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Robot Pools
The capabilities described on this page are included in Appian's standard capability tier. Usage limits may apply.

Overview

Robot pools are a design object that enable you to group robots based on their unique roles and capabilities. Robot pools ensure that there is always a robot available and ready to handle any robotic task execution. With several robots in each pool, each robot pool can even handle multiple executions simultaneously. Robot pools can also be used to improve security, as access to sensitive data can be restricted to specific robot pools. You can deploy, import, and export robot pools in the same way as other Appian objects, which makes the deployment experience consistent and familiar.

How robot pools work

A robot pool is a group of robots. You assign robots to robot pools; however, you can only add robots that you have permission to view or initiate based on the robot's security. When you're creating or managing a robotic task, you get to choose the appropriate robot pool responsible for executing the task. This makes it easy for you to move robotic tasks to different robot pools if you need to improve performance or quickly make adjustments.

In the next picture, robots R1, R2, and R3, along with robotic tasks 1 and 2, are assigned to Robot Pool A. When task 1 is executed, the first available robot from Pool A performs it. Task 2 follows the same pattern with the next available robot.

rpdo-poolA.png

A robot pool can have other robot pools within it, forming a hierarchy and keeping things organized. Circular membership is not allowed, meaning a pool can't be a member of itself or any other pool in its hierarchy. This rule ensures conflicts don't occur.

In the next picture, Robot Pool A is a member of Robot Pool B. When task 3 or 4 executes, the first available robot from Robot Pool B, including the robots from pool A, performs it.

rpdo-poolB.png

Migrating from permission tags to robot pools

Overview

Upgrading your Appian environment to version 23.3 or above, and RPA version 9.3.0 or above, kicks off the permission tag migration. The migration process only happens once and only applies if you created robotic tasks in previous versions of Appian RPA. This section describes what happens during the migration and the end result.

Migration process

The tag migration process converts permission tags, used for assigning robots, into Robot Pools. Robot Pools are automatically created during this process to ensure all robotic tasks continue to execute on their designated robots.

Here is how it happens:

  1. Appian creates a robot pool for each unique permission tag assigned to a robotic task and at least one robot.
  2. Appian ignores tags on robots if the tag isn't associated with any robotic tasks.
  3. Robots sharing the same permission tag become members of the same pool.
  4. Appian assigns the robot pool to the robotic task as part of the migration process.

The migration process applies the following rules when there are mandatory permission tags.

If a robotic task Then the migration process…
has no mandatory tags
creates a robot pool for each non-mandatory tag. Each robot that shares the non-mandatory tag and has no other mandatory tags is added to the pool.
has mandatory tags creates a robot pool with the name of all assigned mandatory tags. If multiple mandatory tags are present, the name of the robot pool is a concatenation of all the tags.

Only robots that contain all of the same mandatory tags as the robotic task are added to the robot pool.

Examples

Here are some examples of what the Robot Pools look like after migration.

Example A

In this first example, we have one robotic task and four robots before the migration.

Robotic Task Tags
Robotic Task operations and finance
Robots Tags
RobotOps operations
RobotFinance finance
RobotOpsFin operations and finance
RobotOpsFinHR operations, finance, hr!

After the migration, there are two robot pools. Notice that the RobotOpsFin robot belongs to both pools and that the RobotOpsFinHR robot is not included because it has a mandatory tag.

Robotic Task with Tags… Creates Robot Pools… With Robot Pool Members
operations and finance operations and finance operations: RobotOps and RobotOpsFin
finance: RobotFinance and RobotOpsFin

Example B

In this second example, there's a robotic task with three tags, two of which are mandatory. And there are four robots.

Robotic Task Tags
Robotic Task operations, hr!, and legal!
Robots Tags
Robot HR hr!
Robot HRLegal hr!, legal!
Robot HRLegalMarketing hr!, legal!, and marketing!

After the migration, there is one robot pool. Since robots must have all of the same mandatory tags as the robotic task to be added to the robot pool, only one robot became a robot pool member.

These mandatory Robotic Task Tags… Become Robot Pool… With Robot Pool Members
hr!, and legal! hr!legal! hr!legal!: Robot HRLegal

Post-migration maintenance

Following the migration, you may notice a lot of robot pools, potentially more than necessary. Be sure to review and modify these robot pools to ensure they match your requirements.

