A number of people have asked us about how RPA fits with our other process automation features, particularly workflow. While the Laserfiche Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Preview provides a self-contained environment for demonstration purposes, the production release of RPA features will fit natively with the other Laserfiche process automation features available in the cloud. You will be able to include the RPA features you've played with in the Preview as just one step of your larger automated process.
When RPA is released, an RPA workflow activity will be able to run bots directly from within workflows. Look for an Invoke Bot activity that can be inserted into workflows to call upon a recorded bot process.
Let’s look at an example:
The above example is a part of a workflow that uses the employee ID on the employee’s file in the Laserfiche repository. With this ID, the workflow can call a bot to screen scrape additional employee information from a non-integrated system. For example, an older, legacy payroll system may not have an easy way for a workflow to get information from it. The bot can log into your payroll system and retrieve the relevant information directly from the application screen. The bot then returns these values to the workflow to update the metadata with the new information.
RPA features will also be able to make use of remote agents, which provide a secure connection that allow bots to run remotely on other machines and then send results to the process automation suite. When a bot runs in a workflow or in another part of process automation, it will run on one of these servers. This allows bots to automatically run in the background and be called upon as necessary. In the prior example, the activities involving the payroll system would be run on the remote agent. Both the screenscraped information from the payroll system and general process information would be sent back to process automation.
Want to start figuring out how bots will play into your workflows? While you are not yet able to pull it into workflow, the preview does include input and output parameters. You can set input parameters with the information the bot would hypothetically get from the workflow. The action history when you run the bot will let you know what the output parameters for that run of the process would have been.
Have any great ideas on how you plan to incorporate bots into your workflows or other Laserfiche business processes? Let us know! We'd love to hear! Feel free to post here if you want to share your bot with the rest of the Laserfiche community, or send to us directly through the feedback form!