We were delighted to be joined by product experts @Jo Davison, @Robert Nicklin, and @Matt Williams for a live Community AMA session covering the newly released SS&C | Blue Prism Desktop product.
The session included a brief overview of the new product, followed by a great Q&A session with live questions coming in on the call and through social media. Please see below for the Q&A transcript and video recording of the full session, which was held on August 10, 2022.
Mel: Hi, everyone. Welcome, and thank you so much for joining. This is the SS&C Blue Prism Desktop Ask Us Anything. On today's session, we'll be going through some of the basics of SS&C Blue Prism Desktop. We'll allow you guys to ask any questions that you have. And hopefully, learn more about this new and exciting product.
I'd like to introduce you all to the product experts that we have on the phone today. They're all part of our Blue Prism product organization are very actively involved in Desktop. So team, I'll let you guys introduce yourselves.
Jo: I'm Jo Davison, one of the product managers here at Blue Prism, product manager for Blue Prism Desktop, hence me being on the call today. I've been with Blue Prism about three and a half years now. So looking forward continuing to working with customers on our next versions and talking about our first version today.
Matt: Hey everyone. My name is Matt Williams. I'm one of the expert product specialists in the product consultancy team, been with Blue Prism for around six years now. And I'm one of the team aligned to the Desktop product.
Rob: Hi folks. My name is Rob Nicklin. I'm one of the product managers here at Blue Prism. I've been with Blue Prism about four years and spent quite a lot of time helping on the first version of Desktop. So wanted to come along today to help answer any questions you may have.
Mel: Thanks so much guys. So what we thought might be a great way to start this session would be to play a brief video that will give you an overview about Desktop before we get started. So I'm going to go ahead and play that video now, and then if you have any questions as we're going through or following the video, please feel free to put them into the question box, as I mentioned earlier.
Businesses need a way to automate repetitive tasks where employees must be at their desk and use their own credentials. With Blue Prism Desktop, customers can create attended automations where human interaction is always required, tasks must be initiated by a human worker and where automations use applications that can only be used on a specific user's desktop with their specific logins. Business users are empowered to do just that through a simple user interface, which is easy to use with no upskilling and minimum training needed. Desktop enables users to run processes where speed and accuracy are vital and where customer sensitive data is handled, such as onboarding a new employee, mortgage or loan applications. Such processes often involve multifactor authentication. Desktop allows all of this from the user's computer using their own secure credentials. This demonstration shows how Desktop will look to the end user, focusing on the intuitive, easy to use interface and the simple user experience they will have.
Although a Desktop process can request input from the user on multiple occasions while being run, this demonstration shows a simple process to onboard a new employee to an HR system. This enables us to demonstrate the core Desktop functionality available to the end user in version one. Please note, that for demo purposes, some of the recording has been slowed down so that the interactions with the systems can be seen clearly. This is not an indication of the real process speed, which is quicker in real time.
As the user opens Desktop, they will see a list of folders which contain processes. These are the processes which they can run and which they have been granted specific access to. This access can be set to be as granular as the automation team, COE team wishes using Blue Prism enterprise multi-teams environment. Desktop users can run an automation process as and when they need to. The Desktop user cannot edit or delete any of the processes they have access to. They can only run those processes. The processes are arranged in folders, again, designed by the automation team.
Here, you can see there are five example folders containing processes. The user will click on a folder, here clicking on the folder named BPD. This will open the folder and show any processes the folder contains. Here, you will see that there are three processes within the selected folder. If the user wishes to return to the list of folders at any time, they can do this by clicking on the library tab. To select a process to run, they will again open the folder and then select the required process, which in this case is the onboard new user process. This process has been designed to onboard a new employee onto an HR system, and to request the Desktop user to add information into the fields within a simple form. The fields and information requested is all determined at process design time.
When the information has been added, the user will click on run. The demo has been slowed down so that you can see the interaction with the back end HR system. For this demo, we are showing an example of a process being run by the logged in Desktop user for the very first time. The process has been designed to first check if the application login credentials are already available in the windows credential manager, if not, the process will ask the user to enter their individual credentials for the HR system.
