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Overview of Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview

Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview

The Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview is intended to get an early version of the new, re-imagined product into the hands of experienced developers, so you can explore the new features and become familiar with the re-imagined design. It’s also intended to help us generate and gather feedback so we can work together to improve the design even more.

This release is not intended for use in production. To restrict this, we will not be providing a Robot Runtime or enabling deployment of projects within Robot Studio v21 Preview.

Downloading and installing

Downloading the Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview

Installing Robot Studio v21 Preview prerequisites

Installing Pega Robot Studio

How to get training:

In the table below, access the links to Pega Academy to learn more about a feature.

In addition, you can watch the following webinar to get an overview of the new interface and how it works. You'll also find an extensive Q&A session with Becky Blackwell, Director, Product Management, Robotics.

Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview webinar

How to provide feedback:

We welcome your feedback and questions about the Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview. The good ideas and feedback you give us about the Preview will be considered for incorporation into the version 21 GA Release.

Do not open GCS tickets for feedback; instead, use the Help > Ask a Question form, as described below. We will monitor the collaboration center for feedback, questions, and issues.

Provide feedback for Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview

In the table, click the corresponding Pega Academy courses for more information on a feature.

Items included in Pega Robot Studio v21 Preview

Feature Information

Start screen

Pega Academy Startup topic

The new Start screen simplifies creating a new project or working with existing ones.

Start Screen

Quick start: The new Quick Start feature lets you quickly name a project, select an application, and begin recording an automation.

You can also open an existing project or build a new project from scratch. You can also add folders as needed, to help with organizing your project.

Project Explorer

Pega Academy Project Explorer topic

When a project is open, the main screen is the Project Explorer. The Project Explorer provides a clean, easy-to-use experience for creating, updating, and organizing your automation projects. The Project Explorer shows important information about recent projects.

The Project Explorer lists all project items, which are described below:

  • Globals
  • Applications
  • Automations
  • Windows forms


Pega Academy Toolbox topic

The Toolbox contains components and variables, organized into logical sections. In addition, we have extracted properties, methods, and events from the utility components (such as stringUtils) and placed them directly in the Toolbox. You can easily search for and locate the item you need. Recently used objects display at the top of the Toolbox. In addition, you can right-click an item and add it to your Favorites, which are always handy at the top of the list.


The Toolbox displays on the left side of the screen, beside the Palette. Its content changes based on the type of project item selected (automation versus Globals, for example).

The Toolbox has icons that indicate whether an item is a variable (V icon), component (C), property (P), method (M), or event (E).


Pega Academy Palette topic

The Palette replaces the Object Explorer. Like an artist’s palette, it provides a clean, well-organized location containing only the necessary items used to build the current automation. The Palette always occupies the left side of the screen.

To add or remove a project item—Windows forms, automations, or applications—click Include at the top of the Palette. To add a Toolbox item, drag it to the design area.


Pega Academy Globals topic

Each project has a single Globals project item by default. This item is docked at the top of the Project Explorer and displayed on the Palette for each automation. This project item replaces the Global Containers that were used in previous versions. You can add folders to Globals to make the content more manageable. In a later version of the Preview, when 19.1 projects are upgradeable, the system will create a folder for each Global Container.

When dragging items that are designed to be global in scope to an automation from the Toolbox, the item is moved automatically to Globals.

Application designer

Pega Academy application designer topic


Pega Academy UseKeys topic

Adapters are now referred to as application project items.

The matching window has been redesigned. The single property grid on the right side of the screen is used to evaluate all sections—match rules, targets, and selected controls.

Application designer

The Palette has icons that indicate the matching status and cloning. A green eye represents a successful match.

For a cloned item, you will see the number of cloned items. (The number is accurate from 0-9; when more than 9 items are matched, you will see 9+.)


Automation surface

Pega Academy Automation surface module

Visually, the automation surface has been updated but the general workflow of automations has not changed.

The Select action dialog is used to add blocks to the automation surface; select an item from the Palette and drop it onto the automation surface to show the Select action dialog. Select a pinned property, method, or event, or click More to explore all properties, methods, and events that are available.

Sensitive data

Pega Academy sensitive data topic

Sensitive values like Personally Identifiable Information must never show in logs or be visible on the automation surface. New features have been added to help you ensure that sensitive data is protected.

  • A sensitive-data variable has been added, to use as an input/output parameter or local/global variable.
  • You can use the Property Grid to mark existing variables as sensitive.
  • Robot Studio automatically marks interrogated password controls as sensitive.
  • You can mark other interrogated controls as sensitive.
Sensitive data lock

Testing and debugging

Pega Academy debugging module

There are two ways to debug in v21 Preview: either by running the project or by testing an automation. Choose Run all to debug the entire project, as in 19.1.

Testing is a new capability in v21, which makes debugging faster and easier. Testing allows you to debug a single automation plus any subautomations. Automations being tested use any currently open applications.

When debugging, property values display on automation blocks, providing immediate feedback.

We are especially interested in hearing how this new feature works for you.

Intelligent Recording

Pega Academy Intelligent Recording module

Intelligent Recording records the steps in an application and builds an automation as you work. You can modify and delete steps as needed.

Windows forms Standard Windows forms functionality is provided, so you can add your own forms. More screen design options are coming.

Items not included

Feature Information
Citrix Not yet available.
Configurations (Environments) Configurations are in development right now and are being re-imagined. In v21, Project Configuration items will be replaced by Environments. Stay tuned...
Debugging tools

The features available in Robot Inspector are being incorporated into Robot Studio v21 and will be made available through Robot Runtime.

Automation playback provides the ability to step through a Robot Runtime log through the lens of the automation developer in Robot Studio.

Stay tuned...

Deployment Since this is not a ‘Production ready’ version of Robot Studio, deployment has been disabled.
Continuous Integration tools Not yet available.
Edge IE compatibility This Preview does not support automation of applications through Edge’s IE compatibility mode. Available in a future Preview release.
Interaction framework Not yet available.
Message manifest Available in a future Preview release.
Project upgrade utility Available in a future Preview release.
Recording limitations For best results, limit Recording to one application at a time. Neither screenshots nor the output of steps to PDF are provided yet.
Robot Manager integration

For most features, Robot Manager integration will require a minimum version of Robot Manager 8.6.1. This integration will be available in a future release of the v21 Preview. Notable features that are not part of Robot Manager 8.6.1 (or Platform 8.6) include:

  • In v21, we are redesigning how attended bots are invoked from Pega applications. This integration will no longer include the use of the Robot Runtime REST service. Support will be added in Pega Platform and Robot Manager 8.7.
  • Automation package signing will be added to Robot Manager 8.7.

Pega Platform 8.7 and Robot Manager 8.7 are in development now and expected to be released in Q4, 2021.

Scripting Available in a future Preview release.
Synchronization engine support Not yet available.
Text adapters Available in a future Preview release.
Toolbox limitations Adding custom items to the Toolbox will be available in a future release.
UI Connectors Not yet available.
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