Digitally Transform Your Enterprise with Power Automate: Expanding Robotic Process Automation Capabilities with WinAutomation
When we launched Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Power Automate, our goal was to provide customers with seamless automation across their IT environment, for software that was modern or legacy. Since Power Automate is designed for all developers, RPA is the feature which allows non-technical developers to add automation to their legacy apps, and automate processes which traverse applications with and without APIs. One of the canonical examples of such a process we recently demonstrated was invoicing, where the addition of RPA enables Power Automate users to fully automate invoicing from the point the invoice is submitted, through to updates made in a legacy invoicing application (figure 1). We also discussed the clear advantages and impact automating a routine yet crucial task such as invoicing can have on an organization.
Figure 1. Automate invoicing process with Power Automate
There are many such routine tasks which include applications without APIs. In our example, the legacy application was a Win32 app. However, many legacy applications are not Win32 and many customers have processes which include these applications. As part of our goal to create one automation service which can connect and automate an organization’s entire IT ecosystem, we looked to quickly expand Power Automate’s RPA capabilities.
Adopting a Leading RPA Technology
To help expand our RPA capabilities, we recently acquired Softomotive. This addition to the Power Automate portfolio adds 15 years of experience on RPA technology, and more importantly for our customers, enables Power Automate to extend its RPA capability to a larger set of legacy applications. Softomotive brings its flagship WinAutomation technology into Power Automate, enabling users to now automate processes which include:
- Java based applications
- Citrix applications
- AS400 and other terminal apps
in addition to the RPA capabilities offered with UI flows. Another key extension is on web automation offered with WinAutomation. Now, in addition to the Web UI flows for web automation already available with Power Automate for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, WinAutomation additionally supports automation for Mozilla, Internet Explorer, and also Google Chrome. With the combined capabilities of Web UI flows and WinAutomation web automation, customers can now automate tasks across a wider set of the most popular web browsers. Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll see the continuing integration between WinAutomation and Power Automate. Currently, any Power Automate customer with an RPA plan also gets the functionality of WinAutomation. Users will see the new WinAutomation connector option appear when they want to create a new UI flow (figure 2).
Figure 2. WinAutomation connector is available when users want to create a new UI flows.
Providing Multiple Methods for Desktop RPA
With 15 years of development experience behind it, WinAutomation is designed to provide an exceptional user experience. WinAutomation includes the ‘Process Designer’ feature (figure 3) offering an easy drag and drop interface which enables easy process development and debugging capabilities. With the Process Designer, users can:
- choose the actions the process needs to perform and drop them in the workspace
- use a visual debugger which offers a detailed UI which includes tooltips and help balloon to help users identify and remediate bugs
- easily pause an automation to assess process steps and even change variables while the process is running to get a real-time assessment on the process steps
- self-reliant Functions feature which makes it easy to create and maintain complex processes
- search and usage capabilities which accelerate process development time.
Figure 3. WinAutomation Process Designer with easy to use drag and drop can debugging capabilities
WinAutomation also includes a Macro Recorder feature (figure 4) which enables users to simply record their mouse overs and click steps with certain desktop apps and then playback as part of the automated process. The Macro Recorder offers two modes, ‘Smart Mode’ which records the user’s entire desktop interaction, and ‘Based on Coordinates Mode’ which records selected areas as the name indicates. Users can also edit or modify the recording, enhance its logic with loops or conditions and merge it other automation steps. With the addition of WinAutomation’s Process Designer and Macro Recorder to Power Automate and its existing UI flows, we are excited to provide our customers with a variety of RPA options and an expansive set of applications which can now be automated. It is an important step in our continued goal of offering the most comprehensive automation service available to the industry.
Figure 4. Macro Recorder feature with WinAutomation in Power Automate
Enhance Your Digital Transformation with Power Automate
If you haven’t had a chance to try WinAutomation yet, check it out. As we mentioned, it’s available to all our licensed Power Automate with RPA users. We’re looking forward to further enhancing the integration between WinAutomation and Power Automate and will be making more advancements soon, so stay tuned. Learn more about Power Automate by joining our growing Power Automate community and participate in discussions, provide insights, and even influence product roadmap. If you’re not already, begin following the Power Automate blog to get news on the latest updates. To get started on your first flows, learn how to use Power Automate from our tutorials and our video channels hosted by Power Automate engineers who will demonstrate how to create sophisticated flows within a matter of minutes. Go to powerautomate.com, to get started with Power Automate today!
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