Introduction to UiPath in Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

April 20, 2021

UiPath is a popular and progressive Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool that enables users to automate various aspects of business processes. It provides an open-source platform that promotes collaboration and automation of repetitive tasks. It is used in various fields such as banking, healthcare, finance, and many more.

This article will introduce UiPath to the readers and explains how it works. It also provides its applications and highlights why it is widely used.

Table of contents

Introduction to UiPath and RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the automation of workflows using softwares or robots. This process reduces human interaction in these workflows.

RPA allows users to configure robots or softwares that enforce business processes through the integration of human actions with digital systems. RPA software collects data and orchestrates applications using the user interface. They interpret data and communicate with other applications to perform various repetitive tasks.

UiPath is one such RPA tool that can be used for various forms of automation such as Citrix automation, PDF automation, Web automation, and Windows desktop automation.

In web automation, UiPath enables the web developers to perform various actions like data extraction, application transfer, report generation, and website testing.

This tool can be integrated with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Business Process Management (BPM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Its end-to-end solutions enable users to automate redundant tasks. The main programming language used in this tool is Visual Basic (VB).

UiPath components

The following are the components of UiPath:

  • UiPath Studio: This component uses visual aids such as diagrams and flowcharts to design automation processes. It also involves the coding and sequencing of these processes. It consists of Graphical User Interface (GUI) buttons, drag and drop features, and pre-built templates.
  • UiPath Robot: In this component, multiple bots are deployed to execute the automation processes using pre-defined rules.
  • UiPath Orchestrator: This component functions as a web-based application that schedules, deploys, and manages processes.

Why UiPath is widely used?

The following are the reasons why UiPath is widely used by developers and organizations:

  • Compliance: It can help an organization to comply with industry regulations, since it supports internal review.
  • Cost-effectiveness: This tool is cost-effective because there are minimal operational costs.
  • Security: The security features of UiPath prevents users from various forms of attacks. When a user tries to log into the system using a different computer, it will automatically end the previous session (login).
  • Community-centric: It offers a free trial in its community edition with an active community support with tutorials and tips.
  • Speed and accuracy: It completes tasks faster and with greater precision as compared to humans.
  • Customer experience: It is an effective way of improving customer experience.
  • Productivity: It boosts productivity in an organization, since many tasks can be completed simultaneously within a short time.

Features of UiPath

  • In-built recorder: Users can record their activities using its in-built recorder.
  • Scalability: It has effective debugging handling mechanisms. It can also handle various AI applications.
  • Hosting options: Hosting can be done in a virtual terminal or a cloud.
  • Central repository: It consists of a centralized repository that enhances simultaneous handling of robots by users.
  • Application compatibility: UiPath is compatible with various applications, including desktop and web applications.
  • Scrapping functionality: It has an advanced scrapping functionality (wizard-driven) that allows users to perform data scrapping. Users can scrape data from various applications.

How UiPath works?

Understanding the UiPath architecture can help us understand how it works.

The image below shows the architecture of UiPath:

UiPath Architecture

Image Source: EDUCBA

UiPath works in three layers: the client layer, server layer, and persistency layer.

Client Layer

This layer consists of UiPath components that can be accessed by users. These include UiPath Robots, UiPath Studio, executors, browsers, and the UiPath agent. A developer can use these components to design various tasks that need to be automated.

The UiPath agent plays the role of a mediator between the server and the client. It provides an avenue for communicating information. Users can see available jobs in the system tray using this tool.

The agent can change the system settings and enable the current jobs to start or stop. The software robots uses the executor service to execute tasks in the window application.

Server Layer

This layer displays all the server details. The whole project is uploaded here once the robots have been fully developed for the execution of tasks.

The server layer consists of an orchestrator that performs various functions such as monitoring activities, scheduling robots, and generating reports.

Persistency layer

This layer contains database servers that store the configuration details of the software robots. These include the users’ data, logging information, asset details, and assigned tasks.

Use cases of UiPath in RPA

The following are some of the real-life applications of UiPath:

  • Banking: UiPath is used in the banking sector to perform automated credit assessments on loan applicants. It is also used for detecting and preventing retail fraud.
  • Insurance: It is used by insurance companies to integrate legacy systems. UiPath automates various front-end tasks that improve customer experience.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare providers are using UiPath to automate the processing of claims. Patients do not have to wait for a long time for the claims to be processed before they can access health services. UiPath automation ensures that health services are provided seamlessly.
  • Finance: UiPath automates financial transactions and enables users to aggregate data with other fintech applications. It also enhances accountability and compliance by providing audit trails for the recorded transactions.

Limitations of UiPath

  • It does not recognize data that is in an unstructured or non-electronic format.
  • The automation of most of the tasks in an organization may render some people jobless.
  • The community forum may not provide all the help that a user may need. This is because many people in the forum are not UiPath employees.

Conclusion

This article has provided an overview of UiPath and how it is used in robotics process automation. This tool can be used by developers to perform various forms of automation.

To summarize, the following are some of the main things we have learned:

  • RPA is the use of technologies to automate workflows or business processes.
  • UiPath is an RPA tool used for performing Citrix automation, PDF automation, Web automation, and Windows desktop automation. - This tool can be used to automate redundant tasks.
  • The three products of UiPath include UiPath Studio, UiPath Robot, and UiPath Orchestrator.
  • Some of the features of UiPath include an in-built recorder, scalability, advanced scrapping functionality, cloud hosting, and application compatibility.
  • The architecture of UiPath has three layers: the client layer, server layer, and persistency layer.
  • UiPath is applied in various industries such as finance, insurance, healthcare, and banking.

Happy learning!


Peer Review Contributions by: Srishilesh P S


About the author

Onesmus Mbaabu

Onesmus Mbaabu is a Ph.D. candidate pursuing a doctoral degree in Management Science and Engineering at the School of Management and Economics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), Sichuan Province, China. His interests include economics, data science, emerging technologies, and information systems. His hobbies are playing basketball and listening to music.

This article was contributed by a student member of Section's Engineering Education Program. Please report any errors or innaccuracies to enged@section.io.