How do I run something from a command line in Blue Prism?

To run something on the command line, there are two options:-

  • Use the Start Process (or Run Process Until Ended) action of the supplied ‘Utility – Environment‘ VBO, and place the command(s) to be run in a batch file.  Place the full path and filename of the batch file into the ‘Application’ input parameter field.

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Work with the MAPIEx VBO?

Installing MAPIEx

There are three main stages to ensure that the MAPIEx automation object is correctly referenced by Blue Prism.

1. Install the MAPIEx files onto the Blue Prism client (or on any machine that will use this functionality). The installer can be found on the Blue Prism portal under ‘Releases’ then by clicking the ‘addons‘ link. The installer file is called ‘BluePrismMapiEx1.1.15.msi

The installation will include the following files:-

  • BluePrismMAPIExAutomation.dll
  • BluePrismMAPIExAutomation.tlb
  • BPMAPIEx.chm
  • MAPI32.dll
  • MAPIEx.dll
  • BPA Object – Blue Prism MAPIEx.xml (in the ‘VBO’ sub-folder)

These files will be installed into the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Blue Prism Limited\Blue Prism Automate” directory as part of the .MSI installation process

2. On 64-bit machines, Blue Prism will be installed in ‘C:\Program Files’, but MAPIEx gets installed into ‘C:\Program Files (x86)’ because it is a 32-bit program. If developing on a 64-bit machine, either modify the installation folder to match your Blue Prism installation, or copy the installed MAPIEx files into the Blue Prism installation folder after the installation has been done.

RememberMAPIEx will not work with 64-bit Outlook.

3. The easiest way to use MAPIEx is to Import the BPA Object – Blue Prism MAPIEx.xml

If you wish to work programmatically with the object, edit the MAPIEx VBO from within Blue Prism’s Object Studio. Select the ‘Initialise‘ tab, and then double-click on the Business Objects Page Information stage (containing the properties for the page) to reveal the properties for this page. Select the ‘Code Options‘ tab. Browse to the ‘BluePrismMAPIExAutomation.dll’ located in the correct installation directory, ensuring that the full path and filename is referenced in the ‘External References‘ list.

e.g. ‘C:\Program Files\Blue Prism Limited\Blue Prism Automate\BluePrismMAPIExAutomation.dll’

MAPIEx as an Internal and External Business Object

MAPIEx can be worked with an an “internal” or “external” Business Object. Internal objects are imported into the Blue Prism database, and so are available to all users who have access to the database. External Business Objects are specific to the machine on which they are installed and are not visible by other users. It is generally recommended that the Internal Business Object is used in preference ot the External object.

To add MAPIEX as an External Business Object:-

  • Open the ‘External Business Objects’ tab in the Business Objects section of System Manager.
  • Create a new object, using the class name ‘BluePrism.WindowsAutomation.clsMAPIExAutomation’ in the ‘Add a new object’ field.
  • Click ‘OK’ to complete the process.
  • A new Business Object named “Blue Prism MAPIEx Automation (2005)” will be added.

What can you do with MAPIEx?

The main functionality involved with MAPIEx is to obtain information about e-mails and to manipulate them (i.e. delete, move, or send them). The in-product Help contains information about how each of the functions and associated parameters provided by MAPIEx can be specified.

MAPIEx can be used to check for e-mail in specific Exchange Server mailboxes, and can then reply, forward or move e-mails in response to this.

Limitations

  • MAPIEx in v4.2 cannot deal properly with attachments that make use of non-English character sets.
  • It cannot currently use HTML or Rich Text e-mail formats, and deals only in plain text e-mails.
  • MAPIEx will only work with the Outlook mail client as a 32-bit application. 64-bit Outlook is not supported.

MS Excel VBO – GetWorksheetAsCollection(fast)

MS Excel VBO – GetWorksheetAsCollection(fast)

Another method is to use the Microsoft Excel VBO and to use its GetWorksheetAsCollection(fast) method to read the file in. This method takes a bit more preparation, and it requires having MS Excel installed on the machine that will execute the Process or Object. However, the advantage is that it reads all the data as text, and is therefore a more reliable for reading source data as pure text without trying to convert the data into a specific data type.Read More »

List of keys which can be used with Send Keys functionality

Key Code
BACKSPACE {BACKSPACE}, {BS}, or {BKSP}
BREAK {BREAK}
CAPS LOCK {CAPSLOCK}
DEL or DELETE {DELETE} or {DEL}
DOWN ARROW {DOWN}
END {END}
ENTER {ENTER}or ~
ESC {ESC}
HELP {HELP}
HOME {HOME}
INS or INSERT {INSERT} or {INS}
LEFT ARROW {LEFT}
NUM LOCK {NUMLOCK}
PAGE DOWN {PGDN}
PAGE UP {PGUP}
PRINT SCREEN {PRTSC} (reserved for future use)
RIGHT ARROW {RIGHT}
SCROLL LOCK {SCROLLLOCK}
TAB {TAB}
UP ARROW {UP}
F1 {F1}
F2 {F2}
F3 {F3}
F4 {F4}
F5 {F5}
F6 {F6}
F7 {F7}
F8 {F8}
F9 {F9}
F10 {F10}
F11 {F11}
F12 {F12}
F13 {F13}
F14 {F14}
F15 {F15}
F16 {F16}
Keypad add {ADD}
Keypad subtract {SUBTRACT}
Keypad multiply {MULTIPLY}
Keypad divide {DIVIDE}

To specify keys combined with any combination of the SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT keys, precede the key code with one or more of the following codes.

Key Code
SHIFT +
CTRL ^
ALT %

Global Send Key|Global Send Key Events in Blueprism

The ‘Global Send Key Events’ function sends keystroke ‘events’ to the active application, which is not necessarily the target application. Keys are processed by whatever has focus. This differs from the Global Send Keys function which sends keystrokes to the attached application (whichever object the Application Modeller is attached to).

‘Global Send Key Events’ uses a lower-level method of sending the keys, and therefore is more likely to work with some applications. A specific example of this is a Citrix client, which will not respond to ‘Global Send Keys’ but will work with ‘Global Send Key Events’ (see related articles about sending keys to Citrix).Read More »