FAQs

This page contains some frequently asked questions and solutions for Appian RPA. If you're looking for answers regarding modules, see Module FAQs.

If you can't find the solution in the Appian RPA documentation, contact the Appian support team.

Installation and configuration

How can I get the connection data to Appian RPA (Nexus configuration, console URL)?

The Appian team will provide this information when setting up your Appian Cloud site. You can also open a support case to request this information.

What are the hardware requirements for a development computer?

Our recommendation is to use a computer with 8 GB of RAM. This recommendation is especially relevant where the development machine includes a virtual machine that acts as a resource.

Can I have multiple resources with the same Appian RPA agent?

Yes, the agent can run on different resources, as long as it is not running at the same time.

Can I build a robotic process with an earlier version of Appian RPA?

We recommend creating robotic processes using the latest available version of Appian RPA.

The new versions are backward-compatible, meaning you can use robotic processes developed with previous Appian RPA versions.

Keep in mind that using previous versions will cause you to have fewer features since Appian RPA is continuously evolving to facilitate the development of robotic processes.

How can I take action on events in Appian RPA?

Events are triggered by the RPA console, resources, and robotic processes. All events are aggregated into the RPA console and accessible by system administrators.

To take action for a specific event type, create an action in the RPA console and map it to the desired event type. Additional configuration is available based on the action and event.

For example, you can create an action to send an email to the system administrators when a resource is running out of disk space.

Is Appian RPA available in a high availability configuration?

Appian RPA is not offered in the Appian Cloud high availability (HA) configuration at this time. However, Appian RPA's availability doesn't affect other features in the HA configuration.

Learn more about high availability in the Appian Cloud.

Robotic process development

Where can I find the Appian RPA API Javadoc documentation?

You can find the complete Javadoc documentation in the Appian RPA console. Click Help > Javadoc in the console menu.

Why isn't the resource's memory usage decreasing when the robotic process ends?

When the RPA agent starts and when robotic processes are executed, different Java libraries are loaded into memory in the Java Virtual Machine. Because these libraries are reused across the robotic process executions, they are not flagged for garbage collection. Therefore the memory usage does not significantly decrease upon completion of robotic processes.

To prevent the RPA agent going over its max amount of allocated memory, it's recommended to configure a restart when reaching a certain memory usage percentage. Refer to the question How can I take action on events in Appian RPA?

Why can't I see any robotic processes in the Appian RPA connected system?

Confirm that the service account used to authenticate Appian and Appian RPA has the appropriate permissions to see the robotic process. An administrator can update these permissions in the Appian RPA Console on the Users tab.

Run and debug environment

Can I start the Appian RPA agent as a service in Windows?

No, it is not possible to start the RPA agent as a Windows service. It is recommended to configure the RPA agent to start when Windows starts. See how in the next question.

Is there any way to configure Appian RPA resources to start automatically when Windows starts?

Yes, it is possible to add AppianRPAagent.exe to the start menu, so that when a session begins, the agent also starts.

Additionally, if you don't want Windows to ask for credentials, Windows can be configured with auto-logon. Read more information about this configuration.

Which should be the state of the Windows computers responsible for executing the robotic processes?

Robotic processes require a started and unlocked Windows session to operate correctly.

The following options allow Appian RPA to unlock the Windows sessions in an automated way for the execution of robotic processes.

Option 1: RPA agent self-unlocking configuration

With this option, the Appian RPA agent unlocks the local session when the execution of the robotic process is about to start, and locks back the session after the execution ends.

To configure this option:

  1. Log into the resource computer using Windows Remote Desktop Connection, starting a session.
  2. Execute the Appian RPA agent with administrator privileges. When the resource is connected to the RPA server, verify in the console's resource detail page that it was initiated with the administrator privileges.
  3. Close the Remote Desktop Connection. At this point, we have a session initiated by Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and locked. The Appian RPA resource, while executing with administrator privileges, can unlock the session and run a robotic process. After it finishes, it will lock the session again.

Option 2: Manager resource configuration

With this option, a "management" resource is used to unlock the sessions for all the other resources. Unlike standard resources, the management resource can't run robotic processes.

This kind of resource uses a plug-in that allows connection to other resources using the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol. As such, it requires connectivity with the rest of the computers where the resources are running.

To configure the unlocking plug-in, simply provide the list of resources and their credentials. These credentials can be encrypted.

Despite having these two options, we recommend connecting to the resources using a non intrusive system, such as a Virtual Network Computing system or a Remote Access Software.

