RPA Automation Anywhere: A Beginner’s Guide
RPA Automation Anywhere: A Beginner’s Guide
Explore robotic process automation with Automation Anywhere.
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RPA Automation Anywhere
Automation has been in existence since the 1920s, but it has only gained popularity in the early 1990s. As the word automation suggests, this software provides assistance to various kinds of daily tasks such as Data Entry, Invoice Processing, etc. To perform such tasks, we need robotic process automation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a new age technology that helps you perform tedious tasks with ease. Automation Anywhere is one of the leaders in the RPA market, and in this article, you will learn all the concepts of the popular RPA tool, Automation Anywhere, and learn how it can be used for automation.
Introduction to Robotic Process Automation
Consider an instance where an employee’s sole job is just entering details on a server daily basis at a specific time of a day. Now, do you think the employee should do this manually or try to just automate this task?
Obviously, the second option sounds better, right?
So, the employee can simply make a robot do the job for him by configuring the required actions. This process of robots doing a set of tasks without any human intervention to help human use their talents in a better way is said to be Robotic Process Automation.
Now, when I say robots perform your jobs, they are not actual physical robots performing your jobs, but the various tools present in the RPA market perform your jobs. These tools offer various products and functionalities to do so. Now, let me quickly brief you over the market leaders in RPA.
There are a number of tools available in the RPA industry, but the top tools that own the market are UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere. Refer to the below image.
As you can see from the above trend, UiPath emerges as the clear winner among the trio. But the other tools are also good enough to start your career, as Blue Prism is used for large enterprises, and Automation Anywhere offers a 30-day free trial. So, since this article is about Automation Anywhere, let's move forward and learn the products, installation, and practical implementation of this tool.
What Is RPA Automation Anywhere?
Automation Anywhere is an RPA tool whose motive is to provide its users scalable, secure, and resilient services. This tool offers a 30-Day free trial to let you first explore the tool and automate tasks, and then provides you with an enterprise service.
Automation Anywhere offers better performance, as it has the ability to integrate to different platforms and also scale simultaneously. This tool is meant to be used at the enterprise level and is mainly designed for solving complex issues.
Next, let me introduce you the architecture of Automation Anywhere.
Automation Anywhere Architecture
Automation Anywhere follows a distributed architecture. Through this architecture, centralized management is accomplished via Automation Anywhere’ control room.
The architecture of this tool is mainly segregated into Bot Creators and Bot Runners. Both of these components are connected to the Control Room, as you can see in the diagram below.
So, let’s look into each of these components one by one.
As the name suggests, Bot Creators are used to create bots. These are desktop-based applications that authenticate against an active Control Room and only have access to upload or download bots. On configuring these bots, for the control room, multiple developers can create individual tasks/bots and can execute all of them at once.
Control Room is the most important component of the architecture. It is a web server that basically controls the bots created by the Bot Creators. As Automation Anywhere focuses on Centralized Management, the Control Room offers features such as centralized user management, automation deployment, source control, and provides a Dashboard.
Also, let me tell you that there are 2 types of Licenses available in Automation Anywhere.
- Dev License: If you have this license, then you can create, edit, and run a bot.
- Run License: If you have this license, then you will not have any edit access, but you can run a bot.
Bot Runners are used to execute the bots. Multiple bots can be executed in parallel and cannot update or create automation. They are run time clients that are installed on windows machines and can report back the execution log status to the control room.
Products of Automation Anywhere
Automation Anywhere also offers three other products:
IQ Bots, or Cognitive Bots, think like a human and have features such as self-learning abilities, algorithm-based decision making, and subject matter expertise. These bots extract data from semi-structured and unstructured data and use a semantic model to do so.
Bot Insight is a tool used to analyze the performance of each and every bot. With this product of Automation Anywhere, you can see the statistics and the graphs of your business.
Bot Farm allows you to create multiple bots based on the on-demand Digital Workforce. This also provides Robotic Process Automation as a service through the Automation Anywhere Enterprise.
So, folks, that was all about the Automation Anywhere architecture and the products it offers. Now, moving forward in this article on RPA Automation Anywhere, let us get into the installation of this tool.
Steps To Install Automation Anywhere
Installation of Automation Anywhere mainly implies installation of the IQ Bots and the RPA Enterprise. So, once you log in to get the free trial, you will have to install both of these products of Automation Anywhere.
