Types of Automation

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a new automation technology used for automating the front end user interface of a computer.  RPA can perform and mimic human actions taken within the user interface such as opening an application, inputting information, copying information, clicking buttons, etc.  Any action a user can perform an RPA bot can perform.

What RPA cannot currently do is make judgement calls or learn.  Now judgement calls are different from decisions.  RPA bots can make decisions if there is a defined logic on making the decisions.  Such as if the email is from a certain email address than classify it being from a certain company and download the email to that company folder.  A judgement call would be if the email came in from a new user and based on the language in the email the recipient could determine this persons relation.

With advancements in Machine Learning the bots of the future would be able to analyse the unstrcutured email body and determine relation based on a ML Model.  But these types of more advanced thinking and comprehension actions currently require a human user.

Top 3 RPA Vendors

The top 3 vendors for RPA software offer Community Editions which are scaled down versions of their enterprise versions that are free to use.  You can build basic RPA Automation with the community editions.

*click the logos above to view community editions

User Interface Testing Software

UI Testing software was creating to perform usability testing of new front end user interfaces for Mobile Apps, Webpages and even desktop applications.  The same technology that is used in UI Testing software can be utilized to perform similarly as RPA software.

Both RPA and UI Testing software control the front end user interface to perform user actions.  So UI software can be used to perform similar tasks that could be done using RPA for a fraction of the cost.

RPA Licenses can be expensive and deploying bots can have a large price tag.  So UI Testing software can be used for lower priority automation tasks.

Top 3 UI Testing Frameworks

The top 3 vendors for RPA software offer Community Editions which are scaled down versions of their enterprise versions that are free to use.  You can build basic RPA Automation with the community editions.

Application Based Automation

Application based automation takes place within a specific application such as VBA or AppScript.  This type of automation controls the specific application through a programmed series of commands.  VBA is written in Visual Basic language and AppScript uses Javascript.

Top 2 Application based Automation