RPA.Dialogs: Questions and improvement suggestions

As part of the RoboCorp II certification, I got acquainted with the RPA.Dialogs library and I think that in general, that library is great for building “quick win solutions” which require user interaction or simply need to show the user that some task is still being processed. Great job, RoboCorp. This will make my life much easier.

Questions and improvement suggestions related to RPA.Dialogs:

  • "Add Text Input" Keyword: One can specify a ‘placeholder’ argument which will give the user an idea of what kind of input is expected. Are there any plans for enabling the keyword to pre-populate its actual value? Other elements such as dropdowns, radio buttons etc do allow default values.

  • Dialog pre-Exit checks: I build a simple dialog, containing just one text field with a submit button. User clicks on submit without entering some text. Dialog closes - even if the user has entered no text at all. Can I implement a pre-exit check (based on Robot or Python) which checks if the user’s input (if any) is in compliance with what I expect?

  • Building multi-dialog wizards which allow the user to navigate back and forth between dialogs: any good suggestion on how to do this - if possible at all? Building a dialog process chain which can only move forward is fairly easy - but I don’t see how to add an option which allows the user to navigate backwards.

  • Finally, having access to various dialog layouts (and combining them) would be a nice-to-have.

Thanks,
Joerg

Hello and welcome to forum :star2: Joerg

Do you have some use cases for this in mind? Would be interesting to hear, my take on this has been that if you need complex UI, you are building an app not an bot :smiley: But I’m always happy to reconsider.

Thanks for the swift response :slight_smile: . Here’s an test automation example that I work on:

Currently, I have an API which has10-15 input parameters. As usual, some parameters are optional and some parameters are required. In addition, some parameters have dependencies onto other parameters (e.g. parameter A is required/has a fixed set of values if parameter B is populated, otherwise parameter A is optional).

In order to supply the necessary input parameters, my test users have at least two options:

  • supply the test parameters as fixed content (e.g. file which contains my test parameters as JSON body)
  • robot data driver library which allows users to supply parameters via Excel/CSV input files. Offers a certain level of dynamic content.

Both options lack an ‘interactive’ component and require at least a minimal level of general technical understanding. Users need to know what the parameter inter-dependencies are - and supply all input parameters accordingly.

Therefore, a dialogue which leads the user from start to finish would be a nice option. As Robot does not offer a real “go to” option where I can simply jump back to a previous section of my code, a dialogue “wizard” mode could be difficult to implement, though. I can implement all of my fields in the same dialogue - but this approach prevents me from providing my user with the “matching” parameters whose values are based on an earlier selection from the same dialogue.

Just to be clear: I can totally live with the option of building a dialogue wizard which only offers a “forward” journey. With the current RPA.Dialogs library, this is easily doable and already provides much more user-friendliness than before. Being aware of my user audience, I already know that these guys will ask the question of whether backwards-navigation will ever be possible, though :stuck_out_tongue:

Cheers
Joerg