Once the user has entered these, the process will store the credentials locally and continue to run. However, the next time the process runs, the user will not need to enter them again. Instead, the process will use the credentials from the user's personal credential store. You now see those credentials being used by the process to log into the HR system and the new employee details being added, according to the information input earlier. In this example, the process has been designed to display the information back to the Desktop user. After reviewing the information, the user clicks submit and a success message is displayed.
Earlier, you saw the Desktop user adding their individual credentials to the HR system. Here, we will run the same process again, now the process will run and take those credentials stored locally and seamlessly log into the HR system. Another new employee will be added and the process will not ask for any credentials. Processes can be designed with required validation. So here is an example of a process to off-board an employee from the same HR system. The required process is selected and the information of the employee who is leaving will be added. Here, you will see that an employee where the information provided is not found in the system.
In this example, the national insurance number entered is not recognized as valid. So a message is displayed, "Unable to find user with the provided information," followed by a message to confirm that the process has not been completed. The Desktop user can click on view issues to see further details. Here, you can see that the process didn't run successfully, as the national insurance number entered could not be found. Returning to the process library, we will now look at the history tab. Here, you can see the session history of the processes which have been completed, and those which have not been completed. To view more details, click on view parameters, to see the information that was entered into the form, or view issues to see further details.
Back to the process library, and we will now look at credentials. This user currently has one credential stored in Desktop, the credential for the HR system you saw earlier. Please note that after this was entered into Desktop, it was also automatically added to the Desktop user's own local windows credential manager. The Desktop user can also add a new credential in Desktop manually, as you see here. The user now has two credentials stored for use in Desktop.
Finally, we will now look at windows credential manager for the logged in user. The new credential, which has just been added via Desktop is now shown. Blue Prism Desktop delivers centralized control, security, scalability, and arcability. The ability to provide attendant automation, while allowing our customers to retain control of their automations.
Q: First question. What is a minimum number of licenses to be sold to a client?
A: So I think the minimum number is 50. So as the first version is provisioning a separate environment, it would mean that as long as you are an existing Blue Prism customer with at least one Blue Prism enterprise license, then you only have to purchase 50 to get started, but probably best to speak to your sales enablement colleagues here at Blue Prism, and they have far more details on that element of things.
Q: Is there a plan to have one environment for each license?
A: So the first version of Desktop, yes, you do need to provision a separate environment. One of the reasons behind that is that we are really keen to get Desktop out onto the market and get into people's hands. So the advantage of having a single environment, a separate environment, is that you can get up and running and you don't have to do a wholesale upgrade to 7.1 or beyond. The plan; yes, we are currently, our next version of desktop, version 1.1, hoping to be out by the end of the year, will give you an option of having a combined license environment.
So that will be a single environment where your Desktop digital workers and your Blue Prism Enterprise digital workers can be managed in the same environment as well. Also, if that starts to allow us to think about use cases with customers. So if you've got your Desktop digital workers and your Enterprise digital workers, and of course you are human involved, we can start discussing high priority use cases with customers. How would we want that work to be shared between the customers? So yeah, there will still be an option of having a separate environment, but for those who do upgrade and do want to be on the latest version of Desktop Blue Prism Enterprise, they will have a combined environment option.
Q: Do you have any real use cases from current implementations?
A: We recently did a partner enablement session, and we were asked to prepare a bit of information about that. So the customers we've worked on early access with and who are doing proof of concepts, et cetera, because we did only release in June, I'll probably just read some of them that we've done. So we're speaking about customers. One example is where, imagine a loan application. So you've got initial information provided, any credit checks, any threshold checks, we can automate all those and speed up that customer response. You may actually have a customer on the phone. So, if there's lots of tasks and processes that in the past might not have leaded themselves to automation because it's unattended, we're really looking initially at those frequently run tasks, where you want an answer real time and be able to run those as well.
Speaking to customers, they've spoken about the need to be able to speed up the process of moving records from one system to another. So very popular on patients in healthcare, any industry where customers might change and move accounts from one provider to another. So you imagine that very, very onerous tasks involved in that. So we've got many functions; looking at their payroll and finance. So if you've got busy end of year, end of quarter, end of month periods, those processes often are complex and admin heavy. HR is a popular use case as well. As you saw on the video, we had a really simple example of the onboarding, but all manual tasks, busy periods, trainee programs, if you imagine all of those. Now, in addition to that, the multifactor authentication, mid process parameters means, as you're designing the process to ask for individual user credentials.
