RPA is a business process automation technology that utilizes software robots. But what do we mean by "robot"? These "robots" aren't like the ones you might have seen in pop culture, for example, in Terminator or Star Wars movies — they actually are programs that perform actions automatically according to a given script. They help us automate routine processes and reduce costs. In this article, Serik Seidigalimov, Senior Software Engineer at EPAM Kazakhstan, shared some helpful self-study materials to expand your knowledge about RPA.
How does RPA differ from other automation technologies?
A distinguishing feature of RPA is that it can replicate human actions when interacting with applications. Scraping is often used within RPA technology to work with the user interface (UI) of applications, read and extract data about UI elements: fields for entering user data, an authorization button, etc.
Each UI element has properties like text, class, id, absolute location, and application name so that we can recognize it and perform different operations on it, for example, clicking on a button, entering text in a field, and simulating pressing hotkeys. In other words, do everything a person can do on a computer.
Which processes lend themselves to robotization?
Now let's look at what processes we can automate with this technology:
- Regularly executed processes, based on the same algorithm, have a low exception rate or do not require analytical judgment.
- Processes containing structured and qualitative data, for example, Excel tables, high-quality document scans, emails, etc.
- Processes interacting with stable systems and applications, for instance, apps with an average refresh time of 5-10 seconds or less.
Here are some examples of business process assessment tools that can help you decide whether a process fits the bill for RPA:
What software helps in developing RPA processes?
According to the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation (see figure below), vendors like UiPath and Automation Anywhere continue to be the leaders in RPA technology., vendors like UiPath and Automation Anywhere continue to be the leaders in RPA technology.
We have compiled a list of self-study resources for developing software robots on these platforms:
- Tutorial on installing and running Automation Anywhere
- Tutorial on creating robots for beginners
- RPA training course
- Robot design guidelines and standards
- How to develop reusable functions
- Automation 360 architecture
- The best practices for secure robot design and development
We hope this collection will help you take the first confident steps toward learning RPA technology. Good luck!