Type Beginner's Tutorial

What follows is the Type Beginner's Tutorial video, along with a transcript of the video.

General Introduction

This is the fourth of four beginner tutorials which will guide you through your first project with Kapow Katalyst. It is advised to complete the other Beginner Tutorials before this tutorial.

You are about to learn how to build a type in Kapow’s Design Studio. Please feel free to follow along on your computer.

Introduction to Types

In Kapow Katalyst, variables are used by robots to store data in. Robots use variables as input, output or to store temporary values during execution. These variables are categorized by types. Examples of types are text, image, PDF, number and so on. The given examples are all what we call simple types. That is, types which are predefined in Design Studio.

Alternately we can create our own Complex Types. Think of a complex type as a bucket of simple types.

Let me explain with an example.

In these beginner tutorials we have been automating the process of extracting and storing the most recent stories from News Magazine. From these three articles we extracted the title and the short piece of text that is given. The title can be held by a variable of the simple type short text and the preview by a variable of the simple type long text. We have to design our complex type to contain each one of these.

Creating a New Type

With Design Studio open, create a new complex type by right-clicking the default project and choosing New>>Type... A window opens, requesting a name for the new type. Since this is our first type we will call it MyFirstType.type. Click finish and the type editor opens. Notice that the type we just created has now been highlighted in the projects view on the left.

Adding Attributes

The most important part of the type editor is the list of attributes associated with our new type. Attributes describe the different values that a variable of our complex type can contain. Each attribute has a name, a type, and a list of other properties associated with it.

Let’s start by making the title attribute. Add a new attribute by clicking the plus sign in the lower left corner of the attribute list. A new window opens in which we can configure the new attribute. Name the attribute “title” and select for it the type “Short Text”. Short Text is a simple type which can contain text, no longer than one line. Click OK to add the attribute to our complex type.

Likewise add an attribute named preview to contain the short article preview. This attribute should be of the type Long Text which defines a text longer than one line.

What we have now made is a complex type from which we can make variables in a robot. Variables of the type MyFirstType will then be able to hold two values; title and preview. Save the type by choosing save from the file menu.

Changing the robot

MyFirstType.type is now exactly the same as the complex type post.type which we used in the Beginner Tutorial on robots. If we open MyFirstRobot.robot we can now switch the post variable for a variable with the type MyFirstType.

Do this by right clicking the post variable in the variables view and choosing edit variable. In the Edit Variable window that opens, choose MyFirstType as the type for this variable and click OK.

The last step is to save and upload the modified robot to the Management Console. It will automatically take the place of the previously uploaded version.

Congratulations you have now fully completed your first project with Kapow Katalyst.