RPA Tutorial: Learn Robotic Process Automation (2020)

RPA Tutorial

Our RPA Tutorial will help you to get a clear idea about the robotic automation. We have covered all the basic and advanced concepts of RPA. We have designed this tutorial in such a way that it will help beginners as well as professionals.

This tutorial will help you to understand all the basic concepts of RPA along with various related topics such as RPA Features, RPA Applications, RPA Tools, RPA Architecture, RPA Life Cycle, Working of RPA, RPA Services, RPA Tools, RPA Interview Questions, etc.

Prerequisites

There is no special requirement to learn the concepts of RPA. You just need to have some basic understanding of using Windows machines and applications. However, we have a well built and organized series of topics under the RPA tutorial to help you in learning RPA concepts from scratch.

Audience

Tutorials on TutorialsMate are designed to help beginners and professionals. Our RPA Tutorial will help beginners to master in Robotic Process Automation.

Problem

Our tutorial is designed by professionals, and we assure you that you will not find any kind of problem. In case there is any mistake, we request you to submit the problem using the contact form or directly send us a mail at TutorialsMate.

What You Will Learn


To learn Robotic Process Automation, we need to first understand the definition of the term 'Automation'. Let's start with it:

What is Automation?

Automation is a technique that can be used to make any task, process or system to operate itself. The word automation itself an answer for what is automation? As the name suggests, it provides support to automate different tasks such as data entry, invoice generation, etc. The primary aim of automation is to add simplicity, boost efficiency and enhance reliability.

The automation technique initially came into existence in 1920. However, it could not get much popularity at that time. It actually got popularity in the starting weeks of 1990.

There are basically four types of automation categories:

Macro Recorders
Application-level Macro Recorders
Business Process Automation (Also referred to as ‘BPA’)
Robotic Process Automation (Also referred to as ‘RPA’)

What is RPA?

RPA Definition

“RPA is an acronym of ‘Robotic Process Automation’. RPA is a technology that uses software programs to mimic human actions. It automates the human tasks that are repetitive and rule-based. For example- Data Entry, Data Validation, Invoice Generation, etc.”

RPA

Let's understand it with a real-life example:

Just assume, you need to post some articles on different social platforms at a specific time every day. So, there are generally two ways you can use to complete this task. You can either do it manually yourself or hire an employee to perform this tedious task every day. The only job for the employee will be to post your articles every day. It will cost you a lot if you keep doing it for years and your employee will get bored with it. Isn’t it?

Besides, you can automate this entire process with the help of RPA. It will help you to simply create a software robot that will perform this repetitive task for you. It will definitely save your money and time. On the other hand, you can take help from your employee for other business tasks that need human intelligence.
So, mimicking human actions to complete a bunch of sequential steps that lead to meaningful activity, with minimal or no human intervention is known as ‘Robotic Process Automation’.

Robotic Process Automation interacts with the existing IT infrastructure with the help of software bots (also known as robots.). These RPA bots complete the tasks at a rapid speed and make zero mistakes. They can also interact with the websites, user-portals, etc. and automatically log into applications, open e-mails and attachments, perform other defined tasks, and then log out.

Note: It is very important to note that RPA does not use physical robots. There are no physical robots doing labor-intensive human tasks such as cleaning the house or picking up heavy goods etc. The term ‘robot’ in ‘RPA’ is just a virtual robot that mimics human actions to automate repetitive computing tasks or digital business processes. 

RPA Features

The most features of Robotic Process Automation are:

Security – With its strong user access management system, RPA allows organizations to assign specific permission to the users. RPA tools include rule-based security options that secure the data against unauthorized access. The entire data is accessed by the bots is encrypted to ensure security against malicious tampering. Furthermore, RPA also offers detailed logging information of users and the insight of executed tasks.

Powerful-analytical Suite – RPA provides a rich-analytical suite that allows organizations to discover the performance of the robot workforce. It provides a platform to track basic metrics on robots, servers, workflows from anywhere.

Bot Creator – With Bot Creator, one can easily create software bots. It provides options like simple mouse-clicks, keystrokes, and inbuilt recorder components. Some RPA tools include Task Editor to create and edit the software bots.

Source Control – Most of the RPA tools include a control room that can be used for scheduling bots, handling bots, maintaining user logs and bot activities, etc.

Easy Deployment and Integration – RPA allows simple deployment across different virtual machines, terminal services, and cloud. Its deployment feature is so powerful that it can automatically deploy hundreds of software bots. Multiple bots can be assigned to execute different tasks in a single process while processing a high volume of data.

Besides, RPA provides easy integration to easily merge with different 3rd party applications in the digital infrastructure of the business. 

Script-Less Automation – Most RPA tools offer code-free automation which means users can easily create software bots without the requirement of any programming skills.

RPA Use Cases

The following list is divided into five different fields according to the use-cases of Robotic Process Automation:

I) General business processes and activities

II) Processes involved in commercial functions
• Sales
• CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

III) Processes involved in support functions
Technology
Finance
HR
Operations
Procurement

IV) Industry-specific processes
Banking
Insurance
Telecom
Healthcare
Retail

V) Robotics process applications for personal use (e.g., digital assistant)

RPA Architecture

The architecture of Robotic Process Automation can be easily understood with the help of the following structure:

RPA Architecture


The architecture includes different tools, platforms, and other infrastructure elements that completely form an RPA tool.

