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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.
Administrators can efficiently deploy robotic processes between environments without needing to coordinate closely with the developer. 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 workflow 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.
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.
Learn more about libraries in Appian RPA.
In Appian RPA:
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 dependencies) 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.
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.
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:
To import the robotic process configuration in the Appian RPA Console:
Libraries appear as Not Changed unless the version number is incremented. Whenever you update a library, you should increment the version number.
Complete the following manual configurations:
Repeat the previous steps for each robotic process you're importing.
Finally, in Appian, deploy the Appian package according to your established process.
Deploying a robotic process between environments is an essential piece of the development lifecycle. During testing, the robotic process might access other testing environments so it doesn't manipulate production data or interact with live systems. Developers use environmental variables and other values in the robotic process configuration. Appian RPA uses a customization file to help you update these values quickly and easily when deploying to another environment.
This page describes how to create, manage, and maintain an Appian RPA customization file. The file is closely related to Import Customization files you might be used to work with during standard Appian application deployment. You might see some of the guidance repeated here.
You can change the values of certain variables or components of a robotic process during deployment with an Import Customization file. Use the import customization file for values that vary between environments or that are not exported for security reasons, such as credentials.
An import customization file is generated only for robotic processes that use environmental variables or credentials.
The import customization
.properties file is generated when you export the robotic process in the Appian RPA Console. This file lists all the values that can be configured for the applicable variable or settings (they are commented out by default). You'll edit the file with the values needed in the target environment, then upload the file during import.
An example customization file contains the following:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 ## Instructions ## ## All of the properties in this file are commented out; they have a pound ## symbol at the start of each line that renders them inert. ## ## Instructions and headings are marked with two preceding pound ## symbols (##). ## ## On import, all commented-out properties are ignored, and the ## corresponding values in the destination environment remain ## unchanged. ## ## To set or change a property on import using this file, ## uncomment the property by removing the pound symbol from the start ## of its line. Then enter a value for the property after the equals ## sign (=) at the end of that import customization file. ## ## If you uncomment a property, but provide no value, the value of ## that property will be set to null in the destination environment. ## Properties that correspond to admin console settings and require a value ## will be set to their default value instead of being set to null. Default ## values of settings may be different between versions of Appian. ## ## Note: Never remove the double pound symbols (##) in front of instructions ## and headings. ## RPA Robotic Process: My-Bot ## ## The robotic process contains environment variables that will be ## imported. These values will be displayed in Appian exactly as they are ## specified here. No spaces are trimmed. Values do not need to be ## encased in quotation marks. #roboticProcess.5e57d945e4b0a9e8b0d53802.envVar.devurl=https://www.appiandev.com ## Credential Application: Outlook ## ## Text values will be displayed in Appian exactly as they are ## specified here. No spaces are trimmed. Values do not need to be ## encased in quotation marks. #credential.9r73io234blj23jb5bhli3670.username=outlookuser #credential.9r73io234blj23jb5bhli3670.password=
The example above uses the following formats:
1 roboticProcess.<robot-uuid>.envVar.<variable name>
1 2 credential.<credential-uuid>.username credential.<credential-uuid>.password
The following rules apply to how an import customization file is read and values are set:
Since robotic processes are exported separately, they will generate separate import customization files. Appian recommends that you have a single import customization file for each environment in your deployment pipeline. This way, all the environment-specific values for environmental variables and credentials can be managed in one place. These main files should be named according to the environment they are intended for and should be version controlled in your system. The deployment manager will need to keep the values and files in sync when values are changed or new environment specific values are introduced.
When you import a robotic process to the target environment, you can upload the main customization file with it. Variables that don't apply to the robotic process are ignored.
As mentioned above, all environment-specific values for a single environment should be stored in their own main import customization file for that particular environment. Whenever introducing new values that will require import customization, add the generated lines for these into the single main file for each environment with the applicable values.
During import, only the values that reference a setting or environment-specific variable that are in the current import package will be used. This allows you to continue to use the same main import customization file for every import (new robotic processes or updates to existing ones) on that environment since the non-applicable values will be ignored.
The basic steps for importing values set by import customization are:
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