Top 5 Common Errors & Solutions When Developing an RPA Project

There are many ways to enhance your knowledge in the vast field of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Engaging in RPA courses offered by top-tier platforms globally is one effective method. Furthermore, to establish a seamless RPA workflow, it is essential to understand not only the theoretical operational procedures but also to recognize common mistakes. Hence, this facilitates easier resolution of issues as they arise, proactive avoidance of these mistakes, and ensures the reliable and consistent performance of your bots.

 “Selector Not Found/UI Element Not Found” Error

This widespread issue, frequently prompting inquiries on RPA forums, occurs for several reasons:

  • Discrepancies between development, UAT, and live environments.
  • Dynamic attributes like “cls” or “title” in CSS.
  • Failure to verify element existence before interaction.
  • Incorrect formatting or adjustment of selectors used to generate titles or attributes.
  • Dynamic changes in element IDs after each execution.
  • Improper definition of selectors on Attach Browser/Attach window operations.

“Object reference not set to an instance of an object” Error

This common error occurs when you try to use a variable that hasn’t been initialized yet (assigned a value). Here are some ways to prevent it:

  • Check if a variable is null before using it in an IF statement.
  • Ensure proper handling of arguments passed from previous workflows.
  • Be mindful of assigning values from the clipboard to variables.
  • Verify that file content is correctly added to a variable after reading.
  • Validate DataTable, DataColumn, etc. values before entering a loop.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct data type for your variables.

“Activity timeout exceeded” Error

This issue arises when the robot anticipates the appearance of certain elements on the screen, but they fail to materialize even after the default waiting time of 30 seconds. Common reasons for this include:

  • The images of these elements may have been displayed, but their source code has yet to fully load onto the system.
  • The process may be hindered by unexpected pop-up screens.
  • Network delays may prevent the correct display within the designated waiting period.
  • The element might be located on a different screen from the active one.

Most of these challenges can be mitigated by employing the “Element Exist” activity before executing any action on an element (such as Click, Type Into, Double Click, Hover…). Alternatively, a “Do While” loop can be utilized to identify when the element becomes visible. To avoid such scenarios, consider:

  • Extending the waiting time in the “Timeout” field to ensure it is adequate for the element’s appearance.
  • Utilizing a Do While loop to detect the appearance of the required element.
  • Employing “Element Exist” before engaging in any interaction with elements.

“Image not found” Error

This issue arises when executing the bot via Center, Orchestrator, or any remote monitoring platform without ensuring that the screen resolution used for bot development matches that of the live environment. Alternatively, the image being manipulated may not be displayed on the screen at that time. Remedies include scrolling the mouse or closing a window obstructing the image.

To deal with these challenges, ensure that the robot controller’s screen resolution matches that of the dev environment:

  • initially, align the live environment’s screen resolution with that of the dev environment.
  • Employ the “Take Screenshot” and “Save Image” activities to capture the resolution of the Dev environment.
  • Examine the details tab within the saved image properties, paying attention to parameters like depth, height, and width.
  • Access the application or monitor platform to adjust the RunTime settings to match the saved parameters.
  • Set LoginToConsole to False. This allows the robot to establish its new session in cases where RDP is logged out.

Downloaded File Saving Error

Dealing with saving downloaded files to desired locations can be a major challenge for many developers. Some common issues encountered include:

  • Inability to save the file to a specific location.
  • Saving the file as a Selector does not work or exist.
  • The specified folder for saving the file does not function or exist.
  • Risks associated with saving files on the current date or T date.
  • Difficulty operating with the toolbar when saving files through IE.
  • Chrome’s Force Download phenomenon.
  • Need to select the file type to save when saving data via IE (requiring selection of file type by clicking on the Dropdown).

However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all these issues; the resolution depends on how the browser is configured.

The issue of saving the file as a Selector not working usually occurs when the Selector isn’t accurate for the reference class value of the dialog box. It’s essential to verify the “cls” attribute of the save as button.

To manage issues while entering the path, you can utilize the syntax: path + “\” + document_name + “.extension ” + ” [k (enter)]”, enable the SENDWINDOWMESSAGE attribute, disable the SIMULATE TYPE, and introduce some delays in DELAYBETWEENKEYS of about 2000 milliseconds.

To save files by T date or the current date, use: “filename_” + now.tostring(“ddMMyyyy”) + “.extension”. The date format can be chosen according to preference.

Toggle the “Show Download Prompt (Checkbox)” for issues related to saving positions in Chrome. If checked, a dialog will prompt for the file save location; if unchecked, the file will be downloaded to a pre-set folder by default.

Wrapping up

Navigating the intricacies of RPA projects often involves encountering various challenges, from addressing common errors to optimizing file-saving processes. However, despite the diverse nature of these obstacles, proactive measures can be taken to mitigate their impact and ensure smoother project execution.

Understanding the nuances of error resolution, screen resolution alignment, and file-saving techniques equips developers with the necessary tools to overcome hurdles effectively. Significantly, with a strategic approach and attention to detail, RPA projects can achieve their objectives efficiently, driving value and innovation in automation initiatives.

akaBot (FPT) is the operation optimization solution for enterprises based on the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) platform combined with Artificial Intelligence, Process Mining, OCR, Intelligent Document Processing, Machine Learning, Conversational AI, etc. Serving clients in 21+ countries, across 08 domains such as Banking & Finances, Retail, IT Services, Manufacturing, and Logistics…, akaBot is featured in “Voice of the Customer” for Robotics Process Automation” by Gartner Peer Insights, G2, and ranked as Top 6 Global RPA Platform by Software Reviews. akaBot also won the prestigious Stevie Award, The Asian Banker Award 2021, Everest Group’s RPA Products PEAK Matrix® 2023, etc.

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