|This content applies solely to Appian RPA, which must be purchased separately from the Appian base platform.|
Robotic processes are ideal for rote and repetitive tasks, but configuring the process workflow for straightforward tasks can still be complex and time-consuming. The new robotic process designer brings speed and simplicity to the design side of robotic process automation. Build a robotic process rapidly using drag-and-drop actions, action groups, and inline configuration panes. The new designer also shows you the robotic process workflow at a high-level, including what's happening in the Setup and Clean up sections.
This page describes the interface and functionality of the new robotic process designer. The new designer is currently available to preview in Appian RPA. Many of the most common types of interactions are supported. See Unavailable actions for a list of the actions still in development.
Not all actions are supported in the new designer preview. If an action is unavailable, it appears in the Actions Palette but you won't be able to add it to the workflow. Additionally, you won't be able to use workflow libraries or custom inputs in the preview.
If you need to use one of the unavailable actions, exit the preview by clicking Use Previous Designer in the banner at the top of the screen.
The new robotic process designer preview is active by default for each new robotic process you create using the Blank template. If you would rather use the previous version of the workflow designer, click Use Previous Designer in the banner at the top of the workflow designer to exit the preview. Once you exit the preview, you won't be able to access it again for that robotic process.
To start exploring the new designer, go to the Task tab in the robotic process configuration.
You can use robotic process variables to pass data between workflow actions and other design objects like process models and interfaces. The new robotic process designer includes an improved variable grid that should look familiar if you've worked with rule inputs in the Expression Editor or Interface Designer. All of your process variables are neatly located in the VARIABLES section of the designer.
To create a process variable:
Credentialtype is used to reserve credentials for use in robotic subprocesses.
Dropdown. The default value of the variable at the start of the process.
Dropdown. Indicates if the process variable can pass values to the robotic process before it executes. Before the process executes, the user will be prompted to provide an input.
It is now easier to reference your robotic process variables. Text fields that are found in the configuration options for robotic process actions now allow you to select from a variable picker. Use the variable picker to choose a process variable as a value for your process. What's more, when you rename variables, we'll now automatically update their names throughout your entire process!
See Robotic process variables for more information.
Similar to the Interface Designer, the Actions Palette shows you the actions that are available to add to the robotic process. Use the search bar to quickly find an action by name, or browse the list of actions within each low-code module.
To add an action to the workflow:
That's it! You can configure the action in the Configuration Pane.
The robotic process designer supports the task recorder tool. The task recorder can automatically record your browser interactions and translate them into robotic process actions. You can start a recording from a section, action group, or conditional flow path.
To start a recording:
The following actions aren't yet available in the new designer preview:
The new designer now supports the Execute robotic subprocess action; however, this release does not support passing
Credential type variables to subprocesses. To use credentials in a robotic subprocess, you must first click Use Previous Designer in the banner at the top of the screen.
Action groups help you organize actions that work together to achieve a desired outcome. For example, you may want to organize your workflow so that login actions are contained in an action group.
To add an action group to the workflow, click and drag Action Group from the Actions Palette to a section.
Loops repeat actions until a condition is satisfied. Use the Loop action to process items in a list such as files in a directory or line items on an invoice. RPA supports the following loop types:
Loops can't repeat more than 1000 times.
In the following example, the loop will execute the Create a folder and Copy a file or folder actions until the Loop Expression returns
To add and configure a Loop action:
Action expressions in loops can reference function variables. Supported function variables in loops include:
|Function Variable||Description||While||Repeat||For Each|
||The current iteration of the loop, starting at 1.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
||The total number of loop iterations.||No||Yes||Yes|
||The current item.||No||No||Yes|
The robotic process designer includes three default sections: Setup, Main, and Clean up. Drag and drop actions to any section to get started. To learn more about how the Setup and Clean up sections behave at runtime, see Sections.
Click the arrow in the section's toolbar to expand or collapse that section.
The robotic process designer allows you to quickly configure conditional flows. Conditional flows are decision points for a robotic process's execution, where the path of the flow adjusts based on specified conditions. The results of conditional actions determine the path the process will follow. Use conditional actions to make your robotic processes more dynamic. For example, if a web element is present, copy the value; otherwise, add an error message to the log.
Conditional actions only return
false and include:
When you place conditional actions in the workflow, they automatically generate
No flows to configure. Actions that return
true map to
Yes flows; actions that return
false map to
No flows. Add actions to the resulting flows just as you would for the main workflow.
When you add an action to the workflow, the configuration options appear in the Configuration Pane within the designer. The configuration options vary based on the action you're adding.
See the RPA module documentation for details on each action's configuration options:
The robotic process execution page has been redesigned to match the new robotic process designer layout. Your execution flow will display vertically, the same as it appears in the designer. Read-only views of the robotic process variables display beside the execution.
To execute your robotic process:
As the process executes, actions, loops, and action groups clearly show the flow of execution via icons:
In the preceding example, you can see that the main execution flow executed successfully. We know that the
No flow for the Does browser window title match? action did not execute because there is no green checkmark beside it.
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