The Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview is intended to get an early version of the new, re-imagined product into the hands of experienced developers, so you can explore the new features and become familiar with the re-imagined design. It’s also intended to help us generate and gather feedback so we can work together to improve the design even more.
This is the second release of the v21 Preview, called Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview 2. We've added support for many of the features from 19.1, as well as new features. Additional features in this version include:
Application methods Environment overrides Application screenshots collection Microsoft Edge compatibility Message manifest Intelligent Recording enhancements Electron compatibility StartMyDay support Add existing project items Text applications Toolbox Financial methods Automation issues dialog UI Connector support Toolbox Math methods New Pick-type dialog Script component Toolbox Process methods Manage references dialog Migration utility Toolbox Runtime methods Logging improvements Unit tests Project properties
Use the Preview migration utility to migrate your Robot Studio 19.1 solutions to 21.1 projects, so you can open and test them. Then, use the Help > Ask a Question form to send any feedback or issues to the collaboration center. For more detail about migrating projects, see the Preview Migration Utility.
Downloading and installing
How to get training:
In the table below, access the links to Pega Academy to learn more about a feature or get started on the v21 Preview mission by clicking this link:
How to provide feedback:
We welcome your feedback and questions about the Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview. The good ideas and feedback you give us about the Preview will be considered for incorporation into the version 21 GA Release.
Do not open GCS tickets for feedback; instead, use the Help > Ask a Question form, as described below. We will monitor the collaboration center for feedback, questions, and issues.
New Items in Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview 2
Application methods are single-purpose automations that are created by automation developers and used in an automation just like any out-of-the-box method of an application. Application methods isolate key functionality in small components or modules that are easy to reuse, test, and share.
To create an Application method, right-click on an application in the Project Explorer.
Application methods should be limited in scope. For example, an Application method might contain only a login or search sequence. Limiting the scope makes it easier to share, reuse, and test Application methods.
The Project Explorer shows the dependency of the Application methods to their application, as in the following figure.
When creating Application methods, you only see the controls and methods that exist for the Application method. For example, there is no access to Globals and you cannot reference other applications.
Use Text applications to integrate with terminal emulator applications. Pega Robot Studio lets you create projects that integrate with mainframe applications. Robot Studio supports the most commonly used WinHllapi- and EHllapi-based emulator software.
Text applications can be added with the Project Explorer Add button or in the Quick Start wizard.
The script component lets you add custom C# methods to your solutions. The script component can only be added to Globals.
Use the Preview migration utility to migrate your Robot Studio 19.1 solutions to 21.1 projects, so you can open and test them. For more detail, see the Preview Migration Utility.
Environment overrides in v21 replace Configurations in prior versions of Robot Studio but work in much the same way. Use environment overrides to customize your project to run in different environments. Some examples of environments that you may need to customize for are Development, QA, and Production. You can override property values for variables, controls and match rules at runtime for each environment.You can set values of certain variables and properties at runtime based on the environment you're running.
At runtime, the overrides are applied to the project before the project is run. In the following figure, the Text for a Windows form in the Test environment is Test Form and in the Production environment it is Production Form.
|Manage references dialog|
The Manage references dialog allows you to add references to your project that are required for your C# scripts. You can access this dialog from the Script editor.
The Current tab shows the references used in the Project. You can also add references from:
|UI Connector support|
Use the UI Connectors feature to develop translators for .NET and Java applications and extend support for additional controls. With this feature, you build the integration points that provide the ability to automate the controls for an application.
Added support for StartMyDay.
StartMyDay provides a set of accelerator methods that are used to start applications on demand or automatically at project startup. StartMyDay also allows a user to visually arrange the applications on their desktop to their preference.
StartMyDay methods and properties are in the Toolbox, under Accelerators.
|Add existing project items|
You can now add a project item to your project that exists within another project. You can also use the Generate new ID capability to safely duplicate a project item that exists within your project. You can add an automation, an application, or a Windows form.
In the Project Explorer, select Add > Existing file.
|Application screenshots collection||When interrogating an application, screenshots are automatically taken that assist with documenting the application use cases. These screenshots can be viewed on the Screenshots tab of the Application Designer, and sensitive areas can be blurred if required.|
Support for adjusting logging levels by category has been added to Robot Studio and Robot Runtime as in the following example:
Logging categories and their log levels are maintained in
|Automation issues dialog||When you open an automation, Robot Studio now shows any exception that might prevent the automation from running. When exceptions are found, you are presented with a dialog that lists them, as in the following figure:|
|Intelligent Recording enhancements|
You can now reorder steps in the Recording assistant.
Click and drag the Drag handle of a step to change the order of steps in the Recording assistant.
|Runtime helper methods||Support for the following Runtime methods and events have been
added to the Toolbox:|
Message manifest support is now included. Message manifest methods are available on the Toolbox. You can manage message definitions from the Project properties panel.
|Project properties||Project properties can now be edited on the Project explorer.
