Although there are many similarities between purchasing a bot on Automation Anywhere Bot Store and buying an app on the iOS App Store or Google Play marketplace, there’s one distinct difference. Bots on Bot Store are dynamic, reusable, customizable components that can allow business users and developers to quickly scale and expand on the functionality of their own bots.
Reusable Bot Store bots provide three key benefits:
Bot builders not from a traditional development background (business users turned Robotic Process Automation (RPA) builders) can easily automate tasks and processes without having to understand the underlying technology.
Bot builders from a traditional development background (those who develop in programming languages outside of Automation Anywhere development) can use Bot Store bots to quickly create advanced automations without having to build each of the underlying, building-block components themselves.
Bot Store can save you hours of development even if your process or use case is very unique. General-purpose bots are easy to fit into larger automation projects while eliminating a lot of RPA and API integration work.
Let’s look at a few commonly used bot categories. Note: You’ll need to have Automation Anywhere Enterprise or Community Edition prior to downloading or installing Bot Store bots.
Data validation and data conversion can be challenging and tedious. Think of the example of date/time validation/conversions. For a bot builder from a traditional development background, writing the logic to determine a valid date (leap year, number of days per month, etc.) or calculate the time between two dates can be a daunting task.
For a bot builder from a nontraditional development background to write such logic, it could result in a ton of code and complicated logic. Not doing the validations at all isn't an answer, because the automations built should be resilient and able to handle different types of data in the same way a human would.
A single, reusable component can take care of all these tasks automatically for both types of RPA developers, allowing both to move quickly past date/time validations and on to automating the tasks and processes that are the real goal of their automation.
Data conversion and data validation bots
Integrating a bot with third-party applications can be a challenge for some developers. Not only does it require an in-depth knowledge of the target application’s API, but it also requires significant testing and validation.
Think of the example where files from different bots need to be stored in a cloud-based document storage application such as DropBox. For a bot builder from a traditional development background to understand the API, write functions to match all of the API endpoints, and test can take a good amount of time.
For a bot builder from a nontraditional development background, this may be a bit too much to ask — without having to first understand how .NET code interacts with service calls.
A reusable bot from Bot Store allows a bot builder from a traditional development background to build more efficiently, without having to worry about the underlying API. A reusable bot also gives a bot builder from a nontraditional development background the ability to interact with applications/services they would have otherwise not been able to interface with.
In either case, developers can integrate seamlessly with third-party applications by making use of prebuilt components/bots tested and built by industry experts.
Application integration bots
RPA becomes increasingly more sophisticated as it begins to make use of cognitive services. Consider the example of interacting with an intelligent computer vision cloud service. A bot builder from a traditional development background would need to upskill to learn about interacting with the new service, figure out the new service's API, and then test and validate — all of which is a time-consuming process.
For a bot builder from a nontraditional development background, taking advantage of these services without a pre-created enabler would be extremely challenging.
A Bot Store bot that provides instruction, connectivity, and support enables all RPA developers to consume intelligent services with relative ease — quickly extending the capabilities of RPA automations to the capabilities of hosted cognitive services.
Intelligent services integration bots
Regardless of the specific use case, Bot Store bots enable developers of all types to implement, use, and reuse extended functionality to build advanced bots quickly and easily. You can get started with a three-step process:
1. Install Find a bot that will help give your development process a lift and select Get Bot or Get Digital Worker on the bot’s details page. An installation package will be downloaded that (upon execution) will automatically place all the necessary files and documentation in the My Tasks directory in a folder called Bot Store.
Upon downloading the bot, you should expect to receive an email containing a license key, which will be used as part of the installation process. If it’s a paid bot or Digital Worker, you'll also receive an access code, which you'll use as part of the bot configuration.
2. Configure and customizeInstalled bots come with step-by-step documentation, walking you through the process of correctly configuring and executing your new bot. Should the bot use a MetaBot, the documentation will also walk through the different functions of the MetaBot, as well as its required inputs and outputs.
Sensitive information the bot may need (passwords, tokens, API keys, etc.) can be stored in the Credential Vault as described in the bot’s documentation. Less sensitive values may be added through variable mapping or input configuration files the bot may use.
Depending on the bot, the included atmx file(s) may be referenced as subtasks in your existing bots, or those atmx file(s) might just be reference files demonstrating how to interact with the bot’s MetaBots — which could also be integrated into an already existing or new process.
3. RunNow, you're ready to go. To execute the bot, click the Run button on the Automation Anywhere Enterprise Client. Should you want to deploy the bot to other machines, upload the bot to the Automation Anywhere Control Room and select the Bot Runner this new bot should execute on.
And that’s it. Build better bots and turbocharge your automations.
VISIT BOT STORE
Micah Smith is a developer evangelist and lover of all things automation. His background is in Robotic Process Automation, document imaging, and optical character recognition, with a specialized focus in financial services and government sectors.