Automating real world business processes that transcend multiple systems often requires working with complex business data to be stored temporarily or permanently. In such situations, two common challenges faced by developers are to figure out a location to store and manipulate the data, and being able to consistently work with all the different variables (sometimes as many as 100) across your workflows.
In addition, centers of excellence (CoEs) face the challenge of understanding how and where all intermediary data is being stored/accessed to ensure that critical business data is not being left around on users’ or robot machines, file shares, or cloud storage services.
I am happy to introduce our newest offering, UiPath Data Service, to help with these challenges. UiPath Data Service brings powerful no-code data modeling and storage capabilities to your Robotic Process Automation (RPA) projects. Data Service is designed to be fully integrated with UiPath Studio and UiPath Robots, allowing you to build powerful automations that can leverage capabilities like rich relational data types, integrated security, and instantaneous provisioning and deployments without worrying about scale.
Business entities modeled in Data Service can be imported in Studio as rich data types and can be used as variables or arguments in workflows. Data stored in Data Service is always secured, persisted, accessible and removes the risk of storing critical business data in random locations.
UiPath Data Service Preview
Data Service is now available in public preview along with integration in UiPath Studio and Robot with our 20.8 release. Let’s take a quick look at the capabilities available with this release.
You can provision Data Service for your account by:
1. Clicking the Admin option on left navigation bar of cloud portal
2. Clicking Tenants menu item
3. Editing the services for your tenant
4. Checking the Data Service check box, and clicking Save.
Easy data modeling
Rich data types
Rich data types like Text, Number, Date, Date-Time, Yes-No, and Relationships allow you to model all common business data. Each of these data types also have attributes like required, default value, minimum, maximum, and maximum length to allow your modeling needs.
Integrated in UiPath Studio and Robots
Data Service is fully integrated with UiPath Studio and Robots. You just need to connect your Studio or Robots, in modern folders, to your Orchestrator tenant (via UiPath Automation Cloud) with Data Service enabled on it.
You can import entities in Studio as rich data types with a single click and a set of activities allow you to create powerful automations that can create, read, update, or query records from Data Service.
Learn more about using entities in your automation projects.
Integrated security, and secure by default
Data Services uses integrated security with UiPath Automation Cloud and allows you to assign permissions/roles to any users or groups in your account, ensuring that no one outside of your account can access the data. By default, each tenant is configured with appropriate permissions for the default groups in your account.
In addition, all communication from UiPath Studio or UiPath Robots inherits the same permissions as assigned to the user of that Studio or Robot. This ensures consistency of permissions and eliminates the need for managing separate credentials or tokens.
Learn more about user management in our documentation.
Common UiPath Data Service use cases
One of the first questions we try answer at UiPath before working on a new product or feature is “How will this be useful for our customers?”. I want to share some of the use cases we heard from our customers as part of our research and early adopter programs for Data Service.
I hope these use cases will help you get started using Data Service and I am sure we will see even more amazing use cases from all of you.
- • You are creating a new process that will capture information about your employees’ needs for resources (i.e. desk, chairs, webcams, etc.) as they are working from home in today’s environment. You need some place to capture them before you create procurement requests in your procurement system. Instead of trying to get a new database, a file share, or storing it on Microsoft SharePoint or Google Drive, you can store it in UiPath Data Service.
- • You have processes for monthly finance reporting which requires getting data from multiple systems like bookings, invoices, billings, and payments. Today, both attended and unattended workflows retrieve this data every time they run. This requires all users to have access and connectivity to all the backend systems, can cause delays, and sometimes causes inconsistencies in reporting because underlying data changes before all your processes are completed. You can write one unattended workflow to gather all the required data in Data Service. Then, all your other attended or unattended workflows can work with data from Data Service. This can also potentially eliminate the need for storing the aggregated critical business data in files on user or robot machines.
- • You have a long business process that includes human-robot handoffs for payment of supplier invoices. Today, you are achieving this by passing all the data about an invoice via queues and you have limited visibility in the status of all invoices in your system. You can store the invoices in Data Service, pass around the record id via queues, and always work with one version of the truth. You can also create new processes to provide full visibility on all invoices in your system from Data Service.
- • You are working on an unattended business process to create a 360-degree view of your customers before you write it in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Today, your workflows have tens (or maybe hundreds) of variables flowing between them to create the 360-degree view of your customer. You can model your customer entity in Data Service, import the definition in Studio, and work with a single variable in your workflows before dispersing it across your various systems of record. You do not have to store the data in Data Service if you do not need it.
With this preview, we are just getting started with Data Service. We will make the service generally available later this year.
We are also working on some exciting features like file and choice sets data types, more fine-grained permission controls, and integration with more UiPath products. Please engage with us on the UiPath Forum to provide your ideas and suggestions.
Try it out, learn more and join the Community
I am hoping that you are as excited about Data Service as we are, have already rolled up your sleeves and are ready to get your hands dirty! To get started with UiPath Data Service, sign up or login to your UiPath Automation Cloud account.
You can learn more in our documentation. We are also working on UiPath Academy trainings which will be made available next month.
Thank you! We’re looking forward to your feedback and your creative use cases for UiPath Data Service. How do you plan to use it?
Ankit Saraf is a Principal Product Manager at UiPath.