Automating work with Robots

The Robots app is the automation component of the Diligent HighBond platform. You can use Robots to build customized data automation and data analysis based on scripts and scheduled tasks. Robots also runs the automated portion of Diligent toolkits. In the future, you will be able to use Robots to automate portions of your organization's HighBond workflow.

How you build automation in Robots

The high-level process for building data automation and data analysis in Robots is relatively straightforward:

  1. Create a robot

  2. Add a script to the robot

  3. Create a task to schedule and run the script

  4. Run the task to generate the output

1. Create a robot

A robot is a container that holds one or more scripts, one or more tasks, and associated tables and files. Depending on your requirements, you can choose between three different types of robots:

  • ACL robot

  • HighBond robot

  • Workflow robot

    Note

    To access Workflow robots, you must be assigned the System Admin user type with a Professional subscription.

One type of robot is not better than another. Each type has a different purpose, and you choose the one that best matches your needs in terms of purpose and scripting language.

Location of robots in the Robots app

Each robot that you create is added to the Robots dashboard.

2. Add a script to the robot

One or more scripts provide the automation. Depending on your requirements, you can choose between two different types of scripts:

  • ACL script

  • Python/HCL script

ACL stands for Audit Command Language, our legacy data analytics scripting language. HCL stands for HighBond Command Language, our custom Python library.

Location of scripts in the robot

The Robots app has a development mode and a production mode. The distinction between them is important when you are building automation, but it is not important for this overview. For now, just know these two modes exist.

For more information, see Development mode and production mode in Robots.

Script versions tab (development mode)

Each new version that you create of a script or a group of related scripts is added to the Script versions tab in the robot.

Scripts tab (production mode)

(ACL robot only) The script version that you activate to production mode is displayed in the Scripts tab in the robot.

3. Create a task to schedule and run the script

A task runs the script based on a schedule that you configure.

In the future, Robots will also support configurable event-based tasks that run whenever a specific event occurs in HighBond.

Location of tasks in the robot

Each task that you create is added to the Tasks tab in the robot.

4. Run the task to generate the output

The task runs and generates the output specified by the script:

  • results tables or files

  • working tables or files

Results tables or files are an endpoint of data analysis, or "a snapshot". They are unique to each task run. You can download output results for viewing.

Working tables or files are saved to a central data storage area in the robot and can be used as input for subsequent tasks and scripts. Working tables can be shared between robots (ACL robots, on-premise Robots Agent only).

Location of task runs, and results tables or files, in the robot

Each time that you run a task, a new task run entry is added to the Task runs tab in the robot. Any results tables or files produced by a task run are included with the task run entry.

 

Location of working tables or files in the robot

Any working tables or files produced by a task run are added to a central data storage area in the robot:

  • Input/Output tab (ACL robot)

  • Working data tab (HighBond robot/Workflow robot)

The tabs are named differently depending on robot type, and the Input/Output tab contains more sections, however the tabs perform the same general function.

Learn more about Robots

Robots includes a range of functionality to support the high-level process described above. The main page for each functional area is listed below.

Analytics Exchange customers who are considering migrating to Robots should review the Analytics Exchange to Robots migration guide.