Planning for deployment

Planning for deployment is key for success. The conditions for deploying a script might change depending on your IBM Robotic Process Automation offering.

Overview of script deployment

You created your IBM RPA script, and now you want to run it on your production environment. To achieve this, you need to deploy your script.

A script is a set of instructions for your automation. It holds one or more IBM RPA commands that your automation must do, or try to do, when running. In IBM RPA, the automation is an instance of a Bot Runtime interpreting the commands on a script. A running Bot Runtime instance sometimes is referred to as a bot.

The following list outlines the generic steps from zero to deployment:

  1. On IBM RPA Studio, you create one or more scripts.

  2. On IBM RPA Studio, you publish these scripts to your tenant in the IBM RPA server.

  3. On IBM RPA Control Center, you use the available interfaces to deploy your script.

    This step assumes that you have dependency artifects already set up, like computers and credentials.

Key concepts to consider

  • Attended or unattended automation
    You need to consider whether your script does attended or unattended automation. Attended automation, also called Remote Desktop Automation (RDA), works along with the user to automate tasks. In this case, use IBM RPA Launcher to start the script.

    Unattended automation does not need human help. In this case, you can either schedule your script for operation, orchestrate the script if possible, or call it via API for integration with your organization's tools. Refer to the What is Robotic Process Automation? to learn more about attended and unattended automation.

  • Publication
    To run scripts, you first need to publish them to your IBM RPA Control Center tenant. See Publishing scripts for details.

  • Licenses available
    To run scripts, you need to have available Bot Runtime licenses in the host computer. In the IBM RPA SaaS offering, you purchase Bot Runtime licenses; in the IBM RPA on premises and IBM RPA on Red Hat® OpenShift® Container Platform offerings, you can define how many Bot Runtime licenses the computers have, but additional charges can be applied considering script usage. You can verify your active licenses by navigating to the License page (https://localhost:8099/web/en/license) in the host computer.

  • Operation frequency
    When deploying, you need to consider how frequent your script needs to run. When your script needs to run is key on determining what deployment type to use. If when to run is determined by human need, you are better using IBM RPA Launcher to launch scripts on necessity. If your script works on predetermined times, you can schedule it. Orchestration is best suited when parallel processing and workload balance is needed for demanding tasks.

  • Dependencies
    Dependencies are not only the systems your script needs to complete its task, but also the systems it automates. You need to consider these dependencies when deploying your scripts to make sure they are met. Make sure you install the dependent systems on the host computers and grant your scripts access to these systems.

  • User privileges
    You need to consider the user privileges your script has when in operation. If your script needs to unlock the machine, it is best your script has its own operating system user with access only to the resources it needs. Your script usually automates tasks by simulating humans, so you can consider a script like another human resource. If your script does not need to unlock the machine, it means that the script will run with the user privileges of the user's current session.

  • IBM RPA Vault usage
    If you need to use the IBM RPA Vault, you need to configure either the User Vault or the System Vault modes. See What is the IBM RPA Vault for details.

  • Unlocking the machine
    You need to consider whether your script needs to unlock the machine. Scripts on attended automation run under the current logged user session when they are manually launched. When running scripts on unattended automation, they need to unlock the machine using the credentials configured to them in the IBM RPA Control Center, otherwise, the script will try to attach itself to an available user session, resulting in failure if the script can't find an active user session. Note that scripts running on virtual machines unattended always need to unlock the machine.

  • Type of computer
    In IBM RPA Control Center, you need to add the computers that will host the scripts' operation as runtime servers. In the SaaS offering, you can also add telephony servers, required when deploying interactive voice response (IVR) agents. See Computers to learn about adding computers to your IBM RPA Control Center tenant.

    Starting from IBM RPA 23.0.3, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is removed from the product, which means that you can't create computers for telephony servers. For more information, see Removed.

  • Operation logs
    You can see the script's operation logs in IBM RPA Control Center by seeing the script details. You can also see the logs locally in the host computer. Refer to Reviewing operation logs for details.

  • Clients must connect to the IBM RPA server
    The client machines that have the IBM Robotic Process Automation client installed must connect to the IBM RPA server. If your environment has network restrictions complying with your organization's policies, it's possible that the communication protocol falls back to Long Polling, which might cause loss of synchronism, resulting in missed script schedules, for example. The preferred communication protocol is WebSockets.