Perhaps not the answer you were expecting, but it highlights an important distinction. Blue Prism has a clear separation between automations – the work that needs to be carried out – and Digital Workers – the things that do that work. If you think about it, this makes sense: A Digital Worker that can only do one thing wouldn’t be very useful! Blue Prism’s approach means that its Digital Workers are multiskilled, making your RPA implementation more efficient.
How Do You Build an Automation?
If you look under the covers, any automation is basically made up of two elements:
Business Logic: The definition of the logical steps that take you from start, to a useful output
Application Interaction: The definition of how the RPA platform engages with each target application
Blue Prism uses graphical workflows: The application interaction workflow is called an Object and the business logic workflow is called a Process. Both workflows are like instructions for the Digital Workers. They start by reading the Process and where necessary, the Process points them towards an Object. Once the Digital Worker has reached the end of the Process, including all of the Objects it points towards, the automation is finished.
To build an automation, you have to do three things:
First, you teach Blue Prism about an application you want it to use. This is as simple as showing Blue Prism the application and clicking on the various fields, buttons, etc. This activity is called ‘modelling’.
Then you use a drag-and-drop editor to build a workflow diagram for each activity you want to carry out in the application, such as logging in. Each workflow activity is a page within the Object and it can be as big or small as you need.
Finally, you use the same drag-and-drop approach to build the Process. Workflow steps can be calculations, decisions, logic activities, or a command to use a page in an Object.
None of this requires any coding or other technical skills, just plain old common sense.
Keeping it Real
Intelligent Automation is incredibly fast and in a perfect world, it can do the work of 20 or more humans. The problem is that the world isn’t perfect – it’s messy: Input data can be missing or incorrect; applications can respond slowly or in unexpected ways. If automations aren’t able to cope with this, they can cause more problems than they solve.
Blue Prism solves this challenge with Exception Handling steps that can be added to Objects and Processes. Exception Handling tells Blue Prism’s Digital Workers what to do if a problem occurs, so it’s really important that you build it into your automations.
It’s simple to do. When you first start to design an automation, think about all the steps where the current manual process doesn’t always go to plan. Ensuring that you include Exception Handling for each of these steps in your new Objects and Processes will ensure that your Digital Workers work perfectly in the real world and not just on paper.
Records-keeping is a key challenge for any business. Often staff are too busy with their daily activities to keep notes, meaning that valuable information is lost.
Digital Workers on the other hand will always do exactly what they’re told, and Blue Prism ensures that every single action performed as part of an automation can be logged, tracked, and stored in a secure and encrypted audit trail.
Automation Builders have the flexibility to tailor their auditing requirements, but whatever is agreed, the audit log is automatically generated, in real time, giving companies a complete history of every task the Digital Workers carry out.
Give it a Go
Automation using Blue Prism is easy. But don’t just take our word for it, grab yourself a Blue Prism Portal Account and find out for yourself! You can download the Blue Prism Trial/Learning Edition from the DX for free, giving you access to your own mini Digital Workforce. With a range of interactive learning guides in the Blue Prism University you’ll be an automation expert in no time!