Add a new robot pool

Required role: Developer or Administrator

Robot pools are created in Appian Designer.

To add a new robot pool:

  1. In the list of design objects, click NEW > Robot Pool.
    new-robot-pool-menu.png
  2. Configure the following properties:

    Property Description
    Name Name to identify the robot pool. This value must be unique. Spaces are supported. It is a best practice to preface the name with the application specific prefix.
    Description Supplemental information about the robot pool that is displayed in the Appian Designer Objects view.
  3. Click Create. The Review Robot Pool Security dialog displays.
  4. Configure security for the robot pool.
  5. Click Save.

    Result: Appian creates the robot pool and you're brought to the robot pool page where you can add robots or other robot pools. See Add or remove robot pool members to get started.

    rpdo-config-scr.png

Add or remove robot pool members

Complete the following steps to add or remove robot pool members:

  1. In the list of design objects, find the robot pool to which you want to add or remove pool members and click its name.

    Result: A new window displays and you are brought to the robot pool page.
  2. Complete one of the following tasks.

    To… Select…
    Add members the Add Members button. The add robot pool members dialog displays. Enter the name of the robot(s) and robot pool(s) you want to add then click ADD. You are brought back to the robot pool page and the robot(s) or robot pool(s) you added display in the list.

    rpdo-add-members.png
    Remove members the checkbox(es) next to the robot(s) or robot pool(s) you want to remove then click the Remove Members button. The robot(s) or robot pool(s) are removed and do not display in the list.

    rpdo-remove-members.png

Import and export a robot pool

You can deploy your robot pools across environments like any other object. These instructions describe how to do this using Appian Designer.

Know before you begin

Robot pools are imported and exported as part of a package in Appian Designer. Packages are a tool for building your applications and ensuring successful deployments.

When importing a Robot Pool into an environment where a pool with the same UUID already exists, all properties of the inbound object overwrite the properties in the destination object except for pool membership. Instead, the inbound pool and the target pool member lists are merged.

When importing into any environment, references to member pools that do not exist in the destination environment are discarded.

Learn more about the entire process of importing and exporting objects on the Deploy to Target Environments page.

Export a robot pool

Required role: Developer or Administrator

Before you can import a robot pool, you must export the existing robot pool as part of a package. To export a robot pool, complete the following steps:

  1. In the list of design objects, click the CREATE PACKAGE button in the toolbar.
    Result: The Create Package dialog displays.
  2. Configure the package properties.
  3. Click CREATE.
  4. Mark the checkbox next to the robot pool(s) you want to export then click ADD TO PACKAGE button in the toolbar.
    rpdo-AddtoPackage.png
    Result: The Add to Package dialog displays.
  5. Select the package you just created in the dropdown list then click Add.
    Result: The Build view displays.
  6. Click the VIEW PACKAGES button in the toolbar.
    Result: The Packages dialog displays.
  7. Mark the checkbox next to the package you created and to which you added your robot pool.
  8. Click the EXPORT button.
    Result: The Export Package dialog displays.
  9. Click the EXPORT button.
  10. When the export is complete, click DOWNLOAD PACKAGE to download the ZIP file.

Import a robot pool

Required role: Developer or Administrator

To import a robot pool that is part of a package, complete the following steps:

  1. In the list of design objects, click the IMPORT PACKAGE button in the toolbar.
    Result: The Import dialog displays.
  2. Upload your exported ZIP file.
  3. Select the Include import customization file box if you're using one of these files to manage variables and other components.
  4. Click INSPECT.
    Result: The Inspection Results dialog displays.
  5. Review the inspection results. If there are no issues, click IMPORT PACKAGE.
    Result: The Import in Progress dialog displays.
  6. Click CLOSE.

Security

The security role map of a robot pool controls whether users can modify it and its properties. Unlike some other objects, Robot Pools never inherit security.

The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in a robot pool's security role map:

Actions Administrator Viewer
View robot pool membership Yes Yes
Add and remove robot pool members Yes No
View and modify robot pool security Yes No
Configure membership rules Yes No
Configure properties and attributes Yes No
Create a new pool as a child of the current pool Yes No
Delete the robot pool Yes No
Open in Github Built: Thu, May 23, 2024 (08:48:04 PM)

Robot Pools

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