Getting started with basic browser automation
# Installing Axiom Chrome Extension
Axiom requires a Chrome extension to build automations.
The Chrome extension can be added by visiting the Chrome Store page, here (opens new window), and clicking "Add to Chrome".
From version 3.0 onwards, new users will run axioms in the cloud by default.
If you are a 2.0 user and would like to start running your desktop axioms in the cloud contact support and we'll upgrade you!
# Installing Desktop Application (Optional)
You can optionally run your Axiom on your own computer by downloading our desktop application.
The installer for the Axiom desktop application can be downloaded by visiting this page and clicking the download button.
Once the installer has finished downloading, run it to install Axiom.
Once the installation process is finished, you will need to start the application. The Axiom desktop app has to be running to use all of Axiom's features.
# Opening and closing Axiom - 3.0
To get started with Axiom, check for the axiom icon in the Chrome toolbar, which is in top left corner of your browser. It'll look something like this:
Click on the robot arm icon, as indicated, to load Axiom into the page and start working!
To remove Axiom from the page again, click the icon in the Chrome toolbar a second time.
# Axiom Listing
The Axiom listing is where you can see an overview of all of your automations.
To the bottom is a status message. This will show you if the Axiom desktop app is running and up to date. If the app is running, the following message appears:
If the app is not running, it will look like this:
To the right is a listing of all the automations that have been created. To start with, your account will be preloaded with several demo Axioms. To run one of these demos, hover over it and click the Run button. A message will appear, click Ok:
You can also delete and edit axioms from this page.
On the left is the main navigation.
- "Create New Automation" - starts the automation builder
- "Axiom Listing" - Return to this listing page
- "Tutorials" - See training videos and recipes / templates
- "Documentation" - This page you're reading!
- "Account" - Edit your account details
- "Reporting" - See a report of Axioms that have run, and any errors that were encountered
If the (optional) Desktop app is running, its status will be shown in the footer. You'll receive a warning if the desktop app is out of date.
# Building an Axiom step-by-step
From the main menu, click "Create New Automation" to open the builder. You can start with a template, which will pre-load a set of steps for you, which then should be edited for your particular needs. Looking at these can be helpful as examples of how Axiom works. Clicking "Create New Automation" lets you start from scratch.
You can edit an existing Axiom by clicking the Edit button:
Automations in Axiom are built by linking together a series of steps to create a custom workflow. Each step performs some useful task on its own, and can then be connected to any other step. Examples of steps provided by Axiom are:
- Reading to and writing from Google sheets
- Web scrapers, allowing you to retrieve data from web pages
- UI automation bots, which allow the computer to automatically interact with a website. Here you configure sub-steps that instruct the bot where to click and what to type.
- Webhook integration, which allows Axiom to trigger API events in other applications
- Filters, which allow you to modify data according to certain rules
- and many more!
To add a step to your Axiom, click the "+" button:
The step finder will open. Use the Search bar to find a particular step. If you have something in mind, try typing it in - we may well have something already set up for you!
Alternatively, you can browse the list manually to see the full range of what Axiom offers.
Click on a step in the list to add it to your automation:
You then just have to fill out the required fields, and the step is set up and ready to go! More information about each step can be found in further documentation, below.
# Passing data between steps
Axiom allows steps to send data to each other. This is a very important feature for building useful automations.
In the header of many steps, you will see a yellow token with a plug icon, like this:
This indicates that this step produces data when it runs - for example, an "Extract data" step will have the results of a web scrape stored as data for use later.
Many steps allow you to input data outputted from another step. When this is possible, you will see a yellow dropdown, like this:
The options on the dropdown correspond to the steps that output data, as they appear in the header section of the step. Just select from the list and that data will be used in the step instead of a hard coded value.
A common example usage of this is writing scraped data into a Google sheet, which we will go into in more detail below.
# Running an Axiom
There are two ways to run an Axiom:
- Click the Run button next to the Axiom's row on the dashboard
- Click the Run button in the builder when creating or editing an Axiom
If an Axiom is running, the button will turn red and show a "stop" button with an icon. Clicking it again stops the Axiom.
Once your automation starts running, you will see a window open up and you can watch the bot complete your steps. When running via the cloud, you can see on the left sidebar which step your bot is currently on and how long each of the steps has taken so far to complete.
If the bot hits an error, it will show you a message to help you debug what's wrong.
# Sharing and importing an Axiom
Click into the builder for an Axiom by clicking on the Edit button in the dashboard, or by creating a new Automation.
Advanced options for Axiom are available from the bar at top, which can be opened by clicking the cog at the side of top bar. Once this is done, to find the options to share and import Axioms, click on Share Your Automation:
To download this Axiom to a file, click the Download button. Another user can then import this file to run or continue work on this Axiom.
To import a file you have been sent or have previously downloaded, follow these steps:
- Click into the "Import Axiom" text box
- A file browser will open, allowing you to select the Axiom you want to import. Select the file you wish to import.
- Click "Import template"
- Axiom will warn you that importing the template will override what is currently loaded into the builder. Click "Confirm Import" to load the Axiom.