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Interrogation form in Pega Robot Studio

Interrogation form

The interrogation form is the standard method to interrogate Windows and web applications added to a solution. When an application is opened in the Pega Robot Studio™ designer window, the Start Interrogation button appears in the top left of the window.

Screenshot showing location of Start Interrogation button in top left of Designer window

Clicking the button displays the interrogation form. The interrogation form displays the Pega defined Standard properties for the adapter. These properties can be edited in the form during interrogation, or in the Properties window in the Robot Studio IDE.

Screenshot showing the interrogation form.

With the interrogation form open, you can interrogate an application control by dragging the bullseye icon over the specific control required in an automation. For example, as part of the robotic solution, you have to automate the login process of the financial application. The application login has a user name, password, and a login button. You can automate the log-in process by first capturing the user name input field, password field, and log-in button during interrogation. By interrogating these three controls, you can use the controls to create an automation for this login process.

Sometimes, controls do not appear until other actions have occurred, such as menu items on a web page. For example, some web controls require  the mouse to hover over a menu to display the sub-menu item you wish to interrogate. The delay option allows you to configure a time delay in seconds to perform the necessary mouse or keystroke actions first before interrogating the needed control.

Screenshot showing the interrogation form delay

Previously captured controls appear in a dropdown in the interrogation form. These controls also appear in the Object Explorer in Robot Studio. During interrogation, you can switch focus of the interrogation form between these previously interrogated controls, allowing you to rename the control to match your naming convention, set properties for the control, evaluate match rules, and test the functionality of the control to ensure that it performs as expected. Some actions are not available if the control is not currently matched, such as when the control does not appear until a menu button is clicked. The IDE also performs all of these actions, however the interrogation form allows you to save time during development by providing a mechanism that does not require you to shift your focus away from the adapter you are interrogating.

Screenshot showing dropdown menu in Robot Studio interrogation form.

The More (hamburger) menu to the right of the dropdown displays an action menu for the selected control, allowing you to refresh the control properties, delete the control, highlight the control inside the interrogated adapter, or collapse or expand all sections in the interrogation form.

Control properties

The control properties section of the interrogation form displays the Pega defined Standard properties for the control, as well as the target properties. You edit the name of the control to match their naming convention by clicking in the dropdown area and typing. You edit properties in the interrogation form as well, without having to go back to the IDE, though all properties can also be edited in the IDE itself. Editing a target property determines if the selected control responds to needed behaviors in an automation, such as text input.

Screenshot showing control properties in Robot Studio interrogation form

These properties will change depending on the type of control that is selected.

Match rules

Match rules ensure that a control is available for use in an automation. You can use only matched controls in automations. These match rules may change over time, especially when an application or a web page updates.

The interrogation form displays the match rules in use for the selected control along with a button to view the match rule details in the Robot Studio IDE.

Screenshot showing match rules section in Robot Studio interrogation form.

If Robot Studio is unable to match an captured control, the interrogation form displays a warning icon and message, allowing you to easily identify discrepancies that require further investigation.

Control testing

The selected control can be tested using the interrogation form by invoking methods specific to that control type. The interrogation form displays the methods most commonly used in an automation. In the IDE, you test controls by right-clicking the control in Object Explorer and selecting Test Control Methods. The Test Methods window displays all methods for the given control. For example, you invoke the PerformClick method on the log-in button to confirm it receives the method , and is clicked.

Screenshot showing the testing section of the interrogation form.

The methods available for testing change depending on the control type. The interrogation form displays the most commonly used methods for each control type, and the complete list of methods is available for testing in the IDE.

As an example, a text input may have an AppendText method to test automated text input in your interrogated control. This functionality makes it easier to confirm that captured controls behave as required for your automation, allowing you to easily identify when the incorrect control is interrogated and modify your match rules appropriately.

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