Citizen Developers Blog
Explore trends & innovations specifically for Citizen Developers.
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Plugging in to the Automation Anywhere Pathfinder Community as Your Program AcceleratesAutomation Pathfinder Program
Maybe you’ve been at the automation game for awhile now. You may have hit some bumps along the way, but you’ve also had some wins. You know that nothing feels quite like being able to hit some of your established program goals.Recognized your first $500K in savings? Delivered an automation that’s been a game changer for your organization? Expanded your automation program out to a new functional area? Overcome a key challenge in an area that has been a struggle for your automation program?All of these accomplishments (among others) represent meaningful milestones in your automation journey - and one of the best ways to celebrate these goals is to share your success story with others. What Are User Groups? The Automation Anywhere User Groups are dedicated virtual small group meetings for our customers to connect and share strategies and best practices. Each of these interactive and engaging sessions are centered on a customer presentation. We know what you’re thinking: a User Group’s no
Exploring Thought Leadership by Contributing to Bot StoreAutomation Pathfinder Program
Now that you have a matured RPA practice, you can start building thought leadership and technical expertise showcase by contributing packages to Bot Store. Packages offer organizations maximum flexibility in the way they create reusable components that can be used across multiple bots. They are modular in that they can be updated independently, and maintain version controls in that upgrading a package doesn’t impact bots built off of a previous version of the same package. Here are some of the ways you can identify what are the packages to build: You have been building bots for a couple of years and you have identified features that would help multiple teams immensely but are not available out of the box, then it's a good use case to build. You want to build bots that automate specific enterprise applications, but there is no such specific package available and it’s currently being automated either using Recorder-Capture or with REST package. Read Analyst reports about popular ERP
Contributing Specific Bots to the Bot StoreAutomation Pathfinder Program
As you now have exposure to building production-grade bots and automating a variety of use cases, you can explore contributing specific Bots to Bot Store. Gone are the days we built something for ourselves and thought we just want to keep it to ourselves as they are our USP (Unique selling point), however, what if we told you, there is a better way to build your brand by showcasing your expertise with the world and build competitive advantage online. Now you are curious to know how it can really help you by contributing to Bot Store, let’s look at some of the key benefits: Creates a Marketing funnelOnce you publish your bots on Bot Store, your work is seen by a lot of Automation Anywhere customers who look at the Bot Store for new automations to be built. When they download your bot, you will be notified with their email information, which you can use to follow up and understand how it's working for them and offer additional services to build new features or to manage their existing au
Leveraging Pre-Built Automations and PackagesAutomation Pathfinder Program
Before you start automating any new use case related to a specific process or an application, you’ll want to know exactly what reusable assets you have at your disposal. Automation Anywhere’s Bot Store offers hundreds of pre-built bots and packages built by process automation and integration specialists. Leveraging Bot Store, developers can expect to accelerate their RPA development instead of having to build everything from scratch. Bot Store bots/packages are broken down by business process they serve, their categorization, and by the applications they engage with. Beyond being a location for downloading pre-built bots to include in bot builds, Bot Store is also an excellent place for automation ideas and to explore some of the “art of the possible” with RPA. Automation 360 platform is integrated with Bot Store, meaning, you can directly download the bots to the control room and start using it right away. Bot Store can help you in many ways, lets's take a quick look at some of the ke
Best Practice Guide for Establishing StandardsAutomation Pathfinder Program
You have started your automation journey with the Automation 360 platform and now you have to define a framework for all the developers to follow and use the best practices guide to ensure everyone follows the same standards. Before we dive into what the guardrails that need to be set up are, let’s try to understand why we even need these best practices for your automation initiative.You have hired a new set of engineers and they have joined from various organizations in which everyone had followed different standards and methodologies to develop the bots. It becomes important for them to know the standards followed here so they can all build in a similar fashion. If any of your existing engineers move on from the organization, the person replacing this engineer should be able to read and understand the standard with which the bots were developed earlier and continue to update with the same standards. Even if you have to allocate your engineers across different projects or even differ
This tutorial is a guest post from Ashwin A.K from Speridian Technologies - a global business and technology solutions provider. Speridian's business and technology experts help clients modernize their businesses through Digital Transformation.If you have an idea for a blog post or tutorial that you think would benefit the Automation Anywhere developer community, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Developing robust automations doesn’t have to be a challenging task. You just need to understand what to use where.Image Caption: Which is ‘where’ most of us are stuck.If you are comfortable working with just RPA, chances are you will develop entire automations with whatever is currently available at the RPA workspace. If that is your approach, then you might not be too keen on exploring solutions that require a bit of scripting.On the flipside, if you love coding then you would be inclined to rely on scripts more, even going as far as to drench the entire automation with code.
