Dynamic Process Execution – Blue Prism

Process Execution Methods:

We know any Blue Prism process can be triggered in a variety of ways including:

1- Scheduler :

This is the most common way of triggering a process in any automation tool. It uses the scheduler to create a schedule (somewhat similar to crontab or any other scheduler) to trigger a process on a specific target/targets.

Benefits:

  • Time bound triggering possible
  • Controlled as most systematic

Disadvantages:

  • Dynamic Scheduling is complex using schedulers
  • It only allows/uses the blue prism native scheduler.

2- Using Web Service Calls:

We can expose any blue prism process/object as a webservice which can be called/triggered/consumed by any third party software which can consume a webservice. You can find the details about how to expose a process/object as webservice in the webservice guide on Blueprism portal.
Blue Prism Web Services are exposed on a Resource level, which allows a 3rd party Scheduler to establish a session on a requested Resource. Web Services can also be used by Web Services friendly applications to initiate Blue Prism processing. However, significant design considerations have to be made in order to develop a reliable solution because of processing times, work load, and Resource availability.

Benefits:

  • 3rd party can trigger process as per requirement.
  • No need to provide access to Blue prism environment for 3rd parties/other applications to trigger process.
  • Best Suited for processes which are to be run ad-hoc.
  • Dynamic Scheduling possible.

Disadvantages :

  • BP Admin has no control over when the resource will be triggered.
  • License utilization may be high and a dedicated resource may be required per process. To minimize this, additional design considerations may be required.

3- As a Sub-process :

This is another common method of triggering a process where in a master process transfers the flow of execution to a sub-process and the control of the Resource belongs to the Sub-Process until it completes and returns control to the calling Master Process .

This is done using the Process Studio and the Process flow diagram, where the Sub-Process is a stage that is connected with links to other stages within the page of the Process. The flow of execution is sequential, not parallel, and execution happens on the same Resource as execution the calling Process.

Benefits:

  • Best suited for processes which are dependent on outcome of another process.
  • It’s possible to have a flow as shown in diagram to schedule multiple processes based on outcome of master process logic at a time.
  •  Dynamic Scheduling possible.

Disadvantages:

  • Time bound execution is difficult to implement.
  • Control over run time of the master process is less as it is dependent on outcome of logic in master process.
  • The same resource is used for sub-process execution.

4- Using Command Line :

Windows Command Line (cmd.exe) is used to execute AutomateC.exe ( C:\Program Files\Blue Prism Limited\Blue Prism Automate\AutomateC.exe) program with additional parameters that specify the Process and the Resource in addition to other configurations. This approach allows 3rd party Schedulers to start a Blue Prism Process. It also allows a Blue Prism Process to start another Blue Prism Process on a different Resource, branching the flow of execution and executing in parallel (The Resource will accept a Process if there is an available license and the session can be accepted).

Benefits:

  • Command lines to schedule a process can be called from anywhere.i.e, Either from a blue prism process/object or from a 3rd party scheduler, or directly from application server.
  • Purely Designed for Dynamic Scheduling.

Disadvantages:

  • Using command line can be tricky as it requires more knowledge on what you are trying to do than GUI. A wrong command may trigger the wrong process or on wrong resource PC.

AutomateC.exe can be launched form either of the following sources:
• Windows Command Line (cmd.exe)
• A Batch File (.bat) that contains instructions for the Windows OS
• A Blue Prism code stage
• A 3rd party Scheduler on the machine that also has Blue Prism installed

Examples of Usage of AutomateC

1- Start ProcessA on Resource0001 using Active Directory single sign-on:

C:\Program Files\Blue Prism Limited\Blue Prism Automate\AutomateC.exe
/dbconname ServerA.testDomain.com /run ProcessA /resource Resource0001 /port 8181 /sso

2- Start TestProcess on localhost using Default Connection and User credentials (password is entered in clear text after the user name):

C:\Program Files\Blue Prism Limited\Blue Prism Automate\AutomateC.exe /run TestProcess /resource localhost /user admin password

The Session ID will be returned by the AutomateC application if the Process was accepted by the Resource for execution. Please note that it is a text string. The Master Process can check the status of execution using the /status command and the Session ID:

C:\Program Files\Blue Prism Limited\Blue Prism Automate\AutomateC.exe /status SessionID


References:

1- Guide to Dynamic Process Execution – Blue Prism 

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