Create a Robotic Process

An Appian RPA robotic process is the result of the integration of all Appian RPA platform components. Powered by code, a robotic process follows steps that are configured in the Appian RPA console and executes on a specified resource. This page discusses how to create a robotic process in Appian RPA, including some general guidelines and steps in the console.

What makes a good robotic process?

Robotic processes are intended to supplement human activity in an application. Robotic processes don't possess the judgment that human beings have, so there is some potential for the robotic process to encounter exceptions, or patterns the process doesn't know how to handle. Additionally, the robotic process may take a long time to execute due to application processing time. After all, the applications are designed to handle input from human beings, which is much slower than that of a robotic process.

Because of this behavior, any Appian RPA robotic process must be:

  • Reliable: Whatever the robotic process does, it must be done well. Without this guarantee, the robotic process should not go on. A robotic process that processes important information must always be confident of what it is doing. For example, if the robotic process is not on the window it should be at a given time, data loss could occur. Usually Appian RPA robotic processes, unlike other software, operate directly on production environments, so reliability is a very important feature at all phases.
  • Resumable: Robotic processes must be designed so that a user can stop its execution at a given time and resume it without manual intervention on the execution machine. This feature is especially important for robotic processes that take a long time or process a large number of items. If execution stops, either manually or due to an error, it must be able to be resumed.
  • Traceable: A robotic process must do everything it's supposed to do, and what it does must be reflected somewhere. At least, it must be reflected in the execution log, although its medium can be adjusted for easier reading and interpretation by the developer. If the user wants to access the log, it is advisable to make the information requirements and expectations clear so that a developer can include it the robotic process's code during the development phase.

Creating a robotic process based on one in another environment? Learn how to export and import robotic processes.

As with any business technology, you'll want to consider data security in every part of your engagement with Appian RPA. Visit the Securing Data in Robotic Processes page to learn more about data security in every phase of a robotic process.

Create a robotic process

Required role: Developer or Administrator

To create a robotic process:

  1. Go to the Robotic Processes tab in the Appian RPA console.
  2. Click Create robotic process 2235137.png in the toolbar.
  3. Choose a template to start building your robotic process. If you want to start from scratch, select Blank. rpa-pick-template-create.png
  4. Enter these details:
    • Name: Name to identify the robotic process in the console and in our Maven project. This value must be unique and can't be changed.
    • Permissions: Assign permissions to configure security for the robotic process.
    • Group: Location of the Maven project. We use the default value, although it can be modified.
    • Version: Version of the robotic process. As in the previous case, the default value will be used.
    • Repository: Select a repository or use the console's default. rpa-create-process.png
  5. Click OK. The browser downloads the robotic process code and you're brought to the robotic process configuration page.

Create a robotic process from a template

Required role: Developer or Administrator

Templates give developers a head start when creating new robotic processes. A robotic process template can be configured to use your chosen set of methods, actions, queues, variables, and more to save time and avoid any of these details being overlooked during setup. Appian RPA includes some default templates for common operations, but you can create templates to share within your business or with other developers through the App Market.

To create a robotic process from a template:

  1. Go to the Robotic processes tab in the Appian RPA console.
  2. Click Templates rpa-robotic-process-templates-icon.png in the toolbar.
  3. Find a template in the list and click Create a robot in the Actions column.

    rpa-create-from-template.png

  4. Enter the details listed above.
  5. Click OK. The browser downloads the robotic process code and you're brought to the robotic process configuration page.

Create a robotic process from an existing configuration

Required role: Developer or Administrator

You can use an existing robotic process configuration as the basis for your new robotic process. Learn more about copying a robotic process configuration.

Save the source code

Required role: Developer or Administrator

The source code for the robotic process is relevant to custom code development only. If you're using low-code modules, you can ignore the automatically downloaded file.

When you create an Appian RPA robotic process, the ZIP file of the source code automatically downloads to your computer. In addition, the Maven project automatically deploys in the repository.

Copy the downloaded file into the folder where you will develop the robotic process.

A robotic process's source code uses this structure:

  • Robotic process name (top-level folder)
    • pom.xml (contains robotic process information and configuration details Maven needs to build properly)
    • src
      • main
        • java
          • com
            • appian
              • robot
                • core
                  • template
                    • Template.java

Some templates include more files. Visit the template documentation to learn more about what's included.

The source code looks like this in your computer's file system:

rpa-file-structure.png

Configure the new robotic process

Required role: Developer or Administrator

Now you have the new robotic process created in the Appian RPA console. Next, you'll need to configure the robotic process's workflow and technical details.

See Configure a Robotic Process to get started.

Execute and monitor the robotic process

Required role: Any

Now let's launch the robot. Remember that the resource must be activated for execution to be successful.

  1. Go to the Robotic processes tab.
  2. Find a template in the list and click Start Execution rpa-execute-icon.png in the Actions column.
  3. Select the appropriate execution options.

    rpa-execution-options-2.png

    The agent downloads the robotic process and its dependencies to the resource and starts the execution.

  4. Monitor the execution through the Appian RPA console. rpa-execution-list.png rpa-execution-log.png
  5. When the execution ends, check the results. rpa-result-log.png
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