[PowerShell] Monitor active log files in Windows using type -wait command

Oh this is super handy. Say you have an active log file you want to monitor in real-time, simply run this command in Windows Powershell and see your logs update live on the terminal.


To demonstrate, in the screenshot above, I simply created a script that logs the current timestamp every two seconds on a logfile located at the Desktop. Then I used Powershell to monitor the updates on the terminal.

To do so, simply open Windows PowerShell on your machine and run the following command:

type -wait "logfile.txt"

:)
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[UiPath] How to setup config file and read variables

Setting up a config file for your workflows is an efficient way to configure the initial settings of your workflow environment. Variables that refer to path locations, URLs, and other config information that you need to setup when moving your workflow from one environment to another are better placed inside a config file. Think of it as not having to go inside UiPath studio to update your variables every now and then. Instead, you can just create a config file in Ms Excel, and read it in your workflow.

Here's how:

1. Create your config file in the same folder where your workflow is.

In this example, I named the config file as FileConfig.xlsx.
You can place it anywhere actually, but I preferred it to be inside the same folder where the workflow is so that I only to need to refer to its filename, and not its full path, when reading it.



2. Set your variables using two columns



Variable names on Column A, then values on Column B.

3. Read your config file and store it in a DataTable



Use the Read Range (Workbook) activity to read the config file and store it in a DataTable.

4. Access your config variables using the DataTable.Select method



var config_var = DataTable.Select("[Column Name]='variable name'")(0)(1).ToString


Use the select method to return the row that matches the variable name in the Var column of your config file, and (0)(1) index to refer to the second column of the first matched row. 

That's it!

If you need to add more config variables on the excel file, you should likewise add another Assign activity in your workflow to fetch the new variable.

Hope this helps!
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[UIPath] How to use Regex String Matches Activity to extract capture groups

The Matches activity is a helpful way to extract parts of a string using regex patterns. If you're new to capture groups, it's essentially a regex pattern that allows you to get values in between specified characters.


For instance, this pattern "\[(.*?)\]" allows you to get all values in between square brackets.

This means that for this string example,

Email Assignment: [2574] The UK votes to leave [EU]. What's next?

there are two matches (highlighted). These two values are stored in a collection of matches with type IENumberable<Match> To get the first match, you can use: Matches(0).Value
This will get you [2574]

But if you only need the value inside the brackets, you still need to clean-up the string in order to remove the brackets.

Now, a much simpler way to extract the first match without the brackets is by using the Match.Groups method.

Using the same example above, if I use: Matches(0).Groups(1).Value
It will return just 2574

Matches(0) will return the first match: [2574]
And Groups(1) will return the first group in the match: 2574
Groups(0) on the other hand would return the whole matched string: [2574]

So essentially, Matches(0).Groups(1).Value will return the first group in the first match.
If you want to get EU instead, you should use Matches(1).Groups(1).Value

You may experiment with regex using UiPath's built in Regex Builder (Inside Matches activity, click Configure Regular Expression) or you can go to regexstorm.net/tester online.
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[UiPath] Append Line not working when run using Robot or Orchestrator

Problem:
My log file isn't being created when I'm running the workflow using the robot, even if the path I supplied is already its full path. But then it's working fine when it's being run using the Studio.


Solution/workaround:
Create the log file first before appending to it (using the Create File activity). Normally, UiPath would automatically create the file if it doesn't exist, and then append some line. But for some reason when it's UiPath Robot doing the activity, the file doesn't get created, so UiPath doesn't bother writing anything.

That's it, let me know if it helps! :)
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[UiPath] Helpful DataTable methods and queries for better sorting, filtering, extracting

Here are a couple of handy DataTable.Select queries that I found useful in managing data tables. I have previously discussed about How to filter multiple dynamic values in a datatable column but this time I'm going to collect my most used ones for future reference. I found this VB.net methods extremely helpful in minimizing the amount of Activities in my Workflow. Also, sometimes the Filter DataTable Wizard doesn't work and I found these methods more accurate.

How to select distinct/unique values in a column

OutputDT = DataTable.DefaultView.ToTable(true,"ColumnName")

Returns a datatable with distinct values from a specific column. This is similar to running a Remove Duplicate Rows activity except you can directly specify which column to affect.

How to rename DataTable column name

DataTable.Columns(4).ColumnName = "New Column Name"

Renames the 3rd column with the value specified in "New Column Name"

How to sort DataTable using multiple columns

DataTable = (From x In DataTable.AsEnumerable() Order By convert.Tostring(x("ColumnName1")), convert.ToString(x("ColumnName2")) Select x).CopyToDataTable

Returns a data table sorted in ascending order by 2 columns. This is similar to running a Sort Data Table activity except that you can use multiple sorting columns.

How to query your DataTable using Select method

OutputDT = DataTable.Select("[Column Name] IN ('Value1', 'Value2', 'Value3')").CopyToDataTable

This will return rows where the specified column contains the indicated values. Similar to filtering a table from Excel.

How to convert a DataTable column to a String Array

StringArray = (From row In DataTable.AsEnumerable() Select Convert.Tostring(row(“Column Name”))).ToArray()


This returns a String array containing all values in a given column

RelatedHow to filter multiple dynamic values in a datatable column

Just a few so far but will add to these as I go along learning UiPath better! :)
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[UiPath] How to create Windows user input form using SyForms form designer (IsClosingForm hotfix)

Here's an entry on how to use the SyForms Form Designer package on UiPath which is incredibly helpful in getting user input using a Windows form.