Let's get started.
Step 1: Go to the Automation Anywhere official website for the free trial Download Link. Then, choose Start Trial.
Step 2: Once you click on Start Trial, fill in the below details.
Step 3: Once you fill in all the details, click on the Start Trial option and then you will see a message that will display that you have gotten separate emails for Enterprise RPA and IQ Bots. Refer to the snapshot below.
Step 4: Now let's learn how to configure IQ Bots and RPA Enterprise. First, let us look into configuring IQ Bots.
Configuring IQ Bots
Step 1: Go to the IQ Bot Login Page that you must have got in the mail.
Step 2: Fill in the username and password that you got in your email.
Step 3: This will get you logged in to your IQ Bots, and you will see this page.
Now let's look into the configuration of RPA Enterprise.
Step 1: Open the email you got for RPA Enterprise and Download and unzip the Enterprise Client file into your desired folder.
Step 2: Launch the Client by double-clicking on Automation_Anywhere_Enterprise_Client_11.2.0.EXE
Step 3: Once you launch the Client, click on Install.
Step 4: Then, click on Next, accept the License Agreement, and again click on Next.
Step 5: Choose the Destination folder, and again click on Next.
Step 6: Review your installation choices and click on Install.
Step 7: Once the Wizard is complete, click Finish.
Step 8: Once you click on Finish, Log in to the Control Room using the credentials that you got in your email. After that, click Login.
Step 9: Once you log in, you will see the below dialog box, where you can choose to Automate or Help me Automate. Choose either of the options or simply Skip the option and then you will be redirected to the Automation Anywhere Dashboard.
Step 10: In the above snapshot, you can see an option of Smart Recorder, Screen Recorder, and Web Recorder. You can start using these recorders if you wish to record any action.
Now that you know how to Install Automation Anywhere, next in this article, let's cover the top industries using this tool.
Industries using Automation Anywhere
The top industries using this tool are as follows:
- Business Process Outsourcing: Automation is used in this industry to reduce operational costs, improve operational performance, and increase the capacity of the workforce.
- Telecom: Telecom industry is used to provide support to the connected customer, increase efficiency, and enable rapid growth.
- Healthcare: Healthcare uses Automation Anywhere to engage effectively with patients, reduce risks, and analyze critical healthcare data.
- Financial Services: Automation Anywhere helps in the Financial sector to improve efficiency, reduce fraud, and reduce compliance also.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing uses automation to streamline supply chain management, reduce costs, and accelerate production.
Now that you know the top industries using this tool, next, let me show you a practical implementation where a company benefited by using this tool.
Case Study: Genpact
Genpact is a services firm that aims to deliver digital transformation. A client of Genpact creates cameras and lenses and sells them to major companies.
Genpact’s client’s order fulfillment procedure was quite an inefficient manual process, as people had to query the system for new orders manually. This caused quite a chaos, as people had to constantly log in to the system. Also, they had to validate the order purchased and apply the relevant prices and discounts. Now, obviously, this procedure was quite tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone.
To benefit their business, Genpact decided on automating this process.
Automation Anywhere and Genpact decided to re-engineer the above-mentioned process using the Smart Enterprise Processes. Their aim was to remove the inaccuracies, inefficiencies, and human errors caused in the system. So, the execution team decided to integrate the legacy systems with Automation Anywhere and make sure people have an eye on the entire process getting executed. Refer below for the flow of Automation.
Flow Created for Automation
The flow created for automation is as follows:
- The system will first extract the data from the customer database and checks for the new purchase orders.
- Then once, a purchase order gets downloaded it is immediately pushed into the legacy system.
- After that, the agent keeps an eye on the process and manually validates the order for maintaining accuracy.
- Finally, Automation Anywhere uploads the purchase into Oracle and then Discounts are automatically applied.
- Agents cross-check the fulfilled order and ensure quality control.
The results observed due to the collaboration of Genpact and Automation Anywhere are as follows:
- The productivity rate was increased by 40%
- The transaction rate was increased by 25%
- There was a significant reduction in the costs incurred and errors.
- 90% of the manual workforce was reduced.
So, folks, that’s how a company benefited by using Automation Anywhere. Next in this article on RPA Automation Anywhere let me show you how to practically use Automation Anywhere.
