Configuration

Once you have downloaded and started the agent on your resource, the next step is to configure the development environment.

To do so, Appian RPA provides the Configurator, which allows a guided installation of all the necessary software. You can also set up your development environment manually.

Once you've checked out your environment and are sure you installed the proper tools, you must do some configuration so you can accomplish all tasks related to the building, modifying and debugging of your robots.

This page will cover the following parts of configuring your development environment so you're ready to get started:

  • Maven configuration:
    • Repositories
    • Credentials
  • Agent and resource configuration
  • Robotic process and resource configuration in the console

Remember that by using the Configurator, the configuration relative to Maven and its file settings.xml is done automatically.

Maven configuration

After you've setup Maven, you'll need to configure some additional settings.

Repositories

It is a requirement to configure the Maven repositories to make the Appian RPA platform work properly.

Three repositories need to be set up: one to have access to the Appian RPA API, one to have access to plugins, and one to deploy the binaries of the robotic processes you develop. The repositories don't need to be separate.

You'll need the path to your RPA repository, presumably Nexus.

Contact your Appian RPA administrator for information about the Maven repositories you need to connect to.

First, configure the repositories containing the dependencies, libraries, and plugins required to build and deploy robots.

If the file settings.xml doesn't exist in your local Maven repository (usually located on folder ${user.home}/.m2/repository), you can create it. In this configuration file, you must add a new profile in the section <profiles>, replacing the URL for the one corresponding to the Maven repository of your organization.

This file should not be confused with the file located in the Maven installation (${maven.home}/conf/settings.xml).

Following you can see how dependencies repositories, element <repositories>, plugins repositories, element <pluginRepositories>, and deployment repositories, element <distributionManagement>, are specified.

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<profile>
  <id>jidoka-repo</id>
  <repositories>
    <repository>
      <id>jidoka</id>
      <url>my_jidoka_nexus_url</url>
      <releases>
        <enabled>true</enabled>
      </releases>
      <snapshots>
        <enabled>true</enabled>
      </snapshots>
    </repository>
  </repositories>
  <pluginRepositories>
    <pluginRepository>
      <id>jidoka</id>
      <url>my_jidoka_nexus_url</url>
      <releases>
        <enabled>true</enabled>
      </releases>
      <snapshots>
        <enabled>true</enabled>
      </snapshots>
    </pluginRepository>
  </pluginRepositories>
  <distributionManagement>
    <repository>
      <id>training</id>
      <url>my_jidoka_nexus_url</url>
      <layout>default</layout>
    </repository>
  </distributionManagement>
</profile>

you must replace the literal my_jidoka_nexus_url by the real URL of the Maven repository included in your Appian RPA installation.

Repositories require authentication. Contact your administrator to provide you with valid usernames and passwords to include in the <servers> section of the file settings.xml. you must add the following XML fragment, replacing the values for elements <user> and <password> by the credentials provided inside the element <server>.

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<server>
  <id>jidoka</id>
  <username>user</username>
  <password>password</password>
</server>

Don't confuse this identifier, which value is jidoka, referencing the credentials (element <server>), with the one corresponding to the profile (element <profile>), which value is jidoka-repo.

For Maven to associate these credentials with any repository, the identifiers (elements <id>) for each of them must match. In our case, this identifier is jidoka and it appears both in the elements relative to repositories, <repositories>, <pluginRepository> and <distributionManagement>, and inside the element <server>.

Using this configuration, your Maven commands that use the jidoka-repo profile will be able to access the repository dependencies. You won't need to set up repositories for each project within the pom.xml file, although you would have to specify the profile modifier, -Pjidoka-repo, for each execution.

To deploy, use: mvn clean deploy -Pjidoka-repo

To package, use: mvn package -Pjidoka-repo

To clean, use: mvn clean -Pjidoka-repo

When you set up the Maven project, your first robot is created from the archetype provided, for which it is required to specify the jidoka-repo profile.

When your project is already generated from the archetype, it won't be necessary to specify this profile again explicitly in each Maven execution. You don't have to worry about the POM setup of each generated project, thus making it easier to execute Maven commands without using the profile option:-P.

Our robots' configuration is meant to be as light as possible, delegating a part of it to its parent POM. More on POM.

To access it, the repositories must be included in your robotic process's POM. As was mentioned at the beginning of this section, you could achieve this by using the option -Pjidoka-repo, but, for easier use, your projects POM already have the necessary configuration.

This configuration is included in the profile jidoka-repo, that overwrites the one previously defined in the file ${user.home}/.m2/repository/settings.xml.

Once you have created your first robotic process, you'll be able to check all this configuration in the generated POM.

In the following sections, you will see what settings will look like for each repository.

Dependencies repository

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<repositories>
    <repository>
        <id>jidoka</id>
        <url>my_jidoka_nexus_url</url>
        <releases>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </releases>
        <snapshots>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </snapshots>
    </repository>
</repositories>

In case the robot needs any dependency that is neither public nor Appian RPA's, such as a utility library, this dependency should be within this repository, since the platform resolves them in the following order:

  1. Maven Central Repository
  2. Appian RPA Repository
  3. Dependencies Repository

Maven plugin repository

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<pluginRepositories>
    <pluginRepository>
        <id>jidoka</id>
        <url>my_jidoka_nexus_url</url>
        <releases>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </releases>
        <snapshots>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </snapshots>
    </pluginRepository>
</pluginRepositories>

Robot distribution repository

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<distributionManagement>
    <repository>
        <id>jidoka</id>
        <name>jidoka</name>
        <url>my_jidoka_nexus_url</url>
        <layout>default</layout>
    </repository>
</distributionManagement>

Additional configuration

To execute your first robotic process during development, you'll need to ensure the following steps are also complete:

  • Set up resources where you want the robotic processes to run.
  • Execute the agent on the resources where your robot must run. Remember that although you could use the same machine for developing and executing the robots it is strongly recommended that the development machine and the resource be different. It's also recommended to run the agent in a separate folder, since several files and folders will be created to make it work properly, as well as the robots it manages.
  • Assign permissions and tags to users, resources, and robotic processes to ensure proper security and visibility in the Console. Usually, you must assign the same permission of your user to the components you create that might require it, such as resources, robots, libraries, credentials etc.
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