All UI elements provide more information than the user can see. Each element contains a technical description and identification. The information of an element is selected by our indicator and stored as selector values. Our software is then able to find the element and execute the desired action on it.
An artefact is the global storage of those selector values inside a database. In most cases, the same elements, windows and applications are used by several robots. There are several benefits to using artefacts. When a software update is conducted in multiple processes, the user is able to edit the artefacts, which are used by all of the robots, in one central location rather than updating the selector values of each individual application, window and element. All processes that use the artefacts are updated automatically and require no further effort.
Another benefit is that artefacts allow the analyst/developer to build a process without needing access to the application or website that is automated. Of course, this is only possible for applications and websites and their elements for which artefacts are already stored in the database.
Creation and Maintenance
Before creating or setting any artefacts, a database connection is required. To achieve this, the environment must be set in the project metadata.
Artefacts must always be set and used top-down. The creation of an artefact can be done in the properties pane on the right-side panel.
- Create an artefact for an application/website in open application/browser activity.
- Copy the executable path/url from the open application activity.
- Click on Application Artefact and Add Application within the Designer Pane.
- Fill-out the name, version and path (paste executable path here) and click Add Application.
- Create artefact for attach window.
- This is similar to (1) except that you can load selector values by simply selecting the required window.
- Create artefact for elements inside the already attached view.
- Also similar to (1) except that you can load selector values by simply selecting the required element.
- The automation provider is automatically selected.
After creating the required artefacts, they can be used in the following ways:
- Drag-in Open Application and click on the Application Artefact (small button on the right).
- Type application you’re looking for and select the desired application.
- Drag-in Attach Window.
- Repeat (2).
- Drag-in Click-Element activity (or other indicative activities) and select the element you want to click from the dropdown menu.
Build Processes using Artefacts
We provide an artefact tab in the right panel with a list of all application artefacts available on your database. If there is no database connection linked to the project, the panel will display a note with a link to the project settings.
Using the artefact tab, you can easily build a process using existing artefacts. I will provide you with a small example on how to do this:
1. Look for the desired Application in the artefact tab, you want to use for your process. Drag the desired entry into your process just as a normal activity. A pop-up will appear providing you a live search drop down with all activities of the required types for the artefact. Select the activity you want to use in the popup as in this example Open Application.
2. Entering the Application Scope leads to an automated filtering of the artefact list. You will only be able to use windows artefacts created for this application. Dragging-in the desired window artefact works similar to the application artefact. Select Attach Window from the list to insert an attach window with the artefact used.
3. Entering the Window Scope leads again to an automated filtering of the artefact list. You will only be able to use element artefacts of element created for this window. Dragging-in the desired element artefact works similar to application and window artefacts. Select the activity you want to use to interact with the element. In my example, I chose Click element to click a login button.