So this really opens up use cases where you couldn't automate it for an unattended because you want that logged in user to have their own credentials as part of that process. So customers have spoken to us about where you have six digit numbers constantly changing, different passwords to all these sensitive data in different systems. So you could have data in spreadsheets, two or three different systems, automate those, and really be able to at a push of a button, have that logged in user running processes in real time. So very, very much either your frequently run high admin tasks to free up the users to spend time with customers, or I think one of the biggest use cases we're seeing is where the logged in user can on real time run processes and their credentials can be built into that as well. Speeding it up, reducing risks.
So, very much your finance application processes, where you want to move data very quickly between these different systems as well. So we can't name specific customers, but we are working with quite a variety. And just to finish, service desks seem to be very popular as well. So we're working with one of our large customers, who their IT service desks has a lot of processes to complete for new starters, all the different passwords they've got to create, et cetera. So really speeding up those mundane tasks, so that they can be run real time and still have that security of credentials being added as well.
Q: If the process is stopped by mistake, would it continue from where it had stopped, or would it start over again from the start?
A: So the stopping of a process within the Blue Prism Desktop application is akin to an immediate stop in Blue Prism Enterprise, which you probably are familiar with today. So the answer to that question is that a stop of a Blue Prism Desktop process is a hard stop. Right now, there isn't the option to resume after the process has been stopped. The user will obviously need to clear down the applications that may have been opened by the process, and then they can run the process again from there.
Q: Any chance that BPD is made compatible to work with a lower version than 7.1?
A: I don't think that is at the moment in the pipeline, because it requires some specific technologies that are packaged up with version seven onwards. So at the moment, it's not in the pipeline to do that. I suppose, never say never, but at the moment, I think the idea is version seven specific.
And I'll just add to that Matt as well. That's why we have got the option of a separately provisioned environment. So people wanting to take Desktop don't need to wait until they have upgraded. It does give them the chance to, and also gives them the chance to have experience of 7.1 onwards because that's all built with all the newest as well.
Q: So minimum of 50 licenses might be quite a high number for certain customers, having only several digital workers. At the beginning, Blue Prism was insisting on 10 licenses as a minimum, now it is possible to buy only one license. Are you worried that some of the potential customers would not go to this option due to this restriction?
A: This is the first version of the product. After speaking with customers and looking at how attended automation works, 50 seemed to be a good number for a starting function. So if you imagine a lot of people do a proof of concept or start to roll out a new product to a department or a function, and our research showed us that was a good starting number. Yes, Blue Prism Desktop is completely different than Blue Prism Enterprise, that type of license. These licenses are lower in cost. Were we worried about potential customers not going for the option? I think this is where we'll be getting feedback. Obviously, all customers have Blue Prism colleagues they work closely with in sales and professional services. So, that's the type of feedback we need to gain. That's our starting point, but we want to know how our customers are reacting to that in the marketplace. So the more feedback we get, the better and we can take that onboard.
Q: What would be the rough estimated cost of an infrastructure set up, license, et cetera?
A: That's a big question. I can probably try and answer that. Well, what I should say is I probably can't answer much around the infrastructure cost, because I think it's fair to say that's variable depending on a customer by customer basis. I know we've engaged with some of our early access customers to talk about what provisioning a separate environment looks for them and the cost of that. So, I do think that changes depending on who it is that will be estimating it. In terms of license cost though, and Jo will have to keep me true here, if I get anything wrong, the cost of a Blue Prism Desktop license is approximately, is it 10%?
Yeah. So started list price of about 10%. So, yes, that's correct.
Yeah. So, you're looking at a starting list price of about 10% for a Blue Prism Desktop license, versus an Enterprise license, to put an estimate on that for you.
And yes, it's like you say, everybody's setup is different. We are, as with Blue Prism Enterprise, if you speak with your Blue Prism colleagues of ours, we do have evaluation licenses available. So that will allow you to work on proof of concepts or proof of values and set up those environments. So, there is the same approach to be able to opt for some evaluation licenses, which I believe are free of charge.
