Setup with Blue Prism

Prerequisites

This setup guide is intended for customers using Appian 20.1 or later and Blue Prism versions 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6.

Set up the Appian application package

The zip file has the following Appian components:

  • Prerequisites - List of plugins to add in the Admin console.
  • Appian Application Package - Robotic Workforce Manager<\version>.zip.
  • Appian Customization File - Robotic Workforce Manager<\version>.properties.
  • Scripts - Available in the folders Tables, Views, Stored Procedures & Function.
  • BP Release - Available in the folder BP release Package and Utilities.

Appian Application Package Setup requires four steps:

  1. Set up SQL scripts in database
  2. Import the package in Appian
  3. Populate vendor details
  4. Set up the Blue Prism package

Set up SQL scripts in database

Run the SQL Scripts with Tables, Views, Function, and Procedure queries as described below:

  1. Use the Cloud Database site (shown below).

    Figure 2.3.2.1 (a)

  2. Select the Database Appian.
  3. Click Import (shown below) on the top right and upload the files one by one in the order below, clicking Go to run each script.

    Figure 2.3.2.1 (b)

Self-managed customers or in-house database users can execute the SQL scripts one by one.

Next, import the MySQL scripts in the order below. You can find the scripts in the folder Scripts.

  1. Functions.sql
  2. Tables_Views.sql
  3. StoredProcedures.sql

Import the package in Appian

You can find the list of plugins in the Prerequisites document. To add the plugins:

  1. When logging into Appian as an Administrator, a screen similar to the below image will open. Open the menu and click Admin Console.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (a)

  2. Click Plug-ins in the left-hand menu of the Admin Console.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (b)

  3. Click Deploy New Plug-ins and a pop-up window with a search bar appears.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (c)

  4. Search for the given plug-ins, click on them, and deploy each plug-in.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (d)

To successfully import an application package, the service account user who deploys the application package must be in the GMT time zone and must not be changed.

  1. Click on the menu and navigate to the Appian Designer.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (e)

  2. Click Import.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (f)

  3. Upload the Robotic Workforce Manager<\version>.zip file to the Package (ZIP) section. Make changes to the Robotic Workforce Manager.properties as mentioned below.

    Note: If your installation of RWM only requires Blue Prism set up, don't modify the RWM_UI_PATH_CSP and RWM_AppianRPA sections in the properties file.

    Robotic Workforce Manager.properties

    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18
    19
    20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    27
    28
    29
    30
    
      Provide the Appian environment URL ex:https://xyz.appiancloud.com
      ## Constant: RWM_VAL_APPIAN_DOMAIN_NAME
      ## Type: Text
      ##
      ## Text values will be displayed in Appian exactly as they are
      ## specified here. No spaces are trimmed. Values do not need to be
      ## encased in quotation marks.
      content._a-0000e23d-7780-8000-9ba2-011c48011c48_64089.VALUE= [http(s)]://[Appian URL]
         
      Appian business database name ex:jdbc/Appian
      ## Constant: RWM_VAL_COMMON_DATA_STORE_APPIAN
      ## Type: Text
      ##
      ## Text values will be displayed in Appian exactly as they are
      ## specified here. No spaces are trimmed. Values do not need to be
      ## encased in quotation marks.
      content._a-0000e23d-7780-8000-9ba2-011c48011c48_69762.VALUE=jdbc/[Database Name]
         
      The following are UiPath specific connected system, no modifications are needed these details are configured directly from the database in below steps
      ## Connected System: RWM_UIPath_CSP
      connectedSystem._a-0000e2f2-a540-8000-e99f-01ef9001ef90_314069.host=http(s)://<UIPath_Orchestrator_URL>
      connectedSystem._a-0000e2f2-a540-8000-e99f-01ef9001ef90_314069.port=<Port_Number to access UIPath Orchestrator>
      connectedSystem._a-0000e2f2-a540-8000-e99f-01ef9001ef90_314069.tenant=<Host_Name to access UIPath Orchestrator>
      connectedSystem._a-0000e2f2-a540-8000-e99f-01ef9001ef90_314069.userName=<Username to access UIPath Orchestrator>
      connectedSystem._a-0000e2f2-a540-8000-e99f-01ef9001ef90_314069.password=<password>
         
      The following are Appian RPA http connected system, for API Key Value, use "Bearer <apiKeyValue>" This API Key must be related to a service account in Admin Console. The service account should have an System Administrator access.
      ## Connected System: RWM_AppianRPA
      connectedSystem._a-0000e3be-674f-8000-9ba5-011c48011c48_30431.baseUrl=[http(s)]://[Appian URL]/rpa/
      connectedSystem._a-0000e3be-674f-8000-9ba5-011c48011c48_30431.apiKeyValue=Bearer <apiKeyValue>
    
  4. Click the Include related import customization file checkbox and upload it to the Import Customization File (PROPERTIES) section.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (g)

  5. Click Inspect. If the inspection returns without any warnings or conflicts, then you are ready to move on to the next step of importing. If you're shown unexpected warnings or conflicts, please contact the support team.

    Figure 2.3.2.2 (h)

  6. Click Import. Due to the size of this application, it may take a while to import, at which point the screen may time out. This is expected, and the import is still occurring in the background.

Populate vendor details

To configure the vendor details, you need to be a member of the RWM_Admin group.

  1. Go to Tempo from Navigation Tab and click Actions.
  2. Click the Configure Environment and Instance Details action. The below interface appears. Manage all vendor details here.
  3. Click Add New Environment and enter the details.

    Figure 3.2.1.3 (a)

    Figure 3.2.1.3.b

    • Vendor Name: Select Blue Prism.
    • Environment Name: Enter the environment server name.
    • URL: Enter the server URL. Ex: Http://<serverurl>:8181/ws/
    • Is Active: Check the checkbox to make the Environment active.

To add the instance details:

  1. Go to Tempo from Navigation Tab and click on Actions.
  2. Click the Configure Environment and Instance Details action and navigate to Instance tab, which appears below.
  3. On this tab, click Add New Instance to add all the instance details in accordance with vendor details. Disabled fields are not required.

    Figure 3.2.1.3.c

    Figure 3.2.1.3.d

    • Linked Environment Name: Select the environment name that was given in Vendor Details.
    • Instance Name: Enter the name for the instance.
    • Display Name: Enter the display for the instance.
    • User Name: Enter the username to access the Blue Prism Server.
    • Password: Enter the password of the mentioned username to access the Blue Prism server.
    • Folder Structure: Enter the path of the download location of the documents. This should be a shared drive.
    • Heartbeat Process Date & Time: Insert the date and time for the heartbeat process, based on that time heartbeat details are fetched. Past date & time is preferable.
    • Is Active: Click the checkbox to make the instance active.
    • Is Licensed: Click the checkbox to indicate the instance is licensed.

Set up the Blue Prism package

The Robotic Workforce Manager package consists of the Robotic Workforce Manager<\version> -> BP Release Robotic Workforce Manager.bprelease file, which contains multiple objects to be setup in the Blue Prism Environment.

One dedicated run time resource is needed to manage the RWM application.

These objects are required to be added to the Blue Prism environment:

  • BPA Object - Data - SQL Server
  • BPA Object - Utility - XML
  • BPA Object - Utility - JSON
  • BPA Object - Utility - Collection Manipulation
  • Appian Skill
  • SQL server authentication should be enabled

To add the objects:

  1. Log into Blue Prism, click on File > Import.

    Figure 3.2.1.4.a

  2. Click Browse.
  3. Search for and open the following utilities, which are available in the Setup package folder (*Robotic Workforce Manager -> BP Release -> Utilities*):
    1. BPA Object - Utility - JSON
    2. BPA Object - Utility - Collection Manipulation
    3. BPA Object - Data - SQL Server
    4. BPA Object - Utility - XML
    5. Appian Skill

    Figure 3.2.1.4.b

  4. After you select an object, click Next and finish the import. Repeat the process for each object.
  5. Open the Configuration Guide document for Appian Skill to add it to the Blue Prism Environment. It will be mentioned in further steps.

To enable SQL server authentication:

  1. Go to MS SQL Server and log in.
  2. Right-click on the server and go to properties as in Figure 3.2.1.4 (c).

    Figure 3.2.1.4.c

  3. In properties, check SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode and click OK as shown in Figure 3.2.1.4 (d).

