Automation Pathfinder Program

Framework for Expanding Automation Opportunities

  • 28 September 2022
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By now, you’ve hopefully built some familiarity with the Solution Patterns introduced in the Start phase. You’ve likely found that a good number of your use cases fit into one of those patterns, and your familiarity with the patterns has made the process of categorizing, documenting, and delivering automations a more streamlined process. We aren’t ditching those patterns. They are still valid and there are still plenty of new use cases that will come to you that will fit one of the patterns described. We are , however, going to explore a few new patterns so you can expand the types of automation opportunities that the team can take on. This isn't just for the sake of saying “there's different ones too!” Expansion into these new patterns represents a maturity in your use of the full capabilities of the Automation Anywhere platform and enables your automation practice to open up to new ways of thinking about how Automation Anywhere created automations can enable the various business teams within your organization.

 

Run Remote Through API

 

Download Run Remote Through API Solution Design Document Template

 

A maturation beyond running automations on-demand or by schedule is starting to consider where other applications within your organization should initiate the execution of an automation. An automation that is created to Run Remote Through API is an automation that is initiated through the Automation Anywhere Control Room Application Programming Interface (API) set to execute on one or more unattended bot runners. In practice, this may look like a workflow or case management application that has a step within it to invoke a bot, possibly to research a case, validate the data in a case, or take action to create a new task in an application that has no direct connection to the originating workflow/case management platform. The process of initiating an automation execution via API opens up a ton of possibilities for an organization as they think through automation use cases:

 

  • Invoking an automation from a custom-built internal application
  • Executing an automation as a single, defined-task in a great process flow
  • Triggering a bot to execute when a certain event is hit in another application

 

Thankfully, the process of invoking a bot from the Control Room is relatively straightforward. Check out How to Trigger a Bot From the Control Room API to download a pre-built postman collection to learn which endpoints are required to invoke an automation. Finally, because of the flexibility of automations created in Automation Anywhere, upon completion of your automation’s execution -you could make a REST call back to the originating application using the REST package or use the callback functionality available in the Bot Deployment endpoint to have the Control Room make a return call upon completion with all included designated output variables.

 

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Run Remote On Demand - Workload Management

 

Download Run Remote on Demand – Workload Management Solution Design Document Template

 

Workload Management is a feature of the Automation 360 Control Room that enables users to upload Microsoft Excel and CSV files to the Control Room to feed tasks to a Workload Management Queue. That queue serves as a “task list” for a pool of Automation Anywhere Bot Runners who work the items in the queue on a first-in-first-out method. The process of initiating an automation execution using Run Remote On Demand - Workload Management is as easy as adding items to a pre-established format of tasks and uploading that list of tasks to the Automation Anywhere Control Room (either directly or through the use of another bot).

 

Beyond the benefit of being able to add multiple bot tasks at once, the work items added to the queue can be worked on concurrently by the various Bot Runner accounts/devices that have been added to the device pool associated with the Workload Management Queue. This enables organizations to multi-thread the work they need bots to accomplish with a clear audit history of each task that was completed along with the corresponding runner device that was used. That said, one final point to call out which may already be obvious: the bigger the device pool, the more quickly the work items in your queue can be processed. Great for those tasks when spike capacity of a large number of devices is needed.

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Run Remote Through API - Workload Management

 

Download Run Remote Through API – Workload Management Solution Design Document Template

 

By this point we’ve established that Running an Automation Remote Through API enables users to initiate an automation using Automation Anywhere Control Room Application Programming Interface (API) and Workload Management is a capability of the Automation Anywhere Control Room to distribute work items that have been added to a queue through a pool of unattended Bot Runners.

 

Combining those two concepts, we have Running an Automation Remote via API while using Workload Management. In this solution pattern, work items are added to a Workload Management Queue ad hoc via the Control Room API Workload Management endpoint. Identical to the Run Remote on Demand - Workload Management execution, once tasks are added to the Workload Management Queue, they are processed via the device pool in a first-in-first-out manner.

 

Where might this be used? For starters, it's not uncommon for other enterprise applications to execute “batch” tasks where some event runs on a set schedule and churns out some variable number of results. In this case, rather than tasks coming to Automation Anywhere Bot Runners in drips and drabs throughout the day, a large number of tasks become available for processing all at once. In cases like this, it makes sense to grab the output of that batch job, and add all work items to the Workload Management Queue for expedited processing via the device pool.

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Conclusion & Actionable Takeaways

 

As you’ve seen, through these newly introduced solution patterns, there’s likely room for your organization to expand in the way that it thinks about appropriate use cases for applying Robotic Process Automation using Automation Anywhere. As you continue to build experience in Automation 360 and mature in your automation practice, be sure to check out the Solution Patterns in the Scale phase (while still mastering the Solution Patterns in the Start and Accelerate phases), as these new use patterns will continue to open up additional use case opportunities for your automation practice.

 

Actionable Takeaways

 

  • As you talk through automation opportunities with business analysts, other developers, or users within your organization, think through which of the Solution Patterns would work best for the opportunity at hand
    • As you brainstorm potential solutions with users, consider if a different solution pattern may enable a bot to be used in a different way, or if the description of a certain solution pattern sparks an idea that they may have previously thought was outside the realm of automation.

 

  • Leverage the provided custom roles for each framework to ensure that any roles that are established for Run As users are correctly set up.
    • Consider these the baseline custom roles, depending on how the runner is being used you may add multiple roles to various Run As users to enable them to execute automations in support of multiple solution patterns.

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