RPA, or robotic process automation, is a type of technology that enables users to automate various tasks within a digital business process. Whether that task is a whole microservice, or simply the intake of a customer order, there are various opportunities for building RPA into a business process. RPA can aid your business process model, but it needs to be integrated into your BPMN (business process modeling and notation).
To understand how that works, one needs to first understand the architecture of an RPA technology. Despite there being so many services to choose from, RPAs typically share a number of common traits. These components within an RPA architecture are among the most important, along with how they improve your existing business process model:
Every endpoint, every server, every microservice, is housed somewhere; generally, that’s either in the cloud or on premise as a native application that’s been given the connections to each necessary point of your business process. If you have a task that needs doing, your RPA platform will undoubtedly connect with that task through an API or some other method that allows for the task to be completed under this software’s umbrella. The platform serves as the touchstone for any end user, to boot: as the digital location wherein all your RPA capabilities are housed, it only makes sense that this is where you’ll interact with them, entering the platform to connect said processes, to identify and manage the executions of these processes, and of course, to interact with the tools of an RPA system.
Any architecture made for integrating RPA bots would be naturally incomplete without the use or presence of RPA tools. Be they the actual bots developed to handle a specific task, or the basic instruments of the platform itself, such as any data storage for relevant processing and transfers, as well as the capability to build bots using your process data and your chosen programming specifications.
Whatever tools are in use depends on what you do with your business process automations, but they should always retain the capability to build bots for a task, to educate these bots to accomplish the task according to your specifications, and to connect said bots to your business process — managing the performance of these bots according to the predefined business logic you’ve implemented. RPA tools are the executable part of the platform — without them, RPA services would not be possible, much like having an axe without a blade.
More than the tools that are executable and that give an RPA system its function, you have to consider the tools that allow you to configure the RPA integration. Whatever the use of your bots, of your RPA tools in general, you’re bound to come across variation, and some things you can do with configuration tools include the abilities to duplicate or branch and edit assets, to introduce newer versions of bots, or even to use source code management in a pinch to change the very essence of your most crucial assets if a more in-depth update is necessary.
These configuration tools are also what connects the rest of the RPA architecture together, as they configure the components and their compatibility to suit the environment they’re in, whether it’s cloud based or right on your home network. It’s your ability to configure the connections, the tools, the environment as a whole that makes RPA such an adaptable and useful tool in the long run, and by using asset versioning, source code branching, and more in your pursuit for the best possible business process automations, you’re making full use of that adaptability.
The executions of an RPA are controlled in the system via an infrastructure of machines that get stored there. Typically working on its own and in full independent automation, the infrastructure of the RPA is capable of scaling the process’s set of virtual and/or lab machines to create a system of task executions that befits the business logic you’ve predefined. It’s this infrastructure, this self-monitoring behavior, throughout the RPA architecture that makes it utterly indispensable to those who value automation in the workplace — and it’s why people generally don’t mess with the infrastructure of the RPA software they’ve put in place.
While not technically a part of the RPA software, every RPA architecture has to interact with another environment in order to be successful at its job. In most cases, this RPA interaction is set in the stage of a business process. The tasks that you’re trying to complete, the workload you’re trying to process, is all a part of the architecture indirectly, as it’s what your RPA tools interact with. Without any interaction, the overall RPA model has nowhere to complete its function. With that in mind, it’s important to always know your business process, and to know what you want to automate. Without that knowledge, you don’t yet have a need for RPA.
Improving Your Business Process Model
By using a business process model that’s integrated with RPA software, you’re improving the holistic view of processes that you can manage. By utilizing the configurations on an RPA platform, you’re making it clear how you want your business processes to run; more than that, you’re making sure that you have control over what gets automated and what stays in your hands. But most important of all is a way to interact: using a BPMN tool like Camunda, you can’t do much with RPA bots unless you integrate them into the model — however your business is run and planned, it can’t be automated with RPA without an integration service like the one Camunda offers.
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