Release date: 1st October 2018 Version number: 2018.3.0
The third release of this year puts a great emphasis on a central component of UiPath Platform, Studio. Thus, Studio gets some very appealing UI changes, important features in terms of project control and component reusability, as well as various enhancements under the hood. The focus has been on redesigning the Studio architecture and setting the building blocks for a more appealing and reliable Studio, in a continuous effort to increase developer productivity and efficiency.
With this in mind, Studio now comes with a reduced start-up time and improved reliability, together with optimized resource consumption.
Another important announcement that we want to share with you is that UiPath Robot and Studio are now Ready for Citrix. This is an important step in our final goal of becoming Certified by Citrix, and coupled with the scalability improvements we made in this release, we are sure you're gonna love it. To view all the supported environments at a glance, visit this page.
Reliability & Change Management
In an effort to enhance agility in developing automations and process execution, Studio now brings dependencies per project. Compared to previous versions, activity packages can now be installed for each project specifically, making it easier to control the usage of your automation. Dependencies thus become highly contextual and specific to each project. As a result, upon creating a new project in Studio, the activity packages that are actually needed for workflows can be added from the Manage Packages window. Optionally, you can add any other pack.
Because activity packages have multiple versions, Runtime Rules were set in place, to select which version to use at design or execution time. For more information on these rules, please take a look at the documentation.
The Core Activities Package is now split into two distinct packs: UIAutomation and System. The first contains all the activities that mimic human interaction, such as Click or Type Into, while the latter sums up all the blocks required for building an automation, from invoking another workflow to logging a custom message in Orchestrator.
This change was made so that both in present and future versions, you can reference any version of the UIAutomation and System packages as dependencies for your projects, completely independent of Studio. This is a step forward for being able to update UiPath Platform components without worrying about how they affect your automations. For more information, check the documentation.
As part of the Studio UI and functionality upgrade, the Package Manager now shows the list of dependencies linked to the current project. The Package Manager window offers a seamless navigation among custom and UiPath official feeds. More details are available here.
To increase productivity and improve interoperability, Studio now allows for creating and publishing reusable components in the form of a library. Specifically, such projects can now be published as a
.nupkg package, which can then be used as an activity in multiple processes. A Library has its own editable version number and Release Notes, and can be published to Orchestrator, a custom feed or the local machine. More details are available here.
In Orchestrator, this implies a centralized location where libraries are stored with the purpose of being further used and shared across tenants and teams effortlessly. Library management - upload and download - is done at host level from the Libraries page with the click of a button. For more information, click here.
Release notes added to better keep track of changes made in-between package versions are available in Orchestrator, both at library and package levels. For more information, click here.
We have exposed the input and output arguments you are already used to in Studio, as a way to seamlessly integrate the tools you use, such as various DCMs or BPMs. This means that any process you create can now receive input parameters through the Orchestrator API or interface, as well as return an output to all of the aforementioned. Last but not least, this is a stepping stone in linking processes together. This extensibility helps you better integrate UiPath in your company’s ecosystem. For more information, please see the documentation.
Being one of the most used programming languages, we have now integrated Java into our product in the form of some new activities. This new addition to our ever-growing pool of languages enables you to invoke your already existing Java code directly from UiPath. The Java Activities Pack features six new activities and a proprietary variable,
JavaObject, that help you harness the full power of Java into your automation projects. You can find out more about this package here.
The feature you’ve all been waiting for has arrived - Attended Floating Robots support! Create and configure your own Attended Floating Robots and connect to them from any defined machine in the blink of an eye. Since the machine name is not relevant for the Floating Robots scenario, we created a type of entity that fits the new requirements, the Machine Template. A template enables an AD user to use any machine, as long as the Robot uses the key generated at the template level and the aforementioned username. This scenario goes hand in hand with Non-Persistent VDIs, thus ensuring overall better resource management. On top of that, templates do wonders for hotseat environments, so people working in shifts on the same computer have a smoother than ever experience.
To make things even better, a Floating Robot connects automatically to Orchestrator when you open the Robot tray. For more information, click here.
In order to make it easier for you to keep track of your Robots and Machines, the Robots’ versions are now displayed on the Machines page.