Additionally, the Appian RPA Agent includes a feature that prevents locking the session due to inactivity. However, this does not prevent locking a session through a connection using RDP or by an explicit lock with Win+L or Ctrl+Alt+Del.

If the connection between the resource and the console is interrupted, could the robotic process keep working?

The execution of a robotic process requires both an Appian RPA resource and an Appian RPA console. It is not possible to run robotic processes without connectivity between the two.

Can I use JUnit or similar kind of testing framework to automate robotic process testing?

Appian RPA robotic processes must be executed inside the RPA platform and the RPA framework. As such, a JUnit test framework is not a viable option to unit test robotic processes.

However, Appian RPA allows robotic process invocation through REST API. This feature, with tools like Postman, can offer an automated test system.

These tests could use unusual inputs, so the robotic process could work in different modes, testing different cases.

After launching a robotic process, the execution trace keeps waiting for a resource. The resource state has been checked and it shows "blocked keys." What's wrong?

This means that the computer has either the Shift Lock key activated, the numeric keyboard blocked, or a key is being pressed. Under these conditions, the console can't execute the robotic process in this resource.

My computer is blocked while the robotic process is executing. What's wrong?

If a robotic process does not use the keyboard to enter data or does not move the mouse, the operating system does not register any user activity - even if the robotic process is performing calculation, reading files, etc. As such, the user's session may get locked during the execution.

To prevent the session from locking, it is recommended to use the method windows.antiScreenSaver() when an operation can take several minutes to complete before the robotic process performs a key press or a mouse operation.

I'm having trouble figuring out why my robotic process is failing. What can I do to investigate?

Confirm that the resource is set up properly. Two common problems are mismatched permissions or the agent isn't running and properly communicating with the Console. Take a look at the execution log to see the point in the process where the execution failed. Next time you manually execute a robotic process, enable screenshots so you can see what's happening on the resource before and when the execution fails.

Why is my robotic process failing on the second execution?

Confirm that your robotic process code uses the cleanUp() method to reset the resource's environment after an execution. If the robotic process doesn't clean up after itself, the next execution may encounter conditions it doesn't know how to handle and fail.

My robotic process is failing because of a web driver. How can I fix it?

Many modern web browsers update automatically, which can cause a robotic process to fail if it's using an older version of the webdriver. You can manually update the web driver to solve the issue. Alternatively, add the webdriver as a support file in the robotic process configuration or as a global support file if more than one robotic process references it.

More on the Appian RPA Browser module.

Data scraping

Is there any functionality to read a PDF in Appian RPA?

Appian RPA does not have a specific module for PDF handling. However, external libraries such as PDFBox can be easily integrated into any robotic process.

Add the dependency in the pom.xml of the project to access the external libraries:

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<dependency>
    <groupId>org.apache.pdfbox</groupId>
    <artifactId>pdfbox</artifactId>
    <version>1.8.10</artifact>
</dependency>    

Security

What TLS version does Appian RPA use for HTTPS communication between the agent and the console?

Appian RPA uses TLSv1.2, which is the current standard.

If due to company policies, passwords are required to be changed very often, must the user enter them each time they are modified?

Credentials must be updated in the console each time they are changed in the target application.

Events

Can I change the message that is sent by mail when the execution event of a robotic process is triggered or when it ends in an uncontrolled way?

The message can't be changed.

We recommend that the execution trace has the necessary information to know what the robotic process was doing to help show why it failed. It is better that this information is kept in the trace so it can be consulted in the future as a reference and does not depend on the email notification.

Console

How can I grant permission to a specific user to see only one robot and not all?

  1. Assign a unique permission to the user, for instance, "robot-X"
  2. Assign the same permission to the robot, for instance "robot-X"

With this configuration, the robotic process continues to run as expected since you have not restricted its permissions. And because the user only has the authorization to see the objects with the permission "robot-X" , he or she only has access to this robotic process.

How can I upload several files, or a structure of files and directories, to the robotic process support files?

You can upload a ZIP file and check the "Unzip on server" option (it is checked by default). After uploading a ZIP, the tree of support files will appear as a single file. If we refresh the page, the tree will reflect the real structure.

When creating the workflow, I have indicated the output of a condition such as "no" and "yes", but in the source code, "No" and "Yes." Is it normal for the robotic process to fail?

The text of the output arrows for conditional actions are discrete values and case-sensitive. The output conditions in both the workflow and the source code need to match exactly. If the values don't match or use different cases, the robotic process will fail.

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