Release date: 11 May 2020
Since it made its first appearance in Preview as part of the 2019.10 release, we have spared no effort in our quest to make StudioX the perfect tool for business users who want to automate their tedious tasks.
We have listened to your invaluable feedback as we worked on improving the user experience, added new features, and fixed many bugs.
And the time has come to take the wraps off the new StudioX, now in general availability.
You can now automate creating, updating, and extracting text from Word documents. To automate tasks performed in Word, start by adding a Use Word File activity, and then add the Word activities to perform inside it. For more information, see Word Automation.
- Append Range - Copies the data in a table, range, or sheet and pastes it after existing data in another specified table, range, or sheet.
- Delete Rows - Deletes the specified rows from a sheet, table, or range.
- Export to CSV - Exports the data in an Excel range, table, or sheet to a specified CSV file.
- Fill Range - Enters a formula or a text in all the cells in a range.
- Format Cells - Sets the format for all the cells in a specified range.
- Insert Column - Inserts a column in a sheet, table, or range at the specified location.
- Insert Rows - Inserts one or more rows in a table, range, or sheet at the specified location.
- Run Macro - Executes a specified macro within a macro-enabled workbook.
- Save Excel File - Saves a workbook that was modified by UI automation activities.
- Save Excel As PDF - Saves an Excel workbook as a PDF file.
- Sort Range - Sorts the data in a specified sheet, table, or range by one or more columns.
- The Excel Workspace has been renamed Project Notebook to clarify its purpose. It now has a new format and includes more formulas. Find out more here.
- When working with files that do not yet exist at design time or with .xls files, you can define a template .xlsx file for use at design time. By using a template file that has the same structure as the file at runtime (the same sheets, tables, and columns with sample data), you can select data from the file directly from the Plus menu in StudioX when designing the automation. For more information, see Use Excel File.
- When using the Write Cell activity inside a loop, you can now write to the next row for each iteration by selecting the Auto increment row option. This works when Write Cell is inside any of the following activities: Repeat Number Of Times, Excel For Each Row, For Each Email, For Each File in Folder.
- You can now select how an Excel For Each Row activity behaves when it encounters empty rows in a range: skip the empty rows, process the empty rows, or stop at the first empty row. The default behavior is to stop.
- When iterating through the rows in a table or range using Excel For Each Row, the current row in the iteration can be selected from the Plus menu in activities inside Excel For Each Row as any other range or table. For example, to copy each row and paste it or append it to another sheet, you can select
CurrentRowas the source range in the Copy Paste Range and Append Range activities.
- A new option called Custom Input is available for selecting Excel data in the Plus menu of activities. Depending on the context, this option enables you to manually enter a table, range, sheet, pivot table, or cell to use in an activity without having to select it from an existing file.
We have completely overhauled the way in which you indicate targets, using an anchor-based approach. The new selection mode offers more flexibility by letting you select, inspect, and clear the target, and add multiple anchors.
The new selection mode also enables you to edit targets and anchors, configure the targeting methods, and validate the selection, all from the Selection Options window.
Validation enables you to check the selection on-the-fly using the runtime algorithm used by the Robot to find the element. The results of the validation are highlighted on the target application, and you immediately find out if adjustments are needed.
Find out more here.
Four new activities have been added in this release:
- Check App State – Checks the state of the automated application or web page by verifying if a UI element appears or disappears and executes a set of actions based on the detected state.
- Go To URL - Navigates to the specified URL in the target web browser.
- Keyboard Shortcuts - Sends one or more keyboard shortcuts to a UI element.
- Navigate Browser - Performs one of the following actions in the target web browser: go back, go forward, go home, refresh page, or close tab.
To simplify automation design even further, a new recorder is available to capture your actions and automatically generate activities based on them.
An interactive preview is displayed during the recording with options to edit or remove recorded steps. For actions that can’t be automatically detected, or when you just want to perform a different action than the detected one, an easy-to-use hover menu is there to let you manually choose the action to perform on the indicated element.
Read more here.
- You can now configure project-wide settings for UI Automation Next activities. These include common properties as well as settings related to target selection, the recorder, and the use of targeting methods and anchors.
- To make their purpose clearer, the Application Card activity has been renamed Use Application/Browser and the Check activity has been renamed Check/Uncheck.
- Multiple frequently used properties that were available only in the Properties panel have been added in the body of activities (activity designer).
- Click activity: Click type and Mouse button.
- Check/Uncheck: Action.
- Highlight and Hover: Duration.
- Type Into: Empty field before typing and Click before typing.
- Use Application/Browser: Browser URL for browsers and File path for desktop applications.
- The Type Into activity has received several enhancements:
- The Click before typing property now lets you specify the type of click to perform in a field before typing (single-click or double-click).
- The Empty field before typing property can now clear fields in different ways depending on the type of field. When you configure the property, you can choose between the single line or the multi line method.
- You can now enter credentials securely using data saved for later in a Get Username/Password activity (in StudioX) or using a SecureString variable (in Studio).
- You can now send special keys using the Type Into activity.
- A Timeout property is now available for all activities to enable you to configure how long to wait for the current activity to be executed before throwing an error.
- A new property named Arguments is available for the Use Application/Browser activity. Use this property to specify arguments to pass to the target application at startup. For example, to open a specific file in the application, you can provide the full file path as an argument.
- Fields where to enter a duration now accept values in seconds rather than milliseconds.
- You can now configure the Selector property for the Use Application/Browser activity.
- Archive Outlook Email - Archives a specified Outlook email.
- Delete Outlook Email - Deletes a specified Outlook email.
