire run of the process and not just queue item transaction time (item transaction time ignores Initialization and End stages of State-Machine).

2 Likes

@loginerror

Hello Maciej,
very interesting new features, thank you very much.

In my opinion is the way to x64 and dotNET 6 a very interesting step. Also that the default compatibility mode is now Windows x64.

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Best regards
Stefan

4 Likes

@loginerror

Hello Maciej,
I tried the legacy to Windows project migrator, excellent idea. :+1:

I have two suggestion for that.

I migrate a project which contains a dependency which is only available for the target framework net461. After the migration I got the following and expected result:

  1. The default is update current project in the conversion dialog. In my opinion it should be a good idea to create backup files of the of the Windows-Legacy project, in case of update. On this way we have the possibility to reset the project to the origin. Otherwise, when the project is updated, it may be only possible to restore it for Windows-Legacy compatibility mode with effort, if it is necessary.
    image

  2. Before the migration is performed, to check automatically that the dependencies are also all present for the x64 architecture and dotNET 6. If this check is not successful, a warning message should appear and the user must actively decide whether to continue converting.

Very often you can read here in the answers use this package or install that package. I have written my thoughts about the NuGet Gallery Paradise here. This could now become a “boomerang”, in the context of the conversion. Therefore I think that the conversion should be made more secure.

Thank you and best regards
Stefan

2 Likes

Thanks all for feedback and for testing our latest improvements. Remember that we will have a 22.10 enterprise release that will include more fixes and improvements based on your feedback so please let us know what is not working as expected.

@c.ciprian & @J0ska we are working on migrating all the activities to .net and we are also encouraging our marketplace creators to update (please see the announcement from @Andreea_Stroe: Migrating Activities to .NET 6). So this will be a longer journey but with multiple benefits on the long run. Unfortunately, there will be some activities that cannot be migrated easily so this is why we are still allowing the creation of legacy and we have plans to maintain the editing capability in the future (beyond 23.4).

@jeevith The new layout designers for libraries is available for Windows and Cross-platform projects and since you use 22.8 it should work. Remember that the Input Type + Values are impacted by the argument type. In my example, I was using a String InArgument. Can you please detail what argument type are you using? You might have encountered a bug.

Regarding .json files it will work with Open. But I agree that we might include the Open in text editor also. Regarding the xamll files, if the same xaml is opened in editor we have a bug that is preventing open (will be fixed in 22.10). Make sure you don’t have the file open already.

I am also very proud that we managed to improve the missing activity and I just want to add that we have some more improvements coming in 22.10 (so stay tuned :smiley:)

@StefanSchnell thanks for being with us again in the .net journey :smiley:

Regarding the possibility of backup files - that’s why we introduced the option that will clone the project. is preferred for projects under source control. Will make sure that the default in 22.10 is safer.

I like your proposal of checking the dependencies and maybe we can have an extra step that will search/inform about the found packages. Unfortunately, the available packages will vary from one project to another so we will need to search (based on available feeds) for each migration.

4 Likes

@alexandru @loginerror

Hello Alexandru and Maciej,

I checked all my activities from the Marketplace with release 22.8 in the compatibility modes Windows x64 and Windows-Legacy x86 and the conversion from Windows-Legacy x86 to Windows x64.

All worked well, no problems at the horizon, until I check my last activity, the Anti Malware Scan (AMSI). Very interesting problems with name collisions appeared here. This has nothing to do with UiPath, but how I used the names in the activity. I had the problem here that I could not use the name AMSI.dll because this name already exists in the Windows operating system. So I decided to use the name AMSI_x86 for the target platform net461 and the name AMSI_x64 for the target platform net60-windows70. As long as you work isolated in the different compatibility modes, this is no problem and works perfectly. With the conversion option, however, this becomes a problem. After the conversion, the reference to the activity in AMSI_x86 is no longer found, how could it be, now the reference to the activity AMSI_x64 is made. Thus the reference cannot be resolved. This is a bug in my activity design.

What is common in native library development, namely to use the extension x86 and x64, does not work in the context of cross-platform dotNET development with activities on the same way. That’s an interesting insight. :wink:

I will offer a corrected release of my activity in the marketplace shortly.

