The Pega Browser Extension (PBE) component, released in build 19.1.115, replaces the individual Chrome and Edge extensions released in earlier 19.1 builds. PBE updates the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browser extensions to comply with the Chromium Project Manifest V3 specification. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge support for Manifest V2 ends on December 31, 2022.
Review the following information to learn about the reason for the changes and how to respond.
- Pega Browser Extension overview
- Timelines and important dates
- Installing the Pega Browser Extension
- Pega Robotic Automation project compatibility
- Supported product versions and technologies
What is the Pega Browser Extension (PBE)?
Pega Browser Extension is a standalone component of Pega Robotic Automation, just like Pega RPA Service and Pega Native Foundation. With this component, you can automate applications that run in Chrome and Edge by using the Universal Web Adapter. PBE includes the extension and the native messaging host. The native messaging host transmits communications between Robot Runtime or Robot Studio, and the browser.
What is the difference between PBE and the earlier 19.1 Chrome and Edge extensions?
The extensions that come with PBE are updated to the latest version of the extension manifest (Manifest V3).
What is a manifest file?
Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are based on the open-source Chromium browser platform. Chromium browser extensions require a JSON-formatted manifest file, named manifest.json. This file describes the behavior of the extension and provides essential information about the extension, including its name, version, an array of permissions the extension might use, and other technical details.
What is Manifest V3?
Manifest V3 is the latest manifest version for Chromium extensions and was created by the Chromium Project. Manifest V3 replaces Manifest V2. Manifest V3 is now included in Chrome and Edge. For more information, visit the following website:
How is the Pega RPA team responding to the change in the manifest version?
As the Pega RPA team migrates to Manifest V3, we are taking the opportunity to improve the installation and update the experience for everyone.
With Manifest V2, the Pega Robotic Automation installation process included the Pega Robotic Automation for Browsers extension. With Manifest V3, the new Pega Browser Extension (PBE) component, isolates the extensions (now called the Pega Robotics Automator) and other related elements into a separate, installable component that is similar to Pega RPA Service and Pega Native Foundation. Pega Robotic Automation version 19.1.115 and later include PBE.
How do I know if I have a Manifest V2 or Manifest V3 Pega browser extension?
The Manifest V2 extension is named Pega Robotic Automation for Browsers, and its version number starts with 1.0. The Manifest V3 extension is named Pega Robotics Automator, and its version number starts with 3.1.
What is the benefit to me to use PBE?
Because PBE is a separate, installable component, you can update it without having to update Robot Studio and Robot Runtime.
What is a self-hosted extension?
Self-hosting is the practice of hosting an extension outside of the Chrome Web Store. Self-hosting provides several advantages, including making it easier and quicker for you to distribute extensions to your users.
Self-hosting also allows Pega to continue to automate and maintain compatibility with automations that use the ExecuteScript or InvokeScript methods. Self-hosting allows the Pega RPA team to release builds faster.
When will Google and Microsoft stop supporting Manifest V2?
Support ends on December 31, 2022. Follow this link to see Google's Manifest V2 end of support schedule:
Follow this link to see Microsoft's Manifest V2 end of support schedule:
When will Pega stop supporting Manifest V2?
Like Google and Microsoft, Pega ends support for the Manifest V2 extension on December 31, 2022. After that date, you must use Pega Browser Extension (PBE).
When should I start using PBE?
For systems that only use Pega Robotic Automation 19.1, you can migrate to PBE at any time, but the deadline for migrating is December 31, 2022. Both Google and Microsoft imposed this deadline.
The Pega RPA team recommends that you migrate 19.1 implementations to PBE when you install 22.1 because both items (PBE and Pega Robot Runtime 22.1) must be installed before the Pega Synchronization Engine can maintain these items.
Keep in mind that if you are using Pega Robotic Automation 19.1 and 22.1 on the same computer, you must use PBE. PBE is compatible with both 19.1 and 22.1, and is required for 22.1.
Can I use both extensions (Pega Robotics Automator and Pega Robotic Automation for Browsers) on the same computer?
No. If you run Pega Robotic Automation 19.1 and 22.1 on the same computer, you must uninstall the Pega Robotic Automation for Browsers extension and install PBE to automate applications that run on a Chrome or Edge browser.
How do I install PBE?
The Pega Browser Extension is included when you download version 19.1.115 and later of Robot Studio and Robot Runtime from the My Pega website. You can extract the PBE installation files from this download and apply PBE to earlier 19.1 installations as needed. After you install PBE, use the Pega Synchronization Engine to maintain the version of PBE that is running on your system.
How do I prepare for PBE?
To allow users to install a self-hosted extension, add the extension ID to the ExtensionInstallAllowlist policy in the Group Policy Editor for your Active Directory Domain Service. Alternatively, you can set the ExtensionInstallForcelist policy to force-install an extension on your users’ computers. For more information on setting Group Policy, see the following articles:
For more information on setting Group Policy, see the following articles:
- Using Microsoft Group Policy to control Chrome policies
- Using Microsoft Group Policy to control Edge policies
How do I upgrade to PBE?
Pega Robot Studio and Pega Robot Runtime version 19.1.115 and later include PBE. You can install PBE by itself or as part of a Robot Studio or Robot Runtime installation. To install as part of a Robot Studio or Robot Runtime installation, select the option to install the Pega Browser Extension when you run the Setup wizard. For more information, see the installation instructions.
Can I use the Pega Synchronization Engine to install PBE?
No. You must install and configure all new components. After you install PBE, you can configure the Pega Synchronization Engine to ensure proper maintenance and updates.
Do I need to upgrade my projects after I install PBE?
No, one of the benefits of using PBE is that it is a separate component from Robot Studio and Robot Runtime. This enables you to use PBE without rebuilding your solutions, unless you are using the Electron translator. If your project uses the Electron translator, then you must upgrade the project.
How do I know if my projects are incompatible with PBE?
If your 19.1 project contains an adapter that uses the Electron translator, update the project to a build that includes PBE to make the project compatible with PBE. If you are unsure whether your projects are compatible with PBE, contact Pega Support.
Which technologies are not backward compatible?
Currently, the only technology that is not backward compatible is Electron.
Can I use any version of 19.1 with PBE?
It depends; if your projects use the Electron translator, which is not backward compatible, then use a build that includes PBE. If your projects do not use the Electron translator, then all versions of 19.1 are compatible with PBE.
Can I use any version of 8.0 SP1 with PBE?
No, Pega Robotic Automation 8.0 SP1 does not support PBE.
What browser versions does PBE support?
The Pega Browser Extension works with Chrome versions 88 and later, and all versions of Edge.