    Figure 3.2.1.4.d

Import the Blue Prism package

Pre-setup steps You'll need to set up Appian skill and credentials before importing the ".bprelease" file.

  1. Go to System tab > Web API Services > Appian Skill.
  2. Click Appian Skill (top option in the left pane) and add your Appian Base URL (for example: https://yourenvironment.appiancloud.com/suite/webapi/).
  3. Click Send Data to Appian and click Parameters
  4. Check Expose for the row Web API Endpoint.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Download the Robotic Workforce Manager.bprelease file and import into Blue Prism.
  7. While importing, the following credentials need to be given:
    • RWM BP Server Credential: Blue Prism's username and password has to be given.
      • In version 6.4.2 and below, you must provide the username and password as in Figure Figure 3.2.1.4.1.1(a).
      • In version 6.5 and above, it is optional to provide it and it can also be changed from the system tab as in Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.1 (a)
    • This username is used to start a process from the Automate.exe command, so this account should have admin privileges.

Figure 3.2.1.4.1.1 (a)

Post-setup steps

This includes configuring:

  • Environmental variables
  • Credential's access rights
  • Exposing business objects
  • Schedulers

Environment variables

  1. Go to System > Processes / Objects > Environment Variables and set these values:
    • RWM Appian Password - Password of Appian administrator account provided in the below variable.
    • RWM Appian Username - Username of Appian administrator account to which Blue Prism is pointing.
    • RWM BP Server Credentials - Credential which has the username and password of the Blue Prism server.
    • RWM DB Name - Blue Prism's database name.
    • RWM DB User - Blue Prism's database username.
    • RWM DB Password - Blue Prism's database password.
    • RWM DB Server Name - Blue Prism's server name.
    • RWM HistoricUpdate Flag - Flag should be True when running for the first time alone (with start date and end date), after which it should be False.
    • RWM HistoricQuery StartDate - Beginning date to fetch data for the historic load.
    • RWM HistoricQuery EndDate - End date to fetch data for the historic load.
    • RWM Executing Pool Name - The name of the pool or FQDN of the resource (pool is recommended) that is dedicated to sending out frequent status updates to Appian. To create the Resource pool:
      1. Go to System > Resources > Pools.
      2. Click New Pool.
      3. You can rename the pool.
      4. Drag and drop resources to add it to the pool.

      Note:

      • Make sure that you add more than one resource to the pool and all are not active.
      • Don't add the Blue Prism's resource to the pool.
    • RWM ETL Batches - Maximum number of batches to be run in the extract, transform, load (ETL) Process.
    • RWM Tenant ID - Primary key of the corresponding Blue Prism environment present in the RWM_UI_TENANT_DETAILS table column name TENANT_ID.
  2. After configuring the variables, click Apply to save changes.

Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.1 (a)

Credentials

For RWM Blue Prism server and Appian credentials, provide the following access rights:

  1. Go to System > Security > Credential > <\credentialName> > Access Rights.
  2. Go to each tab and configure the following settings:
    • Security Roles - Check the System Administrator & Runtime resources.
    • Processes - Check the processes with RWM as their prefix.
    • Resources - Check the resources using RWM processes.

Refer to Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.2 (a) for the location of the credentials.

Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.2 (a)

Exposing business objects

Expose the following objects:

  • RWM Add to Queue (RWMAddtoQueue)
  • RWM Populate Queue (RWMPopulateQueue)
  • RWM Update Process Status (RWMUpdateProcessStatus)

To communicate from Appian to Blue Prism:

  1. In Bue Prism, go to System > Objects > Exposure > Expose a Business Object as shown below.

    Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.3 (a)

  2. Select an object and click Next.
  3. Enter the full name of the objects listed above. This includes the exposed object name and the object name indicated within the parenthesis (for example RWM Add to Queue (RWMAddtoQueue)). None of the checkboxes need to be selected as shown below.

    Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.3 (b)

  4. Click Finish to expose the object.
  5. Repeat the process for all three objects.

Schedulers

To set up RWM ETL Scheduler:

  1. Go to Control > Schedules > RWM ETL Scheduler > RWM ETL Scheduler Process.
  2. Select the process RWM_GetDataFromBPtoAppian from Available Processes and drag and drop to a Blue Prism server's resource.

