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Building automations on the Automation Surface

Updated on October 19, 2022

Use the Automation Surface to build your automation by adding design blocks that define the workflow of the automation. Within each design block, specify the properties, methods, and events that define the work performed by that design block.

While you can use Intelligent Recording to build a workflow in Pega Robot Studio, you can also manually add and update design blocks on the Automation Surface.

There are two categories of controls that you can use when building automations on the Automation Surface:

Interrogated controls:
controls that represent matching targets in an associated application
Toolbox controls:
properties, methods, events, variables, and components such as .NET controls, Pega connectors and controls, and standard variables

When you interrogate controls in an application, the controls are stored in the Palette. Toolbox controls are also stored in the Palette after they are used in an automation. Robot Studio places controls in either the Local or Globals folder, depending on the type of control.

  1. To add a control to the Automation Surface, double-click a blank area of the surface. Result: The Quick add dialog is displayed, as shown in the following figure:

    Quick add dialog
    Interrogated and global controls shown on the Palette tab of the Quick add dialog.

  2. In the Palette, find the control you want to use.
    Use search if you know the control name. Previously interrogated or used controls are listed in the Palette. The Toolbox shows all the Robot Studio controls that you can use to manage data or control the automation.
  3. When you have located the control that you want to use, double-click the control.Result: For items selected from the Palette, the Select Action dialog box is displayed. For items selected from the Toolbox, the item is added to the Automation Surface and to the Palette.

    To add an item from the Palette to the Automation Surface without opening the Select Action dialog box, hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the item or double-clicking it in the Quick Add dialog box.

  4. In the Select Action dialog box, to see all available properties, methods, and events, select the More menu.Result: The dialog box displays the properties, methods, and events for this control.
  5. Select the properties, method, or event to use in this automation.

    You can select multiple properties by selecting the checkboxes, but you can only add one method or event at at time. For properties, the Add button shows a running total of all selected properties, as shown in the following figure:

    Running total of selected actions
    Figure of Select Action dialog showing properties, methods, and events.
    To see information about specific properties, methods, or events, see Properties, methods, and events.
  6. After you select the properties, method, or event that you want to define, click Add.Result: Robot Studio creates the design block on the Automation Surface, with the properties, methods, or events that you selected.
  7. Click the fields and enter any applicable values for the design block.
    Certain controls can be updated directly on the design block, by clicking the field and updating text or properties, as shown in the following figure:

    Adding a value to a design block
    String design block with value clicked and a text string added.

    For more information, see Linking design blocks.
  8. Optional: To make an automation pause until an event happens, include a Wait or WaitforCreate method to allow the process to complete.
    Automations run faster in Robot Runtime. A Wait event helps with testing prior to deployment.
    For more information, see IsCreated and WaitforCreate.
  9. Optional: To create a link from an existing design block to a new design block, follow these steps:
    1. From a port on a design block, click and drag the mouse to a blank space on the Automation Surface.
    2. In the Quick add dialog box, in the Palette or Toolbox, search for a control to add to the automation, as shown in the following figure:
      Quick add dialog box
      Palette and Toolbox controls available in the Quick add dialog box that displays when you drag a pointer from a port to the Automation Surface.
    3. In the search box, double-click the new control.
    4. For controls selected from the Palette, click the More menu.
    5. In the Select action dialog box, select the properties, method, or event for this control.
    6. Click Add.
  • Linking design blocks

    You can link design blocks to control the workflow of the automation process.

  • Types of design blocks

    Once you add an automation to your project, you define the project integration, automation, and event tracking logic by adding properties, methods, and events for application controls. You can also add Pega Robot Studio components for performing specific functions, such as displaying a message box, comparing data values, and executing custom methods (scripts).

  • Adding a control to an existing automation

    You can add or insert a control from the Toolbox or Palette to your existing automation. Within the Automation Surface, place the control on an execution or gray line between objects to automatically create links.

  • Sensitive data

    Sensitive values like passwords or Personally Identifiable Information should never show in logs on the automation surface. Robot Studio helps ensure that sensitive data is protected.

  • Using the right-click menu on the Automation Surface

    When you right-click on the Automation Surface, a menu of options opens. You can add a comment, a jump-to/label combination, or an entry or exit point.

  • Working in the Toolbox

    The Toolbox contains the variables, components, properties, and events you can use to build and fine-tune automations in Pega Robot Studio.

  • Working in the Palette

    The Palette contains only those components that are used in the current automation.

  • Searching the Toolbox and Palette

    Use the Search feature to quickly find the components you need for your automations.

  • Windows forms

    Add forms to your automation to communicate or interact with users.

Have a question? Get answers now.

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