As far as I can say, after all my tests, the conversion works great. :+1:

Best regards
Stefan

1 Like

Interesting features

@alexandru

Hello Alexandru,

you are right, this is the only correct approach in enterprise environments. Locally I work without a repository, so I had not considered this. :roll_eyes:

Thanks and best regards
Stefan

My Personal Favoruite will be,

  1. Legacy to Windows project migrator - There has been lot of requests and queries on this topic, which I will definitely try

  2. Project.Json [Text file editor inside Studio] - This is something small, but still impactful. What I wish as an add-on to this will be a visual UI form with the project json fields for editing with validations under project settings may be.

Thanks
#nK

Hi @loginerror,

I see that these activities are under System.Activities so any new project created in 2022.08 release will automatically inherit these activities.

I tried this on both a new testing project and a new process project. In both the Timer activities are under system namespace. This will have a great impact. We will be using this in our REFramework when the stable version is released.

Here is a sample workflow showing the use of the new timer activities : Is there any inbuilt activity for Capture Time for each step - #6 by jeevith

Hi @alexandru,

All of a sudden, the same project and activity now shows the input type. I had the arguments both in string before and now. So not sure what happened there.

True that, I double clicked within the project and the json file opens up as a editable file. Great!

I notice that the red text is not so visible in the dark mode. May be the theme within the text/json file need suit the dark mode?

In light mode the contrast looks good

2 Likes

after installing 2022.8, there is something strange about this version.
if you have flow switchs with many items and many back and forth arrow connections, uipath will crash and you cant use it.
i believe the visual builder try to reposition switch and arrows and this action results to crash and unusable situation.
Screenshot 2022-09-03 183115

Hi @alexandru and @loginerror,

I assumed that the following issue was a UI bug and reported it here : The Sequence (container) is not shown in Studio 22.08 and 22.10, but as @alexandretperez pointed out in the thread, is this linked to

?

This will break a lot of annotations in code and go against the template structures like REFramework. Here I opened a fresh REFramework project and the Process.xaml shows no annotations on the top level.

Line 68 of Process.xaml contains the annotation (ReFrameWork/Process.xaml at master · UiPath/ReFrameWork · GitHub)
<Sequence sap2010:Annotation.AnnotationText="Invoke major steps of the business process, which are usually implemented by different workflows.&#xA;&#xA;If a BusinessRuleException is thrown, the transaction will be skipped. &#xA;If another kind of exception (ApplicationException) occurs, the current transaction can be retried. " DisplayName="Process" sap2010:WorkflowViewState.IdRef="Sequence_1" sads:DebugSymbol.Symbol="dz5DOlxVc2Vyc1xNYXRldXMgQ3J1elxEb2N1bWVudHNcR2l0SHViXFJlRnJhbWVXb3JrXFByb2Nlc3MueGFtbAFEA0TFAwIBAQ==" />

This will mean that the Show Annotations, Hide Annotations and Delete annotations will be redundant as the user cannot see any results when using any one of the three options.


When I clicked these nothing happens.

Creating an additional sequence just so that we can set annotations, which are already existing is going to be not a nice thing.

This feature needs to be thought through before the GA.

3 Likes

@loginerror @alexandru

Hello Alexandru and Maciej,

yesterday I tried the text editor, great idea, that makes minor changes in a file or simply taking a look inside a file much easier. :+1:

Here are suggestions for it:

  • If I want to create an additional file I can only assign certain extensions and not my own. For example, if I want to create a JavaScript file with the extension js, I cannot do it on this way.
    image
    Even a subsequent renaming does not change the extension.
    image
    That’s why I suggest to add the possibility to assign own extensions when adding new files. Simply provide in the combo box the possibility not to have to select an extension.

  • It seems that it is not possible to edit files with other extension, e.g. js or yml. When I open these files they are all displayed in read only mode.
    image
    Therefore I suggest to allow the editing possibility for other standard extensions as well, like JavaScript js, YAML yml, PowerShell ps1 etc.

  • In the context menu of the editor add the possibility to choose between a monospaced font (fixed width) and a proportional font. In my opinion is the reading texts, that follow a certain structure such as JSON or XML, much easier with a monospaced font.

  • In the context menu of the editor add the possibility to choose to view white-spaces and tabs. These characters are in a few cases very important, for text that follow a certain structure, so their display is important too.

Thanks for your support.
Best regards
Stefan

1 Like