To set up RWM Schedules:

  1. Go to Control > Schedules > RWM Schedules > RWM Trigger Process.
  2. Select the process RWM_Trigger Process from Available Processes and drag and drop to the Resource/POOL(recommended) in Available Resources.
  3. Click Apply Changes after configuring each schedule.

Figure 3.2.1.4.1.2.4 (a)

Data load

Data are loaded from Blue Prism to Appian on a daily basis by running the ETL process on the Blue Prism side. The process could also be used to load historic data into Appian.

Historic load configuration

To load the historic data, the environment variables below should be configured:

  • RWM HistoricUpdate Flag - True
  • RWM HistoricQuery StartDate - Start date the data should be fetched from Blue Prism.
  • RWM HistoricQuery EndDate - End date the data should be fetched from Blue Prism.
  • RWM ETL Batches - Initial value is 100, i.e 100 rows of data from Blue Prism will be transferred to Appian at a time. This number could be modified but the recommended value is 100.

Once the above values are configured the process RWM_getDataFromBPToAppian needs to be started manually.

Daily update configuration

A scheduled ETL process runs every day (configured for 1 A.M. GMT nightly) to collect Blue Prism statistics and move them to Appian via a predefined web service. The timing of this run is configurable. Users can configure the timing by navigating to the scheduler called RWM ETL Scheduler in Blue Prism. After which the RWM ETL task needs to be selected and the process RWM_getDataFromBPToAppian needs to be added against either a particular resource or to a pool.

NOTE:

  • Make sure that the constant variable RWM HistoricUpdate Flag is marked as False, for daily data updates.
  • Make sure that the constant variable RWM_FLAG_HEARTBEAT_PROCESS Flag is marked as True, for heartbeat data updates.

Figure 3.2.2.2 (a)

Once the data is loaded into Appian, the dashboards carry the last updated timestamp on each screen (top right corner).

It should be noted that the application can only show data as of the previous schedule (typically the previous day, alternatively known as T-1 data). The application only supports the near real-time data collection only for the Processes Started & Scheduled from Appian, Resource Alerts, and for fetching exceptions into Appian.

Architecture

Updating data from Blue Prism to Appian

Data regarding Process, Queue, Work Items, Resource information, and other metrics are transported from Blue Prism to Appian on a daily basis. A scheduler invokes a Blue Prism robot to execute a process, which runs several queries. The response is converted to a JSON and moved to Appian via the endpoints configured on Appian's side.

Figure 3.2.3.1 (a)

Start/schedule a Module

Once a user starts or schedules a process, the process name, its input parameters, scheduled time (aka deferred time, if scheduled) and Appian-generated reference ID are sent to Blue Prism via Appian Web API. In Blue Prism, an object called HIL Populate Queue will be invoked (in Background mode), which creates a work item based on this information. These processes will be triggered passively in Blue Prism via a Blue Prism Scheduler.

Figure 3.2.3.2 (a)

Trigger process workflow

Figure 3.2.3.3 (a)

Real-time status extraction

Currently, we support the close to real-time (five-minute delay) extraction of the Process (Start/Schedule execution) and Resource Status from Blue Prism. For this, there are two processes in Appian that are scheduled to run for every five minutes. The processes pass a query to extract the process/resource status frequently to an exposed Blue Prism object, which runs the query and provides the response to Appian. This response will be updated in Appian.

Figure 3.2.3.4 (a)

Exception management

Currently, the exception management reference app has been developed in Appian and Blue Prism, where Appian is used as a tool to manage the exceptions raised from Blue Prism. This module automatically pulls exception work items from Blue Prism and sends them to Appian, where they will be assigned to a specific user or group based on the routing logic at Appian. If a match in the routing module is not found, the exceptions will be sent to the Exception Manager for assignment.

Figure 3.2.3.5 (a)

Limitations

  • Collections are not supported while starting or scheduling a process from Appian.
  • The default timezone for Blue Prism's database is GMT; additional configurations will be required if it is in a different time zone.
  • It is preferred to run ETL batches in size of 100. Anything more than 100 can result in suboptimal implementation.
  • For automatic case routing, the current version of RWM supports exceptions that are triggered within each work item in a queue.
Open in Github Built: Fri, Mar 11, 2022 (04:59:07 PM)

On This Page

FEEDBACK