Simple Robot with UiPath. Creation to scheduled deployment

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UiPath is a bit more sophisticated than Zapier. I like the Zapier integration and its simple to use but the free version is pretty limited, its also for personal stuff rather than business stuff. For the same price you can use UiPath and it’s a bit more versatile.

This post will document an automated process from start to finish. This means creating a simple process:

1. Write some data and email it to me at an appointed time. Like in a Zapier instance, then, once I have that process right, I can plug in some sequences to add to the email process so can scrape some web pages for different  data and put it in an email for my daily update.

Then publishing it from UiPath Studio and using Orchestrator to automate it so that its activated at a regular time. I’m going to follow this tutorial (note I started vid 10.40 in) :

Email Setup for sending SMTP mail message

I thought I’d start with an email from my Hotmail account. So following Vid tutorial I used Send STMP Mail message and filled in the bits.

I initially used the setting for the server and port number from my Thunderbird Hotmail account:

But these didn’t work. So I tried setting it up as: Send OutlookMail Message in UiPath but that wanted to setup Outlook on my PC which I didn’t want.

So I googled Hotmail stmp settings and found this article. These settings worked.

So test email from a Hotmail to Gmail account works.

I will now see if I can setup my other accounts, a Gmail send and also one from my own email server to see if the basic function works. For Gmail this article shows settings.

For my DataIKnow email I have setup a hMailServer on my VPS. For that watch this video for settings. Also use port 25.

Publishing and running the programme locally

I will take the first one of these and Publish it. If you just publish after installing the Community version of UiPath Studio then you will see, if you fire up the UiPath Robot (which sits in your icon tray) it will show its offline. This means it is only connected to your PC.  Not to the Web & Orchestrator.

Orchestrator is a cloud based connection that runs and schedules your bots.

So when you publish, you publish the automaton programme to a local folder where the Ui Robot programme will access it and run it. This does not have a scheduling part so you have to run it manually.

So that is fine as far as it goes but you can just open up the programme and run it from there.

There is a video on how to run Ui Robot on Windows without Orchestrator at specified times on local machine using Windows Task Manager. See this video. I will try this at another time.

Setup for connecting to Orchestrator

You need to be able to connect your computer to the cloud Orchestrator and allow Orchestrator to access your particular machine. Then it can automate programmes on your machine.

Orchestrator can be set to shedule your bot at a specific time and have it scheduled to activate daily, weekly etc at whatever prescribed times you need.

You need to have an account for orchestrator, go here.

 

There is this article showing settings you need to have on your machine to allow that to happen. I’d try following the video below first before doing the settings:

After following the steps in the video this is what happens:

So, once you have copied the machine Key across to the UiRobot on your machine then it is connected to Orchestrator.

This means, when you publish the programme , it does not get published to the local drive but up to Orchestrator in the cloud. In the screen below, you see the default location is now Orchestrator. So, in the first step, it published it to Robot Defaults (local drive), it now has changed to Orchestrator  (in the cloud).

Now that this has happened wire can now set up Orchestrator to run this Robot. Watch the beginning of this video for steps:


To do this, we will need to setup:

1/ An environment

2/ Robot

3/ Associate the Robot with the Environment:

4/Upload Package. This should happen when you publish in UiPath Studio ( It didn’t initially and I had to do it again. Maybe you need to be logged into Orchestrator at the same time). I did try selecting a file but couldn’t find a .nug.. compiled one. Something to check up on loater.

5/ Deploy Process   

6/ Start Job

It ran the Job and I received an email in my inbox.

Scheduling Robot

End comment

So I now have an automated Robot that will send me an email each day, for the next 3 days, at 10am from one email account to another. After that I have set it to stop the process.

It has been tested as a job in Orchestrator and that works, so I’m confident that it will work.

So what happens if my machine is not on at 10am? I’m not sure, I think it puts it in a Queue to run when the machine does start. Also, is it running from my Local machine or from Orchestrator in the cloud? More things to delve into to understand.

I was not on my machine at 10am but only turned it on at 2pm and that is when I received the scheduled email after 2pm, after my local machine started. So, it ran from my PC, not Orchestrator in the cloud. So if I want regular emails I need to use my VPS (virtual private server) which is running continuously, so I’d then receive the email at 10am.

The next steps to test are:

  1. seeing if I can run the same process from my VPS (Virtual Private Server). As that is running continuously it may be a better platform to run some of the robots from.
  2. Definitely using the scheduling from windows task manager
  3. Adding features such as putting more information into the Robot such as opening or attaching files
  4. adding other sequences to the process such as a web scrape for some information and adding that to the email

I’m quite pleased with the process. All the videos I’ve been watching do not take the process from start to finish, so I’m pleased that it was not too hard to setup. I was a bit nervous about the connecting to Orchestrator from uiRobot but that turned out to be quite logical and worked well.

Now I have the basic process I can elaborate on it.

Use cases?

The other thing I need to do is to find some productive use cases for it. The examples are generally office, accounting or HR type processes. I am wondering what ones there are for FM & for design office.

On a personal level I want to try and get a daily Bot that will email me tides and weather in wellington and weather in Boston, where my daughter resides.

The 3dPDF extraction and processing by Excel Macro is a one of run, so it would be good if that could be distributed so others could use it. Not really a remote operation process, so how would someone activate it when they needed it?

 

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