This page describes the ways you can execute a robotic process.
To extend automation, robotic processes can be triggered to execute automatically in multiple ways. The method you use to execute a robotic process depends on its purpose and context. Choose one of the following options that describes your use case:
After you set up the connected system, call an RPA integration using the Execute Robotic Process smart service from your process model to execute synchronously. Synchronous execution is useful if you want to return data from the robotic process execution and use it in subsequent nodes in the same process model.
To execute a robotic process in Appian RPA asynchronously, you can call the integration using the Call Integration smart service. When the robotic process is executed asynchronously, the process model moves to the next node whether or not the robotic process is complete, and the results aren't automatically returned.
You can adapt the Refresh Data After Executing a Smart Service recipe to execute a robotic process and retrieve results in an interface.
Note that this recipe needs some modification to work for this purpose. After you set up the connected system and integrations, you'll call the integration rules in this recipe. Specifically, for a robotic process to start when a user clicks a button, include that Execute Robotic Process integration rule in the
saveInto property. Update the status local variable to reference the Retrieve Execution Results integration rule.
While uncommon, Appian can operate in a "headless" state where an external user interface or website is used to collect or display data. In this scenario, you may find it useful to set up web APIs to communicate with Appian RPA.
The way you use these web APIs depends on the external system you're using to communicate with Appian RPA. In your external system, you'll need to add logic to periodically check whether the robotic process has completed to get the results. Alternatively, if your external system contains its own series of APIs that can be called directly from the robotic process, you may not need the second web API if you push results directly from the process itself.
You can manually execute a robotic process within the Appian RPA Console. Open the robotic process's configuration and click the Execute icon. The Execute robotic process page appears:
Before you click Execute , you must fill in all required fields, defined on the Robot configuration menu.
If the robot has any restrictions to keep it from executing (new executions disabled, maximum number of simultaneous executions, etc.), a warning message will appear.
The top of the Execution options window contains the required input variables. For example, in the picture above, the input of the process is a ZIP file containing the PDF files to process.
Aside from input variables, other available options for an execution appear in the Advanced options area:
To capture the robotic process execution in a video, select Enable video recording? in the list of execution options. Choose whether to capture the full recording or choose the minutes when the recording should start and end during execution. You can also specify a frame rate if you want a higher quality recording.
After the robotic process executes, you can find the video recording in the toolbar on the Execution details page.
Deferred execution lets you set the parameters of a manual execution and delay until a chosen time. If selected, two drop-down fields appear, where you can choose the day and time of the start of the execution:
This screen contains all the information regarding an execution.
Information from the execution is presented in three tabs:
From the Execution details screen, you can also select icons in the toolbar to perform actions:
Go to resource From an execution, it can be very useful to go directly to resource detail page where the execution was launched.
To do so, click the Go to resource icon in the toolbar.
Re-execute You can launch a specific execution again, keeping the input configurations from the original execution. This can be useful when a specific resource was selected and the same will be selected in the re-execution.
To re-execute a robot, click on the Re-execute icon () in the toolbar.
Go to robotic process configuration You can also access the robot configuration page from the execution page, since is a common situation when you want to modify or check certain characteristics of the robot while you are developing it.
To access the robotic process configuration, click the Go to robotic process configuration icon in the toolbar.
On this tab, you can find the information regarding the workflow related to the robot for the selected execution. Though the workflow may have been changed later, you will always see the version of the workflow here as it was at the time the execution was performed.
The items shown here are:
During a robot execution, the workflow will show the action being executed at that moment highlighted. As the robot is continuing its job, the rest of the action will be highlighted accordingly.
On this tab, you will find all the information related to the results of the selected execution.
The information available here is as follows:
The Execution log tab shows the execution trace in detail. It is very useful information for both users and development teams when debugging a robotic process.
With the execution log, you can follow the robotic process's progress through its workflow. The log shows its activity, informational messages, exceptions, and errors. Developers can code robotic processes so they display information in the execution log at certain points in the execution.
Logging custom messages can be helpful, but be mindful of including potentially sensitive information. Appian RPA users with access to the robotic process will also be able to see execution logs. Never log personally identifiable information (PII), decrypted values, or passwords as plain text. More on securing data in Appian RPA.
Execution log benefits include:
Results of processed items are color-coded in the execution log. At the top of this tab, you can see several types of log. Click an icon to toggle whether that log type is displayed.
Log types are shown below:
You'll also notice the following icons at the top of the execution log:
For longer execution logs, click View full trace to view more information.
At the beginning and the end of an execution, Appian RPA shows a summary with information about the agent, such as:
Here's how this information is shown at the beginning of the execution:
The same information appears at the end of the execution, where the platform also shows the difference in the memory and disk usage after the robotic process ends:
In this example, after the robotic process ends, there is about 34MB more free memory, 16MB more reserved memory, and about 24MB less available disk space.
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