Introduction

RPA or robotic process automation is slowly gaining an edge as a dominant technology, with many industries embracing this technology into their back-end tasks. RPA tools have seen a recent surge in demand across industries. Organizations use this tool to define the task workflow that gets automated when RPA is used.

In this article let us look at:

  1. Functionalities of RPA Tools
  2. Categories of RPA Tools
  3. Criteria for Selecting the Right RPA Tool
  4. Robotic Process Automation Tools
  5. Different Types of Bots

1. Functionalities of RPA Tools

An efficient RPA tool should carry out the following functions.

  • According to the inputs that it gathers from the system, the bot should make decisions and perform the actions assigned to it.
  • The bot should be capable of interacting with various other systems through an API interaction or using screen scraping.

2. Categories of RPA Tools   

The RPA tools are broadly divided into three main categories as per what is available in the market.

  • Programmable RPA Bots

These fall under the first generation category of RPA tools. It includes programming. The programmers have to code and understand the working of the bot for it to perform the actions to complete various tasks.

  • Self-learning Tools

After going through a lot of employee activity, the employee or the developer understands the entire process and tools on the platform. This allows them to start performing the desired task.

  • Cognitive or Intelligent Automation Bots

These are self-learning and augmented bots that come with advanced functions like natural language processing, machine learning, and image recognition. These bots are designed to deal with structured as well as unstructured data.

3. Criteria for Selecting the Right RPA Tool     

Several RPA tool providers in the market make it vital to understand what to look for in the best product. Organizations do struggle with choosing the right RPA tool. Based on the organization and their requirements, the choice of the RPA tool will vary. However, broadly the selection criteria stay the same.

The main features to look for in the RPA tool:

  • Architecture

Where one decides to use the RPA tool will determine its architecture. Various commands and controls are built in the RPA tool, which decides its capabilities and functionalities. Its layered design decides its maintenance and deployment. The RPA tools should offer reusability, robust delivery, and robot integration without any alteration in the legacy system. It should be easily accessible and support popular languages.

  • Easy to use

The RPA automation tool should make it easy to use and work with to carry out the end-to-end business tasks. An analyst who has basic programming language knowledge should also be able to understand automation and build it. He should be able to configure the RPA tools in his workflow. Its wizards, GUIs and built-in commands should be able to accommodate the basic automation process.

  • Reliability

If the RPA tool can handle different cases with varied conditions and large data, then the tools are said to be reliable. The quality of performance of the tool should not degrade when you perform various iterations on it.

  • Scalability

While evaluating an RPA tool, it is a must to check how easily and quickly the tool can respond to various business updates, needs, increasing operations, and exceptions. The tool should let multiple bots execute various workflows.

  • Flexibility

The RPA tool should be capable of supporting many operating systems. It should allow configuration of the personalized features without you having to pay anything extra to the vendor.

4. Robotic Process Automation Tools

Listed below are the five tools that are used by industries for robotic process automation. These tools find use worldwide. These are:

  • Kofax Kapow
  • UiPath
  • NICE
  • Automation Anywhere
  • RPA Blue Prism

5. Different Types of Bots

Now that we know the popular RPA tools lets us understand the different kinds of bots available. The RPA tool is not capable of automating the tasks. All they do is define the task workflow.

The tool is used to create software or an application to define the task workflow that has to get automated. The bot is designed to carry out the task by mimicking the behaviour of a human, and these are called bots. The bots are nothing but software setups that have been configured to perform tasks using codes and commands that are put together into a logical sequence.

The bots are of three kinds. These are the Task bots, Meta bots, and IQ bots.

  • The Task bots will replicate the tasks and the rule-based processes. These process the structured data.
  • The Meta bots are capable of capturing the visuals, which are required to carry out automation tasks at the front end.
  • The IQ bots let the developers add the cognitive capability to get information from data that could be unstructured or semi-structured.

Conclusion

RPA or robotic process automation is a technology that allows automation of the business processes, which is done based on bots and artificial intelligence. The RPA testing tools are similar technologically to the graphical user interface. The RPA is a software technology that makes building, deploying, and managing software bots easy. These robots emulate the actions of human interaction using software and digital systems.

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