Architecture overview

With the LEAPWORK Automation Platform, users at all business levels can build Web, Desktop, and Virtual Desktop automation in minutes. Cases are designed as flowcharts and automated without writing a single line of code. This means your organization can set up and run automation without having to learn a new skill set or rely on external consultants.

The LEAPWORK Automation Platform consists of three components: Studio (the designer), Controller (the server) and Agent (the runner).


LEAPWORK Studio is a desktop application made for Microsoft Windows. It’s a powerful, visual designer that can be used by anyone in your organization to easily create automation cases, setup schedules to run automation cases on physical or virtual machines and in the cloud, and dig into the results with dashboards and reports.

The Controller is a service that runs in the background, and it’s also made for Microsoft Windows. It hosts and stores all automation assets such as cases, images, schedules, reports and so on. It also controls how automation cases are run and on which environments.

The Agent is also a service that runs in the background on Microsoft Windows as well as Apple MacOS / OS X. It is the runtime agent that takes care of executing the individual automation cases one at a time, when requested by either a Studio or Controller.

For more information about how to use LEAPWORK, please explore our Learning Center.

Communication Protocols

The three components use different communication protocols to perform their work:

  1. Studio communicates with the Controller using a REST API. The REST API is hosted on the Controller and can also be used by external scripts and integration mechanisms.
  2. The Controller communicates with connected Agents using an internal remote control protocol that is similar to VNC, with some added control mechanisms.
  3. Studio can also communicate directly with an Agent using the internal remote control protocol, when designing and preview-running automation cases.

It’s important to note that all three components (Studio, Controller and Agent) can be installed on physical and virtual machines in protected networks behind firewalls and without internet access.

Multiple examples of how to use the REST API to integrate LEAPWORK with ALM systems such as HP Quality Center, JIRA, Jenkins and more can be found in the Learning Center.

Example Deployment Configuration

The following is a simple example of what a single LEAPWORK Automation Platform deployment configuration can look like, using one virtual machine for a Controller, two virtual machines for Agents and as many laptops or workstations (PCs) with Studio installed as you need:


This is the preferred minimum configuration for most companies starting out with LEAPWORK, because it allows multiple team members to work together immediately on designing and preview-running automation cases on their own laptops or workstations (PCs) in Studio. The two Agents are then shared for scheduled execution of the automation cases e.g. in separate test and pre-production environments, when they are finished.

For more information about how to deploy LEAPWORK in your organization, please see the Licensing and Deployment page.

Updated March 6th 2018.