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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vs Traditional Programming

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is gaining popularity fast, and it is taking the place of traditional programming in automating business processes. That has led to some debate as to which one is better suited to the automation of business processes. Read on to learn why you should choose RPA automation anywhere.

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  1. Robotic Process Automation vs Programming Less
  2. Technology Base and Learning Curve
  3. Software Limitations
  4. RPA vs Programming
  5. Scalability – RPA vs Programming
  6. Why RPA Adoption is on the Rise
  7. RPA Frontend
  8. Programming backend
  9. Updating Programming and RPA Solutions
  10. Robotic Process Automation vs Programming
  11. Programmers in RPA vs Programming
  12. RPA Process and Programming Best Practices
  13. Testing Automation Solutions
  14. Why RPA Adoption is on the Rise

Robotic Process Automation vs Programming Less

RPA has several advantages over traditional programming, which makes it easy to implement and manage RPA solutions in any business.

As with any business product or tool, the ease with which you implement and manage automation can have a big impact on your business’s operating costs.

Therefore, the cost has been a major factor for many businesses choosing RPA over programming Less, when automating client-side tasks.

Make Your Robots – Try RPA Tools

Technology Base and Learning Curve

In traditional programming, the developer needs to have a thorough understanding of the programming language they intend to use. Programmers also need to have a good understanding of the API, they intend to use with traditional programming.

Programming Less, for example, requires some understanding of its programming language – JavaScript – by the developer. With RPA tools, the RPA robot only needs to understand the actions of the users, in order to execute them properly. That eliminates the need for the programmer to learn complex APIs and multiple programming languages.

That is important because it makes maintenance of the RPA easy for existing employees, as well as future employees.  With dynamic processors such as Less, new employees may need retraining to change any existing automation.

Software Limitations

One of the major concerns when using traditional programming is accessing the source code. Without it, programmers cannot improve the automation process. That makes it nearly impossible to make any upgrades or amendments.

With RPA process automation, everything works on the user interface level, which makes any restrictions on the underlying platform redundant. The in-house programmer can, therefore, tweak and improve it as needed, without causing production hitches.

RPA vs Programming

RPA offers a “record and play” solution when automating tasks, while programming requires complex coding and testing before deployment. Moreover, programming requires deeper collaboration between developers and the in-house IT team, which is costly in terms of work-hours.

With RPA automation, the in-house IT staff can manage and modify it just by collaborating with other company workers.  That makes it ideal for businesses with changing automation needs. Moreover, RPA makes it easy to integrate and synchronize common business processes such as CRM, ERP, Calendar, and Email.

Scalability – RPA vs Programming

Without the source code, scaling traditional programming requires an additional investment.  RPA automation is easy to manage and scale because no understanding of the source code is required.

Therefore, the IT support team of SMEs can work with other staff members, to come up with new rules for the robots, when scaling RPA usage.

RPA is Inexpensive

Most businesses choose RPA automation anywhere because it is much cheaper to implement than traditional programming. Businesses all over the world are looking for ways to cut their operating costs and increase profitability.

While traditional programming can help to increase profitability through automation, its cost of implementation is high. Moreover, it takes years for a business to recoup the capital needed to implement automation through programming.

RPA Automation Use Case

A simple use case of RPA is copying data from an excel file and entering it into an ERP application. An RPA solution will launch the excel file as a human worker would do, and then log into the ERP program and start copying the data.

There will not be a need to modify the ERP application’s source code or to integrate the RPA solution within the ERP. Implementing a programming solution will take a different approach.

Programming Automation Use Case

First, the ERP program must be modified to be able to open, read and copy the excel file. All the three processes will happen in the backend, rather than from the front end. That will require the programmers to have a deep understanding of the ERP’s source code.

Moreover, since modifying the ERP source code may be against the vendor’s terms of sale, the business must obtain additional licensing and approval. That makes the whole process long, expensive, and tedious.

RPA vs Programming Use Case

The business will also have to document the modification and arrange for future versions of the ERP applications to have them.

