RPA is the use of software robots to handle high volumes of repeatable, rule-based tasks that previously required a human to perform. It’s essential to know that RPA focus on automating of human activities by using existing systems. We try to mimic formerly human actions by using existing systems and replacing user inputs with smart RPA based bots.
If we look at the types of robot process automation, we can distinguish it primarily into two categories. The unattended and the attended robots.
# Unattended Robots which executes defined workflows independent. There is no need for human interaction. From time to time a human operator just oversees activities of those unattended robots.
# Attended Robots which are used by a human operator. Those are enabled on demand if some batch processing or other workflows need to be processed. Sometimes automation of the whole business process is too much effort, and in an initial stage, businesses decide to use a virtual robot which processes some predefined steps in a workflow. In such cases attended robot based automation will be used.
What RPA is not
RPA is not related to physical robots. It’s all about creating software based workflows by using automation and borrowing the word robot to make it visual what is going on.
Test automation was mainly practiced in QA departments, driven by DEV and Testing teams and was focused on repeating the same tests over and over again. RPA is about creating software robots which can do business work across many departments.