Director

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SS&C | Blue Prism Director enables automation developers to align business metrics to their varied workloads, and so use priorities and service level agreements (SLAs) to determine the order in which individual queue items are executed.

Intended audience

This guide is for the SS&C | Blue Prism Blue Prism Cloud 2023.1 platform and assumes that the user has experience in creating automations for SS&C | Blue Prism® Enterprise. It outlines the Director functionality and how to apply orchestration across your workforce and into your automations. This can be applied to both new and existing automations.

It is also advised that users have an in-depth knowledge of work queues and prioritization, and are competent in creating and modifying automations in Blue Prism Enterprise. This guide describes the orchestration templates, and highlights where bespoke customization is required.

Overview

When building process automations, it is easy to fall into the trap of only considering the process design or build at hand. The goal is often to ensure that the process automation runs well, and testing can be focused on this single process automation for any errors or inconsistencies in performance.

What is less often considered, and should be, is how the process automation ecosystem works as a whole. An organization may employ a process controller, or instruct one of the developers to act as a process controller. One of the main responsibilities of the process controller’s role is to check on the automations, set up schedules and ensure that work items are being processed based on SLAs, priorities, and demand. This is an inefficient use of resources and adds additional expense.

Using a Web API service and process templates, Director reduces the need for manual scheduling and ensures your most important and urgent tasks are completed first. For details on how to configure the process templates provided with Director, see Using Director.

Glossary of terms

The following terms are used throughout this guide.

Business priority

The business priority is an integer value above 0 and less than 1000. The lower the value, the higher the business priority. For example, an item with a business priority value of 1 will be processed before an item with a business priority value of 2. The item with the highest priority is advised as the next best item. Where two or more items have the same priority, then the item with the earliest SLA deadline (created time + SLA) will be advised.

Business SLA

The business service level agreement (SLA) value is a time span. This is the amount of time within which the work queue item should be completed and processed. The SLA time span value is used by the Director algorithm to produce an SLA deadline.

Director accepts SLAs in the format DDD.HH:MM:SS. For example, 001.04:30:00 represents 1 day, 4 hours, 30 minutes, and 0 seconds. The minimum SLA value is 000.00:00:01, and the maximum SLA value is 999.23:59:59.

Environment locks

Environment locks provide a locking and token release mechanism, and are essential to enabling orchestration. It is recommended that you are familiar with environment locks and understand how they function. Environment locks are used frequently within orchestration as this concept is key to adding a control mechanism around populating items to the work queues. See Environment locking for more information.