Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

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Announcement: IBM Robotic Process Automation 23.0.0

By Venkat Tadepalli posted Fri December 23, 2022 02:46 PM

  
Announcement: IBM Robotic Process Automation 23.0.0

We are pleased to announce the latest version of IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) V23.0.0, which now integrates with IBM Watson Orchestrate (WO). This integration is a great addition to the IBM RPA platform as it helps to extend the automation capabilities to include Digital Labor, Work Orchestration, API management, App integration and Process Mining, which we collectively refer to as Intelligent Task Automation. This announcement highlights the new features and enhancements available within the 23.0.0 release of the product. We have also made updates to IBM RPA continuous delivery lifecycle policy and declared our first Long Term Support Release (LTSR) for IBM RPA.

New Features

Integration with IBM Watson Orchestrate


We are excited to announce the integration of IBM RPA with IBM Watson Orchestrate in this release. Watson Orchestrate is a software as a service (SaaS) platform to assist business users in creating Digital Employees (digeys, for short) that can be assigned skills to automate tasks for a given job function such as HR or Finance. IBM RPA 23.0.0 introduces the creation of a bot as a skill that Watson Orchestrate can import and execute to accomplish the task. In this release, IBM RPA provides a new way for developers to deploy RPA wal scripts as bots and organize them within the newly created Projects in the Control Center that allows logical grouping of bots and other resources.
The bots can be triggered by an API. Developers can publish a Project to create an OpenAPI specification which can then be imported into Watson Orchestrate and each bot in the project would be registered as a skill within the WO skills catalog. When a digey needs to use an RPA bot skill, Watson Orchestrate invokes the API by passing any input data that is required by the bot to perform the task. The API is asynchronous and so, RPA will inform WO when the bot is complete via a call-back API and passes any output data back, which may be used by the digey to complete its work.

Support for Microsoft Outlook email

IBM RPA implemented a new command, Connect to Microsoft Outlook (microsoftMailConnect) command that uses Microsoft Graph APIs to create attended and unattended bots that automate emails. The new command addresses the deprecation of Basic Auth by Microsoft. To know more about this, please see the release notes.

Support to shared mailboxes in emails

In IBM RPA Studio, several commands are updated to provide the ability to access and search through shared mailboxes in your email accounts. The Apply Search Filter command (emailApplySearchFilters) is updated to include a Search Public Folders parameter.  Other updated commands that extend the search options for email servers to include public or shared email folders include Connect to IMAP Email Server (imapConnect), Connect to Outlook Desktop Application (outlookConnect) and Connect to Exchange Email Server (exchangeConnect).

Enhancements available in IBM RPA 23.0.0 and IBM RPA as a Service:

  • Over the last several CD Updates, IBM RPA Engineering team has been working on Continuous integration/Continuous delivery (CI/CD) and quality assurance improvements. In addition, improved troubleshooting and serviceability enhancements help users debug bot scripts using more detailed and informative error messages. This version also fixes previous known issues that are found by users. Customer issues are reported as authorized program analysis reports (APAR), which is how IBM documents, tracks, and fixes problems. For a complete list of fixes, please follow this link.
  • Connections with external applications. The integration with supported external applications has a new Connections UI. In the IBM RPA control center, users can integrate storage and email applications in IBM RPA control center and connect to these third-party applications through the OAuth protocol. Connection to email providers now support Microsoft Basic Authentication (Basic Auth) and OAuth.
  • Evaluate command supports C# operations and data types. The Evaluate command is extended to accept mathematical, string, and Boolean expressions. Support is added for creating compound conditions with supported operators, and additional C# methods and types are supported. This command replaces the Calculate Mathematical Expression command.
  • Enhanced upgrade experience. The upgrade experience of the installers, both client and server, are enhanced for existing IBM RPA installations. Organizations upgrading to 23.0.0 from an earlier version can take advantage of the improved upgrade experience.

For a complete list of features, enhancements, known issues and limitations as well as the deprecated functions in this release, please see the Release notes for 23.0.0

Updates to the Continuous Delivery (CD) release cycle

Starting in June 2022, IBM RPA adopted an agile methodology with more frequent CD updates, available on a 4-week cycle. More frequent CD updates help organizations get faster access to the latest product functional updates. Organizations can opt to download and install CD updates as soon as they are available or adopt a schedule that works for their organization. CD updates are cumulative and include any previously released product features and maintenance.

In client environments that have limitations to implementing frequent updates and require a stable, longer-term deployment, IBM RPA is declaring its first-ever long-term support release. IBM Robotic Process Automation V21.0.7, released on Nov 15, 2022, has now been declared as a Long Term Support Release (LTSR). Active LTSRs will continue to receive maintenance and security updates throughout their lifecycle, but do not receive new functional updates. Our strategy is to declare an LTSR once a year going forward and the two most recent and active LTSRs as well as the latest CD update release, will receive maintenance and security updates. For additional details, please see IBM RPA support page.

To learn more about IBM RPA, please explore the IBM Robotic Process Automation homepage and register for your free trial today! 

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Mark Morneault                                     Dennis Parrott                                    Joberto Diniz                                           Venkat Tadepalli
IBM RPA Program Director                 IBM RPA Product Manager             IBM RPA Product Manager                  IBM RPA Product Manager  

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