Security

This page describes how permissions are used to secure users, resources, and robotic processes in Appian RPA. It also covers how to set up security between Appian and Appian RPA.

Looking for a refresher on these components? Check out key terms in Appian RPA.

Permissioning through tags

Appian RPA uses a flexible permissions mechanism based on tags that can be used to:

  • Allow users access the resources
  • Allow users access the robotic processes
  • Define which robots can be executed on each resource
  • Define which credentials and libraries can be used with a robot

In other words, the tag-based permissions system enables you to assign a set of resources and/or robots to one or more users, as well as use credentials and libraries with them. Different users can access the same robot, resource, credential, or library no matter what their profile (role) is.

It is very important to keep in mind that any permission modifications, on any element in the console, can make a user lose access to a robot they've created, or prevent that user from executing or editing a robot. For this reason, it is important that you pay close attention to any modification of permissions you perform from the console.

To apply permissions, we have to create new tags or use some of the already available. To create a new tag, the only thing you have to do is to type its name and press Enter. If that permission was already added, we can also choose it from a drop-down suggested list.

Types of permissions

To make a user, robot, resource, credential, or library visible to another element, both must share at least one permission. If an element has more than one permission whose names end in an exclamation mark, the elements must share all mandatory permissions with this mark for both of them.

There are two types of permissions:

  • Regular permission: permission whose name does not end in the exclamation mark. All elements sharing a permission will be able to see each other.
  • Mandatory permission: permission whose name ends in the exclamation mark. To make an element with one or more mandatory permissions visible by another element, the last one must have all the mandatory permissions of the first one.

Assign or edit permissions

Anyone can create permissions in Appian RPA. As long as a process is visible to a user, that user can assign permissions to it. However, only administrators can assign permissions to users.

Developers can create permissions for their processes. To grant the right users access to those processes, developers and administrators should coordinate to use consistent permissions and assign them when needed.

When you import a robotic process, the associated permissions are imported as well. Permissions are not carried during the import and export process for users and resources. Appian recommends first importing a robotic process and assigning permissions to users and resources next. This will ensure your process is appropriately permissioned and ensure consistency.

When you want a user to have access to a robotic process or a resource, they must have at least one permission in common. You can assign permissions to users, robotic processes, and resources in similar ways.

  1. Go to the tab where you want to add or edit permissions. For example, the Users, Resources, or Robotic Processes tabs.
  2. In a row in the table, click the lock icon 2229048.png in the Actions column.
  3. In the window, assign new permissions or remove existing ones in the Permissions field. rpa-permission-tags.png
  4. Click OK when finished.

Modify user permissions in bulk

As more people access the Appian RPA Console, security is important to consider. Administrators can add or remove permissions for multiple users at once:

  1. Go to the Users tab in the Appian RPA Console.
  2. Find the users whose permissions you want to edit. For each user, check the box in the Sel. column.
  3. Click the Permissions icon at the top of the list. In the Permissions window, two fields appear:
    • In all selected users: The permissions in this field are present for all selected users. You can add or remove permissions in this field.
    • In some selected users: The permissions in this field are present for some, but not all, selected users. You can remove permissions in this field.
  4. Type a tag in the In all selected users field and press Enter to add the permission to all selected users. If the permission already exists, Appian RPA shows it as a suggestion as you type. Click a suggested permission to add it.
  5. You can also remove permissions in either field. Click the X for any tag to remove it from the users who have it.

rpa-bulk-permissions.png

Modify resource permissions in bulk

You can also add or remove permissions for multiple resources at one time:

  1. Go to the Resources tab in the Appian RPA Console.
  2. Find the resources for which you want to edit permissions. For each resource, check the box in the Sel. column.
  3. Click the Permissions icon at the top of the list. In the Permissions window, two fields appear:
    • In all selected resources: The permissions in this field are present for all selected resources. You can add or remove permissions in this field.
    • In some selected resources: The permissions in this field are present for some, but not all, selected resources. You can remove permissions in this field.
  4. Type a tag in the In all selected resources field and press Enter to add the permission to all selected resources. If the permission already exists, Appian RPA shows it as a suggestion as you type. Click a suggested permission to add it.
  5. You can also remove permissions in either field. Click the X for any tag to remove it from those resources.

rpa-bulk-resource.png

Assign permissions to login credentials

When you want a robot or a library to have access to a login credential, the credentials must have at least one permission in common with that robot or library.

To assign or modify permissions to a login credentials:

  1. Go to the Robotic processes page.
  2. Click on the Credentials icon in the toolbar.
  3. In the List of credentials, select a row.

Securing Appian objects and robotic processes

If your robotic process interacts with Appian objects, you'll need to set up permissions so the Appian objects can be accessed as needed. Permissions apply only to service accounts set up to use Appian RPA, since ordinary Appian users don't have access to the robotic processes.

Currently, Appian and Appian RPA have different security mechanisms. You'll maintain security through permissions you grant to the service account that connects the two. Appian recommends that you document your security settings to more easily reproduce in the future. For example, you may need to recreate permissions in a target environment when you deploy a robotic process.

To set up common security between Appian and Appian RPA:

  1. Create a service account to communicate with Appian RPA and make sure it has either administrator or developer permissions in Appian.
  2. Once the connected system is set up, the service account will be automatically added to the user list in Appian RPA.
  3. An Appian RPA administrator should apply permissions to the service account as needed to access the intended robotic processes and resources. Alternatively, a service account can be designated as an Administrator so it has universal permissions.
  4. In Appian, the service account can be added to the appropriate security groups so it can interact with Appian objects as needed.

Example

To demonstrate how permissions work between Appian and Appian RPA, we'll use an example. Suppose your first robotic process fits within an Appian process model that processes internal transfer requests. The process model is in an Appian application called "Company Transfers." The process will interact with the PeopleSoft user interface to gather data about the employee who requests a transfer and write it into an Appian database. The app has three security groups: Administrators (with admin privileges), HR Managers (with editor privileges), and All HR Users (with view privileges).

Let's suppose you create a service account to set up the Appian RPA connected system. You want this service account to be able to write data to your datastore. The datastore's security currently lists HR Managers as editors, so you could add the service account to the HR Manager group to inherit this security, as well as the security of other objects configured for this group.

In Appian RPA, you'll set up permissions so the service account can access the robotic process that gathers the data from PeopleSoft. The service account needs to share a permission with the same process. Alternatively, if you make the service account an Administrator, it will have universal access.

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