Automation Anywhere offers out of the box solutions that have the power to scale RPA, and these are my top 3 platform highlights! Access control and compliance You probably have read articles talking about how bad it is to have a micromanaging boss. Well, what about bots? The good thing is that we can (and should) micromanage them! That's what audit logs, centralized governance, analytics and granular role-based access controls are for. If everyone within an organization is creating and executing random scripts on their desktops you now have an organizational dependency on files that are not centrally stored, not reviewed by IT, and not scalable... not to mention what may happen when the individuals creating these scripts leave the company. Automation Anywhere provides access control and compliance and that enables you to make sure that whoever is developing bots in Automation 360 is following the organization's best practices, is storing their bots in a centralized place, and that ent
Keyboard shortcuts enable users to navigate through and use apps more quickly...but did you know there are a host of keyboard shortcuts available in Automation 360? Keyboard Shortcuts Keyboard shortcuts enable us all to work more efficiently in the apps that we use every day. If you build in Visual Studio, you're likely familiar with pressing F5 to execute your code with debugging. If you're used to building in IntelliJ, you're likely familiar with pressing Shift+Shift to Search Everywhere or Alt+Enter to invoke Context Actions. Did you know there are also a host of keyboard shortcuts that you can use in Automation 360 to enable you to move more quickly through your bot building process?Let’s breakdown some of the keyboard shortcuts you should be using and understand their benefit. Full documentation on Keyboard Shortcuts in Automation 360 Search: Ctrl + F Search is technically new with the .22 release of Automation 360. Now, developers can quickly and easily find references to variab
Tutorial: Building Your First Automation 360 Bot Automation 360 brings with it the ability for anyone to create and run their own bots. If you're brand new to the concept of robotic process automation (RPA) and looking for a place to get started - this is a perfect place to start. In this tutorial, we'll be building a bot to automate logging in to a website. We'll look at how the bot can be built out and tested, and even look at an alternative building approach that enables users to build out repeatable actions very quickly.Resources to Follow AlongLogin Tutorial Page: https://developer.automationanywhere.com/challenges/AutomationAnywhereLabs-Login.htmlMachine Setup Video Referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rvhln_RFysPre-Work: Machine SetupIf you're brand new to Automation Anywhere, there are a couple of steps you'll need to follow to properly get set up:Unless you already have access to an Automation 360 environment, you'll want to be sure to register for Automation Anywher
A dictionary is a data type available in Automation 360 that enables developers to store, retrieve, and iterate through key-value data pairings. Dictionaries can be very helpful in reducing the number of variables that need to be created, as a single dictionary value can hold a large amount of data that can be referenced in most all bot actions. In this session, we'll seek to understand how a dictionary variable can be created in Automation 360, how data can be stored in them, and how we can retrieve data within other actions. Dictionary Creation Dictionaries in Automation 360 are created in the same way other variables are created - by clicking on on the '+' sign in the variables pane of the developer interface. Unique to dictionaries, however, is that a user can define a subtype for the dictionary - to say that the values stored in this dictionary will always be of this particular subtype. In the video, the subtype is left as a string, but alternatively, boolean, number, or any co
Welcome to RPA Tips for Newbies - where Automation Anywhere experts offer advice for those just starting to learn RPA. Micah Smith, resident Developer Evangelist, and Jon Stueve, manager of Automation Anywhere University, chat about some of the advice they wish they had gotten when they were first learning to become RPA developers. In this video, they discuss the importance of grammar in coding your bots. Is This Case-Sensitive? Everything is case-sensitive...even when it's not. Put another way, if you always make sure to create and reference your variables and bot references as if they are case sensitive, you can never be wrong. Technically is everything case sensitive? No, but if you're always paying close attention to the way you name and reference things - and always end up using the same case-approach, you can never be wrong. Actionable Tip: Establish a standard pattern for the way you will name and reference all of your variables. A common approach in the Automation Anywhere
