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Frequently Asked Questions

Developer Portal

What is the Automation Anywhere developer portal?

This developer portal is intended to be the go-to destination for Automation Anywhere technologists (developers, architects, program managers, IT managers et al.) to access developer products (Community Edition, APIs, SDK etc.); technical information including blogs, videos, etc.; and to navigate to additional resources, like code samples, Documentation, Automation Anywhere University, A-People community and Bot Store. We encourage you to share your ideas, feedback and content to help make the Developer portal an invaluable resource for the the Automation Anywhere user community.

Is the developer portal only useful for professional software developers?

No. The developer portal is a resource for any that wants to build bots, manage their Automation Anywhere infrastructure or learn/share process and implementation best-practices. So whether you’re a professional software developer or a financial analyst building bots to help your team become more productive, the developer portal is a valuable resource for you.

How do I share ideas/requests for videos, blogs, webinar etc. on specific topics that my team / I would find useful?

Just click on the Contact Us form, share your ideas or requests and send them our way. We’ll do our best to accommodate your requests.

Is the developer portal only useful for professional software developers?

Stay tuned for updates to the developer portal that’ll enable users to share code examples with the community.

Packages and Package SDKs

What are the differences between a package, a bot, and a MetaBot?

A bot consists of a set of actions (formerly known as “commands”) which a bot creator has combined in an ordered sequence to automate a business process. For example, a bot that fills in an Excel file could have a sequence of actions like “Open Excel file named /mydata.xslx, Go to Cell A2, and then Paste the value from my clipboard.”

In Enterprise A2019, a subtask bot (or child bot) is a bot that is intended to be reused by other bots. For example, you could create a Login bot for entering a specific username and password, and then call it from other bots. A subtask bot can accept input parameters and returns output parameters to the bot that invoked it (the “parent bot”). By using subtask bots, you can consolidate your error handling and troubleshooting efforts, and decrease the amount of time spent building and maintaining bots.

In Enterprise 11.x, a MetaBot allows developers to create command based or DLL based reusable components.

A package is collection of individual actions, which a bot creator can choose from as they develop a bot. For example, the Clipboard package defines actions like Copy From, Copy To, and Clear. A single bot can combine and configure any number of actions from any number of packages in order to automate a process.

Where can I find packages?

Automation Anywhere installs a set of popular packages by default in your Control Room.

Once installed, the actions defined within each package are available in your My Bots work space.

Your Enterprise A2019 administrator can download additional bots and packages via the Automation Anywhere Bot Store.

If you use Enterprise A2019, Java developers within your company can use the Package SDK to build custom packages for your company.

Note that as Community Edition A2019 users don’t have system administration privileges, only Automation Anywhere (not individual users) can upload new packages to Community Edition.

Within my company, can I control who can use my custom package?

Enterprise A2019 does not currently enable you to define role-based access control (RBAC) for packages.

Using third-party APIs with bots

How do I invoke a third-party API from a bot?

Third-party API’s can be invoked directly from within your bot in a couple different ways.

The first (and most straightforward) approach is through the use of the REST Web Services package or the SOAP Web Service Package .

The REST Web Services package offers Delete, Get, Patch, Post, and Put operations with basic, AD, and NTLM authentication methods. The output of any of these operations when using the REST Web Services actions is a dictionary – where the response body is stored in the key “Body” and the header values can be accessed through their key names.

The SOAP Web Service package allows users to invoke authenticated or unauthenticated SOAP services with customized parameters. The output of the SOAP Web service operation comes as XML – which can be parsed using the XML package.

Another, slightly more complex, method to invoking third-party APIs from within a bot is through the use of a customized package. Packages are collections of actions, and can be creating in Java using the Automation Anywhere Package SDK. Leveraging this SDK, developers have the ability to define custom actions, define action input/output fields, and extend bot capabilities through their custom Java development. Packages can be a great way of exposing things like internal APIs as developers can share the packages with other bot builders who may need to use the custom package to validate data against internal systems, perform GET requests to fetch data, etc.

The final method for invoking third-party web services from within a bot is through the use of the provided scripting packages. Javascript, Python, and even VBScript (to an extent) are all languages that allow for developers to consume third-party web services. Why would you use such an approach given REST Web Service capabilities are already provided out of box in A2019? For starters, some applications offer platform specific libraries which make interfacing with their applications much easier. Additionally, for Web Services that don’t work with the provided Web Service actions (different authentication support, additionally required header values, etc) users do have the ability to explore alternatives through the use of these scripting packages.

If a 3rd-party offers bots on the Bot Store, and also offers APIs, when should I use their bot vs. their API?

The benefit to using bots on Bot Store is that bot builders have access to pre-built bots and components which should need minimal development time to start using/implementing. As a general practice, it would always be recommended to start with the Bot Store offering to see if it might meet your needs. Using a pre-developed Bot Store bot/component within your own automation can greatly accelerate development time. Should you find that the Bot Store offering does not offer all of the functionality of an API that you may need, then you could always integrate with the API yourself using the available Web Service packages.

As a developer, what is the ROI for offering bots to my internal users or other companies, if I already offer APIs?

Offering a bot/package on Bot Store expands a service provider’s reach of potential customers. While a good portion of bot builders may be comfortable digging in to technical documentation and learning to use an API, many will not be. Providing a pre-built bot enables a much larger group of bot builders to be able to consume/interact with your platform. Additionally, by offering pre-built bots/packages, developers who would otherwise need to research the API, play around with it, then invoke it would be able to accelerate their bot builds as most of the hard work is already one.

