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How to Connect your PC to your Robots on UiPath Cloud Platform

There are three main tools you use when automating robotic processes using UiPath RPA (robotic process automation) technology – UiPath Studio, UiPath Robot, and UiPath Orchestrator; the first two are desktop applications while the third is web-based. Now UiPath, the global leader in RPA technology, offers two main classes of license for users to choose from – Community and Enterprise; the former is free while the latter which has a couple of flavors is a paid offer.

UiPath offers the Community edition free so that developers and small teams can begin their automation journey. As such, the Community package allows you to have access to both UiPath Studio and UiPath Robot which are installed on your PC, but your access to UiPath Orchestrator has to be via your cloud/platform account.

The purpose of this tutorial, therefore, is to help you get through the steps you need to take to get the service functionality of the UiPath Robot application (installed on your PC when you install any version of the UiPath Studio application) to be able to communicate with the Robots you have existing on (or added to) any UiPath Orchestrator instance connected with your account on the UiPath cloud platform.

In addition, if you are yet to install Studio on your PC, we shall walk you through that as well. Shall we begin?

Step 1

Choose an Account Registration option.
Open the UiPath Platform Registration page on your browser (preferably Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox). This registration allows you to kickstart your automation journey with the community (FREE) version of the UiPath hyperautomation platform.
There are four (4) options to choose from. If you already have a Gmail account, it is advisable you take the “Sign up with Google” option. The same applies if you have a Microsoft or LinkedIn account. For the purpose of this guide, we shall be taking the last alternative, which is “Sign up with Email”.

Step 2

Create your Account on the UiPath Cloud Platform.
Fill the registration form. Two things to take note of: first, filling the “company” field is optional; second, your password should have a least 8 characters which MUST include at least one each of an uppercase letter, a lowercase character, a number, and a special character. Next is to check the “I confirm that I agree to Terms of Use” checkbox. Then click on the Signup button.

Step 3

Verify your Email and Login.
Those who choose to register using their Google, Microsoft or LinkedIn account will not use this step. So if like me, you decided to register using the “Sign up with Email” then you should see the screen depicted by the image below.

The implication is that you need to check the Inbox or Spam/Junk folder of the email address you used for the registration. You should see an email titled “SPAM-LOW: Verify your email” from “UiPath Platform v” or something. Open the mail and then click on the “Verify Email” button (or something similar). A new browser tab opens so you can sign-in using your email address and password you supplied during the account registration process. From this point forward, anytime you need to use your orchestrator (cloud platform) account, you need to log in from this webpage. Login and let us proceed.

Step 4

The Cloud Platform Account Homepage.

Take a careful look at the browser window before you. This is the homepage of your cloud platform account. You should see the menu area on the left pane of your screen; the menu options are Home, Admin, and AI Fabric (see the image below). If you already have UiPath Studio installed on your PC, kindly skip to Step 7; else you need to head to the resource center page (see the bottom right corner of your screen).

Step 5

The UiPath Resource Center Page.

It is time to download the UiPath Studio installer. Go to the bottom-right corner of the screen (as depicted in the image above) and click on the RESOURCE CENTER link to open the ‘Resource Center’ page (see the image below). Locate the Community Edition option and click on the ‘Download (Preview)’ button to download the installer. The preview option allows us to install Studio with the latest updates and package versions from UiPath.

However, if you choose to go with the stable version then click on the Stable tab, and then click on the ‘Download (Stable)‘ button.

Step 6

Install and Activate UiPath Studio.

When the installer is done downloading, locate it, then right-click on it and from the context menu that pops up, select “Run as administrator”. If User Account Control on your Windows machine prompts you with “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?” message, click on the ‘Yes’ button. Wait a bit for the installation process to complete.

When you see the screen depicted in the above image, click on the “Activate Community Edition” option to end the process. Hurray! You now have UiPath Studio and the UiPath Robot service on your PC. You can close UiPath Studio at this point if you so choose. At this point, let us go back to the browser tab displaying our account (if you are confused, refer to the image below). In the event that you are logged out, kindly log in again. If you, for one reason or the other, closed your browser before this step, kindly access the page using this URL platform.uipath.com (you may want to bookmark it for future use) and log in again.

Step 7

Launch the Orchestrator Service.

On the homepage of your cloud platform account, you should see just one service listed under Orchestrator Services (see the image above). If you entered a company name when registering your account, you will see a service bearing that name in the list of services displayed, else you will see a service bearing your firstname.

A service represents an orchestrator instance under your account, and the robots your license gives you access to can be used across the services you have. For example, an organization can have a service to represent each of its branches or departments thereby allowing each branch or department respectively to have its own orchestrator instance which can be configured distinctly from the others.

Notice that the name of my service is displayed as fofxAcademy, it is because I edited the name from fofxAcademyLimitedDefault (a rather clumsy name, methinks!). You too can edit yours if you so choose. Permit me to digress a little so you can see how the name of any service can be edited.

