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 intelligent automation 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 must 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 delivers an incredibly fast digital workforce, and in a perfect world, it can do the work of 20 or more humans. The problem is that the world isn’t perfect. Input data may be missing or incorrect and applications can respond slowly or in unexpected ways. If automations can’t 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. And it’s simple to do. When you first start designing an automation, think about all the steps in your current manual process where things don’t always happen as anticipated. Ensuring that you include exception handling for each of these steps in your new objects and processes will ensure that your digital workforce performs perfectly in the real world and not just on paper.
Record-keeping is a key challenge for any business. Often, staff are too busy with their daily activities to take 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, and audit logs are automatically generated, in real time, giving businesses a complete history of every task carried out by the digital workforce.
Give it a try
Using Blue Prism is easy. But don’t just take our word for it, sign up for a Blue Prism Portal Account and find out for yourself! You can download the Blue Prism Trial or Learning Edition from the Blue Prism Digital Exchange (DX) for free, giving you access to your own digital workforce. With a range of interactive learning guides in Blue Prism University, you’ll be an automation expert in no time!