TAP Release Notes 20.12

TAP Studio Release 20.12 includes a lot of new features to aid automation development. We now have a new solution design pattern in the form of multiple workflows grouped into a single automation solution.

New features

Support for multiple workflows

Automations now have more flexibility with the new design pattern: multiple workflows can be added to a single automation solution. This provides users more control, easier testing and quicker development for building and using modular automations.

All these components can be easily managed using the new Solution Explorer pane. You can add, remove, rename or set workflows as the default starting entities in your automation. Navigation between workflow is even easier now - users can simply double click the desired workflow and it is opened automatically.

Older automations built with TAP Studio are incredibly easy to migrate to the new design pattern.

Invoke Diagram Action

The Invoke Diagram action leverages the powerful new design pattern, built around organizing multiple automation workflows into a single solution, by allowing users to run any arbitrary workflow automation at will - even external (that are not included in the current solution) automation workflows can be run this way.

Workflow Arguments

Workflow arguments have been introduced within workflows as a new data entity that allows users to easily pass virtually any data type between automation workflows. It also ensures that workflows input and outputs are correctly handled, minimizing errors and development time.

Output Arguments are used when users need data to be extracted after an automation workflow has finished executing (results, data etc.), while Input Arguments are used for providing input data before running a particular automation workflow.

Like normal Variables, Arguments have a workflow scope definition, meaning they are only accessible within the automation workflow in which they have been created.

Workflow scopes

To provide users with better control over their workflow design process, Variables and Control Identifiers now have a “Workflow Scope”. This means that they are contained within the workflow they have been created in. The scope can be changed easily using the drop down lists within the Variables pane as well as the UI Browser tool.

Action Retry Mechanism

In order to provide even more flexibility and functionality to users, all actions executed by TAP Robots now feature an automatic retry mechanism. This allows users to choose the number of times an action should be retried if it encounters any execution exception (for instance, not finding a particular control identifier). Users can easily set a retry count from the Properties Pane.

UI and ease of use improvements

In order to speed automation development time, various quality of life improvements have been implemented in this version:

  • Variable Pane sorting - the variable pane now features sorting of all variables, in both ascending and descending order, for all columns.

  • Transition dragging improvements - it’s easier than ever to drag existing transitions or to create new ones. Transition drop points have been doubled in size, while the actual connection points now being shown by just moving the mouse in the vicinity of the target sequence (previously, users had to move the mouse inside the bounds of the actual sequence)

  • Improved Property navigation - users can now quickly and easily navigate between properties (in both the Properties pane and the Diagram Canvas), using keyboard shortcuts: TAB moves forward and Shift+TAB moves backwards.

  • Automatic UI Control Identifier focus - when creating a new Control Identifier (using the UI Browser tool), the newly created item is automatically selected.

  • Automatic Variable Pane scrolling - when adding a new variable, the contents of the Variable Pane are scrolled to the bottom of the collection automatically.

  • Uniform look and feel - properties and items such as variables now have the same predictable behavior when being selected.

  • Automatic Workflow focusing - when running an automation solution, the default startup workflow is now automatically focused within TAP Studio.

  • Opening older formats notifications - users are notified when trying to open older versions of TAP Studio solutions.

  • Improved Debug Console display - information is now displayed in a more organized manner within the Debug Console.

  • Action selection at diagram level - actions can now be selected by left clicking them at the diagram level. They can also be deleted using the DELETE key.

  • Delete notifications - confirmation dialogs are now displayed when trying to delete multiple sequences and/or transitions, or when trying to delete sequences that contain one or more actions.

  • Scrolling in Sequence View - users can now use the scroll wheel to scroll within larger sequences, while in Sequence View.

  • Closing Workflow tabs - users can now freely close and re-arrange workflow tabs.

New Actions Available

  • Choose File - opens an attended dialog which users can use to select files from the file system.

  • Choose Folder - opens an attended dialog which users can use to select folders from the file system.

  • User Input Dialog - opens an attended dialog that offers users a means to provide data to the automation at run-time.

  • Word Replace - replaces text data within Word Document files.

  • Write To Console - outputs customizable data within the Debug Console at run-time, helping in workflow debugging and development

  • Log To File - outputs customizable, timestamped data into log files.

  • Type Password - provides a secure means of storing passwords within TAP Studio Workflow files. Files are encrypted using secure 256 bit encryption and can only be decrypted on the system they have been encrypted on.

Additionally, Type Text and Type Password actions now feature an additional feature for simulating user keyboard input:

  • Scan Code input simulation (standard)

  • Virtual Key Code mapping (useful for some legacy applications that do not allow simulating input using scan codes).

Resolved Issues

This release of TAP Studio comes with the following fixes:

  • Improvement #98 - improved items deletion in diagram view by reworking keyboard input handling events; now, items can be deleted without having to focus the diagram component first.

  • Improvement #87 - dragging and dropping new items within the diagram canvas now takes into account zoom level as well as the scroll bar positions; previously, users had to scroll to the top-left side to find newly added sequences.

  • Improvement #92 - context menu has been added to recent items in the toolbox, allowing users to add recent items to favorites.

  • Improvement #115 - Invoke blocks now have a max width in order to provide an uniform look and feel at diagram level (useful if the invoked target path is long)

  • Improvement #123 - The Show Message Box action now has a more descriptive notification if trying to display null values.

  • Bug #63 - resolved an issue where TAP Control Center was causing high CPU usage after running multiple workflows.

  • Bug #86 - resolved an issue where sometimes transitions and sequences would not be added to large projects.

  • Bug #93 - resolved an issue where scrolling in the Variable Pane contents would sometimes cause random focuses within variable names fields.

  • Bug #101 - resolved an issue where double click actions within the toolbox, with no project loaded would cause TAP Studio to crash.

  • Bug #102 - resolved an issue where double click categories within the toolbox, with no project loaded would cause TAP Studio to crash.

  • Bug #107 - resolved an issue where sometimes Tesseract language data was not found when running OCR actions.

  • Bug #109 - resolved an issue where trying to load recent/favorites items from newer versions of TAP Studio would cause TAP Studio to crash.

  • Bug #116 - resolved an issue where clicking Solution Explorer -> Open File Location sometimes crashed TAP Studio (with Win32 Exception)

  • Bug #116 - resolved an issue where “Scope” text label was missing from Variables Pane

  • Bug #119 - resolved an issue where sometimes RobotName attributes were not saved correctly within .tapflow files.

  • Bug #122 - resolved an issue where closing and opening workflows multiple times would cause transitions to lose connection between sequences.

  • Bug #124 - resolved an issue where renaming a newly added workflow (without saving first) would case TAP Studio to crash.

  • Bug #129 - resolved an issue where setting a newly added workflow as startup workflow (without saving first) would cause TAP Studio to crash.

  • Bug #133 - resolved an issue where sometimes Sequence titles would not be shown while drilled down into Sequence View.

  • Bug #129 - resolved an issue where expired login tokens would stop TAP Studio from loading correctly.

  • Bug #144 - resolved an issue where Workflow names would not show up in Invoke Block dropdown selection lists after being renamed.

  • Bug #145 - resolved an issue where complex variable types would show as blank within the Variables Pane on project load.