Click on the Admin option on the left-pane menu on the screen. Your screen should look like the image above. Locate and click the Edit button to open the “Edit Service” dialog. This dialog serves two main purposes i.e. it allows you to edit the name of your service as well as spread the robots available to you via your license among the Orchestrator services on your account. Edit the service name and click on the Save button.

Next, we launch our Orchestrator service. Whether under the Home or Admin tab, clicking on the name of my service, ‘fofxAcademy’, opens the orchestrator instance for the service (see the image below). Your browser tab should look like the image below. Again, take note of the Menu area which is the left pane on the screen; we shall be accessing the menu items on this menu as we go along.

Before we continue, there is the need for us to switch the orchestrator service from Shared mode (i.e. Modern Folder) to that of the Default (i.e. Classic Folder). Look the top-right portion of your screen, at the far right of the horizontal blue bar, you should see a rectangular button with the label “Shared Modern Folder”. Click on this button (consult the image below) to open a dialog box showing a list having two options: DEFAULT, and SHARED. Click on the Default option. The label of the button should now display as “Default Classic Folder”.

Step 8

Provision your PC as a Machine.

Scroll to the bottom of the left-pane menu. Under the Management section of the menu area, click on MACHINES to open the Machines page. There is no data to show because no machine has been added to this service (orchestrator instance) yet. So you need to add your Windows PC to this instance, but to go about it we first need to know the name of your PC.

How? Simply click on the Windows or Start button on your Taskbar (the taskbar is the bar at the bottom of your screen stretching from left to right, and it is usually of a black color; it houses your Windows or Start button on the left, and your date, system clock and other icons on the system tray on the right) and type “name” on your keyboard. You should see the “View your PC name” option on the list that shows, click on it.

On the window that opens, look for “Device Name” you should find it under the ‘Device Specifications’ section; select it and copy it (use Ctrl+C) into the clipboard memory and close the window.

Now back to the Machines page, click on the Add button, it is a blue circle having a white plus sign in it; two more blue circular buttons appear. Move your mouse pointer on each of them so a tooltip that displays their name. The one we want is “Standard Machine” which should be the middle button; click on it.

In the modal window that appears, paste your machine name you copied into memory and then click on the PROVISION button. If you have done everything right your machine name should now be visible on the machines list.

Step 9

Add a Robot.
Still under the Management section of the menu area, click on ROBOTS to open the Robots page. There is also no data to show because no robot has been added to your service (i.e. orchestrator instance) yet. Notice that this page has two tabs (see the image below), one for Robots (which is currently the active tab) and one for Environments. Notice also, that the Robots page also has Add and Refresh buttons.

Before we can add a robot, we need to know the “Domain\Username” of our account on our Windows PC. So click on the Start/Windows button and type cmd on your keyboard; you should see “Command Prompt” on the list that appears, click on it. In the Command Prompt window, type this command whoami (standing for “who am i”) and press the Enter key. Select and copy the response returned by the command and then return to the Robots page on your browser.

Click on the Add button and two buttons appear, move your mouse pointer on each one to locate the Standard Robot button, then click on it to open a modal window which has two tabs: Description and Settings. Under the Description tab, click on the Machine dropdown and from the list, select the machine name you added in the previous step. Then…

  • Enter in a name for your robot in the Name field.
  • In the Type field, you can select between five options: ‘StudioPro’, ‘StudioX’, ‘Studio’, ‘Attended’, ‘Testing’, ‘Unattended’ or ‘NonProduction’. The community license gives you access to 2 studio (development), 2 attended robots, 1 unattended runtime robot, and 1 testing runtime robot. For the purpose of this tutorial, let us go with the ‘StudioPro’ option (Select ‘Studio’ or ‘StudioX’ if your UiPath Studio profile mode is set to Studio or StudioX respectively).
  • Add a Description but this piece of information is optional.
  • Paste what you copied from Command Prompt in the Domain\Username field.
  • Lastly, enter in the password you can use to log into your Windows PC (you can leave it empty if you do not use a password to login to Windows); click on the ‘eye’ icon on the right of the Password field to make your password visible so you can be sure you typed it correctly.

Still, in the modal window, click on the Settings tab and do the following…

  • Set the Logging Level ON and select Verbose from the dropdown.
  • If you so desire, you can set the Allow Development Logging slidder to ON too.
  • Finally, click on the CREATE button.

Observe that the newly created robot appears on the Robots list however, the Status column says our robot is disconnected, and a small black circle with an ‘x’ is displayed close to its name. Also, no value is given for it under the Environments columns. Time to add the robot to an environment of our choice.

Step 10

Add new Robot to an Environment.
An environment can represent the departments or job/project categories in an organization. Click on the Environments tab to open the Environments page. Notice that there is one environment on the list, this “Demo Environment” comes with every new instance of Orchestrator along with a demo process. We shall let the demo environment be for now, but if at any other time you choose to remove it, simply click on the More Actions button, select “Remove” from the menu that appears; but first, you must detach every robot assigned to the environment, to do this, click on the More Actions button, take “Manage” from the menu that appears, then uncheck every robot assigned to the environment and click on the Update button.