We’ve also made it possible to distribute and reallocate licenses to your tenants with just a few clicks and without the hassle of contacting our support team. The new process consists in uploading a single license file which aggregates multiple Robot licenses, which can then be allocated from a centralized location according to your requirements without any other additional steps or unnecessary delays. For more information, click here.
To facilitate license usage monitoring, we have brought to you the possibility to check historical licensing data. The historical graph in question is available on the License page, both at host and tenant level, and it shows the maximum number of licenses used concurrently by each type of Robot. This way, you can easily assess if there’s room for maximizing license efficiency or not. You can also filter out data or adjust the time interval as desired.Last but not least, you can now configure permissions per user for the License page. For more information on how to do that, click here.
As a way to maximize your results in terms of Robot utilization, we made it possible to add jobs to environments. This means that a job from the environment is automatically assigned to any available Robot instead of being placed into the queue of busy Robots. For more information on how to do that, click here.
The moment is finally here - the entire UiPath Platform has been localized, so that you can have a truly immersive experience, from install to design and execution. Now, besides English, you can access everything, including our online documentation, in Japanese.
If you worry about your long-run schedules during public holidays, weekends or any other day on which normal business is not transacted, we’ve got you covered. You are now able to define a list of non-business days on which schedules do not run. For more information about this functionality and how to use it, click here.
On top of that, to further improve scheduling flexibility, you are able to set a date and time on which schedules get automatically disabled. For more information about this functionality and how to use it, click here.
The efficiency of workflow debugging has been improved! The debugger now stops before executing the activity, and the behavior of Step Into and Step Over has been improved. In addition to this, breakpoints can be toggled from the activity context menu. For more information, click here.
This release also brings a better user experience and more reliable integration with version control systems. The new Team tab in the Studio Backstage View hosts the tools for connecting to SVN and TFS version control systems, making it easier to add, check in and check out the latest project version from the repository. For more information on how to do that, check the documentation.
Excel is one of the most common data manipulation software, and one of our main focuses in this release is increasing the power you have upon it in UiPath. This brings a major update to the Excel Activities Package, which features 14 new activities. Below you can find some of the most requested ones:
- Copy Paste Range - Copies an entire range, including values, formulas, table format, and cell format, and pastes it to a specified sheet.
- Insert/Delete Rows - Adds or removes a specified number of rows at a certain position.
- Auto Fill Range - Takes the formulas defined in the rule range and adapts them to the end range, mimicking the Autofill functionality in Excel.
- Delete Range - Deletes all the rows in a specified range.
- Copy Sheet - Copies a sheet from a specified workbook and pastes it to another workbook. If no other workbook is specified, it is copied to the source file.
- Create Table - Creates a table from a specified range.
- LookUp Range - Searches in a specified range for the coordinates of a cell with a certain value and returns them as String variables.
Also, the new PreserveFormat property check box enables the Read Cell, Read Column, Read Row, and Read Range activities keep the formatting of cells they work with, whether it's currency, date, or anything else.
This release rounds off the edges of the Word Activities Package by adding two new activities:
- Replace Picture - Identifies all the occurrences of a given picture according to its Alt Text in a Word document and replaces them with another specified image.
- Insert DataTable - Inserts a table generated from a
DataTablevariable in a Word document. The table is created at a position relative to a specified text or bookmark.
With attended automation in mind, the new Custom Input activity helps you gather data from a user through a custom HTML input form at any point in the execution of a workflow and then use it later on. For more info, check the docs.
As another addition to the suite of attended automation feats, we have created the Block User Input activity, which can disable your mouse and keyboard during the execution of a UI Automation process, making sure the Robot execution is not affected by the user that supervises the automation.
Processes are easier to find thanks to the newly added search function. Furthermore, the Robot Tray has become more flexible, literally. It's possible to resize and drag the Tray window as you see fit.
The Robot Agent (Tray) status bar displays clearer messages for connectivity and licensing. These are displayed and are as follows:
- Connected, licensed - when the Robot is connected and licensed. Congrats, you have it all!
- Connected, Unlicensed - when the Robot is connected, but there are no available licenses for it.
- Robot unavailable - when there is no registered Robot, or you don't have an active license, or a floating Robot is already in use on a different machine.
The UiPath Robot now makes it possible to switch between multiple Orchestrator instances upon connection. The Orchestrator URL and Machine Key fields save the info for more flexibility and faster connection to Orchestrator.