In that regard, a process that would have taken hours or days for implementing RPA automation may take weeks or months to implement programming automation.

RPA Frontend

RPA happens on the front-end, which negates the need to modify the underlying platform. All it does is mimic the actions of a human user but acts at a much higher speed and accuracy.

That is what makes it easy to implement and transfer the RPA automation solution, to other end-user devices in the organization. With everything happening on the front-end, the same security safeguards used on human workers can also be applied to RPA tools.

That also eliminates the need to do a security audit of the ERP Application the RPA robots are interacting with, which brings down the overall cost of automation when using RPA.

Programming backend

Since traditional automation happens in the backend, any automation process will affect the security provisions already in place. Moreover, any front-end user validation will also be rendered obsolete.

Therefore, to restore the entire platform’s security to its pre-programming automation levels, businesses must invest additional financial and technical resources. That is something they do not need to do with RPA automation.

Updating Programming and RPA Solutions

As with any technical solution, no matter how good it is, someday in the future, it will need to get an update. Updating RPA solutions is much easier than it is to update programming solutions.

Programming Update

With a programming solution, you need to rewrite most of the code to fit the new platform changes.

Moreover, since programming automation solutions must be integrated into the underlying software, updates may take longer to implement. That can happen if a software update release has had a significant portion of its code altered.

RPA Update

With RPA, such changes will have little impact on how the RPA code is updated. RPA bots read the objects of the code, rather than the rendering on the screen. Therefore, any changes in the user interface (UI), can easily be detected by reading the objects of the UI’s rendering code.

Robotic Process Automation vs Programming

If you are a new business with sufficient venture capital, then you may opt to set up new automated systems using programming. That is because when we consider robotic process automation vs programming and choose RPA, the automation problem has more to do with automating legacy systems.

RPA Solutions Run on Legacy Systems

RPA bots are designed for systems that are running, and the business has already invested heavily in them. It makes business sense to automate manual processes without touching the underlying processes using RPA if by using programming rather than RPA, the business will not get extra value.

In that regard, we cannot consider RPA as superior to programming. Instead, RPA is an automation solution that makes it possible to use existing IT systems, to increase productivity at minimal costs.

Programming Must Be Innovative

Automation through programming, on the other hand, is more suited to developing innovative solutions. Such solutions will have already taken into account existing automation problems, which businesses are solving through RPA automation.

Programmers in RPA vs Programming

RPA automation solutions make it easy for non-technical users to automate tasks, unlike programming languages that require in-depth programming language. However, RPA users still need some level of programming knowledge to create RPA bots.

That knowledge could be as simple as having experience in using excel macros or HTML codes. Without such knowledge, it can be hard for users to create bots that can read objects of the code of a UI.

In that regard, RPA solutions still need an IT team or person to test and deploy them, for the whole process to succeed.

RPA Process and Programming Best Practices

When implementing RPA automation, the focus should not be so much on the technical aspect of automating the process. Instead, the focus should be on improving workflow and having a full mental picture of the entire workflow.

That helps in creating RPA bots that are fast and utilize the available computing power efficiently. Therefore, if there is data being shared by several bots in an organization, only one RPA bot should fetch and store it in a local secure server.

That eliminates the need for each RPA bot to extract it from saying PDFs or email servers. Such simple best practices apply to both programming and RPA.

Testing Automation Solutions

While RPA simplifies automation processes, it is a good idea to test the bots with all data sets and scenarios, just as it is done in programming. That eliminates any surprises that could have occurred after implementing RPA and then inputting or outputting unexpected data formats.

In that regard, it helps to have a programmer to check the bots and suggest improvements, such as using “exceptions,” where necessary.

Why RPA Adoption is on the Rise

When it comes to robotic process automation vs programming, RPA automation is a clear winner. The in-house IT staff does not need advanced training to use and modify RPA robots. On the other hand, implementing traditional programming requires extensive knowledge of the course code, and modifying the underlying platform. With all those RPA benefits, there is no reason why your business should not try RPA.



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