Let’s explain each block of this structure diagram:

Application under Robotic Process Automation

RPA is well suited for enterprise applications such as ERP, SAP, and many other record processing applications. These applications are generally data-intensive and data-centric. These types of applications can be easily loaded with repetitive tasks.

RPA Tools

RPA tools are used to develop software robots to automate tasks on different platforms such as Desktop, Web, and Citrix environments. The software bots can be trained with inbuilt functions like recording, configuring, and enhancing the programming or coding logic (i.e., loops, conditions, etc.).

The most popular RPA tools are Blue Prism, UiPath, and Automation Anywhere.

RPA Platform

RPA software bots are stored in a shared repository which can be easily shared across different software robots libraries. RPA platform is also responsible for scheduling, distributing and monitoring the execution of software bots. It also provides meaningful insights of developed software bots and keeps their execution statistics.

RPA Execution Infrastructure

RPA Execution Infrastructure is considered as a bank that contains several parallels or virtual lab machines. These machines can be controlled according to their usage patterns. The process of scaling up or down the number of machines in parallel is also performed without the requirement of any human intervention.

Configuration Management

Configuration management is used to update software bots to a newer version. Since RPA bots are reusable across the libraries, therefore, the branching and merging of these software bots can also be performed with the help of configuration management.

RPA Life Cycle

RPA life-cycle includes the following phases of automation process:

Discovery Phase – RPA business analyst discovers the client’s requirements. Examines if the processes can be automated? Also, analyze the complexity of the processes.

Development Phase – RPA developers create automation scripts (bots) with the help of RPA tools according to the requirements. 

User Acceptance Phase – The developed bots are tested by the testing team (might be a separate team or a dedicated team).

Deployment and Maintenance Phase – Tested bots are deployed in the environments so; the users can automate the tasks. 

Execution of Bots – After deployment and maintenance, the bots are executed to ensure that the implementation is done successfully according to the requirements of the client.

How RPA works?

The software bots are operated by running a series of predefined workflow tasks. These tasks basically give instructions to the software bots and inform them regarding their next task.  When the complete workflow is configured into the RPA system, the software can then automatically process the workflow and complete the specified tasks. Software bots can handle multiple tasks of a single process as per the requirements.

RPA bots interact with the systems via integrations and screen scraping, which allow them to perform actions in the same way that a human could do.

RPA Services

The following are the most common services of Robotic Process Automation:

Business Readiness Analysis
Business Case Discovery
Proof of Concept (POC)
RPA Implementation
Legacy System Integration
Web Extraction Service
RPA Monitoring and Support

RPA Examples

There are several examples in our day-to-day tasks. The most common examples of Robotic Process Automation are listed below:

Order Processing
Invoice Generation
Web Site Scraping
Data Management
Forms Processing
Credit Card Applications
Account Reconciliation
Call Center Operations
Payroll Processing
Order Shipment Notification
Dispute Resolution
Onboarding Employees or Customers
Incoming customer E-mail Query Processing

RPA Companies / RPA Vendors

In an RPA market, RPA is one of the emerging technologies. It is very important to select the right vendor to get the expected return. Some of the popular RPA vendors are listed below:

Blue Prism
UiPath
Automation Anywhere
Pegasystems
NICE
Contextor (acquired by SAP)
Workfusion
Softomotive
Kofax Kapow

RPA Tools

The most popular RPA tools are:

UiPath

It offers windows-based desktop process automation which includes desktop automation, web automation, Citrix automation, etc.

Blue Prism

It is said that the term 'RPA' was initially innovated by the Blue Prism Group. It supports automation of different repetitive, rule-based digital business processes efficiently.

Automation Anywhere

AA offers a user-friendly platform to automate the complex processes.

RPA Challenges

Availability of skilled resources
Required support from businesses 
Immediate support from RPA vendors
Selection of right use-cases for automation
Understanding of the complexity of the processes
Lack of scheduled maintenance plans

RPA vs AI

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) AI (Artificial Intelligence)
RPA allows organizations to use software robots to mimic human actions and automate digital processes. AI is the simulation of human intelligence in a system that can think like humans and make the necessary decisions.
RPA robots can automate the tasks only according to the predefined rules and regulations. AI is based on ‘thinking’ and ‘learning’ can make appropriate decisions on its own.
RPA is a rule-based technology. It automates repetitive and mundane business processes. AI consists of different technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing etc. It helps in decision making and can do a lot more than just automating rule-based, repetitive tasks.

RPA Jobs and Future

RPA is an emerging technology, and it is increasing in different sectors. The future seems to be bright for RPA because it has several advantages and benefits over manual tasks. Anyone can start a career in RPA with some basic training. According to the reports, RPA is going to have an economic impact of nearly $6 trillion by 2025.

An RPA developer can be assigned to perform the following roles:
Process Designer
Automation Architect
Production Manager

The demand for the RPA professional is surely going to rise in upcoming days. The salary packages for the RPA developers are very high (nearly twenty to thirty percent higher) when compared to the software designers, engineers, etc. 


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