Q: Is the studio for Desktop the same as Blue Prism Enterprise? Has anyone considered a use case where Blue Prism Desktop is used to help train a traditional automation by business staff to help refine steps of the processing, and then the process and objects eventually are ported over to Blue Prism Enterprise for full automation?
A: So at least in this version, version one, it uses the exact same studio as Enterprise does. You'll create your automations for Desktop and Enterprise in the exact same way. And there is deviations between the two versions, in that there's functionality specific for Desktop and there's functionality specific for Enterprise, which will all be called in advance, obviously in user guides, et cetera. At the moment there's no training modules in that link to Desktop. As Joe mentioned, that's some feedback that we can put in via communities and via ideation buds, anything like that will only help and give us the future direction of where to go and what people and what our customers and clients want. But as I say, I know we've got some modules across the business, some products which do work like that. So it may be a possibility in the future, but it's not something that's visible in version one.
Q: Will there be an option to buy smaller numbers of licenses than 50 in the future? My company is interested, but will not buy into such a large batch.
A: As I said earlier, Mel, it's all about feedback from customers. If we think that the limit of 50 is too high, please feed that back to your contact, whoever you work with at Blue Prism, who is your account manager is. This type of feedback is exactly what we need. So we don't rule anything out, but at the moment that limits there at 50, but please speak to your account manager and then they can get hold of the product team, and we could start to think about if we need to change any of our pricing limits.
Q: Blue Prism Desktop uses Blue Prism queues and logs. Can the user continue to work while the Desktop assistant is doing its job on the same Desktop?
A: So Desktop in version one does not use Blue Prism queues, and that was a conscious choice made when designing Desktop, that we are not using queues in this version. Logs, there will be logs. You'll be able to review. It won't be something that is, I think, as displayed the exact same way as what normal people are used to with the logs, obviously from a Desktop user perspective, they will see it's slightly different.
In terms of being able to work on the Desktop at the same time the Desktop automation is running, yes, there is input blocking enabled in the version of Desktop. Just on a note of that as well, you'll need to make sure that it's also down to the design of the automation. If you are designing the automation to use global clicks and global send keys and things like that, then that will have an impact. The idea of the user input blocking as if using native spy modes and interactions that you'll be able to carry on using similar applications without them combining and running into each other. But as I say, it will be partly handled by input blocking, partly handled by automation design.
If I might just add to that, just to give an example. So let's imagine you've got a user with two screens, they've got Outlook open on one screen and they've got their emails displayed on one side. And on the other screen, they've got the automation that's running. There's nothing to prevent the user starting the automation and having that work on that screen, and go to the other screen and scroll through their emails. The exception to the rule that Matt's mentioned there is, obviously if you are using global mouse clicks, what's going to happen is the user's cursor is going to move. So obviously in those examples, what we'd advise is you look to use the more built in capabilities for clicking on buttons and sending text into fields rather than doing that, so that the user can potentially do that work side by side.
The point around queues, because I'm conscious that raised a few questions for us internally when we were talking around it, so I just wanted to expand on that a little bit as well. When we were engaging with customers, the primary use cases were, I have this person who sat at this desk who needs to automate something now. They need to start this process and type in a customer's reference number or a customer name and have the process run for them here and now. There was a lot less of a need for the desktop robot to go to a central queue of work and pull down a case to be worked, on the basis that this is all on the user's machine there for them to invoke when they need it, and that's partly what led to that decision to not utilize queues in V1.
And I'll quickly add onto that. Perfect. Thank you. So we're now discussing different use cases with customers and we haven't ruled out introducing queues going forward. It's all about how the human and Desktop and Enterprise workers can share the workload and open up even more use cases for customers.
An example of what of that is for version 1.1, is that we are looking at a Desktop process, triggering a Blue Prism Enterprise process. So now that we've got at them all in the same environment, in the dual licensee environment with 1.1, it very much becomes a reality that we can do these things. So it might not go to, you might not want a queue up ... some customers might want a queue up work on the desktop. We don't know yet. We're looking at all the most popular use cases and talking them through over the next couple of months with customers to prioritize. So we haven't used them, and it was a decision not to use queues, but that's not ruled out. And if there's a customer priority use case that wants us to enable queues, we will consider that. Not a problem.