Using Automation Anywhere APIs

Does Automation Anywhere have an API? What does it let me do?

The Automation Anywhere Enterprise Control Room provides various API’s which allow you to customize the way that you (and your bots) interact with Automation Anywhere. Using this API, users can do things like manage bot deployments, create and manage credentials in the Enterprise Credential Vault, create and manage user accounts and roles, as well as using the Workload Management API to manage and create queues.

Why would I use an Automation Anywhere API?

One of the big benefits that many users see from the Automation Anywhere Control Room API is the ability to integrate with other systems – which includes doing things like syncing with external credential vaults such as CyberArk or HashiCorp, deploying bot executions on demand from workflow applications or custom app integrations, or by syncing and managing users and roles between other systems.

Does Automation Anywhere offer an SDK for its APIs?

There is not an SDK for the API so much as there is the reference documentation on the docs.automationanywhere.com portal and Swagger – which can be accessed directly from your control room: https:///swagger/

There is an Automation Anywhere SDK, but that SDK is created for the purposes of package creation, and is not related to the Automation Anywhere Enterprise Control Room API.

How can I try out Automation Anywhere APIs?

The easiest way to try out the Automation Anywhere API is through Swagger – which can be accessed directly from your control room at the following URL: https:///swagger/). Swagger provides basic documentation for each API endpoint, as well as the ability to invoke endpoints directly in the Swagger interface. If you want to take things a bit further, you could use an application like Postman to start interacting with the Control Room API.

Building for Bot Store

What are the recommended standards for developing a bot or Digital Worker for Bot Store?

A list of recommended standards for Bot design, creation, and submission can be found on the Documentation Portal.

How do I submit a bot or Digital Worker for publishing in the Bot Store?

To submit a bot or Digital Worker to Bot Store you will need to have a registered account for Automation Anywhere Bot Store. You can create one by visiting https://botstore.automationanywhere.com/ and clicking the “Login” option.

You also need to create a Vendor Profile Page by making a request using the Vendor Profile Request Form

Vendor Profile Pages give you a platform to introduce your organization, showcase your expertise and highlight your bots in the Bot Store.

Once registered, please visit the Bot Submission form in your My Submissions section of your Account.

On this form you will be asked to provide details of your bot or Digital Worker, including:

  • description of your bot or Digital Workers features, benefits, inputs and outputs
  • screenshots and videos showcasing the value of your bot or Digital Worker
  • a Readme file with the instructions to install, configure and run the bot or Digital Worker
  • a Zip file with the bot’s content

NOTE: For paid listings, the zip package needs to be created using the 11.3.3 client. The Zip file will have the needed package structure and manifest file which will be used by the 11.3.3 Control Room to define the hierarchy and code protection.

After you submit the bot, the Bot Store Operations team will conduct a thorough review of your submission to ensure that all the required information is accurate and that the Bot meets the standards outlined in the Bot Submission Checklist.

How do I include license management in my paid bot or Digital Worker?

For Enterprise V11
To integrate license management into your paid bot or Digital Worker, you need to:

  • Request a Global ID from Bot Store Operations. Use the following form to make the request:
    www.automationanywhere.com/botstore-license
  • You will receive a unique Global ID for each bot or Digital Worker you are creating as well as a ‘getting started’ kit which includes a License DLL.
  • Integrate the License DLL into a metabot
  • Include your Global ID in a License Info.txt file.
  • The unique Global ID needs to be added to the License Info.txt file that ships with your bot or Digital Worker.
  • When a customer downloads a 30-Day Free Trial or makes a purchase, they will receive an Access Code they need to enter which will enforce the length of subscription.

If the bot or Digital Worker I am submitting does not use any MetaBots, do I need to create an empty “My MetaBots” folder?

Yes, even though the folder will be empty, the folder is required. Your bot or Digital Worker will fail the review process if the “My MetaBots” folder is missing. This is also true for the “Input Folder.” It is required even if no input files are needed.

If the bot I’m submitting does not use any Input, do I need to create an empty “Input Folder” folder?

Yes, even though the folder will be empty, the folder is required. Your bot or Digital Worker will fail the review process if the “Input Folder” is missing. It is required even if no input files are needed. This is also true for the “My MetaBots” folder.

I need to make changes to a bot or Digital Worker that is already published, how can I do this?

If you need to change the information about a product that is published on Bot Store, please send us an email to [email protected].

Make sure to include the name of your product and a link to the detail page on Bot Store. Please provide specific details about the updates needed.

How long will it take for my product to appear in Bot Store after I submit it?

Bot Store Operations will do an initial review your submission within 5-7 business days of receipt. If your submission does not pass first review, you will receive an email, Submission Review Report, will the details on the issues that were found and next steps.

Why has my product been moved to “Draft”?

If the Bot submission does not pass our review, we will reject the bot or Digital Worker submission and move it to “Draft” status. You can still view the submission in your “My Submissions” section of your Profile.

Bot Store Operations will send you an email with a Submission Review Report that will list all the reasons for rejecting your bot or Digital Worker and next steps to help you get through the approval process.

How do I get a report on the number of downloads for my published products?

Reports on your Bot downloads can be downloaded from the Orders section.

How do I get support for a product downloaded from the Bot Store?

For Digital Workers and Bots owned by a vendor, please contact the vendor. The vendor contact details can be found on the product listing page or the vendor profile page in the Bot Store. The vendor will provide dedicated support upon purchase of the Digital Worker / Bot.

Get community support for all listings through the A-People Community Portal.