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Create an RPA Flow that Connects to REST Data in UiPath Studio

Use the REST ODBC Driver to create workflows that access real-time REST data without any coding.

UiPath is a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform with rich features and an easy-to-use UI that enables non-developers to create process automation. By using UiPath Studio, you can build an RPA program just like drawing a diagram. With the CData ODBC Driver for REST, users can embed REST data in the workflow.

This article walks through using the REST ODBC Driver in UiPath Studio to create an RPA program that accesses REST data.

Configure the Connection to REST

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set Format to "XML" or "JSON" and set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your REST data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling REST Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

Connect UiPath Studio to REST Data

Now you are ready to use REST data ODBC DSN in UiPath Studio with the following steps.

  1. From the Start page, click Blank to create a New Project.
  2. Click Manage Packages then search for and install UiPath.Database.Activities.
  3. Navigate to the Activities and drop a Flowchart (Workflow -> Flowchart -> Flowchart) onto the process.
  4. Drop a database Connect activity (App Integration -> Datbase -> Connect) after the Start activity.
  5. Double-click the Connect activity and configure the Connection.
    1. Click the Connection Wizard
    2. Select "Microsoft ODBC Data Source"
    3. In Connection Properties, select your DSN (CData REST Source) and click OK
  6. To store Connection info, create a variable and bind to Output in the Properties section. Choose DatabaseConnection in Output.

Create an Execute Query Activity

With the connection configured, we are ready to query REST data in our RPA.

  1. From the Activities navigation, select Execute Query and drop it on the Flowchart.
  2. Double-click the Execute Query activity and set the properties as follows:
    • ExistingDbConnection: Your Connection variable
    • Sql: SELECT statement like SELECT [people].[personal.age] AS age, [people].[personal.gender] AS gender, [people].[personal.name.first] AS first_name, [people].[personal.name.last] AS last_name, [vehicles].[model], FROM [people] JOIN [vehicles] ON [people].[_id] = [vehicles].[people_id]
    • DataTable: Create and use a variable with the Type System.Data.DataTable

Create Write CSV Activity

With the Connection and Execute Query activities configured, we are ready to add a Write CSV activity to the Flowchart to replicate the REST data.

  1. From the Activities navigation, select Write CSV and drop it after the Execute Query activity.
  2. Double-click the Write CSV activity and set the properties as follows:
    • FilePath: Set to a file (new or existing) on disk (i.e.: C:\UiPath[id]-data.csv
    • DataTable: Set to the DataTable variable you created earlier

Connect the Activities and Run the Flowchart

If they are not already connected, connect each Activity that you created to complete the RPA project for extracting REST data and exporting it to CSV.

Click Run to extract REST data and create a CSV file.

In this article, we used the CData ODBC Driver for REST to create an automation flow that accesses REST data in UiPath Studio. Download a free, 30-day trial of the ODBC Driver and start working with live REST data in UiPath Studio today!