The latest Community Edition of Automation Anywhere is a fully cloud-based platform. It is also available to students and small businesses for free. There is no limit on the number of bots you can build; the only limitation is that they can only be deployed to one device. This makes it ideal to learn how to start building RPA bots.
The basic components needed for any version of Automation Anywhere to run are Control Room and the Client. Control Room functions as a management tool. It is used to manage your user accounts, devices, bots, and schedules, as well as giving bot insights. In previous versions, the Client was the bot development interface, but this has been superseded in the latest Community Edition A2019 and all the development is now done from within Control Room. So, there is no need to install any client application.
The previous chapter showed how to register with Automation Anywhere. This registration process will create a user account for you and allocate your account to a control room. You will receive an email with the Control Room URL details as well as your login credentials.
In this chapter, we will get Automation Anywhere up and running, ready to start building bots. You will learn how to connect to the control room and update your profile, and we will move forward to setting up the machine you would run your bot on, known as a device. After creating the device, you will learn how to configure and set up any credentials needed to log in to the device. By the end of this chapter, you will have completed learning how to set up the environment and get ready for your RPA bot development journey using Automation Anywhere.
We will cover the following topics in this chapter:
- Connecting to Control Room
- Preparing your device
- Configuring profile and device credentials
In order to install the Automation Anywhere A2019 Community Edition Bot agent, the following requirements are necessary:
- Windows OS version 7 or higher
- A processor with a minimum speed of 3 GHz
- A minimum of 4 GB RAM
- At least 100 MB hard disk space
- Internet Explorer v10 or higher, or Chrome v49 or higher
- A minimum screen resolution of 1024*768
- An internet connection with a minimum speed of 10 Mb/second
- Have completed the registration process with Automation Anywhere for Community Edition AA 2019
Connecting to Control Room
Continuing from Chapter 1, About Automation Anywhere, after your registration with Automation Anywhere is complete, you should have received an email with the following details:
- Your Control Room URL
- Your username
- Your password
Let's start by logging into Control Room and getting familiar with the interface.
Launching and logging into Control Room
As Automation Anywhere is 100% cloud-based, the platform is a totally web-based application. As such, we need to run Automation Anywhere from our web browser. I am using Chrome, but Internet Explorer can also be used to launch Automation Anywhere:
- Copy the Control Room URL details from your registration email and enter this URL into your web browser address bar:
- Next, enter the Username (this is usually your email address), followed by the Password sent in the email from Automation Anywhere.
- Click on the Log in button. When you have successfully logged in, you will be navigated to the Home page:
Updating your profile and password
- In the top right-hand corner of the Home page, click on your profile icon:
- From the dialog box, click on Go to My profile:
- This will take you to your profile details interface; to make any changes to your profile, click on Edit:
- This will allow you to update your details. Here, you can update your password; once you have made your changes, click on Save changes to apply them:
You are now successfully connected to Control Room and have configured it to your liking. Every time you want to launch Automation Anywhere, you will navigate via your browser to the URL given and use your credentials to log in. Now let's prepare your device.
Preparing your device
When bots are built, they need to be run on a device. This device can be a physical desktop, laptop, or even a virtual machine. We need to install and configure all devices that we may want to run a bot on. With this free edition of Automation Anywhere, we can add only one device.
To add a device, two stages are involved:
- Installing a Bot agent
- Enabling the extension
Let's go through each stage now.
Installing a Bot agent
- Click on MY DEVICES from the left-hand menu bar, then click on the Add local bot agent icon:
- The connection wizard will pop up. Click on Connect to my computer:
- The wizard will start to download the Bot agent (into your default downloads folder) as shown in the following screenshot:
- Once the Bot agent has been downloaded, right-click on the downloaded file's icon and select Open:
- This will initiate the Bot agent install wizard. Follow any onscreen instructions to install the Bot agent.
- Once it has been installed, you will notice a green tick in the Install bot agent step. This green tick indicates the successful completion of that task:
Enabling the extension
If you are using Google Chrome as your browser, Automation Anywhere will need to enable an extension for this. This allows Automation Anywhere to identify and interact with web-based objects for automating your bots. To enable the extension, you may need to download it from the Chrome Web Store. Follow these steps to enable the extension:
- Click on the I enabled it button shown in Figure 2.11. This will tell you whether the extension is already enabled or not:
- Click on the Get the Automation Anywhere extension link to navigate to the Chrome Web Store:
- Click on Add to Chrome button and you will get the following prompt; click on Add extension:
- This will install and enable the extension. To view or disable the extension in Chrome, navigate to Settings | Extensions and the Automation Anywhere extension should be visible:
- Once the extension has been enabled, the progress indicator will be updated with further green ticks, shown as follows:
- Finally, to complete the installation, click on the Done button. You can give your workstation a nickname in the Nickname (optional) text box if you wish.
- Looking at My devices in Control Room, you will now notice your device listed:
- The Bot agent should now be successfully installed on your device. You will also notice a little green tick against your local device icon on the top pane:
Configuring profile and device credentials
Once your device is visible on the listed devices in Control Room, you may need to configure the user profile for that device. Imagine that we build a bot and deploy it to your device, but the device is locked or you are not logged in to it. Automation Anywhere will need to log in to the device. In order to achieve this, we need to set the login user credentials for the device.
This is achieved with the following steps:
- Once in Control Room, from the Home screen, click on the local device icon, followed by Update credentials:
- The dialog will allow you to update the Device password. Enter the user password for the device and click on Update:
- Your device has now been successfully configured.
We are all ready to get going now. You will be comfortable in the future with setting up and configuring a device with Automation Anywhere Control Room, and can configure your device credentials as well as update your user profile. You could have a number of devices installed in Control Room. Once a bot is built, it can be deployed to any one of them or even a number of devices. Installing and configuring devices is an essential part of deploying and testing bots, and Control Room provides a centralized location to manage all your devices easily.
In the next chapter, we will look more closely at the Control Room features. We have already looked at setting up devices, but there is a lot more to it. We will learn about the dashboard, and how your bot is managed and monitored. This will get you more familiar with the Control Room interface used in Automation Anywhere.