Testing a robotic process is an important step before deploying it to production environments. You want to make sure that the robotic process executes properly and is set up to handle changes or unexpected situations.
This page outlines some ways to test your process and solve common problems during the bug fixing process.
Your first step when troubleshooting a robotic process should be to check the execution log:
Other solutions to common pitfalls include:
When in doubt, open a support case with Appian Support and attach the execution log.
One of the most important features to use while developing a robot is the ability to debug it. To do so, we can perform what's called remote debugging.
We call it remote debugging because we are assuming that the robotic process will run on a different machine from the one used by the person who wants to debug the process.
Let's see how to enable this remote debugging and how to use it.
First, you'll need to configure the resource.
It is possible that, in a development resource, the agent may be already configured to accept incoming connection for debugging through port 13000. If this is not the case, it is possible to enable remote debugging through a configuration file where it is possible to specify, among others, which port will be used for debugging.
This file, usually called jidoka.l4j.ini, is optional and makes it possible to add specific configuration to the resource JVM. In this file, basically a properties file, we must add the following line to enable remote debugging:
1 -Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=[PORT]
Where we want to replace [PORT] by the port through debugging will be enabled. This port must be available and be capable of receive incoming connections for debugging.
It might be the case the provided agent is already configured to accept incoming connections for debugging through port 13000. However, this option is disabled by default, so it is necessary to have been requested previously.
Next, you'll need to configure Eclipse.
To be able to remotely debug a robot, we must add a remote Java machine within the debugging settings.
Right click on Remote Java Application and select New.
Agents have enabled the port 13000 for remote debugging.
The deployed robot to be executed must match with the version of the code that we want to debug.
Once we have applied the configuration by clicking on the button Apply, we can start debugging by clicking on the button Debug. By doing so, we establish the connection, and so we will still need to set the necessary breakpoints for the debugging.
From the Eclipse Debug perspective, we can see that we are connected and ready for debugging once the robot execution starts.
We will able to see the threads that are running on the remote machine.
You don't need to click Debug each time we want to debug a robot. Once connected, we will be able to debug each robot execution until the connection is closed.
Making changes in the code as we are debugging is quite common. For this reason, be aware that if you change the code, it is no longer synchronized with the deployed robotic process's code. Although you don't need to reconnect with the remote machine, you can redeploy the robot directly to synchronize again the robot and the code.
Every time you change your code and save it, Eclipse will show you a warning message, because Eclipse cannot know whether the code matches with the execution we are debugging or not.
It's time to debug our robotic processes.
By now, you are already connected with the machine on which the robot is running. You need two more things: to establish breakpoints to stop the execution and to launch the robot.
In the image below, we can see the breakpoints already established.
You can launch the robot and wait for the execution to stop, so that you can debug step by step.
From this point on, you can use the usual commands for debugging. From the Display view, you can write and run any set of lines of code, without the need for including them in the debugged software.
To run code from the Display window, write the code, select it, and press the keys Ctrl + Shift + D. You can also right-click and pick the option Display from the menu. We can also pick the option Inspect, but this way we will get the result on a pop-up window, rather than on the display view.
After you've debugged, execute the robotic process in your test environment.
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