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Working in the Application Designer

Updated on November 10, 2021

Use the Application Designer to define targets and match rules for an application, so you can better control how your automation interacts with an application.

The controls in your automations use match rules to identify targets in an application. If a control fails to match the desired target in the application, for any reason, use the Application Designer to to identify the correct target or to adjust match rules. For example, a target may not match in a complex Web application. You might be able to adjust the match rule to successfully match. Or, you might be able to re-interrogate the control using a different interrogation method, such as Replace control.

Note: The Application Designer works during Interrogation, using the Interrogation engine to identify Targets and their properties.

The following figure shows the Application Designer and some of the Targets and Match Rules it uses to identify controls in an application.

Application Designer
Figure showing Application Designer with Targets and Match Rules.

  1. In the application with the controls you want to match, click Interrogate.
  2. In the Palette on the left, select the control you want to adjust.
    The targets and match rules for the control display in the Application Designer, as in the following figure:

    Potential targets
    Application Designer showing potential targets for an
                                        unmatched control.

  3. Under Targets, select the Target for unmatched Palette controls, or the Target you want to adjust.Result: The Properties of the Target display in the Property Grid on the right. You can adjust the values represented there.
  4. Optional: Select the Show unmatched box to show all possible Targets.
  5. Optional: Click the Refresh matching button to update the matched Targets list.Result: Use Refresh matching when you have changed the match rules or their properties and want the targets updated. Make sure both the control and any child objects are unmatched before attempting to update their matching.
  6. Use the Property Grid to make adjustments to Targets or Match rules, as in the following figure.
    Adjust properties
    Application Designer showing selected Target properties in Property
  7. Click the tabs at the top of the window to view Windows, a Screenshot, or Virtual Controls.
    You would use these tabs when a control or window is difficult to interrogate: for example, a menu that closes without a mouseover event. These tabs give more detail about controls and offer different ways to match them, as shown in the following figure:
    Windows tab of Application Designer
    Figure showing the list of windows for a particular control.
  8. Right-click on a window or control and select Highlight to see the location of the object in the application.Result: In the following figure, the Login button was highlighted.
    Login button highlighted
    Figure showing the Login button selected from the Virtual Controls
                                list and highlighted in the application.
  9. Right-click on a vrtual control and select Create control to add a control of the same type selected.Result: The control is created and added to the Palette. You can change its values in the Property grid. Create control is only available for virtual controls that have not been interrogated.
  • Cloned controls: the UseKeys property

    When integrating applications that create multiple instances of targets with identical types, such as multiple document interface (MDI) child windows, Robot Studio creates cloned controls to match the targets. Cloning controls keeps automations running successfully by matching multiple targets.

  • Match Rule types

    This tables shows most of the standard match rules applied to common application web and Windows objects.

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