Posted: 24 Feb 2017 11:09 EST Last activity: 1 Mar 2017 22:39 EST
How to attach to a running windows application or open web site
I have a requirement where a windows application (abc.exe) is open on a desktop, and then an RDA starts sometime afterwards. How do I cause the adapter project to find and attach the exist application, and then use it's designed interactions. I know how to do it the RDA starts abc.exe, but the requirement is to attach to running application (it can be considered a single instance).
Pega Robotics cannot hook into an already running process. You can use the StartMethod property of MonitorAll to hook into an application whenever it is launched, but the adapter must be running first and listening for the application to start.
What? That's not good.. Can I do something using a .dll to return a window's handle and attach that? I cannot control user behavior, to leave a robot running all the time, or start a robot before starting a specific application. I'm also told that the MonitorAll hook is processor intensive property. Always having that enabled does not make practical sense on a user's desktop. For an RPA it's not a big deal. For RDA its a big deal...
We normally provide a way to start and stop the application and educate the users on this requirement. You then start the RDA application when the user logs in. They can use it to start the applications you are automating instead of trying to piggy back onto them later. The product just doesn't do what you are asking but there are ways to handle it.
Ya, there are ways to handle it, but my challenge is changing user behaviors to leaving products running ont their desktops. Unfortunately, users tend to shutdown applications all the time, and reminding them to restart the RDA may create a negative experience.. Can you tell me if there is path that I can request a Pega enhancement to support this very useful feature in a future release?
It all well and good that users could use StartMyDay component. The challenge is to change user behavior.. if it's a few users that's okay, but my deployments are 1500+ users.. If I use the approach above, I need very close to 100% adoption. Otherwise it will be a support nightmare. That's my fear, and why I need to inquire how/when Pega will add an "attachProcess" functionality.. It would make the tool more flexible in implementing an as needed Bot versus you have to start the Bot at the begining of a day and leave it running.. How can I place a platform enhancement request? It just seems soooo natural as a need.
You can put in a SR as a feature request. I don't speak for the development team, but this feature I believe would be a very major product change that would be unlikely to be implemented anytime soon. Educating your users is an important part of the process when adding automation into a process. Without proper education the automation will not be utilized fully or properly. You can obviously code your solution to remind the users when they try to use the automation and have not started the applications properly. This would help in changing the behavior.
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Posted: 1 Mar 2017 22:38 EST Updated: 1 Mar 2017 22:39 EST