I have a requirement where a legacy application is running on a local Windows XP PC and Windows XP is no more supported by MS. However due to the legacy application dependency I need to put a bot in the XP PC and access the legacy system and extract output data in excel from the legacy system.
Can a Robocorp attended bot be deployed on this Local PC which is not connected to any network? Can the developer create the automation in the same PC or install the bot via Disk drives?
Thank you in advance for the solution using Robot Framework.
Running in a fully “air-gapped” setup is possible but requires a few things like pre-building the environments etc. also this kind of a robot will be cut-off from Control Room features.
…but the biggest thing to test would be Windows XP itself.
We have not tested any of the tooling on that system and we only provide 64bit versions for the tools (a lot of the open-source tools are not fully in our control) so the system would pretty much have to be 64bit.
The easiest test would be to take the RCC executable to the machine and run
rcc config diagnostics to see what happens. Even though I do not want to “open the gate” for old Windows versions, I am interested to hear what happens.
You can get the RCC from here:
There are ways to isolate the XP implementation also. Setting up a “caretaker” machine in modern OS in the same network and automating the XP machine in a locked-off manor over strict local network RDP. This would mean UI level automation, but would probably be the safest option (provided the network setups are done correctly). Manual copying and maintaining an off-grid machine has a lot for points for human error, so good to consider.
The compatibility modes of new Windows releases is also often overlooked, so far I have seen just one case where XP was actually required (this was back in 2015 or something) and after reducing the implementation to only the thing that was absolutely locked to the XP machine it turned out that implementing that part to a modern system took a month, so the ROI of keeping the old machine was just not there… just saying this because it is always good to check this aspect. So what is the exact thing that it bound to XP?
Thank you Kari. 90% of the automation is on the network in Windows 8.1 or higher while only 10% of the standalone PCs have a legacy app that works only on XP. The app is a statistical calculation software which would need a bot to perform some calculations and pass the output to the legacy app running on XP and then get the output from the legacy app and manually the output data needs to be updated in the systems running on the network via a web UI.
Main constraint would be Windows XP 64 bit version… is that correct? for Robocorp bot to be installed in the local pc and also the Robocorp studio builder as well would be required on the local PC for UI based extraction.
If you can develop the bot the execution itself does not require the development tools to be installed on the target machine. If you make the robot based on our templates you should be able to run it just with RCC commands. This is why the initial test of running:
rcc config diagnostics
…is so crucial.
I would highly recommend VS Code portable mode with Robocorp extensions installed if you need to get the development environment into the XP machine. It keeps the VS Code installation in a single folder that is easy to delete / restore if needed.
For prebuilding environments the documentation is here
Thank you Kari. Will try with VS Code portable mode.
The automation needs to access the UI of the legacy app running on Win XP hence the need for the Studio in the same XP machine. Else, Studio can be in another Win 10 machine and connect through RDP and perform the OCR based automation or Citrix type like you had mentioned, however only downside is accuracy of OCR based automation is the challenge? I am not sure of the capabilities of Robocorp in OCR based automation. Is there any other way for this scenario?
Thanks for your support.
Have you tried the RPA.Windows library ? According to dependency we are using it should support also Windows XP.
This module is for UIAutomation on Windows(Windows XP with SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1/10).
Check with Accessibility Insights tool if it is able to get element information from the app - if it can access element information then I would say that
RPA.Windows should work also.