There are several ways to develop your RPA bots using different programming languages, automation frameworks, or low-code tools. Since to get the expected ROI (Return on Investment), you need to automate multiple business processes across your company, maintaining and scaling multiple RPAs is a prerequisite. Therefore, using an Orchestration platform significantly increases the probability of success of your RPA Initiative.
This article lists the TOP 8 Orchestration features you must have in your RPA initiative.
1. Bot Deployment Management
You don’t want to manually update your bot version in all runtime environments at every bot change. Using an Orchestrator, your bots are always running in the latest version. You can also separate your staging and production environments and use Continuous Delivery (CD) in your bot development process.
2. Task Management
Having more bots competing for the available runtime environments demands a system to queue the tasks until an environment is available to execute the given task. Using a task management system will also provide a full history of the previous executions, including which tasks were completed successfully and which failed, how long it took for each task, which virtual machine was responsible for each execution, and other additional information. If multiple runtime environments work in parallel, the task management module will also provide a load balancer between tasks in the queue and available runtime environments for execution.
3. Scheduling System
It’s very common to have business processes that must be performed at specific hours of the day, or on specific days of the week, or specific days of the month. You do not want your team starting these automations manually when they need to be executed. A scheduling system can be used to guarantee that all your bots are executed at the correct time.
RPA initiatives are very dynamic and may have dozens of bots running at the same time. These bots may affect the work of hundreds of people in your company; therefore a notification system is necessary to inform all these people about the bots’ execution. A simple way to address notifications is using an alert system that sends messages to the users when something important just happened like a bot finished its task or a new file is available for download. This system might reach users using multiple communication channels like email, push notifications, teams and Slack integration.
5. Error Handling
RPA bots usually automate processes in third-party systems that might be updated automatically, changing its UI workflow. Input files in incorrect format, wrong parameters, and credential expiration are other reasons a bot stops working. In all these cases, you want your RPA initiative to react fast and fix the problem as soon as possible. Therefore, an error handling module displaying the error stack trace, screenshot, and other information every time your bot crashes is a must.
6. Credential Management
Using credentials explicitly in automation source code is bad practice due to multiple reasons:
- Security: risk to expose the credential in case of source code leakage.
- Maintenance: credential update will break your automation if you do not update the credential in your source code.
- Collaborative work: in many cases, credentials are managed by people outside the automation development team, which will be a constant issue.
A credential management module encrypts the credential in the cloud and your automation gets it dynamically in the runtime. If a person needs to update a credential, he can access the credential management web interface, make the change, and it will be delivered to every automation using that credential.
7. Reports and Analytics
After deploying dozens of automation, having a big picture of your operation is crucial. Your team probably wants to know which automations are running more, how long the executions are taking, how many alerts were sent, which processes are demanding more maintenance, etc. Reports and analytics can support you in making better decisions about scaling and maintaining your RPA initiative. If your orchestrator supports exporting metrics via API, you can create insightful dashboards on Power BI, Google Data Studio, or any other data visualization tool.
8. User Groups
As your RPA initiative scales, it is mandatory to have the ability to group users and resources. All users seeing and interacting with all automations is not a good practice since it might expose sensitive information across all your entire team, decrease productivity, and increase the chance of operational errors. Grouping automation by your company departments or initiatives and giving access to just the right people is a good practice. User groups also allow the RPA initiative administrators to control permissions to actions in the platform.
BotCity RPA Orchestrator – Community License
BotCity Orchestrator provides all these features above. You can sign up for free and play with all these features.