Robotic Process Automation with Automation Anywhere

By Husan Mahey
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  1. Chapter 2: Installing Automation Anywhere

About this book

With an increase in the number of organizations deploying RPA solutions, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is quickly becoming the most desired skill set for both developers starting their career and seasoned professionals. This book will show you how to use Automation Anywhere A2019, one of the leading platforms used widely for RPA.

Starting with an introduction to RPA and Automation Anywhere, the book will guide you through the registration, installation, and configuration of the Bot agent and Control Room. With the help of easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll build your first bot and discover how you can automate tasks with Excel, Word, emails, XML, and PDF files. You’ll learn from practical examples based on real-world business scenarios, and gain insights into building more robust and resilient bots, executing external scripts such as VBScripts and Python, and adding error handling routines.

By the end of this RPA book, you’ll have developed the skills required to install and configure an RPA platform confidently and have a solid understanding of how to build complex and robust, yet performant, bots.

Publication date:
November 2020
Publisher
Packt
Pages
554
ISBN
9781839215650

 

Chapter 2: Installing Automation Anywhere

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 In previous versions, the Client was the bot development interface, but this has been superseded in the latest Community Edition A2019 and all the development is now done from within Control Room.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
 

Technical requirements

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:

  1. Copy the Control Room URL details from your registration email and enter this URL into your web browser address bar:
    Figure 2.1 – Automation Anywhere Log in interface

    Figure 2.1 – Automation Anywhere Log in interface

  2. Next, enter the Username (this is usually your email address), followed by the Password sent in the email from Automation Anywhere.
  3. Click on the Log in button. When you have successfully logged in, you will be navigated to the Home page:
Figure 2.2 – Automation Anywhere Home page

Figure 2.2 – Automation Anywhere Home page

You have managed to log in to Automation Anywhere Control Room. The top right shows the user details, while the left-hand pane has all the different sections of Control Room.

Updating your profile and password

The first thing you may want to do is update your profile and set a new password:

  1. In the top right-hand corner of the Home page, click on your profile icon:
    Figure 2.3 – Profile icon

    Figure 2.3 – Profile icon

  2. From the dialog box, click on Go to My profile:
    Figure 2.4 – Navigate to your profile details

    Figure 2.4 – Navigate to your profile details

  3. This will take you to your profile details interface; to make any changes to your profile, click on Edit:
    Figure 2.5 – Profile settings page

    Figure 2.5 – Profile settings page

  4. 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:
Figure 2.6 – Updating the profile settings

Figure 2.6 – Updating the profile settings

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

The Bot agent is a small application that allows the device to communicate with the task bots. To install the Bot agent, follow these steps:

  1. Click on MY DEVICES from the left-hand menu bar, then click on the Add local bot agent icon:
    Figure 2.7 – Adding a local device

    Figure 2.7 – Adding a local device

  2. The connection wizard will pop up. Click on Connect to my computer:
    Figure 2.8 – Connecting to a local device

    Figure 2.8 – Connecting to a local device

  3. The wizard will start to download the Bot agent (into your default downloads folder) as shown in the following screenshot:
    Figure 2.9 – Downloading a bot agent to a local device

    Figure 2.9 – Downloading a Bot agent to a local device

  4. Once the Bot agent has been downloaded, right-click on the downloaded file's icon and select Open:
    Figure 2.10 – Installing a bot agent on a local device

    Figure 2.10 – Installing a Bot agent on a local device

  5. This will initiate the Bot agent install wizard. Follow any onscreen instructions to install the Bot agent.
  6. 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:
Figure 2.11 – Installation progress indicator

Figure 2.11 – Installation progress indicator

The wizard will automatically lead you into the next section for enabling the extension.

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:

  1. Click on the I enabled it button shown in Figure 2.11. This will tell you whether the extension is already enabled or not:
    Figure 2.12 – Enabling the extension

    Figure 2.12 – Enabling the extension

  2. Click on the Get the Automation Anywhere extension link to navigate to the Chrome Web Store:
    Figure 2.13 – Chrome Web Store Automation Anywhere A2019 extension

    Figure 2.13 – Chrome Web Store Automation Anywhere A2019 extension

  3. Click on Add to Chrome button and you will get the following prompt; click on Add extension:
    Figure 2.14 – Extension installation prompt

    Figure 2.14 – Extension installation prompt

  4. 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:
    Figure 2.15 – The extension in Chrome

    Figure 2.15 – The extension in Chrome

  5. Once the extension has been enabled, the progress indicator will be updated with further green ticks, shown as follows:
    Figure 2.16 – The installation progress indicator

    Figure 2.16 – The installation progress indicator

  6. 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.
  7. Looking at My devices in Control Room, you will now notice your device listed:
    Figure 2.17 – List of installed devices

    Figure 2.17 – List of installed devices

  8. 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:
Figure 2.18 – Local device status icon

Figure 2.18 – Local device status icon

We now need to configure the device so that Automation Anywhere can log in to it, even if no one is logged in to that device or if it's locked.

 

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:

  1. Once in Control Room, from the Home screen, click on the local device icon, followed by Update credentials:
    Figure 2.19 – Updating local device credentials

    Figure 2.19 – Updating local device credentials

  2. The dialog will allow you to update the Device password. Enter the user password for the device and click on Update:
    Figure 2.20 – Updating the device's password

    Figure 2.20 – Updating the device's password

  3. Your device has now been successfully configured.

Great work! We have now got our device all ready to start working with Control Room. Control Room is set up with a user profile and a device.

 

Summary

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.

About the Author

  • Husan Mahey

    Husan Mahey has nearly 30 years of experience in software development and currently works as the Chief Technology Officer at SkySoft UK Ltd. He has been working with Automation Anywhere since 2016 and was recognized by the Automation Anywhere University to be the first to gain all the official Automation Anywhere certifications and accredited badges within 3 months. These accreditations include; Certified Master RPA Professional and Certified RPA Trainer. Husan has previously worked for a number of global organizations including the top 4 consultancies providing automated solutions in various capacities. He has worked in a number of industries including finance, pharmaceutical, education, and utilities. In his current role, he provides RPA consultancy and training needs to organizations of all sizes.

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