Q: Does Desktop work on pools or hot desk computers like one license with many potential users, but not concurrent users, obviously?
A: So the way licensing works for Blue Prism Desktop is different than Enterprise. And the short answer to that question is, yes. So what will happen is a Blue Prism Desktop license is consumed by machines that register with the environments and then are registered from that point on. So in the example here, where we're talking about hot desk computers, where a desk may be used by different people on different days, what's going to happen is when a user starts up Blue Prism Desktop on the computer, it connects to the database, it registers itself, and that then starts consuming a license, regardless of the user who's logged in. So the license isn't, in a sense assigned to that user, instead it's more assigned to that machine.
So in that example, multiple people could use that one machine and in the different sessions, in the different log on periods, they would just be consuming that one license for that machine. If you want to reclaim a license, you can go through the traditional process of retiring a resource, as you were doing Blue Prism Enterprise today, but in Blue Prism Desktop, that act of retiring the resource would return the license to the pool of licenses that can be used.
Q:. Can I use Blue Prism Desktop in virtual environments?
A: So I'm not clear whether the question is about the use in Citrix, or whether it's about running desktop on virtualized machines. If I take them separately, Citrix, yes, you can install Blue Prism Desktop into a Citrix environment and use it there. I'm not super familiar with virtualized kit otherwise.
Q: Could you please talk about the development environment? How do we move from code stage to UAT? Will the Desktop Blue Prism require only the .bp release file to move?
A: Yeah. It'll work the same way as enterprise does now, as long as they've got the ability to access the desktop application in that environment as well, if that's what they want, to go to that nth degree and do it, there's no extra files. It's essentially a Blue Prism process as you've always known. So it'll just be consumed in the same way and can be moved in the same way.
Q: We have Blue Prism Cloud, would this affect our ability to adopt Desktop?
A: We may need to get back to you on that one. So theoretically, provided the caveats that we've mentioned already; separate environments and being able to have the Blue Prism Desktop client connect to the central servers, as long as that's possible, it should be okay. But I think we need to validate if there is a Blue Prism cloud pricing model that's been agreed at this time. I don't know if we've had any discussions on that point.
No, we haven't. We haven't yet. And again, it's all to do with customer feedback. We haven't had any requests from Blue Prism Cloud customers for Desktop yet, but again, it's a new product. We're happy to work with customers and respond and adapt roadmaps accordingly. So, if there's an appetite there, an interest there, it is something that we should investigate and look into.
Q: Why haven't you chosen the citizen development approach?
A: We've just been having a conversation about that. So we did speak to many of our customers on the lead up to developing the product and they have either considered or investigated a citizen development approach, but it actually doesn't meet their needs for automation, security, and governance. So, giving people the ability to directly develop on the Desktop, it's not in line with security and governance. There's too many complications and risks, and they talk about the fact that there's unmanaged automations. The processes are not necessarily compliant with their standards. There's an expansion of security threats and data leaks. And also, if you imagine, when you're trying to scale automations at the size of the landscapes that Desktop would suit, hundreds, thousands of people running the same automations, they have to be consistent. They have to be able to be checked. They have to be in line with the governance and the standards of the COE.
So they very much investigated citizen development, but our customers and that's our customer base who we be working with, in regulated financial industries have actually wanted to look for a secure product. That's why our first version is very much aimed at people who want to be able to run automations from the Desktop, push out automations for people to run, to be able to organize who has access to which automations, and even at the point, when a process is run, there's a check to make sure it's the most up to date process as well. So all of that security's been built in. So yes, that's why we haven't gone onto the traditional, what people talk [inaudible 00:41:19] citizen development, developing on the Desktop.
Q: Are there only limited VBOs that we can use for Blue Prism Desktop process development? So is there a future scope for inclusion of all VBOs? There are only limited VBOs at the moment.
A: It depends what you mean by limited VBOs. There's a couple of the internal objects, which by design are not included, the likes of credential manager, the likes of queues, but a lot of the basic base VBOs that come as part of the installation package can all still be used as expected. Obviously limitations around applications being installed on the user desktop. Obviously you can't use an Excel VBO if you don't have Excel installed as the application on that local desktop, being the caveat.
