Automating a process applying Robotic Process Automation or RPA techniques can be an easy or complex job based on several elements:
- How formal, established, enforced, and governed are your business processes
- The complexity of the processes and the information sources used
- How robust the automation process is, meaning how reliable it is, how easy it is to maintain, and how efficient and extensible it is.
In relation to this last item, the definition of a basic process that can be used as a template to build all the processes to automate is a key element that allows time invested in defining construction standards can be leveraged on all automation projects.
The UiPath Process
UiPath provides a process template that can be used with this objective. This process is available with the UiPath Studio and is called the Enterprise Framework process. It’s a template that includes the fundamental building blocks required to create a strong design and is built to be able to be extended and reused easily.
This template includes four main areas:
- Data Capture
- Transaction Processing
Initialization includes reading variable values used to configure the process and that is stored on an Excel spreadsheet, where it’s easy to add, modify or delete variables and assign them a value. The goal is to manage parameters from this source to avoid hard-coding values into the process.
The Initialization process also Opens all applications that must be accessed to complete a process, and this includes local applications, web applications, documents, browsers, spreadsheets, etc.
When the Initialization process finishes successfully, the process execution continues with the Data Capture.
This process gets all the transaction data that must be processed. A transaction can be stored as a spreadsheet row to read in order to insert data into an application, or a document from which you must extract information to send an email, or a record inside an application that must be read to get a piece of data and save a file, etc.
For each retrieved transaction, the next process is run, which is actually the Process flow. This is the place where you add your business rules and steps, which can include inserting data into an application, a spreadsheet, sending an email, moving files, etc.
When the process is completed for a transaction, the previous step is executed again to capture the data for the next transaction, When there are no more transactions the Finalization activity is run.
The template provided by UiPath executes this list of actions and also efficiently manages errors and logs, plus other important considerations like including retry actions, securely manage access credentials, providing a parallel execution infrastructure, etc.