‘Record’ Is Critical for Enterprise-Grade RPA
Automation Anywhere is innovating to save customers hours of time, increase their Robotic Process Automation (RPA) adoption, automate their most complex processes, and reduce errors. One case in point: the Record feature. Major customers, such as a large telecommunications provider and a major Australian bank, are using Record successfully within their enterprises.
Let's explore this topic by addressing common questions we get.
What is the difference between the recording options you offer?
We have three recording options to satisfy any specific organizational need.
- Smart Recorder captures the UI controls/objects for a variety of frameworks. This allows it to be more resilient to automation obstacles such as screen resolution changes. It offers more flexibility while recording tasks that use different technologies — Silverlight, Java, HTML, and Flex, to name a few. It can also be used to record tasks for legacy as well as web-based applications.
- Web Recorder is used to automate pattern-based tasks for web-based applications — e.g., automatically extracting web data spread across multiple pages with just a few clicks.
- Screen Recorder can be used to build simple tasks for processes that involve mouse clicks and keyboard operations, and when you plan to run the recorded task on the same computer on which it was recorded.
Is there a need for special training in order to make changes once processes are automated with Record functionality?
Recorded automation can be easily altered to address unique business needs or exception scenarios, making training requirements minimal. Record functionality lets you make the basic skeleton of a process faster, so you can spend more time adding exceptions and testing the bot. Once you have a process recorded, you can use that code to update as needed without having to re-record the entire process.
Can results be deployed to production right away after recording?
We've designed the functionality such that it is powerful yet easy to use. Recorded automation just works — even without any changes — and can be deployed to production straightaway. It's advisable to first test the recorded automation.
For straightforward use cases, you can deploy to production as is, or by making minimal adjustments. For complex use cases with multiple exceptions, you can add the appropriate logic to the already-created bot and deploy to production (which can mean the difference between proofs of concept taking days or weeks rather than months).
Is the recorder good with attended automation (playing nicely with humans)?
Once you've recorded a process or use case, you can insert logic into the already-created bot to interact with humans via message and prompt dialogues. Bots can communicate key information to humans and even change course based on human input in the middle of the process. This “human in the loop” interaction is a key feature of the Automation Anywhere Enterprise RPA platform.
Can a bot be exported to other users?
Yes, this is a key feature for several of our customers. Users can upload their bots to our Control Room and, using role-based access control (RBAC), can share their bots with other users. This ensures central policy management and better auditability rather than ad hoc sharing. From there, users can easily modify the bots as needed to work on other related automations.
How do you handle decision-making as process steps are recorded?
Decision-making can be handled while editing the recorded automation or using Automation Anywhere workflows. We have standard constructs such as “if-then-else,” messages and prompts to handle decision-making.
How does the recorder handle navigation purely by image recognition, such as on systems like Citrix or virtual/remote machines?
Automation Anywhere Smart Recorder creates the automation of Citrix/virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), just like any other application. To address such specific cases, the Automation Anywhere platform has specific execution modes to deliver optimal results.
Does the Smart Recorder make your MetabBots obsolete? Will there still be any advantage in using MetaBots?
The recorder is a quick, intuitive, and secure way for creating automation. It's not intended to replace MetaBots but rather to work alongside them. MetaBots are automation building blocks that deliver automation scalability and unique benefits of extensibility of the Automation Anywhere RPA platform. You can use MetaBots as black box building blocks, making them perfect for reuse and protecting intellectual property.
Does the recorder work on mainframe systems?
Automation Anywhere does automate mainframe emulators. Most of the actions performed on the emulator window (clicking of menu items, buttons, etc.) can be captured by the recorder, which supports accessing mainframes from virtual machines and desktops. Our built-in Terminal Emulator command connects with most mainframes (VT100s, 3270s and 5250s).
How is the recorder different than QuickTest Professional (QTP) automated testing?
QTP is limited in use for testing automation, whereas Automation Anywhere Smart Recorder automates business processes leveraging a rich tool set and execution frameworks available in the Automation Anywhere platform.