Generation 2 Automation Builder
The second generation (Gen 2) of Automation Builder produces components that run in the same engine, and as such, it provides a similar feature set to the first generation (Gen 1). Some of the key features that it includes on top of a revitalized visual interface are a built-in job preview for debugging, improved task-level visual feedback on the canvas, a more sequential approach to adding tasks to the canvas, automation-wide error handlers, and improved static data input components.
Gen 2 Automation Canvas
Below is a sample of the Generation 2 Automation Builder canvas, along with a reference table that highlights the various menu views and functions.
|1||Generic actions||Buttons from left to right: New component, Automation Studio home, Search component, Import component, Automation Studio documentation.|
|2||Search and list view||Enter a search term to filter automations in the list view by name.|
|3||Collection list of other Automation Studio applications||Components from other applications in the Automation Studio suite. Click one of the line items to expand and display a search bar and list view of the application's set of components.|
|4||Left sidebar footer control||Click the left double arrow to collapse the sidebar and the right single arrow to expand it.|
|5||Editor tabs||Click a tab to change editors for that component. Click the
|6||Secondary actions menu button||Contains the following items: View metadata, Clone automation, Export automation, and Delete automation.|
|7||Primary actions menu bar||Buttons from left to right: Show/hide error and failure handlers, Save automation, Run job, Select zoom level.|
|8||Console drawer||Contains several useful utilities for automation designers. Click one of the header buttons to open that section of the console drawer.|
|9||Right sidebar||Displays when nothing is selected on the canvas. Shows useful information such as a URL to use for starting the automation as a job; a task count display for the number of tasks, and a list of which apps and adapters the automation depends on.|
|10||Default error handler selector||Select a different automation to serve as the default error handler. It will become available as a dropdown option in the error handler settings of tasks when populated.|
|11||Right sidebar footer control||Select the arrow button to collapse the side panel.|
In this example, the Gen 2 Automation Builder interface will be used to produce an automation that performs simple data manipulation and displays the result to the user.
Create a new automation by clicking New Component in the Generic Actions Menu (labeled 1 in the Automation Canvas overview above). Fill out the creation dialog by selecting Automation as the component type to create. Enter a name and click the Generation 2 option for builder generation.
After clicking Create, you will be redirected to the Automation Studio Editor Page with a new tab containing a blank automation.
Hover over the second Transition Arrow to reveal the Transition Edit Widget. Click the widget to open a fly-out menu, and select the Insert Node option.
This option will create a new empty task between the End task and the empty task that was provided with the empty automation.
Click the first empty task to select it, and the Task Browser menu will populate the right-hand sidebar. This menu contains all tasks that are currently available in IAP. Use the Search Bar to find the
arrayConcat task from
Search Task Browser Menu
arrayConcat task to assign it to the currently selected empty task.
Assign First Task
Repeat this process for the second task to assign the
ViewData task from
Workflow Builder to it.
Assign Second Task
arrayConcat task on the canvas. The Edit Task menu will populate the right-hand sidebar. Select the Variables tab. This will display the inputs available on the task in expandable accordion panels. The first variable (
arr) will be expanded by default; leave its Reference Task setting on Static, select the radio button next to the text editor, and enter the input
[1,2,3] into the text editor.
Configure Task Variables
Next, select the
arrayN panel, and then select Job in the Reference Task dropdown. Leave the variable name as the default (
Set Reference Task
arrayConcat configured, move on to
ViewData. Click the
ViewData task on the canvas to select it, and choose the Variables tab again. Enter a value for the following:
For the input
body, select the name of the
arrayConcat task in the Reference Task dropdown to use its output as the incoming value. Leave the Reference Variable setting as the default,
Click the Save Button in the Primary Actions Menu (labeled 7 in the Automation Canvas overview above) to save your work. A green success toast will confirm the action in the top right of the screen.
Running the Automation
At this point, the automation is ready to run.
Click the Run Automation button just to the right of the Save Button to open the Run Automation Dialog. In the Job Variables text area, replace the
null value of
[4,5,6]. After filling out the incoming variables, click the Start button to launch the job.
Edit Incoming Job Variables
In the resulting confirmation dialog, click View Job to link to the Job Manager page in a new tab.