To add a new environment, click on the blue and circular Add button to open the ‘Create Environment’ modal window. Type in a name for the environment, and if you so choose, add a description; then click on the CREATE button.

Another modal, “Manage Environment” modal window opens, it displays all the robots in your orchestrator instance so you can check the checkboxes of the robots you wish to select and when you are done, click on the UPDATE button. You should see the new environment on the list.

Step 11

Bind the Robot to the Machine.

Now that we have placed our robot in an environment (Note that a robot can belong to multiple environments), let us connect the robot to the Robot service on our PC. The first thing to do to copy the machine key of the machine we created earlier on.

So go to the Machines page, click on the More Actions button (a vertical ellipsis showing on the far right of the machine name) and from the menu that appears, select View to open the ‘View Machine’ modal window and then click on the Copy button to copy the machine key to clipboard memory. Close the modal and then open a text editor like Notepad and paste the machine key there.

Next, click on the Start/Windows button and type the word uipath. You should see UiPath Assistant on the list that appears; click on it to launch the UiPath desktop Assistant application on the system tray of your PC. Do either of the following:

  1. When it is up and active, click on the Settings icon (a gear symbol), and from the menu that appears (see the image below), select the ‘Orchestrator Settings’ option.
  2. If it does not appear, go to your system tray and click the Show Hidden Icons (^) button; you should see an icon having a black square with white-colored Ui letters on it… right-click on the icon and from the menu that appears, select the ‘Orchestrator Settings’ option.

On the “Orchestrator Settings” dialog, if the Machine Name field is empty, type in the exact name of the machine you added on your Orchestrator instance. Also, type or paste the following as the case may be.

  • Orchestrator URL field: get this from the address bar of the browser tab displaying your Service page; it is usually in the form… https://platform.uipath.com/{default-service-name}/{service-name}/  You can see that mine is https://platform.uipath.com/fofxacademylimi/fofxAcademy/
  • Machine Key field: paste what you copied in the some few moments ago.
  • Robot Logging Level: choose ‘Verbose’ from the dropdown.
  • Finally, click on the Connect button

If you have followed these instructions carefully, the status of your device will change from Offline to Connected, Licensed (see the image below).

Close the Orchestrator Settings window and return to the Orchestrator display on your browser. Open the Robots page by clicking on ROBOTS on the Menu area. Notice now that the Status of the robot reads Available while there is a small green circle close to the Username and the black circle that was close to the robot’s name some moments back, is now green too but with a white check inside it.

At Last... In Conclusion

In the course of this tutorial, you registered an account on UiPath’s platform and this gave you access to Orchestrator. You also installed UiPath Studio on your Windows PC. On your orchestrator instance, you registered your Windows machine name and then added a robot, assigning that robot to an environment before connecting orchestrator on your cloud account to your machine and the robot service in it. Henceforth, whenever you desire to log in to your orchestrator instance, simply go to https://platform.uipath.com on your browser.
Congratulations!!!

Next Steps... On Your RPA Journey

Now that you have connected UiPath Studio and the Robot service on your PC to your cloud platform account, it is important that you proceed on your RPA journey. To take advantage of what UiPath and her vibrant, ever-growing community have to offer, there are a couple of other UiPath platforms or portals that you MUST join or login to.

Thankfully, UiPath has migrated all its platforms under a single authentication database. This means the credentials you used in registering for your cloud platform account is actually SSO (single sign-on). In other words, you can use the same username (or email address) and password to sign-in into the following UiPath platforms:

  1. Login to UiPath Academy and proceed to Learning Plans on the navbar menu. Scroll down the page and locate the RPA Developer plan. Enroll for the course and start the first course in the plan.
  2. Login also to UiPath Forum. It is a platform where RPA enthusiasts and developers can ask questions, interact, and share knowledge. If you have an issue and you do a search on the forum, it is most likely that someone else has asked a question on it and answers have been supplied.
  3. Login to UiPath Connect! and become a part of an open network of passionate people and companies accelerating an automated world.
  4. In addition, you can become a member of the worldwide community of UiPath local networks. Join our Lagos-Nigeria chapter and get notifications about local, regional, and global meetup events, both virtual and on-location. Such events (webinars, conferences, hackathons, etc) provide you with an opportunity to grow your RPA skills.

Afe Araromi is a Senior Analyst at DipoleDIAMOND Ltd, a tech organization of repute trusted to orchestrate digital transformation for large and medium-scale businesses. He is also the Provost of fofx Academy, a school for digital skills in an era of digital transformation. He is proud to be a web developer and a top-to-bottom business automation enthusiast with a focus on BPM (Business Process Management) projects using ProcessMaker and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) projects using UiPath.