UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

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Joe Glines
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UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

01 Aug 2017, 15:42

Has anybody played with UiPath?

Personally I don't see myself switching from AutoHotkey however I can see how, for non-programmers, it has a certain appeal.
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

01 Aug 2017, 15:57

There is also Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, WorkFusion. The Goal of these "RPA" tools is to stand up a center of excellence with business users developing automation. I currently work in this space implementing Automation Anywhere. By the way WorkFusion has a free license currently. Many of these tools were build initially as layers on top of AutoIt. Eventually they became something more or less independant.
There are a ton of six figure jobs for Good Automation experts even with no experience with these specific tools. RPA is booming and there is a serious shortfall of people that understand automation. Our company is being crushed by the amount of work we have vs the consultants on staff
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

01 Aug 2017, 16:01

By the way none of the RPA tools compare to the flexibility of a mature automation language. Blue Prism has the ability to bake C# and VB directly in a project in order to extend it. AA supports DLL calls. None of them support building custom user interactions as far as I am aware
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

01 Aug 2017, 20:52

Thanks tank! I was chatting with a friend over in China about the overall topic of Robotic / Desktop automation.

I'm very happy to hear that that there is a demand out there! :) My experience has been quite the opposite however I'm typically trying to get people to adopt the technology / do some minor coding. Perhaps I should just pitch it more as "let me automate that for you..."
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

02 Aug 2017, 07:26

never present technology. Present up to 500% ROI. Yes that's a real industry figure. Companies generally spend less than one fifth on automation as the cost of the staffing reduction as a result
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

03 Aug 2017, 07:39

tank wrote:By the way none of the RPA tools compare to the flexibility of a mature automation language. Blue Prism has the ability to bake C# and VB directly in a project in order to extend it. AA supports DLL calls. None of them support building custom user interactions as far as I am aware


What do you mean when you say "custom user interactions"?

The companies you list all look like enterprise solutions. Does something like http://www.winautomation.com/ compare for individual end users?

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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

03 Aug 2017, 07:54

FastKeys made with AutoHotkey
[AHK] 1.1.26.01 x64 Unicode | [WIN] 10 Pro (Version 1703) x64
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

03 Aug 2017, 08:19

guest3456 wrote:What do you mean when you say "custom user interactions"?
Let's say you need to prompt the user for information, capture user input, etc
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

03 Aug 2017, 08:39

tank wrote:
guest3456 wrote:What do you mean when you say "custom user interactions"?
Let's say you need to prompt the user for information, capture user input, etc


Gotcha

The companies you list all look like enterprise solutions. Does something like http://www.winautomation.com/ compare for individual end users?

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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

03 Aug 2017, 08:44

I would say based on the features it is comparable but does at least offer custom gui for input.
workfusion caters to small organisations as well even single user automation. BP and AA are way to expensive for a small scale individual automation exercise 10-15k each license
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

04 Aug 2017, 18:05

tank wrote:never present technology. Present up to 500% ROI. Yes that's a real industry figure. Companies generally spend less than one fifth on automation as the cost of the staffing reduction as a result

Exactly. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

07 Aug 2017, 07:24

For those interested in this thread, or understanding more about the business of Robotics Automation, you might be interested in the below video where JnLlnd, Maestrith JFord and I "interviewed Tank regarding typical clients and the overall process. Thanks again Tank for talking through everything! We greatly appreciated your time!

Here is a link to the deck I put together for talking-points and you can watch the video below.

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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

07 Aug 2017, 09:48

Per our above interview I did some investigation on some of the popular scripting / Robotics automation tools. The metrics below are just some things that I used to get an idea of how "popular" a given tool currently is. Of course newer tools will not do as well as older ones but I wanted a quick guage of what is going on.
Image

A few of us are highly interested in taking a deep-dive into one of the Robotics Automation tools however Tank mentioned two of the tools had very high licensing costs so those are probably off the table for the time being. He did mention UiPath & Work Fusion had some sort of "free" version.

From the above data I'm leaning towards UiPath but am open to other suggestions... In whatever tool we decide to try we are also looking for someone that is willing to give us a 1-2 hour intro to the tool overview. Anybody knowledgable enough of the tools & willing to take this on? We can do a "webinar" type format and record it for others to be able to watch / learn...
Regards,
Joe
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

07 Aug 2017, 11:20

Could you elaborate what the" lower is better" values indicate?
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Joe Glines
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

07 Aug 2017, 11:37

The very "best" score is 1. Values that are higher in number are "not as good". If you go to Alexa.com you'll see Google.com is ranked globally #1. and LinkedIn.com is ranked 25th globally. AutoHotkey.com is globally ranked 12,861 and http://the-automator.com is 912,038 globally. The higher the number, "worse" Alexa (and ahrefs) score you have.
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

30 Aug 2017, 06:06

I found this interesting video series from Prof Willcocks on the future of work.

I also found this podcast & Slide deck Recorded on 9 May 2016 at Old Theatre, Old Building. Here’s a brief summary:
It’s predicted that five million jobs will be performed by robots in the next ten years. Contrary to the fears perpetuated by the media that robots will steal your job, Professor Willcocks and Professor Lacity discuss how robotic technologies can facilitate the rise, not the demise, of human productivity and innovation. In presenting a more realistic and balanced view, the fears that surround robotic processing automation are punctured by in-depth research and expel the myths around the benefits and downsides of present and future technologies.

