Installations can quickly become quite convoluted especially when one is endeavoring to perform them for the first time in a complex ICT environment in any large enterprise.
Operating systems, Ports, firewalls, Antivirus, etc. all start to sound like the perfect warfare that ought to be used in a demilitarised zone without any collateral damage (pun intended). Moreover, the project timelines always raise the stakes of the game and make the delivery of the platform precarious.
In this blog post, my intention is to do a deep dive into the installation process for Automation Anywhere platform A2019 Build 2545, which was released recently on Feb 26. The blog post can also act as a step-by-step guide for those who would like to explore A2019 platform and exploit its strengths by not getting bogged down with its intricate technical details.
As a foreword, I wanted to elucidate that this blog doesn’t go into the details of installing Automation Anywhere as an enterprise-grade environment as that would entail additional complexities in regards to -
- Implementing a robust Cloud-based or On-premise platform architecture that provides redundancy.
- Ensuring platform can service the current load and is scalable for the future.
- Making sure that the platform is secured as per the policies of the organisation.
- Setup proactive and predictive monitoring capabilities to ensure time-critical jobs complete with a peace of mind.
For all your complex installation or migration requirements for Automation Anywhere including migration to the latest A2019 version, please get in touch today with Neevista and one of our friendly consultants can guide you in planning and executing your project in a seamless manner!
As we already know by now that A2019 is a cloud-native Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform released by Automation Anywhere in Q4 2019. A2019 simplifies the process of building a bot by providing an easy to use web-based UI including click and drag visual workflow functionality. The on-premise option for A2019 also improves the installation process by reducing the number of separate components and also fixing some of the known issues.
The high-level flow of the Automation Anywhere A2019 installation process is given as follows –
- Create a Windows Virtual Machine using Virtualbox
- Download and install Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition 2017
- Complete post-installation step for SQL Server
- Download and install Automation Anywhere A2019 platform
- Complete post-install configuration steps for Automation Anywhere
As a side note, A2019 is also available for our beloved linux operating system (RHEL only). I’ll cover the installation process for RHEL in a separate blog post.
Create a Windows Virtual Machine using Virtualbox
1. Download Windows Server 2019 evaluation version and the associated key using this link.
2. Create a new virtual machine (VM) using VirtualBox.
3. Allocate a decent amount of RAM for this VM and at least 4 cores to avoid sluggish response times.
4. Create a dynamically allocated VDI disk for this VM. As I am building this VM for training purposes only, ~150 GB space would be adequate for now.
5. Ensure that the boot order is as given in the screenshot below.
6. Insert the downloaded windows server 2019 iso image as an optical drive for this VM as shown below.
7. Setup the network adaptor, shared folders, and bi-directional copy/ paste as per your requirements.
8. Once the VM configuration is complete, the VM can be started to complete Windows server 2019 installation process.
9. After entering the product evaluation Key and accepting the terms and conditions, you will see the below screen. As we are installing for the first time, click on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)
10. Create a default system partition in the screen below and then the installer goes off to the races.
11. The installation takes a good 5-10 minutes to complete depending on the resources allocated to the VM.
12. Once the windows server 2019 setup is complete, you would also need to install Virtual Box Guest Additions for Windows. This can be achieved by following the below steps –
- - Download VirtualBox Guest Additions ISO from VirtualBox website.
- - Insert the downloaded iso image as an optical drive for this VM as we did for windows server iso file in step 6 of this article.
- - Once the machine is up and running, click on Devices in VirtualBox menu bar and then click on Insert Guest Editions CD image
- - Now open the CD Drive of your VM and double click on VBoxWindowsAdditions setup file
Download and install Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition 2017
13. Download SQL server 2017 using this link and start the setup process by clicking on the Basic or Custom option. In this instance, I chose the custom option as it gives an opportunity to sneak under the hood.
14. Click on the first option in the list – New SQL Server Standalone installation to initiate the setup process. You would also require SQL Server Management Studio, which can the downloaded and installed by clicking on Install SQL Server Management Tools option later.
15. After accepting the license terms, the setup process is pretty straightforward and can advance by simply clicking on the Next button.
16. The warning in the below screenshot can be ignored as it shall be addressed in the post-install configuration step.
17. I’ve unselected R and Python as I already have the latest version of Python installed on this VM.
18. I’ll let you download and install SQL Server Management Studio on your own.
Complete post-installation step for SQL Server
19. After the setup is complete, open port 1433 by using SQL Server Configuration Manager. This is the port on which SQL server will communicate with Automation Anywhere platform.
Download and install Automation Anywhere A2019 platform
20. Automation Anywhere platform setup zip file includes bot Linux and Windows setup files. For the purpose of this article, we only need the Windows setup file.
21. Launch the installer by double-clicking on the setup file.
22. The installer then extracts the required files to initiate the installation process.
23. Although my VM specs are lower than what is recommended by Automation Anywhere, I can continue with the installation process without getting into trouble.
24. Select the setup type. As always, I ended up choosing the custom installation mode.
25. Unless you have any specific requirements, continue ahead by choosing the default options.
26. Upon clicking next, I got an error saying port 80 was assigned to some other application. Therefore, I went back and changed it to port 82.
27. Here you would need to provide the SQL server instance name for which we recently completed the installation process. The other fields already have default values and those can be modified if required.
28. The setup process from this point takes a solid 10-15 mins to complete. Once it concludes, you can view the fruits of your labour in the form of an install summary report, which can be accessed at a later point in time as well.
Complete post-install configuration steps for Automation Anywhere
29. When you launch the control room by clicking on the application shortcut installed on your desktop, the following screen appears. Here you would need to specify the repository path and control room URL + Port# for the environment. Please ensure the folder structure for the repository path is already in place otherwise you may get an error.
30. Choose the credential vault setting as per the business requirement.
31. Choose one of the available authentication types.
32. Create a control room Administrator user
33. And finally, install the license key that you may have received from Automation Anywhere.
If you are reading this, you have managed to successfully install Automation Anywhere A2019 RPA platform and are ready to explore your intelligent bot use cases.
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