Installing or upgrading a Robots Agent

Note

Applies only to organizations using an on-premise Robots Agent.

Individuals and organizations with ACL Robotics Professional Edition do not have an on-premise Robots Agent.

The Robots Agent performs the tasks scheduled in the Robots app. The agent performs the tasks on your company's secure local Windows server, close to the data source and within the protective boundaries of your network.

Download the Robots Agent and install it on the server, or use it to upgrade an existing agent on the server. During an installation, you register the Robots Agent using a registration keyfile (registration.key) that you generate in the Robots app. The registration keyfile secures connections between the agent and the Robots app. If you are upgrading, the existing registration keyfile is used.

To increase analytic processing capacity and implement load balancing, you have the option of installing additional instances of the Robots Agent on additional Windows servers.

Robots Agent Windows services and accounts

When you install the Robots Agent, it deploys two Windows services on the server:

  • Robots Agent runs scheduled and ad hoc Robots tasks
  • Robots Data Service provides the connectivity that allows users to open Robots Agent tables in Analytics

If either of these services are not running, the functionality they provide is not available.

Tip

If tasks remain queued for a long time in Robots, and are then skipped, or fail, check that the Robots Agent service is running.

If users get a connection error when attempting to open a Robots Agent table in Analytics, check that the Robots Data Service is running.

Service accounts and ports

You use service accounts to run the two Robots Agent Windows services. For detailed information about the logon rights and permissions required by the accounts, see On-premise Robots Agent security.

Note

If you change the properties of either of the Windows services after you install the Robots Agent, you must restart the service for the change to take effect.

Windows service Account that runs the service Port
Robots Agent

Domain account specified during installation

443 outbound communication only
Robots Data Service Local System 10000 by default, configurable during and after installation

Add certificate authority URLs to your network allowlist

If you are installing the Robots Agent behind a network firewall, the application's digital certificate must be able to connect to URLs associated with the third-party certificate authority. If required, add the certificate authority URL or URLs to your network allowlist. You can allow the certificate authority's web site generally – for example, *.digicert.com – or you can allow only specific URLs. After installing the Robots Agent, inspect the installed certificate to get the required URLs.

Background

The Robots Agent application executable uses a digital certificate chain to ensure its authenticity and integrity. The certificate chain requires an Internet connection to the third-party certificate authority so that the certificates in the chain can be verified. Your network firewall must allow access to the appropriate URLs associated with the certificate authority in order for this process to work. Without the required access, you will not be able to use the Robots Agent.

Generate the Robots Agent registration keyfile

Generate a new registration keyfile only if you are performing a fresh installation of the Robots Agent, or if there is a problem with an existing registration keyfile.

If you are upgrading a currently installed Robots Agent, the existing registration keyfile is used. If you are installing an additional instance of the Robots Agent, you copy the existing registration keyfile.

You must have the Manage Agent permission to generate a Robots Agent registration keyfile. For more information, see Robots app permissions.

  1. Sign in to HighBond (www.highbond.com).
  2. From the Launchpad homepage, under Automation, click the Robots app.
  3. In the top right corner of the dashboard, click Settings.
  4. In the left-hand pane, make sure Agent management is selected.
  5. Click Generate a new registration key.

    The warning dialog box that appears applies to you if you have one or more existing agents already installed.

  6. Click Generate a new registration key and then click Download keyfile and close.

    Caution

    Do not close the browser window until you download the keyfile.

  7. Save the downloaded keyfile in a safe location on the Windows Server machine that will run the Robots Agent.

    Note

    Generating a keyfile is the first part of registering a Robots Agent. The registration process is complete when you place the keyfile in the correct location in the Robots Agent directory structure, start or restart the Robots Agent service, and successfully connect to Robots.

Install the Robots Agent

Use the Robots Agent installation package to perform a fresh installation of the Robots Agent.

Note

You must have local Administrator permissions on the Windows Server machine to complete the installation.

Test the Robots Agent

After you install the Robots Agent, you can commit and run a simple script to test that the Robots Agent is working correctly.

Note

This test requires that file uploads to Robots are permitted. If required, temporarily enable file uploads for the test. For more information, see Configuring a Robots Agent.

Upgrade the Robots Agent

Use the Robots Agent installation package to upgrade an existing installation of the Robots Agent from version 14.x to 15.0.

Before performing the upgrade, make sure no robot tasks are running, queued, or scheduled to run shortly.

Note

You must have local Administrator permissions on the Windows Server machine to complete the upgrade.

Install an additional instance of the Robots Agent

Use the Robots Agent installation package to install additional instances of the Robots Agent on additional Windows servers.

Installing multiple agents allows you to increase analytic processing capacity and implement load balance across the agents. When you run multiple robot tasks simultaneously, processing of the analytic scripts is automatically distributed between the multiple agents on multiple Windows servers. This capability allows you to run a greater number of tasks in a shorter period of time.

Note

The multiple agent capability is not related to the development and production modes in Robots. When running tasks, both modes have equal access to all agents.