Automation 360 Bot Store Submission Checklist
1. Vendor Registration (required for first submissions only)
Every developer/organization that posts bots on Bot Store are required to register. This registration is handled by the vendor registration process. Here, developers/organizations will need to enter some basic details about themselves/their organization as well as a logo/emblem that can be used on their bots. This is only a one-time process to be set up as a vendor. Bots submitted after this initial vendor registration process can all be linked to the existing registered vendor.
This is a great way for individual developers to create an online reputation for themselves as being expert bot builders. This is also a great way for organizations and service providers to showcase some of their work and possibly build a pipeline for future engagements.
2. Read Me File Content and FormatRead Me files are critical and required for submitting a bot or package successfully. The Read Me file template contains the necessary details that a customer would need to get started with a bot or package. Most importantly - think about your audience when creating your Read Me. Not all Automation Anywhere developers come from traditional development backgrounds, so make sure that your Read Me includes all information that may be needed for your Bot Store submission to run properly. Include screenshots and tables as you see fit to best communicate how users can consume your submission.
- What files are included as a part of this bot and what is the purpose of each?
- What are the required inputs?
- Give example inputs to help guide users
- What are the expected outputs?
- Give example outputs to help users understand what to expect
- What is needed for this bot or package to work?
- Register for an API Key?
- Does it use an XLS/CSV file for input?
- For packages: What are the different actions this package includes?
- What are their purposes?
- What are their expected inputs/outputs?
Note: Submit the final Read Me file in PDF format when filling the web form for the bot submission process. DO NOT include it as a dependency as a part of your bot included in the export from the control room.
You can also review the following Read Me Best Practice examples:
3. Bot File & Folder Structure
Creating a bot to be ultimately deployed in someone else’s environment means that it's important your bot, its sub-tasks, scripts, and other dependencies are all included in a single parent folder as to not create a mess of the consumer’s Control Room. For creating and submitting bots for Bot Store, download the Bot Store Automation 360 starter template which will automatically install into a directory named "BotName - VendorName" in the root of the private Bot Store folder in your Control Room. Create a new, empty folder named appropriately for your Bot Name - Vendor Name to reflect the name of your bot as well as the Vendor Name you registered with in step 1 of this checklist. Once created, copy the BotShell from the original "BotName - VendorName" folder into your newly created folder named after your bot/vendor registration.
All bot files (and their respective dependencies) should be contained within a single parent folder and can be easily identified by the consumer. The referenced starter template bot also contains basic error handling, logging/snapshots with customizable root logging location, and log management with a customizable period for maintaining older log files.
For package development, a sample bot demonstrating the use of your package is required. The naming structure patterns referenced still apply. When submitting your bot to Bot Store, all referenced packages will be included with the bot submission - which in the case of a custom package - would mean that the custom package is also included in this submission and made available to your consumers.
If I’m creating a bot named “Currency Converter” and as a vendor, I have registered (Step 1 from above) as “Bot Factory”, within the local Bot Store directory, I would create an empty folder named Currency Converter - Bot Factory. Inside of Currency Converter - Bot Factory, would be a copy of the BotShell from the BotName-VendorName template as well as all of the files for my bot - this could include additional sub-folders, subtasks, DLL's/scripts, python scripts, etc.
The file/folder structure within this parent folder can be fully customized by the developer, but all files (and their purpose) should be called out in the submitted documentation. Once ready for submission to Bot Store, my bot, as well as all of its dependencies, must be checked into the Public Bot Store folder on my Control Room in preparation for submission (step 6 in this guide).
4. Images & Optional Video
As a part of the Bot Store bot/package submission process, 1 main image/video, and 3-5 sub-images are required for the bot submission in addition to the written details describing the submission and the uploaded PDF of the Read Me. As you’re going through testing and finalizing your bot/package, be sure to capture some screenshots that demonstrate the component’s capabilities, how it is used, and how it could be applied. These screens help potential customers make a decision as to whether or not to download your bot/package.
As mentioned, you also have the ability to include a video with your bot/package submission. A video can help demonstrate the component’s capability and give unique insights and examples into its use. While not required, videos can be very helpful in demonstrating the full capabilities of the bot/package so that potential customers of your listing know what they can expect.
5. Include a Demo Bot
Bot Store is designed so that developers and business users alike can find components that help them to accelerate their bot builds. To make sure that everyone has a good experience right off the bat with your Bot or Package:
Include a bot that demonstrates how the actions within your package can be invoked. This bot is required as a part of the submission process.
This could also include dependent files that may be needed to “set the stage” for the bot to run - all of which should be included in your BotName - VendorName parent folder .
If your bot is designed to be called as a sub-task from another calling bot, including a sample “Master/Parent” bot that demonstrates setting values, invoking your sub-task, and handling the sub-task’s response.
This will help others understand how they might be able to invoke the bot from their new (or existing) bots.
Between the Read Me documentation and the examples provided - make sure to do what you can so that someone who may not be as familiar with the features and functions of your bot/package can quickly get their hands dirty and see how it works.
6. Submission Process
The submission process for an Automation 360 bot or package starts with your Automation 360 Control Room.
With your bots and all dependencies checked into the Bot Store Public directory on your control room, navigate to the actions buttons for your bot by clicking the kebab menu on the right side of the screen for your bot. Within the actions button, click the icon which looks like a shopping cart with an up arrow with the hover text of “Submit to Bot Store”.
As a part of the Bot Store submission flow, you can give your bot a name and review all dependent packages for your bot.
Note: Your bot and all dependent bots/files must be included in the same folder you are submitting for Bot Store. Dependencies outside of this folder will not be included (unless they are referenced packages)
Once submitted, navigate to Bot Store > My Submissions to complete the submission form, supply your documentation, explanation of benefits, etc.