But yeah, I think as Jo had mentioned, with it being version one, the likes of queues may come back into cycle at some point in time, which would bring that internal object back into scope. But there's nothing from my viewpoint at the moment where we've said it's completely not in there, from a standard VBO point. Obviously every customer might have their own specific VBOs they might be creating a certain way. So we can't fully a hundred percent answer that every single time, because we don't know how that VBO has been built and certain things, but from, if we just take what we get in the VBO folder, when you'd install Blue Prism, everything in there should be fine and should run with no issues.
Q: That's an interesting take on citizen development. We run a federated model and are a major proponent of CitDev. Is there any research or publications that you can share for not going with that model?
A: Just our own conversations with customers to date. We haven't got that. We don't have that documented, but I'd be really interested in actually discussing that with the person who's put that in. We're still learning. If there are different aspects of that citizen development approach, which could lend itself to that security and governance that we've got, it's all about shaping that roadmap. So if we could reach out to me, I'd love to have a conversation, especially to help see where we're going next. And if there are elements of involving different types of business users and different roles and opening that up for the Desktop, still with the security that we want to maintain, please I'd love to have that conversation. And then we can have a chat about our findings that we've had.
Q: Can Blue Prism Desktop take data from an Excel sheet and process it in the target application?
A: Yeah. As long as the user who's running Desktop has access to Excel on the target application, it doesn't operate any differently than Enterprise. So as long as you have those applications local on that Desktop environment, there should be no issue.
Q: What's the best way to be involved in sharing thoughts and feedback on Desktop, and be involved in the next phase of development?
A: We're starting to discuss the next versions with customers. We ran a really successful early access program for the first version. It's all about listening to the different use cases, the needs that customers have in this space. Reach out to me in the start. I'll make sure that whoever your account manager is at Blue Prism's also looped in, and then we can have a conversation about what the current version is, where we're going next with 1.1, and more importantly, what are the use cases that you have? How would you see Desktop being used in your organization going forward? We're very much prioritizing all the different needs of customers and making sure that as we continue developing that we're supporting those business cases and getting more interest in Desktop.
Q: How is Blue Prism Desktop different from standalone trading instance or sandbox environments that we used in V6?
A: So I'm reading from this question that we are drawing a comparison between Desktop and the training/learning editions that we released for Blue Prism, from about version about six, five. So the answer to that question is, with the trial and learning editions for Blue Prism version six, what you had to effectively do is you installed everything on a single machine and it worked as a local standup instance of the full Blue Prism software, to give you enough capability to play around with Blue Prism, potentially design some test processes, go to control room and drag and drop those processes to run on your local runtime resource on that single environment setup. The difference with Desktop here is we've built a system that obviously can be used across an entire organization. So you have developers who are designing processes in the design studio, they publish those processes. And what happens is those publishers then become available for users to run in the Desktop applications, which can be anywhere on any machine within the organization.
One thing we haven't mentioned is the fact, or maybe it was mentioned in the video at the start, I can't remember. All of the communication that happens between the Blue Prism Desktop user interface and the central system components is all done through APIs. So those Desktop users sat across the business are going to be looking through a list of processes on their UI. They're going to click a button that says run this process, which runs the process for them and all the information that's needed to do that, both view the process lists and run the processes themselves, is all being passed to them by APIs rather than using client to application server connections, which is the way that Blue Prism Enterprise would work in previous versions. So that's a couple of key differences.
To summarize, trial and learning edition, you set it up on a single laptop, you get to play around with it. Desktop, it separates that concern between developments and execution and it can be installed across the entire organization. So, that would be the difference. I hope I read that question right. If not, please feel free to post a follow-up.
Q: I was setting up the Blue Prism Desktop environment for a demo, but felt the installation and configuration is too complex with the new Blue Prism versions and with the tools adding, is there any plan to reduce the setup complexity for the overall Blue Prism environment?
