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Robot Schedules in Robot Manager

When organizations deploy robots across multiple work groups and assignment types, manually managing each robot and work group can be extensive. This degree of robot management depends on the scope and scale of the implemented robotic workforce. However, by setting schedules for robots, you can reduce the manual effort of managing your robots. For example, robots can be stopped outside working hours or moved between work groups to help during known peak hours.

In Pega Robot Manager™, the functionality of scheduling robots is explicitly designed for a workflow that involves pulling work assignments directly from within Pega Robot Manager. This functionality is not intended to be used solely to start (or stop) robots or assign packages, where work assignments are pulled from a queue of work (or file) that is external to Pega Robot Manager.

You manage a robot's scheduling in Robot Manager by creating, copying, and disabling schedules for robots. To schedule a robot, you must first install and configure the RPA Service and enable the Agent Schedules setting, ProcessRobotScheduleActions agent. For more information about setting up the agent, see Enabling scheduling of robots.

Work behavior

When no scheduled action is defined, the default behavior of the robot is to run in its current work group. When you create a scheduled action for a robot, its current work group is designated as the base work group. After a scheduled action ends, the robot moves back to its base work group.

To change the base work group of a robot, stop the robot, remove all its scheduled actions, move the robot to a new designated work group, and then create a new schedule. For more information about manually moving work groups between robots, see the Manually move robots.

Note: Any scheduled actions are only available on the default view for a robot, not in the work group view.

Time zones

When you create a schedule, the RPA Service considers the user's time zone as the default time zone for the schedule. If you copy the schedule for a similar robot, the time zone remains unchanged, even if the user copying the schedule is from a different zone.

The time zone setting in the user's Operator ID record determines the user's time zone. If no time zone is specified in the user's Operator ID record, the robot schedule uses the Pega Platform™ server time zone. Specify the time zone in the user's Operator ID record to ensure proper schedule operation in a multi-node environment.

Note: The Pega Platform server time zone may be different across nodes. For more information about setting the proper schedule time zone, see Localization considerations.

Scheduling options

Multi-action schedules in Robot Manager can include starting and stopping robots, moving robots to other work groups, and setting the recurrence of schedules. The recurrence action indicates when a robot's scheduled actions are available. 

The available actions are:

  • Stop – The robot completes processing of the current assignment and stops.
  • Move to group (and Start) – The robot completes processing its current assignment, stops, and moves to the new work group. The robot starts and then begins to process assignments from the new work group.

You configure the recurrence of schedules to run once, hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. Robot Manager provides the necessary configurations based on the schedule's frequency. For more information about the steps to create a new schedule, copy a schedule, or turn off a schedule in Robot Manager, see the following topics on the Pega Technical Documentation site:

 

Deferring a scheduled action

You can defer a scheduled action that is defined for a robot until the subsequent recurrence, or until the end of another scheduled action. Robot Manager provides an automatic deferral mechanism to ensure that scheduled actions are run according to the configuration.

Possible scenarios for deferring a scheduled action include:

  • If scheduled action A is about to occur, but action B has a higher priority and starts in the next 15 minutes, then scheduled action A is deferred.
  • If a scheduled action is about to start but is supposed to end in the next 15 minutes according to the schedule, then the action is deferred.

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