RPA Series – Part 2: RPA Platform Components

Robotics Process Automation (RPA) platforms typically have the following core components:

1. Development Environment / Studio
2. Admin Server
3. BOTs

In addition to above three, RPA vendors are now enhancing their RPA platform with Business Process Management System & out of the box AI / ML enabled OCR, Audio to Text, Computer Vision capabilities. This post gives an overview on the key features of core components stated above.

Development Environment:

Development environment typically is a graphical editor, which allows the developer / business analyst to build flow of tasks & task logic executed by a Software Robot or BOT. Key features of the development environment are:

  • Graphical User Interface to build:
    • Task flow, which can be built by either defining the flow through a drag & drop toolkit or recording the transaction flow
    • Functions / tasks logic to be performed by the BOT
  • Library of pre-built / reusable resources / components which can be used as part of the task flow automation
  • Test Environment, where defined tasks flows & task logic can be simulated & tested

Admin Server (Control Center / Orchestrator):

Admin Server, sometimes referred to as Control Server, is the brain of the RPA infrastructure. It controls the functioning of the BOTs. In addition to the standard system admin functions such as User Management, Authentication, Version Control, Access Control, etc, Admin Server provides the following key functionality to manage RPA infrastructure:

  • Deployment of BOTs
  • Scheduling automated runs of the BOTs
  • Listening to events to initiate the runs of the BOTs
  • Monitoring the functioning / runs of the BOTs
  • Collects data and provides MIS / Dashboards on BOT runs

BOTS:

BOTs are software BOTs that execute automated tasks & task flow logic built using Development Environment / Studio. Though BOTs are controlled by the server side Admin or Control Center, they are typically deployed on client desktops or laptops or on virtual machines, from where they carry out the tasks loaded in them. There are 2 types of BOTs:

  • Attended BOTs: These BOTs are required to be triggered or switched on / off manually
  • Unattended BOTs: These BOTs typically can be auto scheduled to run or they can be triggered based on the occurrence of certain events or rules.


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