Willcocks is a co-author of “Service Automation: Robots and the Future of Work 2016

The hype and fear, globally, that surrounds service automation, robots and the future of work need to be punctured by in-depth research.

This book, by Professors Leslie Willcocks and Mary Lacity, captures a year's worth of learning about service automation based on a survey, in-depth client case studies, and interviews with service automation clients, providers, and advisors.

The authors cleverly embed today's empirical lessons into the broader history and context of automation, as a vital key in understanding the fast-rising phenomenon of service automation. The authors give a balanced, informed and compelling view on gaining the many benefits, as well as managing the downsides, of present and future technologies.

The book has a number of key selling points:
• the authors are globally recognized for outstanding, world-class research
• the book describes types of automation and gives evidence for multiple business benefits
• in-depth case studies are included - from clients, providers and advisors of service automation
• 25 key lessons are given, on how to deploy service automation in the workplace and there is a focus on the future of work, including robotic process automation, with valuable predictions and critique.
BoBo
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

30 Aug 2017, 11:27

Joe Glines wrote:Per our above interview I did some investigation on some of the popular scripting / Robotics automation tools. The metrics below are just some things that I used to get an idea of how "popular" a given tool currently is. Of course newer tools will not do as well as older ones but I wanted a quick guage of what is going on.
[...]
Regards,
Joe
Let's assume that AHK has taken over AutoIt bc a huge amount of its "automation customers" are found in the "games" section. Another indicator for this is the rate of LinkedIn contacts (AFAIK a network for professionals), that is about 4 times higher for AutoIt. Based on that I was astonished that establishing a "meet & greet/black board" section at the AHK forum for commercial requests has been dropped that fast. ... :shifty:
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Joe Glines
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

30 Aug 2017, 12:29

@ BoBo
I agree that a huge drawing of people to AutoHotkey are for gamers. Having said that I am surprised to see spikes in traffic to my website during the week and it really falls off on weekends (so maybe I just get the business folks?)

My thoughts on AutoIt vs AutoHotkey on LinkedIn are a bit different. I wonder if many people that work with AutoHotkey don't really think about mentioning it on their resume because it is just a small tool they use verse AutoIt users are more "devoted" or "hardcore" in their uses of it. I think if we examined the profiles of the people that mention AutoIt verse those that mention AutoHotkey we'd see many more "programmers /IT" people using AutoIt verse a lot of fragmentation for AutoHotkey. (BTW- my goal is to directly connect with 1,000 AutoHotkey LinkedIn people. I'm currently at 887!) :)

I was very saddened by the AHK forum dropping the blackboard for commercial requests. Not that I wanted to make a bunch of money (because I think the typical person coming to the forum isn't willing to spend it) just that I thought it could have given another reason to use AutoHotkey.
burque505
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

01 Sep 2017, 20:31

UiPath has support for ahk.dll.
https://github.com/UiPath/Script.Activities/blob/master/UiPath.Script.Activities/AutoHotKey/RunAutoHotKeyScript.cs
I had to download the .sln and compile it, then put the .nupkg file in a folder where UiPath could find it. That was it.
That script package is also available as a download at https://www.myget.org/gallery/workflow if you have (free) account.
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E_Miranda
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Re: UiPath - Robotics Automation / Desktop Automation

20 Oct 2017, 09:54

I hope I'm not hi-jacking this thread...

I've recently begun researching RPA tools and the RPA industry in general, which has led me to this thread. Some background... over the last 10 years I've worked my way into niche positions within my present and former employers where I create automation using AHK. I work in the health insurance field and have created tons of automation including complex scripts to process and adjust claims. These more complex scripts have required connecting to databases with staging tables to retrieve an available record to process. Processing includes logging into the claims app (desktop and web apps), navigating, scraping, performing decision logic based on conditionals to make changes to the claim, and submitting changes - all while passing validations along the way to avoid incorrect adjustments or processing. Then writing back to the database with feedback and success or failure. We use a small farm of VM's on which to run the scripts, so that we can run the script simultaneously on multiple desktops and reduce processing time. My scripts have been responsible for processing hundreds of thousands of records over the years and considerable cost savings. All of this using AHK primarily.

My position has always been within the Operations side of things because generally IT has not been interested. But in my current company the work I've done under my boss the last 3 years has been recognized as a successful POC, and we've been moved into a branch of IT in order to create an automation team and further extend the technology. This possibly will require an actual robust framework/platform in which to run and control the automated jobs, and maybe more robust tools. That has led me to research RPA. However, so far I only see it as a potential tool in our automation toolbox, and not necessarily capable of performing the kind of complex processing described above, or provide the framework that is needed. Would any of these tools fit the bill, or should I just continue with the "roll your own" approach using AHK (and maybe other languages like Python)?

;TLDR - My health insurance employer is increasing desktop automation efforts. Will an RPA solution be effective and able to perform the complex scripting that is currently being done with AHK? Or should I just stick with AHK and/or other scripting languages.

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