Robotic Process Automation
RPA tools are designed to mimic the same “manual” paths taken by a human by using a combination of user interface (UI) interaction or descriptor technologies. An RPA tool operates by mapping a process for the software “robot” to follow via computer pathways and various data repositories, so RPA can operate in place of a human. An RPA tool can be triggered manually or automatically, move or populate data between prescribed locations, document audit trails, conduct calculations, perform actions and trigger downstream activities.
RPA tools range from solutions that operate on individual desktops with limited ability to take different data feeds to ones that operate on enterprise servers that are able to perform multiple scheduled tasks and meet enterprise security criteria. Some can provide detailed process analytics. RPA tools will evolve over time to offer a variety of functionalities. RPA may be linked to other tools in a software vendor’s product suite with artificial intelligence.