Get to Know Your Datatypes: Number VariableBeyond clicking their way through applications and making calls to application programming interfaces (APIs), bots use the data gathered from applications to make decisions and perform calculations. In support of these efforts, there is a dedicated variable type to hold numerical values: the Number variable. The number variable can store numeric values (including integers and decimals) from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807, and up to 15 decimal digits. Let's take a look at a couple of common ways that Number variables are used within bots. Number Package The first and most obvious place that Number variables are used is within the Number package. The Number package allows for basic operations in dealing with Number variable types: Assign: Assign a specific number to a new variable. This also includes taking arithmetic operations on other Number variables (or by hard-coding numbers) to include addition, subtraction, mul
Organizations across the world are using Automation Anywhere Enterprise A2019 to drive some of their digital transformation efforts...but what different types of bots are they creating? Let's examine 4 different types of bots to understand what types your organization may already be working on, as well as some types that you may look to create in the future. Stuff We're Doing Today Bots This bot type is the most common type of bot that organizations are creating - the bots that automate the heavily manual, mundane, and "robotic" tasks that humans are being asked to do. This category of bot includes automating the repetitive, high-volume, rule-based tasks where humans are often tasked with playing the bridge between applications that don't otherwise have automated methods of interfacing with one another. Of note - these types of tasks have lower job satisfaction with employees as the tasks require no real human input (reasoning, decision making, emotional intelligence, etc)
Control Room OverviewLearning Journey
Objective: Following a tutorial to build a bot is one thing - but it's important as a new bot developer to understand the Control Room, how the development interface is laid out, and the flow that bots typically follow from ideation to public check-in and deployment. The Control Room is the central interface for all things bot management, global value creation, user management, deployment, and testing. All that said, depending on your role within the organization - you may or may not see all of those capabilities from the Automation 360 Control Room interface. While most of your time as a bot builder will be spent in the Bot Editor interface, it's important to recognize what else can be done from the Control Room itself. Take a look at the tabs you most likely have access to as a developer (again, if you don't see all of these tabs in your interface, it’s ok - that’s controlled through your role…it’s most important just to understand what’s possible from this interface at this point):
Bot Editor Deep DiveLearning Journey
Objective: As you come to understand the capabilities of robotic process automation and using bots to automate redundant, rule-based tasks, it’s important to also understand the capabilities available out-of-box to bot developers. In this learning experience, we’ll highlight the interface and some of the capabilities of the Bot Editor and establish a pattern for learning about how to better understand the use of the available packages. To progress in the use of any application requires an understanding of its capabilities as well as information related to their appropriate application. For bot building, that means diving head first into the capabilities of the Bot Editor. Through the Bot Editor, developers can create, test, and review bot builds. As a bot builder, it’s important you’re familiar with the Bot Editor interface so that you know what packages are available and a general idea of the actions they contain, how to create and modify variables, and how to test (and debug) your bo
Where to Get HelpLearning Journey
Overview: Learning a new skill is challenging - especially when you’re learning on your own - and especially when you’re stuck on something. Thankfully, Automation Anywhere provides some excellent resources to help you get unstuck when you find yourself unsure how to solve a particular problem or deal with an issue you’re seeing. In this learning experience, we’ll break down some of the best available resources to get all your issues straightened out. When learning a new technical skill, there’s this challenging jump that learners must make: leaping from the comfort of doing well laid out tutorials with explicit instruction, to starting to solve problems where the steps to get to that final solution aren't so clear. Welcome to the life of being a problem solver! All joking aside, it can be intimidating when you get stuck on something, especially when you don't feel like you know where to turn to get the problem straightened out. Let’s take a look at some resources made available by Aut
What Can Bots Actually Do?Learning Journey