This answers questions on:
✔ How to accept date input from user and
✔ How to accept multiple inputs from user using just one form


But first, a little info on this package:

SyForms is a custom activity developed by Florent Salendres of Symphony as a hackathon entry for UIPath's Power Up Automation 2018. It won Winners Choice and UiPath Grand Prize of Excellence in RPA and is probably one of the most popular form designers from UiPath Gallery. I personally am very thankful I stumbled upon this activity because it provides better user interaction by the way of Windows forms.

Now, all the official documentation you need is here: https://go.uipath.com/component/syforms-uipath-forms-designer
https://devpost.com/software/uipath-form-designer
https://forum.uipath.com/t/syforms-uipath-forms-designer/63539/29

But for the purpose of documenting a how to guide, here's how to use the package and create a simple form that accepts date and text input.

I'm using UiPath Community Edition version 19.8.0

Step 1: Download and install the package

You have two options, you can either download it from the Gallery


OR you can download the hotfix version from this link which addresses the issue of the form not closing upon clicking the submit button (even if the property IsClosingForm is set to True).

If you chose the hotfix version, here's how to install it:

  1. As mentioned above, download hotfix from this link
  2. Save the .nupkg package file under C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\UiPath\app-19.8.0\Packages (or wherever your Packages folder is)
  3. Update the path with the appropriate username and app version folder, in red.
  4. Go back to UiPath Manage Packages and navigate to Local. Symphony should appear.
  5. Install and Save



Step 2: Create a new process and add the activity Show Form

Found under Symphony >> Extensions >> SyForms >> Show Form



Step 3: Create a new form

  1. Click on New
  2. Enter form name
  3. Click OK
  4. It will create a json file. Select it from the dropdown and click Design
Step 4: Design the form

We'll be creating a simple form that accepts Name and Birthday. The designer is pretty straightforward, just click on the type of control you want from the toolbar and position it on the form window.


Step 5: Expose your input arguments

For all your input fields, make sure to set ExposeAsArgument property to True as seen in the above photo. This automatically creates arguments for your fields so that you can access the value later on.


The next thing to do after exposing your arguments is to create Assign To variables to it. I named the 2 variables as var_name and var_bday and set the variable type to Control (System.Windows.Forms.Control).

For the Submit button, you should also set the IsClosingForm property to True so that the form window will close after you click on Submit.

Step 5: Access your input data

Finally, you can access your input data by using the Text property of the Control variable.

var_name.Text
var_bday.Text

Let's try to output it using a message box.

Here's the output:


For the date, you can play around with the text value to output different date formats using the Convert.ToDateTime() and ToString() System methods.

ie.
Convert.ToDateTime(var_bday.Text).ToString("yyyy-MM-dd")
will output the following:


For more DateTime formats and helpful string manipulation techniques, check out:

That's it! Let me know if it works. :)
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[UIPath] How to filter multiple dynamic values in one column using DataTable.Select method

I've been looking for ways to filter multiple values in a datatable but I'm only led to one solution, the Select() method. For those who were sold on UIPath being a drag-and-drop-no-coding-required solution to automation, this could be intimidating. Heck, if I didn't know about SQL I'd be dead beat right now. Yup! The only way (at least for now) to select multiple values from a column in a datatable is by using the DataTable.Select method.

Thankfully, it's not that hard.

RelatedHelpful DataTable methods and queries for better sorting, filtering, extracting

Say I have this datatable called rulesDT,



And I want to get all rows where Home Location is either London, Manila, or Tokyo

If only UIPath had a feature like this in its Filter DataTable activity, it would be easy right?

UIPath wishlist: Allow IN operation

But since there's none at the moment, here's what worked for me.

Using DataTable.Select()

var rows = new DataRow[]; //Array of DataRow

var outputDT = new DataTable;

assign rows = rulesDT.Select("[Home Location] IN ('London','Manila','Tokyo')");

//Check if there are results
if(rows.Count > 1){
   outputDT = rows.CopyToDataTable();
} else {
   //Do something
}

The pseudo code above, when applied as a UIPath workflow, will return a datatable with rows that satisfy the query, in this case 5 rows.


It's similar to running a filter rule on MS Excel.

The reason we need to assign the results to a DataRow[] first instead of directly putting the output into DataTable is to avoid running into this exception in case there are 0 rows found. 


You cannot copy 0 rows to a DataTable, that's why we need to check first if the Select query returned at least one result.

Example for querying multiple columns

I want to get Partners between the ages 30 to 40 years old

rulesDT.Select("[Occupation] = 'Partner' AND [Age] >= 30 AND Age <= 40")
There is no BETWEEN operator so we have to use two comparators.

Querying dynamic values

If you want to select multiple dynamic values from a column, you need to build the parameters first then include it as a variable.

•  Using a list of integer

var rows = new DataRow[]
var dynamicIntArr = {20,30,40}
var join_dynamicIntArr = String.Join(",",dynamicIntArr) //Result: 20,30,40
rows = rulesDT.Select("[Age] IN (" + str_dynamicIntArr + ")")
•  Using a list of string
This requires more manipulation as you have to wrap each value inside single quotes. It would be best to prepare the string with single quotes beforehand for easier handling.

var rows = new DataRow[]
var dynamicStrArr = {"'One'","'Two'","'Three'"}
var join_dynamicStrArr = String.Join(",",dynamicStrArr) //Result: 'One','Two','Three'
rulesDT.Select("[Age] IN (" + join_dynamicStrArr + ")")

Very helpful links

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