Get automated with this RPA and UiPath tutorial for beginners
The main goal of robotic process automation is to reduce the burden of mind-numbing, monotonous, and repetitive processes. From a value perspective, an autonomous robot can help reduce labor costs and allow employees to use their working hours more efficiently.
RPA with UiPath tutorial overview
The first step on an RPA journey is for a programmer to identify a process suitable for automation. It can be as simple as pulling text data from PDF invoices into an Excel spreadsheet, or as complicated as processing and tabulating data extracted from radiological scans. If there’s a process with consistent and repetitive steps – especially those where optical character recognition or AI enhancement can help – this is a candidate for RPA.
Visited against unattended robots
After developers have identified the repetitive processes, they must decide whether attended or unattended robots are required.
Robots present require a certain amount of user interaction. A person may be required to start the robotic process or to submit an online form that otherwise cannot be filled out from data obtained from a CSV file or an Excel spreadsheet.
Unattended robots can run from start to finish without human interaction. Developers can schedule them using either queue or time-based triggers. They can be configured to stop after a specified number of runs. While the ultimate goal of an RPA and UiPath project is to have an army of unattended robots do important tasks, not every process can be fully automated.
The next step is for developers to use their RPA programming skills to script the process. Vendors like Automation Everywhere and UiPath have created platforms and provided low-code and no-code RPA development tools – including Bot Creator and UiPath Studio – that minimize the amount of writing that code developers need to write. After developing a program that describes what processes will be automated, developers need to create a robot to run it.
UiPath robots, scripts and processes
Blue Prism, Automation Everywhere, and the other major vendors in this segment offer tools to deploy robots that can run RPA programs. In this tutorial on RPA with UiPath, we will focus on the UiPath Orchestrator.
Within the cloud-based UiPath Orchestrator product, developers can run robots based on references to physical machines. You can then create and bind robot instances to these machines that are capable of executing scripts.
Robots don’t run in the cloud, so everyone needs a physical computer, be it a Windows laptop or a Linux desktop, to run on.
Once a programmer creates these robots, the RPA programs developed in low-code IDEs like Studio are published in Orchestrator. Orchestrator then creates a new component called the Robot Process in which the UiPath administrator can associate a robot with the uploaded program.
When the robot process starts, a program runs on the associated computer and performs every step described in the RPA program. Unattended robots run from start to finish with no human intervention. The visited robots run until they identify a task that requires human input. They wait for this input before resuming their tasks.
The products used to create and manage RPA systems typically include a variety of tools for runtime management, process monitoring, and creating queues / triggers that can be used to schedule or coordinate robotic processes. The various tools listed in this tutorial contain various features that users can use to manage their runtimes and integrate them with other systems.
Important RPA concepts
- An overview of the types of activities that can be automated;
- The difference between visited and unsupervised robots;
- The Importance of Scripting an RPA Process with an IDE like UiPath Studio;
- How robots are created and linked to physical machines;
- How RPA programs are linked to robots in the form of a process; and
- How RPA Management Tools Differentiate in the Market.
As more companies require employees to travel to an office and perform repetitive and everyday tasks, the need for RPA tools increases. Understanding the key concepts covered in this UiPath tutorial can help developers properly guide their organizations in the gradual adoption of RPA technologies.
The source code for this UiPath Studio tutorial can be found on GitHub.
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