TAP Release Notes 21.02

TAP Studio Release 21.02 features multiple improvements and enhancements, aiding RPA developers write better automations, with enhanced expression composition tools as well as a vastly improved Automation Runtime that offers superior performance and stability.

New features

Improved Expression Editor

Writing complex expressions as part of assignments or action parameters can be complicated. We’ve completely reworked the control associated with any expression, so you now have:

  • Colored syntax highlighting

  • Syntax validation

  • Context-aware autocompletion (similar to Microsoft IntelliSense)

This feature is available in many fields within TAP Studio, including most properties, variable and argument declaration and argument popups.

The new expression editor is fully context aware and all autocomplete functionality will only include variables and objects relevant to the current context - for instance, when modifying a property, it will only include the variables and arguments from the current workflow.

The expression editor also features an inline editing tool, for easier creation of more complex expressions. This can accessed via the button (...) to the right of the expression:

Pressing this button will open a resizable popup toolwindow that will make it easier for users to create longer and more complex expressions:

Reworked Automation Runtime

TAP features a proprietary, high-performance, lightweight execution engine. With version 21.02+ we’ve improved many aspects regarding automation execution via the associated runtime.

The automation runtime is now completely isolated from the run platform (TAP Studio or TAP Assistant), providing excellent performance. Since the automation is run in a totally separate process, it guarantees improved stability and reliability for all of the components involved.

In order for debugging and monitoring functionalities to work, all TAP Runtimes will communicate to their control endpoints (TAP Studio or TAP Assistant) via local WCF services and pipelines. This allows instant, reliable, bi-directional communication between all components.

This new arhitecture also allows for better control of deployed workflows, as developers can now instantly stop any running automation safely (this was previously prone to possible errors due to thread cancellation limitations and long-running actions could not be stopped immediately).

We’ve also added a global keyboard shortcut (Shift+Z) for manually stopping ongoing robot executions. This is especially useful for automations that use UI automation which makes it difficult to focus TAP Studio and press the Stop button.

Theme Subsystem

TAP Studio and TAP Assistant now include a customizable visual theme, aimed at providing better support for OEM partners. This includes a fully expandable resource system that can host a large collection of items: images, brushes, text resources, fonts etc.

UI and ease of use improvements

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

  • Improved Workflow renaming - renaming workflows is now easier as the input control does not lose focus when writing an invalid name; users can simply try another name without any additional actions.

  • Added tooltips to Solution Explorer toolstrip - the Solution Explorer pane now features descriptive tooltips for all buttons.

  • Global Keyboard Shortcut for stopping execution - using Shift+Z, users can now quickly abort running automations without having to focus TAP Studio and click the Stop button.

  • Changed labels for Typing actions - Type Text and Type Password actions have changed a label from “Hit RETURN” to “Hit Enter” for a more accurate description.

New Actions Available

  • Open Browser - opens a new browser session (multiple browser selection) and navigates to the desired page.

Resolved Issues

This release of TAP Studio comes with many fixes and corrections:

  • Bug #153 - resolved an issue where hitting delete key while renaming workflows could sometimes cause items from the diagram to be deleted.

  • Bug #158 - resolved an issue where zooming in could cause transitions drawn near the edges of the canvas to become invisible.

  • Bug #160 - resolved an issue where numpad +/- keys would not work in expression editors.

  • Bug #161 - resolved an issue where IMAP Move Message action would fail to delete the original message after moving it.

  • Bug #162 - resolved an issue where using an Invoke Workflow Block with no arguments would cause a runtime error.

  • Bug #163 - resolved an issue where Get HTML action would fail to update the output variable.

  • Bug #164 - resolved an issue regarding clipboard actions failing due to incorrect STA threading configuration.

  • Bug #165 - resolved an issue where HTTP REST Request sometimes failed to update output variables.

  • Bug #170 - resolved an issue in licensing API where expired tokens for TAP Studio/TAP Assistant login would not be renewed automatically, prompting users to re-enter their credentials.

  • Bug #175 - Fixed an issue where TAP Assistant would not start automations in a dedicated process correctly.