Prior to undertaking an installation of Blue Prism it is important to consider what type of deployment is required:
Multi-device Deployment - recommended
Blue Prism components deployed across a number of devices whereby all database connections are established via an Application Server.
- Provides an extensible deployment of Blue Prism suitable for a broad range of scenarios.
- Advanced techniques relating to deploying additional Application Servers, or securing and hardening the environment will commonly require this type of deployment.
Standalone Deployment – Only for evaluating Blue Prism
A single, standalone, device containing a Blue Prism Interactive Client and Runtime Resource connecting directly to a locally hosted database. The database can optionally be hosted on an additional device, although this is not required. No Application Server is required.
- Simplest deployment of Blue Prism. Configuration options are selected based on the ease of install.
- Suitable only for evaluation, non-production, short-term use.
Both installation types leverage in-product functionality to create and configure the database remotely on the SQL Server. It is therefore necessary to initially authenticate against the target SQL Server using an account with sysadmin privileges.
It is essential to read the relevant INSTALLATION GUIDES in the related documents at the bottom of this page or on our Documents section.
The following settings will need to be configured on each of the Blue Prism Interactive Clients used for developing processes and each Blue Prism Digital Worker. Explicitly, the settings will need to be applied for user accounts that will be used to develop and configure processes; and for the accounts used by the Digital Workers to access the network and authenticate with third-party applications.
Power Saver Options: To reduce the required complexity of the processes, screen-locking and screensavers should be disabled.
Prerequisites for the target application: Connectivity and prerequisites for each of the target applications that will be automated need to be configured. (e.g. network connectivity, thick-clients, client-side technologies etc.).
Screen Resolutions: The screen resolution settings should be consistently applied across the Digital Workers and the Interactive Clients used for development.
Font-Smoothing: Where target applications are presented using thin-client technology such as Citrix, font-smoothing will need to be disabled for the users.
Aero-Glass Themes: The display theme should be set to not use transparent or opaque window borders.
Default Login Settings: Where Blue Prism Login Agent will be used it is necessary to disable the requirement for CTRL + ALT + DEL to be pressed prior to interactively logging on.
SAP GUI Scripting: This setting should be enabled for the appropriate users if automating SAP via the GUI.
TabProcGrowth: The TabProcGrowth setting will control the behavior of IE related to tabs and multiple processes.
JavaAccessBridge: For versions of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) where it is necessary to install and configure Java Access Bridge (JAB) separately
See the Deployment Checklist (Document attached below) as a reference on how to validate a new Blue Prism installation.
As part of building a digital workforce, consideration must be given to the various licensing implications for each of the tasks that the Digital Worker performs. Here we provide guidance and examples of the types of implications that may be relevant.
Blue Prism licenses are not based upon the number of Digital Workers that you have. One Blue Prism licence is equated to one running Process. For example you will require 5 licenses should you want the ability to run 5 Processes concurrently.
Typically, Blue Prism Digital Workers interact with a range of third party systems and therefore organizations must ensure that they are appropriately licensed for each of the applications that they use.
A Digital Worker is commonly deployed to a dedicated virtual machine and therefore, in addition to being appropriately covered by a Blue Prism license there is a basic level of licensing that must be considered:
Operating System (Windows) on which the Digital Worker is installed
Core platform that the Digital Worker may interact (E.g. Active Directory) with or locally installed agents (Monitoring tools, Anti-virus etc).
The Runtime Resource will also need to be licensed for the purposes of having access (albeit often indirect) to the Blue Prism Microsoft SQL Server databases.
Application Specific Licensing
The automated Processes designed using Blue Prism will commonly define a number of applications that will be used and it is therefore important that the Digital Workers on which the Processes will execute are appropriately licensed to access these applications. A non-exhaustive list of some example applications include:
CRM / ERP / BPMS
The licensing options for each of the vendors must be understood in the context of how they apply to virtual users and devices on which automated Process execution occurs to ensure that appropriate licensing is in place. Virtual devices and automated users are becoming common place and a number of vendors recognize these as being equivalent to their physical counterparts. However it is recommend that clear recommendations for licensing from the respective vendors is sought.
Automated use of systems
Some vendors may include license agreement clauses which prevent their applications from being used as part of automated processes. Such clauses may need to be addressed to ensure that the vendor accepts that the automated use of the system is more akin to a user manually interacting with the system rather than an automation. Many of these clauses derive from the vendors seeking to reduce the risk of high usage resulting in a Denial of Service (DoS) however the facility within Blue Prism to limit the speed of processing should help to mitigate this concern.
In some cases, multiple licenses are required to allow a user/device to work with an application. Example:
Consider a typical third-party system such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM which is licensed on a Server and Client Access License (CAL) model. If an organization has 450 users, then they require a minimum of one Server License and a minimum of 450 CALs.
What is not clear from this example is that the 450 users also require licenses for the underlying database provider: Microsoft SQL Server
The above example indicates that whilst the client user/device does not interact directly with SQL Server they still require a license for the underlying database solution. A Blue Prism Digital Worker will require database licenses to allow them to do the following:
Interact indirectly with the Blue Prism database
Interact with any database platform which requires a client access license – particularly where database licensing is not included as part of the licensing framework for the relevant third party application. For more information see the licensing information provided by the database provider(s) who form part of the solution.
For Microsoft SQL Server 2012 there is a document published by Microsoft: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Licensing Guide