A: So over the last few months, our teams have been speaking with customers, looking at the pain points of upgrades and installations, and really digging deep into that whole process from start to finish. And yes, it is quite complex at the moment. We're dedicated at Blue Prism to spend a lot of time devoted to this. There are several teams doing research and development, and there are going to be a series of solutions of products coming out to address those issues. So if we keep an eye on the roadmap, we're hoping to get some of those into early access shortly. So we're going through the research and development, creating some of these solutions based on the priorities that have been set by customers to meet their pain points. And we are committing a lot of time and effort to make sure that over the next few months, that we're starting to really, really address those pain points and make it a slicker, easier process all around.
Q: Is there a way to programmatically check if desktops are using Blue Prism Desktop and just forgot to log out and retire them to release licenses?
A: The word programmatically makes me probably give an answer of no, to that question. There is a report that you can generate from the system screen, which allows you to view all of the registered resources on when they were first registered and when they last logged in. So you could generate that report and use that to help you understand who is actively using Desktop. And are there any resources that were logged into a couple of months ago because someone had to work on a hot desk machine and now they've never worked on that machine since, for example. You could generate that sort of report to help you understand that. But obviously that's not a programmatic function at this point in time, it's more of a utility function that's available on demand.
Q: How does Blue Prism Desktop differ from Interact?
A: I suppose there's a number of differences between it. Obviously, it doesn't consume, it doesn't require the enterprise license. At the end of the day, the Interact is just a form, front end form to allow users to input data, which then adds into a queue at the Enterprise level. So you'll need Enterprise workers available and ready. Obviously automations will need to be designed in a certain way if you want them to be picked up immediately, which isn't always the most efficient way of doing things. With the Desktop setup, it allows the Desktop user to be able to ad hoc request items to be run and completed there and then. It also gives the ability of unique user. So rather than coming through a form and having to have the form built and say, it might be user A which has these types of credentials, none of that needs to be built in. It's essentially that Desktop user that runs that process works off its credentials and its Desktop applications. So while it's got some similarities in how it can work, I do think there is clear differences between the general use of Desktop and Interact.
Q: Are the processes published specifically for Blue Prism Desktop, or can all of the processes be published on the application server and accessed from that application?
A: So I read that as, if I publish a process in Blue Prism Desktop, can everyone access it? Does it go to everyone? If that is the question, then the answer is no. Well by default, the answer is yes, it goes to everyone, but you can use the multi team environment feature to apply different levels of access rights to your processes that exist within the system. So you can have a group of, in the demonstration of the start of the video, you saw processes split into various folders; BPD, finance, HR. You could apply access rights to each of those folders separately, so that only the people from finance can see the finance folder, and only people from HR can see the HR folder. So it isn't the case that if you publish a process it's published for everyone, you can configure it to be more granular than that.
I think to add to that as well, Rob, in this version, version one, there's no difference between publishing Enterprise and Desktop processes. You build the process and you can run it on Enterprise and you can run it on Desktop. Obviously the caveats with that is if you try to run something built for Enterprise utilizing a queue and Desktop doesn't work with queues, it won't work. You'll get an error.
Correct. But you'll see that when you're creating them. And obviously when you go to one of the errors that you get you can't access those internal VBOs.
Yeah. And obviously we've already touched on the fact that you need an Enterprise environment and the Desktop environment separately. When we say there's no difference between publishing for Enterprise or Desktop, obviously respectively and the UI's the same, sent, published to control room, and then that will make it appear in control room. And you could use it in either theoretically, to the point Matt's made, up to the point that you've used something that doesn't work in that version.
Q: Are there plans on making the APIs available in Blue Prism Enterprise, especially when navigating to Java applications?
A: I think I can probably answer the first part of it, in terms of the Blue Prism API. Yes, that will be being made available. There'll be a number of endpoints that can be consumed and hit from external apps. I don't know if we want to put a link to the page in the doc where you can see what those endpoints are. So that will be being made available, that's specific to version seven onwards. Obviously not something that you can get a hold of in version six, but utilizing that API links to what Jo was saying earlier around trying to maybe bring together the Desktop, the Enterprise and the human workforce. And that might be able to be something that can be done and utilized with the API, but yeah, there's an API being released and so there's a number of endpoints. So if we want to put that link in Mel, I can send it over to you.
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