Robotic processes follow a different deployment pattern than other Appian design objects. There are some steps you should take in Appian RPA alongside your routine deployment process within Appian.
This page describes the process of deploying a robotic process in Appian. Each step includes links to relevant documentation so you can become more familiar with the process overall. As you get more experience deploying the robotic processes, you can use this page as a reference.
What's included in the robotic process export package?
Administrators can efficiently deploy robotic processes between environments without needing to coordinate closely with the developer who coded the robotic process. You won't need access to an integrated development environment or the repository directly to collect these files. Instead, Appian RPA bundles everything into a ZIP file for administrators or non-developers to easily deploy to target environments.
The exported package includes the robotic process configuration and related Java artifacts. These artifacts include classes and libraries referenced by the robotic process, which are required for it to execute successfully. You can also include credentials that share permissions with the robotic package in the export package.
The robotic process export package includes two types of libraries: workflow libraries and code libraries.
Workflow libraries are defined in the RPA console and referenced within the definition of a robotic process. When exporting a robotic process that relies on a workflow library, Appian will automatically export the definition and the Java artifacts of the workflow library, as long as the artifacts are in the default console repository. If the workflow library points to a repository that isn't the default, Appian will still export the workflow library definition, but not the Java artifacts.
Code libraries are referenced within Java. When exporting, Appian will automatically include any code library artifacts that the robotic process relies on that exist within the default console repository. When importing, all Java artifacts are imported into the default repo of the target environment.
Learn more about libraries in Appian RPA.
Prepare the robotic process and Appian deployment package
In Appian RPA:
- Go to the Robotic Processes tab in the Appian RPA Console.
- Find the robotic process you want to export and click Configure in the toolbar.
- In the robotic process configuration, click Export Robotic Process icon in the toolbar.
You'll see the credentials the robotic process has permissions to use. Choose the credentials to include in your robotic process export package.
- Click Export to export the package: the robotic process configuration (including libraries) and the credentials you selected. If the robotic process, workflow libraries, or Maven dependencies were deleted during this process, you'll see an error message saying they weren't able to be exported.
In the Export Complete window, click Download Package to download the robotic process package as a ZIP file. Be sure to also download the customization file, if applicable.
- Repeat the previous steps for each robotic process you're exporting.
- Provide the packages to the person or team responsible for deploying the robotic process in the new environment.
- Prepare the deployment package.
The developer must make sure all robotic process dependencies in Appian are accounted for (including process models, document folders, and web APIs). There won't be any warnings on either import or export if dependencies referenced by the robotic process aren't present.
Deploy robotic processes and Appian apps
When you import a robotic process package to the target environment, Appian RPA walks you through the steps to import each piece of the package.
Before you deploy, keep in mind:
- If you don't already have a service account and API key that is used for Appian RPA, generate an API key and create service accounts for the Appian RPA connected system.
- Update the Appian import customization file with the API key for the RPA connected system.
- Update the RPA import customization file with any new or updated credentials and environmental variables.
- Update your local Maven settings to enable pushing source code from your local environment to new target environment.
- Create a new profile in pom.xml for the new environment.
- Add repository credentials for the new environment to the .m2 file and reference the new profile you created.
- If the user importing the robotic process isn't a system administrator, the user must share permissions with the robotic process. If the user and robotic process don't share permissions, they'll see an error message telling them they can't import.
- Robotic processes created in an older version of Appian RPA can be imported into newer Appian RPA environments. However, you can't import new robotic processes into older versions of Appian RPA.
To import the robotic process configuration in the Appian RPA Console:
- On the Robotic processes tab, click the Import robotic process icon in the toolbar.
- Browse for the package or drop it into the Import Robotic Process window. Click Include import customization file if you want to upload one to use with the robotic process.
- Click Inspect to confirm that the pieces you're uploading are compatible with the target environment or existing robotic process.
- In the Inspection Results window, you'll see a list of the items included in the robotic process package. Appian RPA checks to see if the incoming credentials or libraries already exist in the target environment.
- Observe the Status for each object:
- Changed: The item to import is different from the one that exists in the target environment. If you choose to continue the import, the newer version of this item will be imported and replace the existing one.
- Not Changed: The item has the same group ID, artifact ID, and version as an item in the target environment, and the object is skipped during import.
- New: The item doesn't exist in the target environment.
Libraries appear as Not Changed unless the version number is incremented. Whenever a library is updated and needs to be deployed, the version number should be incremented.
- Click Import to continue adding the items to the target environment. The items are added to the default repository.
- A confirmation screen appears to show you which items were imported successfully.
Complete the following manual configurations:
- Ensure that the correct resource is available and set up correctly.
- Verify that permissions are set up appropriately between the service account and resources that need to communicate.
- Queue (optional) - If your robotic process is designed to process work items from a queue, configure the queues for the robotic process. This isn't part of the exported robotic process configurations, so you'll need to set this up manually.
- Schedule (optional) - If your robotic process is designed to execute on a schedule, configure the schedule for the robotic process. This isn't part of the exported robotic process configurations, so you'll need to set this up manually.
- Global support files (optional) - If your robotic process relies on global support files, make sure that the files exist in the environment.
Repeat the previous steps for each robotic process you're importing.
Finally, in Appian, deploy the Appian package according to your established process.