Bot Games challenges now behind a login wall

  • 19 February 2024
  • 6 replies
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Userlevel 2
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I’m just curious the thought process behind putting challenges behind a login wall. We tend to direct customers that are grooming internal developers or citizen developers to the page below for practice. But now, these challenges force them to log into Pathfinder every single time. And, of course, since this change was made with no explanation to the end user, these new devs come back to us with questions about having to log in when the challenge says nothing about that step.

In the past, Bot Games challenges were fun exercises to build skill sets; I don’t understand the rationale behind making it all more difficult for those new to the field.

 

Challenge Pages | Community (automationanywhere.com)


6 replies

Userlevel 5
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Hey @J.Logan 

Pumped to hear your enthusiasm in promoting the challenge pages to new users. The decision to put the challenge pages behind a login is actually for a couple reasons - that we haven’t totally shared yet because they are a work in progress.

  1. Better Gamification
    1. Our goal with these challenges in the future is to have global/regional/company wide leaderboards so user’s can see how they compare to others completing the same challenges. While this likely isn’t applicable to the new users you mentioned, this is something our developer community has been requesting for some time now. Recording personal bests, and completion for badging is also something we’re looking at
  2. Better Analytics
    1. Creating these challenge pages isn’t 0 effort. They actually become quite a bit of effort once you consider the work that goes into making sure they can execute directly in a user’s browser context (meaning no calls back to a central server to ensure fair processing time for all), obfuscating validation code so people aren’t just cheating the system for times, and often times extra-weird stuff to keep them fun like the timing out of the banking app, the database of stolen credit card numbers, etc. In order to justify our investment in new challenges, we need better analytics so we can know who is using them.
  3. Easier Recognition
    1. The current process for building a completion certificate requires that users enter their full name, email, company, etc every time they complete a challenge. In an effort to streamline that process in the future and do more with certificates/badging, we need to know the “who” of completing challenges

Sincerely appreciate your feedback though - it may be that we make a few of the “beginner” challenges with no-login required so that new users can still experience what a challenge page is like before logging in to access the others. If I understand correctly, that sounds like it would address your concern.

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Hi, @Micah.Smith, that seems fair for the customer situations I have encountered thus far, thanks.

This may be asking questions that have no answers yet as I know you’ve stated it is still a work in progress, but your explanation (much appreciated) got me thinking from a dev standpoint as well. Out of curiosity, is the thought to have challenges in the future start from an already loaded page post-login, or include logging in?

If the former, any of us who favor the Web Automation actions over traditional Browser package and Recorder actions may see some heartburn not being able to start a new session.

If the latter, partners like myself that are subject to MFA when logging in would likely need a second, personal account to avoid being at a disadvantage. Might be hard to tie those personal accounts back to a company that way for point 3.

Userlevel 1
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@J.Logan You can utilize the profile path option 😉 to keep session cookies/token, no disadvantage.

Userlevel 2
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@Bot Dev You’re right. I should have stated “additional considerations” rather than “heartburn”. Probably just my OCD on starting a new session rather than attaching :)

Userlevel 5
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The intention is that challenges of the future would start from normal challenge page loading. Currently the login timeout is ~2 hours I believe. So as long as you’ve been actively working on an automation/testing - you shouldnt run into any issues with your automation needing to have an extra community page login clause. We’re open to revisiting this timeout as well.

As to web automation - yea you’d have that session consideration to worry about Sumit ( @Bot Dev ) mentioned a workaround - but the intention isnt to stop people from using that or other Browser-Automation custom packages.

As to the partner thing, the login timeout would be the same as above...so even with MFA, you shouldn’t really be at a disadvantage outside of the already stated challenges with the web-automation package.  

 
Userlevel 1
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Steps for doing it via selenium based packages:

Web driver allows the use of any directory for the profile path, not limited to those created through the Chrome UI(C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data).

For example, specifying a path such as "C:\Bot Games" will create the profile in that location. Authentication, Setting preferences via this profile will be preserved for subsequent sessions(You could launch via bot, pause and authenticate, change settings manually one time).

To initiate a new session without previous settings, simply omit the profile path during session creation.

If necessary, the profile directory can be deleted to remove associated data.

Check this package which improves the web automation package(driver version management, shared session among tasks etc.) and is updated https://github.com/A360-Tools/Browser-Automation

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