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  • Writer's pictureLahiru Fernando

Configuring On-Prem Air-Gapped Development Environment for Your First Document Understanding Project



Article Title: Configuring On-prem air gapped development environment for your first document understanding process


Introduction



UiPath Document Understanding is one of the core AI products offered by UiPath in their Cloud and On-Prem deployments. UiPath offers all the required activity dependencies for a Document Understanding workflow development in a cloud environment. However, working in an on-prem air-gapped environment requires our attention to identify the latest activity dependencies. The local library locations can be the on-prem Orchestrator, local drive locations, etc. This article focuses on identifying the required dependencies and how to get them installed in your air-gapped environment.




Document Understanding Workflow Dependencies



Document Understanding workflows use a dedicated set of activities to perform various actions such as Taxonomy creation, Digitization, Classification, Data extraction, Validation, and Export. These functions are offered through dependencies that must be added to the workflow solution.


The main dependencies required for a UiPath Document Understanding solution include the following.


Note: The same dependencies are required for the Document Understanding Template and the flows created from scratch.


Activity Package

Required

Minimum Version

UiPath.IntelligentOCR.Activities

Mandatory

6.5.0

UiPath.DocumentUnderstanding.ML.Activities

Mandatory

1.17.0

UiPath.Excel.Activities

Mandatory

2.16.0

UiPath.System.Activities

Mandatory

22.10.0

UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities

Mandatory

22.10.0

UiPath.Testing.Activities

Mandatory for Testing

22.10.0

Note: Versions mentioned are based on the current active Document Understanding Template solution in UiPath Studio


UiPath activities mentioned require the .Net Desktop Runtime to run on all machines that have the Studio and the Bot installed. Use the below link to download the installer from the official Microsoft website.



Downloading Dependencies in an Air-Gapped Environment



Air-gapped environments are restricted from the internet. There are several methods you can follow to download the required dependencies to your environment. This requires using a machine that is connected to the internet (but separate from your internal machines). Use the machine and perform either one of the following methods to get the dependencies.


  • Use the Package Downloader available in the UiPath Marketplace to download the dependencies required

  • Use the UiPath Studio to download all the dependencies required. The dependencies are added to the .nuget folder under the Users folder on the Windows machine. Ex: C:\Users\UserXXX\.nuget\Packages

Once the files are downloaded, find the required .nupkg file for each dependency and transfer them to the on-prem environment.



Validating Your Packages in Studio



Validating the installed dependencies helps the developer to identify any other missing dependencies, errors, and version issues. Use the Document Understanding Template to test your environment for the first time. The Document Understanding Template solution includes all the recommended package versions and activities that are mandatory. Hence, using the template helps to cover the entire activity list rather than testing in an empty workflow solution.


Sometimes the UiPath Studio might not show the Document Understanding Template as it is not connected to the internet. Use a machine with internet access to download all template solutions and store them in an internal template library. The developers can access all solution templates from their internal location to build workflows.



Make sure the Studio is connected to the package library (Through Dependency Manager) to automatically download the requried dependencies to the work environment.

Once the required dependencies are added to the library, open the UiPath Studio Document Understanding Template to check if Studio can connect and download the dependencies. The Studio should automatically trigger the search for dependencies and download them from the on-prem libraries if available.


The main activity dependencies require a lot of other dependencies that are used for various purposes. Opening the template and downloading the dependencies also validates whether there are other missing items and highlights them in the Output panel. In general, there are a few known dependencies that need to be available for several main dependencies to work accurately. These are added to the machines automatically in the Cloud environment through Orchestrator. However, we need to ensure these dependencies are available in the on-prem Orchestrator environment for the robot/ Studio to download them to the machine.


The following table shows the main dependencies needed to be available in the Orchestrator. Additionally, it also shows the related dependencies that the main ones use to function correctly. All these (apart from the ones mentioned above) should be available in their specified versions in the on-prem Orchestrator.


The dependency versions are based on the current active Document Understanding Template 22.10 version.

Main Dependency

Main Version

Related Dependencies

Minimum Version

UiPath.DocumentUnderstanding.Digitizer

2.5.2

BitMiracle.Docotic.PDF

8.6.13525

UiPAth.DocumentProcessing.Contracts

1.17.1

UiPath.IntelligentOCR.Activities

6.5.0

FSharp.Core

4.7.1

Microsoft.Extensions.Caching.Memory

2.2.0

Microsoft.Xaml.Behaviors.Wpf

1.1.3

System.Runtime

4.3.1

TinyCsvParser

2.5.2

UiPath.CefSharpBundle.NetCore

1.9.0

UiPath.EmguCVBundle

1.0.0

UiPath.WordsToNumbers

1.0.0

UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities

22.10.3

UiPath

22.10.46.47635


You may find these dependencies through the same methods mentioned previously. Simply copy the .Nupkg file and add it to the on-prem Orchestrator package Library.


It is important to install the minimum supported version first and then include updated versions if required.

In addition to the packages mentioned above, the Document Understanding solutions also require the following dependencies to be available in the environment.


Extra Dependencies

Min. Version

Microsoft.Extensions.Caching.Abstractions

2.2.0

Microsoft.Netcore.Targets

1.1.3

Rutime.Win.System.Console

4.3.1

Runtime.Win7-x64.Runtime.Native.System.IO.Compression

4.3.2

Download and add all the mentioned dependencies to the on-prem Orchestrator dependency library for all developers to access them.


Once the dependencies are added, close and open the UiPath Document Understanding Template in Studio to refresh it. it should load all dependencies successfully for you to start the development of the flow.


The tasks mentioned here is only a one-time job that needs to be done for the initial setup.




Conclusion



Uipath Document Understanding is one of the core AI products offered by UiPath. It offers capabilities to develop simple to complex solutions for document processing requirements. Working in air-gapped environments necessitates careful initial configuration to ensure a smooth start for developers embarking on their Document Understanding projects This article has detailed the essential dependencies required for the initial setup of the environment.




 

Written by:

Lahiru Fernando

RPA Lead (APAC) & Practice Lead for Document Understanding and AI at Boundaryless Group

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