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Kofax RPA Quick Start Guide (Desktop Automation Setup)

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What are the steps that should be followed to set up a machine with a basic Device Automation Service (DAS) installation and connecting to it from Design Studio?



This guide contains the steps that should be followed to set up a machine with a basic Device Automation Service (DAS) installation and connecting to it from Design Studio.   20367

After the installation, the Desktop Automation Service (DAS) machine will have more documentation in PDF format in the installation folder (documentation folder). Also, the Management Console help (that can be reached by clicking any of the icons in Management Console or Design Studio) has more information. The Users Guide also contains more detailed information (in the “Desktop Automation” section).

Please consult the Troubleshooting (section 5.) in this guide too, for the most frequent errors and their resolutions.

1. Prerequisites for the DAS machine

Please consult the Admin Guide -> System Requirements -> Supported Platforms to make sure that the OS of your machine is supported.

Starting in v10.4 the software and hardware requirements have been moved to their own Technical Specifications file which can be downloaded from the User Guides section.

1.1. Microsoft Update

Microsoft KB 2999226 (Update for Universal C Runtime) has to be installed on the DAS machine. For Windows XP, this is not needed.

1.2. Java

Java  and Java Access Bridge are needed to be able to identify elements on Java-based apps.

If your DAS will never run any Java-based apps (or they won't be automated in a robot) then Java doesn't have to be installed.

It is very important to install Java 32 bit on the machine; the Device Automation Service is a 32 bit process.

If you cannot install the Java 32-bit JDK/JRE, please consult the Installation Guide ->Install Kapow -> Install on Windows -> Install Device Automation Service – this section contains the instructions to manually install only the files that will be needed by Java Access Bridge.

1.3. Java Access Bridge

Java Access Bridge can be enabled following one of these methods:

  • From Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Use the computer without a display
  • By running the following command prompt command in the bin directory of the Java JRE installation directory: 
         jabswitch.exe /enable

2. Installation of  DAS

  1. Download the .msi installer for Device Automation ('Desktop Automation' in later versions) from
  2. Run the .msi installer and follow all prompts.

3. Running DAS

Start the Device/Desktop Automation Service from Start -> Programs -> Kapow [Device|Desktop]Automation <version> -> [Device|Desktop] Automation Service <version>
From v10.4 and later the path is Start -> Programs -> Kofax RPA Desktop Automation <version> ->Desktop Automation Service <version>

Once started, use the system tray icon to stop, restart, configure the service or Lock the Screen (for more information about the Lock Screen feature, consult the Users Guide):

DA Service.png

4. Configuring DAS

There are two options when configuring how the DAS can be reached by a robot:

  1. Management Console
    When using this option, the DAS will register with a specified Management Console. Robots will be then able to use this DAS by connecting to the Management Console and specifying a “label” to find a certain device.
  2. Single User
    This option should be used when building robots in Design Studio (for cases when the robot developer doesn’t have access to the Management Console) or with dynamic references (consult the Users guide for more information about the different types of references).
    When using this option, the robot developer connects directly to the DAS (using machine name/IP) without going through the Management Console.
4.1. Configuring and Using DAS – registered to Management Console
4.1.1. Configuration Tool steps

To configure the Management Console to which the DAS should register, open the Configuration Tool on the DAS machine (right click the DAS icon in the system tray and select “Configure”):

DA Service 2.png



  • All the settings from the Configuration Tool are described in the help on the Management Console and in the User’s Guide PDF
  • Please make sure that the “MC path” can be reached from the DAS machine. The stream and command ports can be modified if needed.
  • Please make sure that the “Host name” can be reached from Design Studios and RoboServers as well.
  • In this configuration, the DAS will register itself to the Management Console using the “Host name” specified; when a robot being built in Design Studio (or running on a RoboServer) requires access to the DAS, the Management Console will send the details of the DAS (Host Name and port) to Design Studio\RoboServer and the robot will use these details to access the DAS. Therefore it is very important that Design Studios and RoboServers can access the DAS using the “Host name” from the Configuration Tool, not just Management Console.
  • If “Host Name” is left empty, the DAS will use its IP.
  • After any changes in the Configuration Tool, click Save and Restart to apply changes and restart DAS.
  • The “Labels” are defined by the user/admin of DAS. They are only meant to distinguish between different Device Automation Services
4.1.2. Management Console steps

If the DAS can register itself to the Management Console successfully, it will be listed in the Admin -> Devices tab:


To use the DAS from Management Console, it must be added in the Repository -> Device Mappings -> click “+ New Device Mapping”

Device Mappings.png



  • It’s possible for a DAS machine to register itself with multiple labels and the mapping to have only one label.
  • The Mapping name is an internal name that the robots will use to find a certain server. It doesn’t have to be the actual server name, but it has to be the same in Design Studio.
    E.g. if a robot is built in Design Studio using the mapping “MyServer” for the DAS, it will search for a “MyServer” mapping name in Repository -> Device Mappings when it’s started from the Management Console
4.1.3. Configuring the device mapping in Design Studio
  • Select “New Automation Device mapping” from the File menu or by right clicking on the project
    DA Mapping.png
  • Name the mapping
    Use the same mapping name as the one in Management Console -> Repository -> Device mappings if you are planning to run this robot on the Management Console:
    Automation Device Mapping.png
  • Select the Management Console where the DAS is registered, enter the Cluster name and label:
    Automation Device Mapping 2.png
4.1.4. Building the robot to use the device

VERY IMPORTANT: To be able to use the Device Automation step, the robot’s Execution mode has to be Smart Re-execution (Full)

               New Robot.png

  • Add a new Action step and select “Device Automation”:

  • Click the + icon under “Required Devices” and select the device mapping created previously:

    Select Device Mapping.png
  • If needed, enter Input/Output values
  • Click “Edit” to enter the Workflow inside the Device Automation step
4.1.5. Building the Device Automation Workflow

Please refer to the User’s Guide -> Use Device Automation section for a description of all steps that can be used in the Device Automation workflow (starting at subsection “Finders and Guards”).

4.2. Configuring and Using DAS – Single User

This method should only be used in order to establish a direct connection from Design Studio to the Device Automation Service. Or when using dynamic references.

4.2.1. Configuration Tool steps
  • In the DAS Configuration Tool select “Single User”
  • Enter a token (this will be used by Design Studio to get access to DAS)
    Enter a Token.png

Note: when “Single User” is checked, the configuration from the “Management Console” tab will be ignored.

4.2.2. Design Studio steps
  • Select “New Automation Device mapping” from the File menu or by right clicking on the project:
    DA Mapping.png
  • Name the new device mapping.
  • From the drop-down select “Device Mapping”.
  • Enter “Host” (the name or IP of the DAS machine, as long as it can be reached from the machine where Design Studio is running).
  • Enter “Port” – make sure this is correct if the default ports are changed.
  • Enter “Token” – this has to be exactly the same token entered in the Configuration tool (in section 4.2.1. above)
4.2.3. Building the robot to use DAS

Once the device mapping is created, the robot and Device Automation workflow are created the same way as with a device registered in Management Console. See sections 4.1.4 and 4.1.5 above.

5. Troubleshooting

Desktop (Device) Automation Service keeps a log that can be reached from the Configuration Tool -> System tab:


For more details about possible error messages, please check Knowledgebase article #3011078: Most frequent errors in the Desktop Automation logs.


Level of Complexity 


Applies to  

Product Version Build Environment Hardware
Kofax RPA All      


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