Objective: With a foundation of what RPA actually is, it’s important to start thinking about how RPA can be applied. In this learning experience, we’ll take a look at what bots can do and how they can be utilized in different areas of an organization. Bots are RPA: specialized software robots that automate high-volume, repetitive, rule-based tasks in an auditable and reliable way…but what do bots actually do? And how can that help save my organization time, money, reduction in errors, etc? The answer to both of these questions really depends on the manual efforts that take place in different areas within your organization. Take, for example, processing sales orders. Regardless of the size of your organization, there is some place that your company is tracking customer relationship data (in a CRM, xls, some other system of record) where data needs to be updated in the case of a sale. Additionally, most organizations also leverage an enterprise resource planning application as part of th
Getting Started - Citizen developer JourneyLearning Journey
Overview Welcome to the start of building great intelligent automation! This journey is focused on helping process analysts, business analysts, and process improvement specialists gets started in learning the capabilities of robotic process automation and learning to build their own bots on Automation 360. Users for this track will tend to have the following profile: Familiar with understanding and documenting of business processes. Comfortable with general problem-solving approaches and creative thinking. May or may not be familiar with creating process flows in a software application. Interested in learning the capabilities and use of robotic process automation to automate manual tasks. If the above describes you, then let's get things going! This journey is organized into learning experiences that continue to build on each other: What is RPA?: We’ll give you a quick overview of RPA and Enterprise Automation 360, our web-based RPA platform, and the basics for building on it.
The Automation Anywhere Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform enables users to automate common or repetitive tasks quickly and almost effortlessly. Users design automations by creating bots, then deploy those bots to the machine where the automation must run. As you can imagine, there are several elements of bot creation that form the moving parts to this process. The first ones you'll encounter are the Control Room, where you'll create and manage bots, and the bot agent, which runs completed bots. In this article, you'll get a tour of these tools and components required to create your automation successfully. The Control RoomThink of the Automation Anywhere Enterprise Control Room as mission control for all your bots. It’s based in the cloud and accessed through your browser. You use the Control Room to create bots in the bot workbench, to deploy them to your local machines running the bot agent, and to monitor those deployed bots.The Control Room home screen looks like this:Let’
Using Bots to Solve ProblemsLearning Journey
Objective: Learn to systematically approach problems in order to more quickly break them down for automation opportunities When evaluating an opportunity for automation, in its simplest form, a bot is designed to help solve problems. While that seems simple to say, often times developers (new and old) can become overwhelmed with a laundry list of requirements thrown at them all at once, whether that be in the form of a poorly documented process design document, or by way of a recorded screen share that quickly rattles through any number of steps of a process which may or may not include the specific detailed requirements for each step. With that said, it’s important to highlight that most business/process problems can be broken down into 3 core tenets of problem-solving. Let’s look at each of the tenets for using bots to solve problems. This involves understanding, dissecting, and communicating processes. 1. SequenceSequence is the order in which steps must occur to accomplish a goal.
What is RPA?Learning Journey
Objective: Define Robotic Process Automation and get started with Automation 360. Before we dive too deep into the technical implementations of Automation 360, it’s helpful to build a strong foundation on what robotic process automation is, and what robotic process automation is not. Robotic Process Automation (or RPA as it's often referred to) is a technology that allows users to create, configure, and run software “bots” to emulate human interaction within their systems to automate business processes. The specialized software bots in question provide value to organizations by automating high-volume, repetitive, rule-based tasks in an auditable and reliable way while freeing up humans to focus on more cognitive tasks which may require subjective decision making or emotional intelligence. Automation 360 bots can do everything from capturing data from applications (excel, text, forms, web, etc) to navigating websites, performing data entry, and even interfacing with web services. While
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