CommunityIn this section, we refer to activities that specifically concern our community. Please refer to our GitHub repo and feel free to contribute at this link.
GDPR has been our favorite pastime lately, so we understand the importance of securing operational data. The new Cryptography Activities Package comes to meet this necessity, by offering some activities that feature state-of-the-art encryption algorithms:
- Encrypt Text - Encrypts a string with a key, based on a specified key encoding and algorithm.
- Decrypt Text - Decrypts a string, based on a specified key encoding and algorithm.
- Encrypt File - Encrypts a file with a key, based on a specified key encoding and algorithm.
- Decrypt File - Decrypts a file, based on a specified key encoding and algorithm.
- Hash Text - Hashes a string using a specified algorithm and encoding format.
- Hash File - Hashes a file using a specified algorithm.
- Hash Text With Key - Hashes a string with a key, using a specified algorithm and encoding format.
- Hash File With Key - Hashes a file with a key, using a specified algorithm and encoding format.
The following table lists what version of Robot and Studio works with what version of Orchestrator.
Please note that by not upgrading to the latest available version you are not taking advantage of the newest features or bug fixes added in our releases.
|Orchestrator v2018.3||Orchestrator v2018.2||Orchestrator v2018.1||Orchestrator v2017.1||Orchestrator v2016.2|
Several improvements are also implemented for selectors and the UI Explorer. Selector Editor and UI Explorer now have enhanced functionality regarding Partial Selectors, as the current validation state of the selector is displayed. Selector Editor also comes both with a feature for highlighting a selected element and a Repair functionality for building more reliable selectors. For more information on these rules, please take a look at the documentation.
Robot in User Mode
Robots use the same key on a machine, so it's important to know the status of each Robot, and not just as a whole. Checking whether or not your Robots are alive and when is a must. As a result, the heartbeat is sent from each Robot, individually, even in High-Density environments. This also applies to Robots that are installed in user mode - not as a service. More details can be found in the online documentation.
Because we know agility and security are key factors in providing a high quality product, we have made it possible for you to set an external feed for packages and custom activities. The feed can be secured either by defining basic authentication credentials or by using an API key. Choose and configure the option that suits you on the Deployment tab. For more information, click here.
In our neverending quest of having the most secure RPA platform out there, we made it easier to enable SSL encrypted connections between Orchestrator nodes and Redis. We changed the server, port, and password settings required in the
web.config file to
LoadBalancer.Redis.ConnectionString. If you're updating your Orchestrator to v2018.3, rest assured, we're going to take care of the conversion automatically.
As we know that some of you work in offline and highly controlled environments, we have added several improvements on how to deal with your Chrome extension installation. You can choose to set it up directly through the UiPath installer and you no longer need Internet access for it. The extension can be installed per machine or per user, and it is possible to also uninstall it from the command line. Please note that this is now distributed with the Studio/Robot installer. For more information, be sure to check the online documentation.
Java driver installations are now kept track of, so that each automation process running on that machine uses its appropriate Java version. The ScreenScrapeJavaSupport tool might help you more with your Java installations.
This release features a new activity called Join Data Tables, which extends our datatable manipulation arsenal. It enables you to combine columns from two tables by using values common to each other.
The Build Data Table activity has been revamped, offering a better overall user experience. You can now edit and restructure columns while using the Build Data Table wizard.
For easier utilization, the For Each and For Each Row activities now have a new property, called Index, which automatically counts the number of iterations the activity has passed through.
We understood your need for supporting machine learning models, so we have improved the Python Activities pack, adding support for Python x64.
To help you maximize the utilization of queue item information, we now provide the possibility to use the
.RetryNo properties with the
UiPath.Core.QueueItem variable in Studio. Consequently, you can add this data to a project's logic, for example, or use it to add more verification steps. Please note that the
.Output property works only for successful transactions.
For a better user experience and in order to help you prevent the potential cluttering of Orchestrator, several alerts having Success and Info severities are no longer generated. At the same time, you now have the possibility to choose whether or not to receive alerts for specific categories. For more information, click here.
Installation and Update
The minimum .NET Framework version required to install the Robot, Studio and Orchestrator has been increased to 4.6.1.