From here, the execution of the job is visible, and the
ViewData task may be worked. Click the Work Task button on the
ViewData task line to open the
Confirm that the body contains an array from one through six, then click Confirm to complete the
ViewData task and allow the automation to complete.
Confirm Task and Complete Automation
To edit your automation settings, click the ellipsis button (labeled 6 in the Automation Canvas verview) and select the menu option View metadata. The Automation Metadata drawer will open from the top, allowing you to enter a new name and description, and add or remove groups and tags.
|1||Timestamp||Displays the date, time, and user who created the automation, and when the automation was last modified.|
|2||Name||Allows you to input a new name for the automation.|
|3||Tags||Allows you to add and remove tags|
|4||Groups (Write)||Allows you to add and remove groups to restrict write access to the automation.|
|5||Save and Cancel||Click *Save to confirm and save your changes or *Cancel to reset all fields to their initial values.|
|6||Description||Allows you to enter a description for the automation.|
|* This feature is currently disabled as a placeholder for future functionality.
Will allow you to add and remove groups to restrict read access to the automation.
Input and Output Schemas
The Input and Output Schema tabs in the Console Drawer each display a JSON schema describing the expected structure of input parameters to the automation as well as the expected structure of the output of the automation. Job variables can also be masked from here.
Input Schema with Masking
|1||Parameter names||Displays a list of required parameters for the automation. Click an input parameter name to limit the contents of the display pane to that parameter.|
|2||Display pane||Displays the schema of the parameters.|
|3||Editor theme||Toggle to switch between light and dark mode.|
Errors and Warnings
When saving an automation, IAP will report when there is a problem with the structure or settings in your automation. These problems can either be Errors, meaning they are guaranteed to exhibit errors at runtime, or Warnings, meaning they are likely to exhibit errors at runtime. Itential recommends resolving all Errors and Warnings in all automations. Reported Errors and Warnings will update when the automation is saved with the Save Button, not necessarily when it is changed (modified).
Errors and Warnings can be viewed in the Console Drawer by clicking their respective tab.
|1||Issue indicator||Indicates the presence of an issue. Disappears when all issues have been resolved.|
|2||Task||Column that indicates the task that is affected.|
|3||Issue||Description column that details the issue for diagnosis and remediation.|
Automation designers often find themselves running and re-running their automations in order to debug and refine their designs. In order to facilitate faster turnaround in the design, implement, and debug cycle, the Gen 2 Automation Builder provides a built-in job previewer with limited functionality. This feature is intended for providing quick access to information that is important to automation design and debugging, but does not provide the full manual task capabilities of Job Manager. It is possible to 'stub' a manual task from the Automation Builder UI - this forces it to succeed - but in order to fully work a manual task, automation designers will need to use Job Manager.
|1||Start time||Displays when the job started.|
|2||Status icon||Displays the execution status of the job. Currently running jobs will display an ascending graph icon. Canceled jobs will display a circled 'x' icon. Jobs in an error state will have a circled exclamation point, and completed jobs show a circled check-mark.|
|3||View button||Opens the job in the Job Details tab of the Console Drawer.|
|4||Cancel button||Cancels the job.|
|5||Description||Displays the description (optional) provided at job start.|
|6||Started by||Displays the user who started the job.|
View Job Detail
|1||Job progress information||Displays information on the initiating user and start time of the job, as well as its current execution state and progress.|
|2||Task name||Identifies the task that the current row describes. Rows are sorted top to bottom, with the most recently executed task on top and the first executed task at the bottom.|
|3||Status icon||Represents the execution status of the task. Incomplete tasks will display an ascending graph icon. Canceled tasks will display a circled 'x' icon. Tasks in an error state will have a circled exclamation point, and completed tasks show a circled check-mark.|
|4||Stub||This button control is only available on manual tasks. Clicking it will directly place the manual task into a success state without interacting with it directly.|
|5||Work||This button control is only available on manual tasks. Clicking it will open the Job Manager page in a new tab to allow the user to work the manual task directly.|
|6||Description||Displays the task description.|
|7||Incoming parameters preview||Displays a limited, inline representation of the data provided to the task when it was started.|