The SmartRPA Kapow solution is the key to robust and scalable automation with a SAP windows application. This is because the solution can:
- Locate GUI elements using robust and reusable finders/locators that are SAP aware.
- Communicate using the unique and efficient SmartRPA Kapow remote desktop control protocol. This mean that development of software robots against SAP is very easy, as one can create both the automation work-flow and interact with the remote SAP application at the same time, in real-time.
- For the most seamless and efficient extraction of data, SmartRPA can work with the SAP interface as XML and for example convert a user interface to a table in Excel.
Additionally if you are using the SAP web interface, the built-in webkit browser in SmartRPA Kapow can access the SAP application directly without the need to install and run SAP on a windows desktop, for superior performance and scalability.
Automation of applications running in Citrix XenApp is known to be challenging for RPA.
This is because Citrix XenApp exposes the application interface as a bitmap without any information about the components (widgets) that make up the user interface, a vital information for robust automation.
SmartRPA Kapow has, as the only RPA platform on the market, introduced advanced AI technology that can reengineer the original user interface components and deliver industry leading robustness for automation with Citrix XenApp.
This AI technology can also be used for improving robustness with legacy windows applications that do not expose an automation API.
An additional challenge with automating 3270-based processes is that the advanced user-role configuration system delivered by IBM allows the same application to morph screen layouts almost at a per-user level. To address this, SmartRPA Kapow can define anchor points based on non-changing lead texts as shown in the picture for robust interaction with the mainframe application even when the interface changes. High level screen components such as fields, colors, etc, are also available for ultimate robustness.
When developing a software robot with SmartRPA Kapow, interaction with the IBM application is performed in real-time, so you see what you get as you develop and test the sotware robot.
IBM mainframes are used to run critical business applications accesses via IBM 3270 or 5250 terminals. Contrary to other RPA products, that access mainframe applications using a 3270 or 5250 terminal emulator, SmartRPA has developed a proprietary and robust IBM Mainframe Connector. The SmartRPA Mainframe Connector communicates directly with the IBM mainframe using the native IBM TN3270/TN5250 protocol for industry-best RPA performance, robustness and ease-of-use.
The most common business application is undoubtedly Microsoft Excel. To obtain industry best performance and robustness, SmartRPA Kapow has embedded Excel processing directly inside the robot execution engine which can access an Excel document directly, for example from a file system or an email attachment. This eliminates the need to install and maintain Microsoft Excel on a remote windows desktop.
The embedded Excel-“aware” engine has a further advantage which includes purpose-built finders to locate or iterate directly or relatively over sheets, rows and cells within an Excel document. This deliver high performance and robustness when using software robots to automate processes that include Excel documents.
Most applications are moving to become web-based and companies, who are to automate manual processes with RPA, will likely have multiple processes that involve either internal or external web portals.
Robustness is also very important for automating against web applications, and here SmartRPA automatically selects hidden identifiers on a web pages to create robust automation. This can further be extended by adding anchor points and creating finders which include any combination of before, after, between, etc, relative to anchor points, images or other finders.
Windows Desktop Apps
Applications, which only exist on a windows desktop (so-called “thick clients”), include a number of popular business applications, such as SAP, Oracle Financials, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.
When a robot is being executed on the SmartRPA Kapow robot execution server and it needs access to a windows desktop app, an RPC call is set up to an available windows desktop where the desktop app is running. The robot can then remotely control the application, start it, log in, submit forms and extract data. This allows manual processes involving desktop apps to be fully automated with SmartRPA Kapow.
The application is controlled using one of two methods.
For .NET applications with the WAA (Windows Automation API) and for Java applications using JAB (Java Access Bridge).
For extraction of data in tabular form, the entire table can be extracted as XML and processed on the robot server for easy formatting, for example into a table in an SQL database or and Excel spreadsheet.
Scanned documents, where data is embedded in images, must be turned into digital form before they can be processed by the software robot. For this SmartRPA uses the Kofax Transformation Module, which is an industry leading OCR extraction engine built upon the best OCR engines in the market, combined with intelligent AI technology for accurate extraction.
Kofax KTM can use traditional rule-based extraction logic which works well when there are few variations over many scanned documents.
For more complex documents, an intelligent AI engine can be taught by feeding it a number of samples to learn from. The more and the better samples, the more accurately it can extract data – even in new situations. Outliers will automatically be forwarded for human check and any feedback from this process is used to further train the OCR engine.
SmartRPA Kapow robots can use the Kofax KTM product to automatically overview an input queue of scanned documents and process the data when extracted successfully.
SmartRPA Kapow robots can be run in real-time by invoking an auto-generated SOAP or REST web-service that supports input/output data in both XML or JSON formats. At the same time the robot itself can call SOAP and REST web services. This mean that the robots can be used as real-time integration components for systems development and for consummation by a BPM product like IBM Business Process Manager, Appian or Kofax TotalAgility. This can dramatically help accelerate the development of BPM based solutions where sub processes are all-manual.
This can also be used to deliver scalable self-service applications to customers and employees on both web and mobile much faster than with traditional methods and without being dependent of the availability of existing web services.
SmartRPA Kapow is not only capable of automation against application interfaces such as Windows apps, Web apps and Mainframe Apps. With SmartRPA Kapow you can also automate against a number of other interfaces such as:
- Web services – REST/SOAP
- XML, JSON, CSV, PDF documents
- All major SQL databases
- File systems on local drive, network drive and FTP
When building a software robot this is made easy by interface WYSIWYG-aware capabilities, such a native XML, JSON and PDF editing, file system viewer, web service interface generator, SOAP WSDL interface and SQL scripting.
High-level variable types include excel, HTML, CSV, XML, JSON, PDF etc, with corresponding native viewing and editing capabilities tailored for the characteristics of each individual type.