Running processes locally

Robocorp Cloud allows you to manage, orchestrate, and schedule the execution of your software robots in a central place. Robocorp Cloud has Processes, which contain steps that Runtime Environments execute. A Runtime Environment can be a Docker container or an actual physical or virtual machine running the Robocorp Workforce Agent application.

This article instructs how to set up a Robocorp Cloud workforce process to run on a local machine via Robocorp Workforce Agent.

Please note: Using this approach, the robot's triggering is still the responsibility of Robocorp Cloud. Suppose you plan to set up attended automation, allowing the end-user to trigger the robot and interact with it. In that case, we suggest you look into the Robot Assistant feature instead.

To follow along, you will need a Robocorp Cloud account and Robocorp Workforce Agent, available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. If you haven't already, you might want to follow the Quickstart guide to get familiar with Robocorp Cloud first.

Follow the Robocorp Workforce Agent installation guide to install and link Robocorp Workforce Agent to your workspace in Robocorp Cloud. Make sure your Robocorp Workforce Agent is correctly linked and running:

Robocorp Cloud- Runtime Environment running

In the Environments page of your workspace in Robocorp Cloud, you should now see your Robocorp Workforce Agent, marked as Idle:

Robocorp Cloud - Runtime Environment idle

With the Robocorp Workforce Agent set up and running, we are ready to assign it something to do!

Modify the "Robocorp Cloud Example Process" to run locally via Robocorp Workforce Agent

All new Robocorp Cloud accounts contain an example process that downloads a picture from Google Images. The process has one robot configured by default to run via a Robocorp hosted container in the cloud.

You can find more details about the example process and instructions on how to run it in the Quickstart guide.

Let's modify the example process so that it runs via our locally running Robocorp Workforce Agent instead!

  1. Find the Robocorp Cloud Example Process in the Workforce page in Robocorp Cloud, and click on it to configure it: Clicking on the example process
  2. Click on the Google Image Search in the Steps section of the page to configure it: Clicking on the robot inside the example process
  3. On the robot configuration page, find the Environment section. You can see that the robot is currently set to be run by the robocorp/robocontainer:latest Runtime Environment. Click on the trash can icon (Detach Environment) to detach the current runtime environment. Then, click on the + icon (Attach environment) to attach a new runtime environment, and select your runtime environment from the list: Detaching robocorp/robocontainer:latest Runtime Environment, attaching local runtime environment

And we are done!

Start the process

With these configuration changes, we are now ready to execute the process locally.

Make sure your Robocorp Workforce Agent is running, go back to the Workforce page in Robocorp Cloud, and start the Robocorp Cloud Example Process by clicking on the Start button.

This will tell the runtime environment to execute the process locally: in our case, it will open a local browser, do a search, and download a picture. It will then upload any artifacts to the cloud (log files, and in our case, the cat picture). The execution will show a log of the executed operations in the Console Output window.

Running example process in Robocorp Workforce Agent

The first execution will be slower than shown here because the Robocorp Workforce Agent has to set up the environment for you. Environments are cached and reused so that the successive executions will be much faster.

Security considerations

You can learn more about how the security aspects of the communication between Robocorp Cloud and Robocorp Workforce Agent in this article.

Summary

By installing and running Robocorp Workforce Agent in a target system, you can run your robots there. Robots are triggered and scheduled in Robocorp Cloud, and artifacts and logs are uploaded to Robocorp Cloud.