Conversion Tool

Check out the idea behind the conversion tools before diving in too deep.

The conversion tooling is available with Robocorp Automation Studio. Automation Studio provides a good place to deploy the conversion in a form where you know all the data stays on your machine. Automation Studio also houses our Flow visualization and the Visual editor, which are powerful tools for understanding what the converted robot logic is doing. Please note that you can always jump to using Visual Studio Code tools at any point because the conversion creates RobotFramework code like any other.

The developers working with the tool should master an L3 developer certification.

Ideally, they will also understand the logic of the existing tooling, at least superficially. The conversion process should have clear access to the people who know and can use the old tool.

The conversion tool aims to provide a scaffolding Robot Framework that you can place in the bot project you start.

BluePrism

BluePrism is the most challenging target for conversions because it has many different models and ways of identifying things, scoping variables, and quite an unorthodox way of handling exceptions and returns.

The main thing to remember with BluePrism conversion is that knowing the RobotFramework basics, and the existing libraries are your keys to success. Many things are just built-in to RobotFramework that require specific implementation in BP that you can just get rid of.

The tool will continue to evolve based on the feedback we get: it is critical to understand that as the source project can, for example, have some unique C# code embedded in BP objects, making a total conversion an impossible task, so human developers are needed to get the conversions over the finishing line.

Exporting a BluePrism project

  1. Export the bot XML using the official guide
  2. Export needs to be done on the "Release" -level in BluePrism so that it includes enough data for the conversion to work.
  3. The format of the export can be .bprelease or .xml

Automation Anywhere Automation 360

Automation 360 (A360) is on a domain level and structure much closer to Robot Framework than BluePrism.

For Automation Anywhere v11, we recommend running the bot migration tool to A360 provided by Automation Anywhere. You do not need to migrate to A360 fully; just running the AA migration tool should enable you to export the bot in the new format, which allows our conversion tool to focus on that format (the v11 export format is heavily obfuscated).

In A360, you can export common parts of the bot, so you do not have to export and convert the entire bot at once.

Exporting an A360 project

  1. Export the bot .zip using the official guide
  2. Extract the .zip
  3. The extracted parts of the AA bot either have .json file extension or no file extension at all
    • Conversion can take these in one at a time.

UiPath

UiPath conversion on a technical level is not easy but relatively simpler than the others. The main hurdle here is that so many robots use proprietary libraries that expose very little details on what they actually do. We have not yet seen a feature or actions that could not be done using existing Python and RobotFramework libraries. Using the conversion tool to understand the problem and then replacing the missing parts with Python or RobotFramework already yields a lot more stable and easier to maintain bots.

Exporting a UiPath project

  1. Export "workflow template in XAML format" using UiPath's guide
March 23, 2022