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Alright, as touched on in a previous lecture about retry, you would have seen this process in Template One. This is attached to this lecture or to this course, and the exam might have one question around it. You don't need to know every detail, but you should have a general understanding of what it is and why you use it. So we can see here that the objective of Process Template One is to load work from a workforce into a Blue Prism work queue, work items in the work queue, and complete once all the edge cases have originally been loaded into the work queue and worked. And then I have a Process Two template for more complex examples. But for the exam, you just need to know Process 1. It runs over an overview of the benefits of it, such as decreasing process development time, providing consistency across all processes, allowing easier understanding, and supporting and assisting developers in keeping best practises and working with any development methodology within an organization.
It's provided as a generic starting point, but it will require modifications for organizations. So you can modify this template to fit your organization, but it's just a good idea to understand what it is and the benefits of it, because it may ask you about the benefits and how it handles exceptions and retry loops, as we saw. And it's also got some global data and a page-down configuration. So it's good to just go over this document, have it in the back of your mind, and the actual process template is attached. So while you're reading that document, you can have the process open in Blueprint, run through it, and see it all. It might seem overwhelming at first, but a lot of the pages and patterns are quite similar. Once you see that, it will automatically make sense to you very quickly, and it's super useful to know.
16. Correct use of attributes
Okay, so I've got an example process set up here with a username and a set password that is going to set a username and password data item. And then I've just got a note stage that pretends we're pressing a login button in an application. So let's just go to the start and run through setting up the username and password, and then we log into our imaginary application. What you should be aware of is that if we go down here and click the log viewer, you will be able to see the logs as well as the password.
This is not a good thing. You don't want to store sensitive information in the logs because, while someone might not have access to your passwords via the credential manager, if you log out the actual results and they have access to this, they can then get your password and maliciously log into the applications and do anything they want to. So, open a stage and you'll see the state logging drop down on anything that contains sensitive information like a password, a tax number, a Social Security number, and so on. You want to disable the login.
So if I disable that, now I need to save the process, close it down, reopen it, and let's run it now from the start and see what happens in our logs. The reason I close and reopen a process is that it clears this log viewer to only show the runs. Since we opened up this process, we can see where it sets our username, it goes by our notes, and we press the log in button, but we don't actually see the set password anymore. Okay, and one more thing: be careful. Even though we've turned off logging for set passwords underneath the edit option, that's in all stages, and what this lets you do for all stages on the current page is enable logging, disable logging, and logarithm only. So you might accidentally say, "I want to enable logging for everything on this page." Realize we're setting a password, and now statelogging is set to enabled again. So we're going to set it back to disabled to avoid locking the password. but just be aware of that.
Well, it is a useful feature if you have something wrong and you want to enable logging to see what's actually going on step by step in a process, especially in production, but you want to make sure you disable logging for anything that's setting a password. Okay, one final note on logging: you need to be careful if you have a loop stage and, let's say, you're looping through a collection and, let's say, you're running a calculation on it to store another result in a different collection that will be processed later. If you have logging enabled on a stage that's in between a loop, it's going to work every time it runs through that, and your loop might run through a thousand items. Imagine running through a thousand items each time your process runs, which might be ten times a day. That's 10,000 items.
That's a lot of records in the database. That's taking up a lot of storage. And number two, there's a lot of information in the logs that the loop will be constantly going through. That might not be that useful. So if you're ever using a loop within a process, make sure you evaluate whether you do need logging. If you do, I recommend setting up your system to only log out if there is an error. Otherwise, you can disable it. And then, if there is a problem in production, you can always turn it back on. Keep the process running in production, and then get your logs to diagnose an issue. So that's what to look out for when logging up for an exam. The most important thing is to not use your password to log in.
17. Global Send Keys / Global Send Key Events
Now we're going back to the application modeler. So we've created a new object called Attributes Ordering. Go to the application modeler. I've already got this path set up for a training order system, which you can download in this lecture or in this course. So let's launch it. And it has assigned you the staff number "BP" and the password "Password." And as you can see, we can add an order. We can view an existing order quickly. We've got one to go to add an order. We've got a new order. Let's actually set up some of these items in our application model. So first of all, I'm going to identify the actual window here. So select it, control it, and click on it.
