If you look around across various industries, everyone is looking to automate their processes, increase their productivity, and improve their return on investment (ROI.) From data entry to generating reports, there are a lot of repetitive tasks that need to be performed periodically.
These tasks consist of the same steps that need to be done over and over again. Seeing this need, industries were looking for an easy and intuitive way to automate their tasks, and thus, RPA was born. In this tutorial, we will discuss the following topics:
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What is RPA?
The process of automating operations with robots without human interaction with the system is termed as robotic process automation (RPA.) To understand it better, you can break the term down to three words:
- Robotic: Actions done by robots where they mimic human actions
- Process: Represents a set of sequential actions that lead to the desired result
- Automation: Corresponds to anything that is done without human intervention
So, in a nutshell, RPA is a technology that lets you automate tasks based on the logic you define without you having to interfere.
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How does RPA Work?
So far, you have read that RPA is a technology used to automate repetitive tasks, but how does RPA actually work? The answer is very simple. You have various RPA tools through which you can achieve the said automation. What you basically do is define your logic in any of these tools: logic here means a set of sequential actions that are required to automate a task. Once you define the logic and run the RPA tool, the tool initializes a bot. This bot takes your logic and performs all steps one by one precisely as defined. If the defined logic is correct, the bot completes the entire task and automation is achieved.
Top RPA Tools
As discussed earlier, RPA is a technology that can be achieved through various tools. Programming is something that you can do through various languages, such as C, C++, Java, etc.; similarly, for RPA, there are various RPA tools from different vendors. However, a few tools are preferred in the market over others. UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere lead the market in the current scenario. In this blog, we will be discussing Automation Anywhere.
Also, check out our in-depth comparative analysis of Blue Prism, UiPath, and Automation Anywhere:
What is Automation Anywhere?
Automation Anywhere is one of the most widely used RPA tools in the world. The reason behind its popularity is the fact that it is easy to learn. It is very reliable and highly scalable as well. All these factors make it a very desirable tool.
Automation Anywhere comes with a wide range of functions, which give it the ability to integrate with various platforms. Automation Anywhere is designed to solve complex issues at an enterprise level.
Another reason why a lot of people recommend Automation Anywhere for beginners is the fact that it comes with a trial version, which can be used to learn and get familiarized with the tool.
Now, let us dive into Automation Anywhere and talk about its architecture.
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Automation Anywhere Architecture
Automation Anywhere architecture is very interesting. It has a distributed architecture with centralized management through an entity called a control room. Let us further discuss the different components of the Automation Anywhere architecture.
The architecture comprises of three major components as shown in the diagram below:
Let us dive into these components to understand their role in Automation Anywhere architecture.
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Acting exactly as their name suggests, bot creators are the components that are responsible for the initialization of robots. This application is desktop-based and responsible for authenticating against an active control room. Bot creators only have the permission to download or upload the bots. Once configured, these bots can execute the tasks that are required by developers. Because of its magnificent design, multiple developers can instantiate individual tasks and all of these can be executed together at the same time.
Control room is probably the most important entity of Automation Anywhere architecture. As the name suggests, this web server is responsible for controlling the bots created by the bot creators. Control room offers features such as user management, source control, automation deployment, etc.; it also provides a dashboard for carrying out all these features. These features, provided by the control room, together enable centralized management in Automation Anywhere architecture.
Let us now talk about licenses while learning about the control room. Basically, Automation Anywhere provides two types of licenses:
- Dev license: This license enables you to create, edit, and run a bot.
- Run license: With this license, you will only be able to run a bot and not get any edit access.
Again, you can manage these licenses through the control room.
This component of Automation Anywhere architecture is used to execute bots. The specialty of bot runners is the fact that they allow for multiple bots to be executed parallelly and achieve automation. This component is installed on Windows machines and works as a runtime client application. Bot runners have the ability to create logs and send back the log status to the control room.
So, to sum up, in Automation Anywhere architecture, there are three components where one creates bots, the second one schedules and prioritizes them, and the final component is responsible for running them.
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Products of Automation Anywhere
Now, let us discuss a few products of Automation Anywhere that make it a very interesting RPA tool. Automation Anywhere provides three interesting products that give users more functionality and ease of use. Let us check them out.
IQ bots is the product that is supposed to be the next level in RPA. As discussed earlier, RPA is used for repetitive tasks. Now, imagine your robots are getting artificial intelligence where they could learn, make decisions based on algorithms, and extract insights from semi and unstructured data; that is exactly what IQ bots are. They are cognitive bots that can do all of the things mentioned above.
Bot insight is another awesome product given by Automation Anywhere. This product is designed to visualize data and analyze the performance of every bot you have. It is extensively used for looking into statistics and its visualization through graphs.
This product from Automation Anywhere is the only industry-grade platform for bots on demand. You can now scale your workforce by deploying bots with a single click from anywhere in the world. With this product, you can easily deploy and manage many bots in a blink of an eye to satisfy demand spikes. BotFarmTM delivers on-demand RPA with scalability and resilience.
So far in this Automation Anywhere tutorial, you are familiarized with Automation Anywhere. Now, let us discuss how to install it.
Steps to Install Automation Anywhere
Let us take a look at how to install the trial version of Automation Anywhere.
Step 1: Go to the official website of Automation Anywhere
Step 2: Click on START FREE TRIAL
Step 3: Fill in the information required and then click START YOUR FREE TRIAL
Step 4: Once you do the above step, you will see something like this, and you will receive a mail within 5 to 10 minutes
Step 5: In the mail, you will receive the credentials as well as the control room login URL. Now, open the URL, and log in to your control room
Step 6: The first time you log in, you will get a pop up of some security questions. You need to set them up as well.
Once done, click on Save and log in in the right-hand-side corner to log in to the control room.
Step 7: In the next window, accept the license agreement.
Now, let us create your first bot.
Step 8: For that, click on Create a bot
Step 9: In the next window, provide the name and description for your bot and then hit Create & edit.
Step 10: Once done, you will see a bunch of tasks on the left-hand side. Search for the message box.
Step 11: Double-click the message box icon, and it will automatically be placed in your flow as shown below:
Step 12: Now, change the details in the Properties window on the right-hand side.
Step 13: Once done, click on Save and then on Run.
Step 14: Click on Connect to my computer and a download process will begin. Then, wait for the download to be completed.
Step 15: Run the downloaded setup file.
Step 16: Next, you need to enable the extension. To do so, on Chrome, follow the below-mentioned steps:
Open Chrome Web Store and search for Automation Anywhere. Next, you have to choose the extension and then click on Add extension.
Step 17: After this, it will automatically recognize everything and connect with the computer. Once it does, it will ask for your device password to allow the bot to run. Give the password, and click on Save and run.
Step 18: Finally, you will see the result like this:
As easy as that!