Click the i icon next to the project name to view the project
|New Toolbox methods||New methods were added to the Toolbox in three areas: |
|Unit tests||The UnitTestHelper is now available.|
|Microsoft Edge compatibility||You can now automate Microsoft Edge applications that run in compatibility mode. Add a new application to your project and choose Microsoft Edge.|
|Electron compatibility||Support for Electron applications is now included.|
|Pick-type dialog||Multiple UI improvements have been made to the pick type dialog.|
Items not yet included
|Citrix||Not yet available.|
The features available in Robot Inspector are being incorporated into Robot Studio v21 and will be made available through Robot Runtime.
Automation playback provides the ability to step through a Robot Runtime log through the lens of the automation developer in Robot Studio.
|Deployment||Since this is not a ‘Production ready’ version of Robot Studio, deployment has been disabled.|
|Continuous Integration tools||Not yet available.|
|Interaction framework||Not yet available.|
|Recording limitations||For best results, limit Recording to one application at a time. Neither screenshots nor the output of steps to PDF are provided yet.|
|Robot Manager integration|
For most features, Robot Manager integration will require a minimum version of Robot Manager 8.6.1. This integration will be available in a future release of the v21 Preview. Notable features that are not part of Robot Manager 8.6.1 (or Platform 8.6) include:
Pega Platform 8.7 and Robot Manager 8.7 are in development now and expected to be released in Q4, 2021.
|Synchronization engine support||Not yet available.|
|Toolbox limitations||Adding custom items to the Toolbox will be available in a future release.|
Translator support for the following software is not yet available:
Items included in Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview 1
The new Start screen simplifies creating a new project or working with existing ones.
Quick start: The new Quick Start feature lets you quickly name a project, select an application, and begin recording an automation.
You can also open an existing project or build a new project from scratch. You can also add folders as needed, to help with organizing your project.
When a project is open, the main screen is the Project Explorer. The Project Explorer provides a clean, easy-to-use experience for creating, updating, and organizing your automation projects. The Project Explorer shows important information about recent projects.
The Project Explorer lists all project items, which are described below:
The Toolbox contains components and variables, organized into logical sections. In addition, we have extracted properties, methods, and events from the utility components (such as stringUtils) and placed them directly in the Toolbox. You can easily search for and locate the item you need. Recently used objects display at the top of the Toolbox. In addition, you can right-click an item and add it to your Favorites, which are always handy at the top of the list.
The Toolbox displays on the left side of the screen, beside the Palette. Its content changes based on the type of project item selected (automation versus Globals, for example).
The Toolbox has icons that indicate whether an item is a variable (V icon), component (C), property (P), method (M), or event (E).
The Palette replaces the Object Explorer. Like an artist’s palette, it provides a clean, well-organized location containing only the necessary items used to build the current automation. The Palette always occupies the left side of the screen.
To add or remove a project item—Windows forms, automations, or applications—click Include at the top of the Palette. To add a Toolbox item, drag it to the design area.
Each project has a single Globals project item by default. This item is docked at the top of the Project Explorer and displayed on the Palette for each automation. This project item replaces the Global Containers that were used in previous versions. You can add folders to Globals to make the content more manageable. In a later version of the Preview, when 19.1 projects are upgradeable, the system will create a folder for each Global Container.
When dragging items that are designed to be global in scope to an automation from the Toolbox, the item is moved automatically to Globals.
Adapters are now referred to as application project items.
The matching window has been redesigned. The single property grid on the right side of the screen is used to evaluate all sections—match rules, targets, and selected controls.
The Palette has icons that indicate the matching status and cloning. A green eye represents a successful match.
For a cloned item, you will see the number of cloned items. (The number is accurate from 0-9; when more than 9 items are matched, you will see 9+.)
Visually, the automation surface has been updated but the general workflow of automations has not changed.
The Select action dialog is used to add blocks to the automation surface; select an item from the Palette and drop it onto the automation surface to show the Select action dialog. Select a pinned property, method, or event, or click More to explore all properties, methods, and events that are available.
Sensitive values like Personally Identifiable Information must never show in logs or be visible on the automation surface. New features have been added to help you ensure that sensitive data is protected.
Testing and debugging
There are two ways to debug in v21 Preview: either by running the project or by testing an automation. Choose Run all to debug the entire project, as in 19.1.
Testing is a new capability in v21, which makes debugging faster and easier. Testing allows you to debug a single automation plus any subautomations. Automations being tested use any currently open applications.
When debugging, property values display on automation blocks, providing immediate feedback.
We are especially interested in hearing how this new feature works for you.
Intelligent Recording records the steps in an application and builds an automation as you work. You can modify and delete steps as needed.
|Windows forms||Standard Windows forms functionality is provided, so you can add your own forms. More screen design options are coming.|
- Provide feedback for Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview
We would love to hear your feedback about Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview.