The Appian Services module extends robotic process automation capabilities within your Appian applications. Using the methods within the module, your process can automatically send data to or request data from Appian numerous times throughout the process execution. These actions occur without initiating an Appian process model, making communication faster and simpler.
Additionally, the module is built for ease of use between environments:
To use the methods in this module, you can use the low-code module available in the Appian RPA Console. The low-code module allows you to easily configure methods in a user interface and call robotic process variables to use as values or store returning method results.
This page describes how to use methods in the low-code module. For more experienced developers, more options are available using the Java module.
Using methods from a low-code module is both easier and more robust. The Appian Services low-code module allows you to configure the Start process method and the Evaluate expression method through a user interface.
The Start Process method lets you kick off a process in Appian as part of a robotic process. You can map variables from a process model in Appian to the robotic process variables you've defined in the configuration. The method passes data from Appian RPA variables to Appian using this map and initiates a process using the data as input.
To use the Start Process method:
Select a process model and the process parameters appear.
If you don't have access to the selected process model, you'll see a message saying it's not visible and you won't be able to load the process parameters.
Once you've mapped your process variables to the variables in your robotic process, you can reference those variables using other low-code modules in your workflow. This allows you to easily capture and use those values throughout your robotic process without going into your source code.
The Evaluate expression method allows you to write and evaluate regular expressions and Appian expressions directly in your robotic process. This method provides an expression pane where you can call Appian expression rules (
rule!) and constants (
cons!), reference robotic process variables (
pv!), and use Appian functions to format and aggregate your data.
This action is particularly helpful with conditional actions. With this method, you can create an
if statement that can determine which output the robotic process should follow. In a generic action, this method allows you to determine a variable's value using logic, allowing your data to be dynamic.
To use the Evaluate expression method:
It's common for a robotic process to iterate over many items. For example, you could process several employees, IDs, or bank accounts. To process numerous items, a robotic process workflow will include a loop.
Loops utilize conditional actions to determine when all available items have been processed, and which action to take next. Using the Evaluate expression method, it's now easier than ever to construct an
if statement in your conditional action to determine if there are anymore items to process.
The example below illustrates how to create a low-code loop in your workflow.
In the Robotic process configuration page, create a new process variable to provide the current index of the loop. In the initial value field, enter the first index number. In many cases, this will be 1.
Create a generic action and use the Evaluate expression method from the Appian Services module. Create an expression that will increment the index after each flow in the loop completes. The expression should save the output back into your index variable. In the example workflow above, this action would be
1 pv!currentIndex + 1
Create a conditional action and use the Evaluate expression method from the Appian Services module. Enter an expression to compare the current item's index to the length of the list of total items. In this example, we are comparing the current item index with the total number of contracts. There is no need to save the output back into a variable.
1 2 3 4 5 if( pv!currentIndex <= length(pv!contracts), true, false )
When the robotic process reaches this point of the workflow, it will continue looping through the actions as long as the current index is less than the number of contracts. When the index equals or exceeds the number of contracts, the conditional action routes the robotic process to another action or to end the execution.
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