- Forward Outlook Email - Forwards a specified Outlook email.
- Reply To Outlook Email - Replies to a specified Outlook email.
- Send Outlook Calendar Invite - Creates and sends an Outlook calendar invite.
- Save Outlook Email - Saves a specified Outlook email to a folder on your computer as a .msg file.
- You can now send emails with bodies formatted as HTML, which enables you to insert tables, pictures, or formatted text. To send an HTML email, create the body of the email in a Word document, and select the document as the email body using the option available for Forward Outlook Email, Reply To Outlook Email, and Send Outlook Email.
- When processing emails using a For Each Email activity, you can now filter the emails to use. You can limit the maximum number of emails to process (by default 100), use only unread emails or configure an advanced filter by BCC, CC, Date, From, and To.
- Activities that send emails now let you save the emails to the Outlook Drafts folder instead of sending them directly to the recipients. This gives you a chance to check the emails before sending them. The Save as draft option is selected by default for Forward Outlook Email, Reply To Outlook Email, and Send Outlook Email.
- Get Folder Info - Retrieves the properties of a specified folder and saves the information for later use in the project.
- Download File - Detects a file download from any application and waits for the download to complete before any further processing of the file in the automation.
- Exit Loop - Exits a For Each activity and continues with the activity that follows it.
- Get Username/Password - Stores usernames and passwords securely in the Windows Credential Manager and enables you to add credentials to the automation.
- Skip Current - Skips the current iteration in a For Each activity and continues the execution with the next iteration.
The Workflow Analyzer is now available in StudioX with a set of rules that help ensure projects meet quality standards and follow certain restrictions:
- Empty Use Outlook Account Activity (MA-DBP-028) – checks for unused Use Outlook Account activities.
- Undefined Output Properties (ST-DBP-020) – checks whether output properties for certain activities are declared and used.
- Incomplete If (ST-MRD-017) – checks for empty If activities.
- Package Restrictions (ST-USG-014) – checks for use of restricted activities packages.
- Unused Saved for Later (ST-USG-024) – checks for unused saved for later values.
- Saved Value Misuse (ST-USG-025) – checks for saved for later values that are used before they are created.
- Activity Restrictions (ST-USG-026) - checks for use of restricted activities.
- Empty Use Excel File Activity (XL-DBP-027) - checks for unused Use Excel File activities.
- App/URL Restrictions (UX-SEC-010) – checks for use of restricted applications or web pages.
StudioX projects benefit from the same governance features introduced in Studio. See Governance for information on how to deploy governance policies that ensure users follow organizational guidelines.
Audit information recorded in execution logs enables you to keep track of what data is used in automations. The following information regarding data used in automations is logged:
- Names of Excel files and Word files
- Names of executable files of applications and URLs of web pages
- Outlook accounts
- Recipients of emails sent and whether the emails were sent or saved as draft
For more information, see Audit Logging.
The names of some activities have been updated to better reflect what their purpose is:
- Excel File Card, Outlook Account Card, and Application Card have been renamed to Use Excel File, Use Outlook Account, and Use Application/Browser respectively.
- Extract Data has been renamed Extract Table Data.
- Create Table has been renamed Format as Table.
- Repeat has been renamed Repeat Number Of Times.
Numerous improvements have been made to the overall design of the user interface:
- We updated the design of the Activities panel to make it easier to find the activities you need.
- The currently selected activity is highlighted more visibly in the Designer panel.
- Disabled activities are now grayed out in the Designer Panel.
- The Run button has been moved to the right side of the ribbon to make it easier to get to from the Designer panel.
- Many labels of options and fields inside activities have been updated to make them clearer. Tooltips with additional information are now displayed when you hover the mouse over them.
You can now open Excel and Word files added to the automation, as well as the folders where they reside from the Data Manager panel.
When an error occurs during project execution, a message is displayed with details about the cause of the error and the user is now prompted to select what to do next: retry the execution of the activity where the error occurred, skip the current activity or iteration and move to the next one, or stop the execution of the project.
- If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can base any new project on one of six available project templates. These are fully functional automations for common processes and include annotations with information about the activities they contain. You can configure the projects to adapt them to your needs. For more information, see Project Templates.
- You can now name the variable used for accessing the current iteration in all For Each activities.
- More Common Scenarios are available to help you build your automations faster.
- You can run only parts of your automations to troubleshoot errors. Right click any activity and select Run to this Activity to run the project from the beginning and stop before the activity, or Run from this Activity to run the project until the end starting with the activity.
- To improve the compatibility of projects built in StudioX with Studio, Outlook accounts and Excel files can only be referenced by activities added inside the Use Outlook Account and Use Excel File activities where they are defined.
- File and folder paths from the default user profile folder (for example
C:\Users\) no longer contain the username from the computer where the automation project was created. This means automations that include activities with files and folders from locations such as the Desktop or My Documents can run on other machines without updating the paths.
- You can now configure activities to prompt the user to provide values during project execution, instead of adding them at design time. A new option called Ask when run is available in the Plus menu for activity fields that accept text, numeric, or Boolean (True/False) values.
- You can now open the project folder in the file explorer by selecting Project > Open Project Folder in the StudioX ribbon.
- The Else branch of the If activity is now hidden by default.
- The Create File file activity has been redesigned to make it configurable from the body of the activity.
The Go Home action in the Navigate Browser activity navigates to the Home page that was set by the user only in the case of Internet Explorer. For other browsers, it navigates to
Due to the numerous fixes, changes, and improvements we’ve made since StudioX was first introduced in the 2019.10 release, projects created in versions prior to 2020.4 are not compatible with this version.
Updated 10 months ago