In every organization, there are multiple tasks that seem to be repetitive and time-consuming in nature. While performing these tedious tasks, there is a huge possibility for error occurrence. In order to eliminate these errors and save precious time, there are plenty of RPA software and tools available in the market.
Is RPA a testing tool or is it similar to Test Automation? Can a Robot execute complete RPA? How can it be utilized in testing?
RPA is defined as a process that enables the creation of a virtual workforce that is called software bots to emulate the human execution of repetitive and rule-based processes. This takes place only when these processes do not require manual intervention unless it is a part of the process flow that can be monitored and scheduled from your central control room.
With its increasing demand to automate the business processes, RPA for the market has been experiencing a constant and seemingly unstoppable industry boom.
How RPA has influenced Software Testing?
Test automation refers to the usage of special tools to fully or partially automate the process of software testing made up of test execution, validation, reporting and so much more.
The business climate is constantly evolving, and hence, any enterprise needs to evolve their products and services to stay relevant. Every organization makes use of multiple and disconnected IT systems for running its operations. These IT systems are often not changed due to budget, implementation and timing complexity issues. Therefore, the business process does not need to map the technical process mapped in the IT system. To overcome such technical and organizational debit, a special human workforce is hired to fill the gap between systems and processes.
With any change in the business process, an organization has to hire new employees or train their existing employees to map IT system and business processes. Both of these solutions are time-consuming and expensive.
How can you Implement RPA to your Business?
Robotic Process Automation takes place in terms of a few main phases:
You have to identify processes which you want to automate. Ask yourself some questions: Is the process manual and repetitive? Is it rule-based or is the input data in an electronic format? Set up a project team and finalize implementation timelines and approaches. You need to agree on solution design before performing the RPA processes.
In this phase, begin by developing the automation workflows as per the agreed plan. As it is wizard-driven, the implementation is very quick. Start by identifying the logging mechanism that should be implemented to find issues with the running bots.
You are required to run Testing cycles for in-scope automation in order to identify and correct the defects in the entire process. There should be a clear roadmap for the accurate scaling up of the RPA implementation.
Support and Maintenance
In this phase, it is recommended to provide continuous support after going live to assist in some immediate defect resolution. Follow general maintenance guidelines with particular roles and responsibilities using the support of the IT and business teams.
Difference between RPA and Test Automation
Development and Maintenance
- RPA Tools: No programming skills required, making the automation task simple and accessible to non-technical users.
- Test Automation Tools: Need programming skills like Selenium, Worksoft Certify, Robot Framework, UFT, and Tricentis Tosca
- RPA Tools: Automates scheduling and monitoring of work queues. It cannot be used as test results reporting and monitoring tool.
- Test Automation Tools: Comes with in-built validation and reporting solutions.
- RPA Tools: Supports automation of web-based, desktop and Citrix application.
- Test Automation Tools: Various tools for different platforms. Provides some commercial tools for supporting multiple platforms.
Legacy and Complex Systems
- RPA Tools: Automate all human actions irrespective of the complexity of the underlying system.
- Test Automation Tools: With the help of the right selection of tools, you can put correct applications under testing.
- RPA Tools: Allocate the virtual machines anytime, allowing parallel execution.
- Test Automation Tools: Programming techniques are required to achieve parallel execution by combining CI tooling.
The Road Ahead
While the future might seem a distant dot on the horizon, the usage of test automation tools for testing RPA solutions becomes more interesting and perhaps the less explored topic. With the right strategies and assessments, test automation solutions can play a crucial role in increasing efficiency and reducing the time-to-market in RPA projects. Keep Learning!
About the author: Dave Johansson is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Tatvasoft Australia providing custom software development services. Tatvasoft is located in Sydney and Melbourne. He loves to share his knowledge and experience through articles.