Demo: Extracting Data From PDF Documents
In this tutorial, I will show you how you can read data from PDF documents and store the data in an Excel sheet. Follow the below steps to do so.
Step 1: Log in to the Control Room, and open the Automation Anywhere Enterprise Client.
Step 2: Now, click on the New option and choose Workbench. This will redirect you to the workbench of this enterprise.
Step 3: Now choose the PDF from which you want to extract data and also take note of all the fields from which you want to extract data. The below snapshots show the document from which I want to extract data. Here I want to extract Date, Invoice, CustomerID, Due Date, Description, Unit Price, Quantity, Amount, Tax Rate, and Total.
Step 4: Now, go to the Variable Manager on the right-hand side of your Workbench and add the variables for all the fields from which you want to extract data. Here you have to create 10 variables. Let me show you how to create a single variable. Refer below.
Step 4.1: Click on the Add option. In the dialog box that opens up, mention the name of the variable in the Name field and click on Save.
Step 4.2: Repeat the above steps to create the other 9 variables.
Step 5: Now click the Excel command from the left panel and double click on the Open-Spreadsheet subcommand. This opens a dialog box.
Step 5.1: Now go to the ellipses button and fill in the path of the Excel file where the extracted data should be mentioned. Then, click on Save. This step will design the task to open an Excel file.
Step 6: Now you have to make sure that your data is getting filled automatically from the A2 cell. To create an action for this Double-click on the Go-to-cell subcommand and enter A2 in the specific cell section. After that, click Save.
This step will design a task to open your spreadsheet and place your cursor at the A2 cell.
Step 7: Now, you have to start extracting data from the PDF File. To do so, follow the below steps.
Step 7.1: Click on the PDF-Integration command and double-click on the Extract Form Fieldssubcommand.
Step 7.2: Now click on the ellipses button and choose the PDF file from which you want to extract data.
Step 7.3: After this, from the Inserted Fieldssection, choose the Add option and drag the mouse over the required field.
Step 7.4: Now, right-click the selected field, and choose the Add Field.
Step 7.5: In the extracted text window, choose the suitable variable name and enter the field name. Then click Ok.
This will store the extracted data for the specified variable and the field name.
Step 7.6: Similarly repeat the steps for the other 9 fields/variables.
Step 7.7: Finally, click on Save.
Step 8: Now you have to store the extracted data in the respective cells in the Excel File. To do this, follow the below steps.
Step 8.1: Click on the Excel command and Double-click on the Set Cell subcommand.
Step 8.2: In the dialog box that opens up, go to the Cell value section, press on F2, and choose the variable name that you would like to choose. Then click on Insert. Here I will choose IssueDate.
This action will make you store the data in the A2 cell. Now, the next extracted data should be stored in the next cell, which is B2. To do that, double-click on the Go to cell subcommand and choose the option of One cell to right. After that, click on Save.
Step 8.3: Now, to insert the value to the B2 cell, again double click on the Set Cell subcommand and press on F2. Choose the variable name and click on Insert.
Step 8.4: Now, insert the next value to the C2 cell. To do that, repeat the above steps.
Now you have extracted the data for a single PDF. If you wish to extract data from various other PDFs, you have to store the data in the next row, right?
Step 9: To do so, double click on the Go to Cell subcommand and choose One cell below.
Step 10: To go to the beginning cell i.e the first cell in the row, choose the Go to cell subcommand, and choose Beginning of the row.
Step 11: Now all the above actions were to extract data from a single PDF File. To extract data from multiple PDF Files, follow the below steps.
Step 11.1: Click on the section action in the task pane and then Double click the Loop command from the left panel.
Step 11.2: Over here, choose Double click on the Each File in a Folder command and from the Browse option mention the path of the folder which contains all the PDF Files. Then click on Save.
Step 11.3: Move the End Loop command below the last line of the action list.
Step 11.4: Double click the PDF Integration command and insert the required variable ($FileName$) in the PDF Name section.
This is how your final task list should look like.
Now, click on the Save button, save your task, and execute the task by clicking on the Run button.
You will see the below output:
That’s the end of this article on RPA Automation Anywhere. If you wish to give a jump start to your career as an RPA Developer, then starting learning RPA and it’s various tools.
Published at DZone with permission of Sahiti Kappagantula , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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