To help you streamline the automatic deployment of the UiPath ecosystem on as many machines as you want, the UiPath Platform Windows Installer has been split in two: the first (
UiPathStudio.msi) enables you to install and update Studio and/or Robot, while the other (
UiPathOrchestrator.msi) deals with Orchestrator.
For those that still prefer the all-in-one approach, we did not forget about you: an executable file,
UiPathPlatformInstaller.exe, bundles Studio, Robot, and Orchestrator, with all the options of both setups. More info about these installers is available here.
The Orchestrator Windows installer now checks if URL Rewrite is installed or not on the machine, to ensure that you have everything you need from the get-go. In addition, the Orchestrator Windows installer now also stops the IIS website when you update your Orchestrator instance, to avoid any requests that might be made during the installation process.
Another important enhancement that was brought to the Orchestrator setup is that all your configurations are retained, including the custom ones, if you update your instance to v2018.3.0. This allows for an easy, fast, and seamless transition. To read about all these changes, check out the installation and update topics.
Last but not least, for a performance boost in regards to large-scale deployments, please note that in multi-node installations of Orchestrator, the script automatically sets the session state to the same Redis instance used for caching. More information is available here.
User Experience and Performance
As it was a widely well-received feature, we now further extend the offline support for Robots to all types. This means that any Robot can now retain its license for a custom number of hours, keeping any possible downtime to a minimum. For more information on how to use it, please check the online documentation.
Packing a project can be done from the Robot CLI. The
-pack command bundles the target project inside a
.nupkg file which enables you to easily share your automation across continuous integration pipelines.
In order to have a better, ready to hand overview of your Orchestrator statistics, we made it possible for you to see the data behind each pie-chart component on the Dashboard by displaying their corresponding pages filtered accordingly. For example, if on the Robots chart, you click the slice corresponding to Disconnected Robots, the displayed Robots page has the
Disconnected State filter automatically applied.
By using Connection String, you are now able to connect Robots provisioned on machines from any domain or subdomain to Orchestrator 2018.3. For more information, click here.
As a host administrator, you are now able to add custom HTML content to the Login page. The content is displayed right above the Login section. For more information, click here.
The Type column has been removed from the Environments page in order to avoid unnecessary ambiguity.
For the detail-oriented you, we made sure that exporting transaction items now also includes the Output and Exception Reason of each item.
In order to increase usability and ensure an easier management of existing users, the Units column is now displayed on the Users page if Organization Units are enabled.
To prevent confusion, the Runtime tab on the Add Robot window has been renamed to Settings.
The manner in which audit data is displayed has been improved to help you get all the info you need at a glance. Moreover, unnecessary details can be collapsed.
For an enhanced debugging experience and a more relevant categorization of logs, all error messages regarding business and validation rules are now displayed under a new event source, in Event Viewer,
BusinessException, at Info level. For more information, check out the documentation.
Server exceptions from Orchestrator, and the stack trace on the Job Details window, are logged and displayed in English, regardless of what language was chosen by the user.
To help you prevent potential cluttering of Orchestrator, you are now able to disable execution or debugging logs sent from Studio during development processes.
To keep things simple and avoid eventual confusion, the concept of environment type has been removed and is no longer displayed in the user interface. Rest assured, backward compatibility is still maintained as this option was not removed from the Orchestrator API. More information can be found here.
Error handling is an important part in RPA, and as a result, we added error codes to each custom exception returned by the Orchestrator API.
Performance has been improved by implementing a bulk deletion feature which helps you remove a large number of robots without unnecessary delays. This has been implemented by adding a new endpoint,
/Robots/UiPath.Server.Configuration.OData.DeleteBulk, in the Orchestrator API. You can find an example here.
To help you easily identify which Robots can execute a specific process, a new endpoint,
/odata/Robots/UiPath.Server.Configuration.OData.GetRobotsForProcess, has been added to the Orchestrator API. An example of how you can make such a request is provided in the API guide.
Last but not least, it is now simpler to retrieve Per Robot assets, by using the new
GetRobotAssetByRobotId endpoint. You can see an example request here.
Updating your password is now also possible through the
/odata/Users/UiPath.Server.Configuration.OData.UpdatePassword endpoint, if you provide your credentials, as described in this example.
GetAssociatedProcesses endpoints have been deprecated. In their place, you can now use
/api/RobotsService/StartService, and respectively