We're going to call this new order window "Window." Now we've got that. We've got our product code, so it's going to setcode into that and create a child of the window. Let's identify the actual code input. Control-click on it, and we'll refer to this as the input product code. Now, if we hit Highlight, we can see it come back up here. But let's take a look at some of the attributes and see how that can actually be used to make sure you always select that input. So if we scroll through it, one item will know that window text is equal to code. So if we change this stuff in the input, we hit Highlight. It is unable to locate the input product code because it is expecting the window tax, which in this case is the actual text here to be code. So, after ticking that and clicking Highlight, you'll notice that we now have four items highlighted. The reason is that all four of these text boxes match attributes here.
So, let's take a look at the characteristics that could be tested on any exam. You won't need to know them in great detail, but you will need to know how to actually use them to identify a unique input. First and foremost, there is the inheritance tax. If we select this and choose equal to New Order, it means it's Ancestor, which means the window text must also be equal to New Order. This is a good way to make sure the text box is actually in a new order window, because sometimes in this training order system, this input might get picked up as well. So you can make sure that any input within a window is actually contained within that window by using Ancestors text. In this case, we know it will not be used. The next good one is Ordinal. We select that and hit Highlight.
We noticed this text box always gets highlighted. Essentially, if you have multiple items with the same attribute, such as the four text boxes here, the ordinal will be the position of that item. So, if we change this to four, hitHighlight, we see that there is a number required. Change this to three. It's the unit price, for example. We're going to change it back to five. We hit highlight, we've got our product code, and for each application, the auditor might start at number one at the top and go down, or it might go the other way around. The highest number is starting to start. It's going to depend on the application, but ordinal is your best bet if you're getting multiple items selected in the application model to make sure you get a unique one. Think of it as a position in a list.
So you've got five text boxes; number five picks up number five, and finally there are two more items. If we go back to our ancestors' text, let's say we have a new order and it has order ABC, and to say new order ABC, we'd always have to equal that. But if we had a different order, say XY, it would change every time. The two ways to get around this are to have a wild card. So you could do a new order star, which means the window text must start off with a new order. Then after that, it can be anything at all. For a match, you can use regex, which is a regular expression. And if you're not too familiar with regular expressions, they're used to match text based on patterns. So this website here, Register.com, gives a good overview of it. It's just an expression to find a pattern within a body of text. So this one here looks for the character R.
In another case, the character E. Then the special code matches any character, and a star means zero or many times. So we can see that this picks up any words that start with "re" and gets the rest of the word. In terms of the developer exam, you just need to know the options there and what they're useful for. And finally, we have a dynamic option. So, let's choose a dynamic, apply it, and then click okay. Then we create the appropriate stage, say, to actually write to our input. We can actually dynamically pass in the attributes within a blue prism object, which could be set with the object itself or passed down from the process, if we drag this input product code onto our element and do the value of hello.
So the key takeaway here is that you just need to know that you can actually make a dynamic and be able to pass in a value for the attributes. And finally, the second half of attributes is about using Internet Explorer or some other sort of browser. So if we open up the application model, you can see here that I've got Internet Explorer set up. So we're going to launch this, go to the website, which is ABR business.gov.au, and then go to Element 1. Let's select "identify." We'll notice in the top left that the identification tool is in the ID HTML mode. So, if we take command and click on that search box, Let's go over some of the items and best practises that the exam might test you on. First of all, we've got an NS account, which is similar to ordinal.
As you can see, you've got some other options that are checked. You've got a class name, so classname is always useful to use. Just know that in browsers, this might not always be unique; you've got it enabled, and it's always good to see if the element is enabled because some websites will disable an element. Some elements will have a unique identifier, so I recommend using them absolutely where possible. You've got input-type text as well. And going down, you've got the parent URL. So just note that some websites will actually change the URL, as in navigating, even though you're on the same page. So you might need to make this a wildcard just to make sure you capture the main domain name, which is left here, and then anything after if you browse. Next up, we have the path, which is an absolute HTML path to this element.
Think of it as a street directory. I actually recommend you don't use it because some websites start updating quite often, and that will break this path, and sometimes even though you're on the same page, it may not be the same every time. So if we go highlight, we can still see we've got the search box here; without it, you've got the tag name, which is telling us it's an input box, and a title, which is blank. I recommend unchecking title because if you have some content in here, such as "hello," that will set the title, and that's pretty much it for it being an X. What attributes I recommend using are the ones we already have, which you can use to match the sortand always on tick path unless you absolutely need it and can't get the input element to work with these options sense.
