Editor's note: As the automation market continues to evolve, the UiPath Platform also updates to best serve the automation needs of our customers. As such, some of the product names in this article have evolved since the article was originally published. For up-to-date information, please visit our AI Center page.
We are getting closer to the 2020 LTS release every day and this is our last monthly preview before we ship in October. As usual, there are many new capabilities in this month’s release (20.9) and I will highlight four of the most significant for you in this blog post. Let’s start with UiPath Apps.
New UiPath Apps now available in public preview
Ever since we announced UiPath Apps at DevCon 2020 we have seen huge interest from customers and the developer community wanting to try it out for themselves. Today, we are excited to announce that UiPath Apps is available in Public Preview.
As a reminder, UiPath Apps is a web-based, low-code builder that lets you create appealing enterprise-grade apps powered by your existing automations.
As business needs evolve you need to respond quickly with new applications. Modern customers and employees demand engaging and contextual application experiences. At the same time, it would be risky and expensive to try and replace all your existing business applications and systems. Harnessing the power of the UiPath Platform built for hyperautomation via UiPath Apps lets you design and deploy high-quality interactive apps with a rich experience on top of your existing systems and applications without disruptive change.
You can learn more about the Apps Public Preview on our Community Forum post.
An automation process relies on three main pillars to get results: data, activities, and user interface (UI) automation. Over the previous releases, we have delivered capabilities that enable simple reusability of data and activities, delivering more reliable and resilient automation. Now it’s time to do the same for UI reusability.
Object Repository allows you to build UI automation in a reusable, reliable way, saving time and enabling more consistent automation across your team and projects. This month Object Repository makes its debut in UiPath Studio meaning you can now capture, save, reuse and upgrade UI Automation.
Object Repository provides three major capabilities:
- 1. Capture elements (together with their selectors) on the screen
- 2. Group elements together in a reusable library
- 3. Easily upgrade all processes that use the elements used (if the automated screens are upgraded)
Our new recorder allows you to capture elements used on all the different application screens, reuse them in your automation, define their type, and assign meaningful names for easier recognition as you reuse them in later projects. The Object Repository panel allows you to either use the elements captured and stored in the current project, or to import an existing UI library and reuse your previous work.
Editing the elements and highlighting them allows you to easily find them later. Sharing them with colleagues or across your projects creates a library of all the elements included and greatly speeds up development.
Together with our Data Service, Object Repository creates synergies between teams, projects and versions of the same automation making life easier for developers.
What do 96 of the world’s 100 largest banks, 90% of the largest insurance companies, 92% of the largest retailers in the United States, and 71% of the Fortune 500 companies have in common? According to Share.org, the world’s first ever enterprise IT user group, they all continue to depend on mainframes for part of their most business-critical IT systems.
We have a long history of helping you automate your processes including those that rely on mainframes. The Terminal Activity is in one of the most heavily used activities we have and this month we are releasing a very significant upgrade for it. The first area of focus has really been ensuring Terminal Activity fully supports all key character sets and can correctly render rich formatting on screens so automations can be first-class mainframe citizens. The following show some key improvements between the old and new versions:
The image above shows how Terminal Activity previously rendered extended character sets. Now, the activity provides complete rendering (image below).
Character Formatting now includes colors, bolding, and correctly renders underlined information (the image directly below shows what it looked like before and the following image illustrates the updates).
Finally, we see a rich screen with all its layout correctly rendered (in the second image below). You can compare with the layout prior to this update (image immediately below).
We have also delivered many other top customer requests including additional support for additional emulations such as IBM TN5250 and VT terminals.
Last, but not least, we have significantly added support for secured emulations including SSL/TLS encryption support over telnet and SSH connection support.
UiPath AI Fabric
This month, we also delivered four new capabilities to UiPath AI Fabric. We released air-gapped installation and Red Hat Enterprise Linux support to General Availability. We’ve also brought Microsoft Azure AKS and Docker Enterprise Edition (Docker EE) to Public Preview.
Air-gapped installation allows customers to use AI Fabric in a disconnected environment when there is no internet connection to reach our licensing server. This means that at both install time, and runtime, no outbound connections are needed to use a fully featured version of AI Fabric. This option is important for customers in financial services and public sector that have highly secure environments. We will also provide out-of-the-box UiPath Document Understanding models to customers in air-gapped environments.
For operating systems, starting this month, AI Fabric on-premises installation adds Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS to the existing Ubuntu support.
This month, we've opened multi-node support to our preview customers. This includes Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service and Docker EE. The multi-node version will let you run many ML Skills and training pipelines in an environment with high-availability and elastic processing power. The Preview is available in the UiPath Insider Program via UiPath Insider Portal.
We are humbled to receive the following feedback from our partner Accelirate Inc. on these updates. Thank you, Ahmed!
"We are very excited for the release of on-premises AI Fabric. Customers who have stringent regulatory and data security requirements that prevent cloud processing of data will benefit immensely from this offering. AI Fabric is a great example of the product vision and thought leadership UiPath has continuously demonstrated. This allows customers to seamlessly integrate both out-of-the-box models provided by UiPath as well as their own proprietary models into their RPA workflows. Additionally, the integrated, Document Understanding capabilities (including the Data Manager) tightly integrated with AI Fabric presents tremendous uplift opportunities for our customers. They will be able to, not only train initial document processing models, but more importantly continuously improve these models directly through data validated by humans. We look forward to working with the UiPath product and Engineering teams to deploy AI Fabric on-prem to our customers."
- Ahmed Zaidi, Chief Automation Officer, Accelirate Inc.
Robots Auto Scaling
Last month, during UiPath DevCon 2020, we officially announced the release of the Robots Auto Scaling solution in the UiPath Marketplace, helping optimize IT Infrastructure costs by making Robotic Process Automation (RPA) deployments more efficient.
The Robots Auto Scaling solution is implemented using the UiPath IT Automation activities – which allow you to automate all areas of your IT ecosystem, including on-premises data centers and public clouds. Learn more or download it today by visiting the UiPath Marketplace.
I hope you are as excited about these new capabilities as the team is. As always, we invite you to sign up for the UiPath Insider Preview Program to try these new features and share your feedback..
Chief Product Officer (CPO), UiPath