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Working in the Application Designer

Updated on October 19, 2022

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

The controls you use in 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 identify the correct target or to adjust match rules. For example, a control might not match to the desired target in a complex Web application. You might be able to adjust the match rule to successfully match. Or you might be able to reinterrogate the control by using a different interrogation method, such as Replace control.

The following figure shows the Application Designer and some targets and match rules that it uses to identify controls in an application.

Application Designer
Figure that shows Application Designer with Targets and Match Rules.
  1. Open the application that you want to interrogate.
    The Application tab shows basic information about the application, such as the path and startup options. You can update these options if needed.
  2. Click the Targets tab.
  3. Click the Interrogate button.
    You must be in interrogation mode to use many features, such as viewing the status of target matching.
  4. Select the control that you want to adjust from the Palette on the left.
    The Application Designer displays the targets and match rules for the control, as shown in the following figure:
    Unmatched targets
    Application Designer showing potential targets for an unmatched control.
  5. Below Targets, select the target for unmatched Palette controls, or the target that you want to adjust.Result: The Property Grid on the right displays the properties of the target. You can adjust the values represented there.
  6. Optional: To show all possible targets, select Show unmatched.
  7. Optional: To update the matched targets list, click Refresh matching.Result: Use Refresh matching after you change the match rules or their properties and want the targets updated. Ensure that both the control and any child objects are unmatched before you try to update their matching.
  8. Use the Property grid to adjust targets or match rules, as shown in the following figure:
    Target properties
    Application Designer that shows selected Target properties in Property Grid.
    Sometimes it might be necessary to tweak the Match Rules to better identify the correct Targets. For example, a black eye icon next to a control indicates that there are multiple instances of the same control that match the current match rules. You can add a new match rule or tweak an existing one in order to find a unique match.
  9. Click the More menu to sort properties alphabetically or by category, or to switch between standard and advanced view.
    More menu
    More menu showing options to sort or change views in the Property grid.
  10. To view Windows, a Screenshot, or Virtual Controls, click the tabs at the top of the window.
    Use the Windows or Virtual Controls tabs when you cannot interrogate a control or window (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.
  11. Right-click a window or control, and then 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 that shows the Login button selected from the Virtual Controls list and highlighted in the application.
  12. Right-click a virtual control, and then select Create control to add a control of the same type.Result: The system creates the control, and then adds it to the Palette. You can change its values in the Property grid. Create control is available only for virtual controls that have not been interrogated.
  • Cloned controls and the UseKeys property

    When interrogating applications that create multiple instances of controls with identical types, such as rows in a table or multiple document interface (MDI) child windows, use the UseKeys property to tell Pega Robot Studio to work with all of the controls through one interrogated object. UseKeys also allows you to work with an unknown number of identical items. Essentially, the cloned controls are a list of controls that are easier to work with in automations.

  • Working with Match rules

    Every time an application runs, a new user interface is rendered by the underlying program. Pega Robot Studio uses Match rules to identify the user interface elements across multiple application instances.

  • Match Rule types

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

  • Adding properties to the standard view

    Add properties that you frequently use to the standard view in the Application Designer, to keep them available when creating automations. By adding a property to the standard view, the property is always visible, so you can create automations more efficiently.

  • Using the TargetPath property
  • Properties used to match Web applications

    When interrogating a webpage, Pega Robot Studio reads the HTML for the page, identifies the HTML tags for the selected objects and associates the tags with the controls. The following table shows how HTML tags, web objects, and web controls are related.

  • Factories

    Factories are controls that enable Pega Robot Studio adapters to interact with specific platforms. Factories interact with brokers for the adapter application (.NET, Java, Active X, and so on).

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