18. Run Modes
Alright, so we're in our ordering system application. If we go to application water and launch, the order system will open up and we will look at actually sending keys to the application. So let's drag and navigate the stage onto it. If you drag the top-level item that is attribute ordered, you'll notice there are two global send keys. There are global send keys and global send key events. So what's the difference? They're almost exactly the same. However, it is critical to note that there are subtle differences between them. Sending the global same keys simply sends the keys. Hello, whatever the active application is, whether attribute ordering or another system, it will send keystrokes to it. The important thing is that it will directly send keystrokes to this ordering system.
So, if we call this global sync easy GSK hitokay, connect it, and hit start quickly. Hop over to our application, and we can see right away that we do global sendkey events, and it's going to do pretty much the exact same thing. But what Global SendKey Events does is, instead of actually sending keystrokes directly to the application, it mimics a human actually typing on a keyboard. So it's a lot more unstable. If a pop-up happens or another application has a shortcut that you accidentally press, it's going to intercept it and potentially use it in other applications. So, if we do staff number, hello, move on to the next stage, and hit run. It's going to be written in there. And you can see here that it's actually typed one by one. So if we just rerun it, you can actually see that it does look like a human is typing it in.
Globalcent keys, on the other hand, sends it all at once to the application. Remember that global same keys is the preferred method. It will send it all at once to the application, whereas the globalcent key event will actually mimic a human typing it in. And you can download the cheat sheet for this in this lecture or at the end, and it has a good diagram of how this actually works. So the key point is that global soldiers come first, followed by global key events. If nothing works at all, globally sent keyevents work more often with Citrix applications as per the Blue Prism documentation as well.
19. Queues - priority, tagging, filtering
One thing that will likely test you on an exam is object exposure. This can be found with an object on the initialised page. Double-click on the little box to access the properties. Access the information tab, and you can see you've got the right mode here. It's a lot to take in, and it will take a bit to get your head around it. But what I'm going to do is jump straight to the cheat sheet, which has a handy diagram that explains it a lot nicer, and then you can get your head around it and come back to the actual Blue Prism explanation. Just a thought: they're unlikely to ask you what mode exclusive matches are. Instead of text, they'll give you a scenario.
For example, suppose you have an application that can only be run on a single computer. What run mode do you use? In that case, it will be exclusive. But let's actually come around to the run mode now and be able to understand what foreground, background, and exclusive are. All right, so now onto the cheat sheet. This is the blue background mode. But I'm going to skip to this handy diagram, which explains it a lot better. So I'm going to start off in the bottom right, which is the exclusive mode. You've got two icons here: the yellow robot, which is the object we are setting the mode on, and the red robot, which represents other objects. So the exclusive mode means that the object can never be run at the same time as any other object on a desktop. It requires exclusive access. So we can see this diagram here; only this object we're setting it on, the orange or yellow one, can run on this desktop here. Next up, we've got background.
The object can run multiple instances at the same time on a desktop. It can also run alongside automatic background business objects. So, we've got the object we're setting on instance on this yellow one here. We can run multiple instances of it at the same time, as indicated by the red rover box. So it can have one or more of this object and one or more of any other object in background mode. Finally, we've got Foreground, where the object should not have more than one instance on a desktop. However, it can run alongside other objects on a desktop. So what this means is that if we set it on this yellow object here in the foreground, only one of those objects can run on a desktop, but any other object can run alongside it, as indicated by this little red robot here. So that's your background mode. I recommend keeping this diagram handy. Go back to the blueprint background modes on the Information tab and have a read of it.
This is just a summary, and they probably won't ask you exactly what they mean by an exam, but what they will likely do is give you a scenario and tell you to use an exclusive mode. You should use the background mode or the foreground mode, so you need to know what each one is and the pros and cons of each. So, for example, exclusive If an application can only run by itself with no other applications on a computer, that means it's definitely exclusive. If you have an application that can run alongside itself and any other object, that means it's in background mode. It is in foreground mode if you have an application that can run but you can only have one instance of it running at a time on your desktop with anything else running alongside it.
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