Robotic Process Automation with Blue Prism | A Definitive Guide with Best Practices [ OverView ]
Last updated on 03rd Jan 2022, Blog, General
Blue Prism is an RPA Tool which holds the capability of virtual workforce powered by software robots. This helps the enterprises to automate the business operations in an agile and cost-effective manner. Also, Blue Prism offers a visual designer with no recorders, scripts or any intervention.
- What is Blue Prism?
- Blue Prism RPA Features
- Components of Blue Prism
- How to Create a New Proces
- Advantages of Process Studio
- What is a Business Object
- Benefits of using Blue Prism
- Blue-Prism International Case Studies
- Uses of RP
What is Blue Prism?
Blue Prism is a UK based software development company in the field of Robotic Process Automation. The group supplies software robots that help automate clerical back-office processes that work exactly like a human. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was invented by Blue Prism. This fact itself shows that the company is a leader in RPA software development.
Blue Prism software enables business operations to be agile and cost-effective by improving accuracy by developing automated, manual, rules-based, repeatable back-office processes and a “digital workforce”. RPA Blue Prism Tool provides designer-like flow charts with drag and drop features to automate each step of the business processes.
- Secure, scalable and central management of software robots’ virtual workforce
- Complete automation solution resulting in task distribution and queue management
- Blue Prism has many strong features like load balancing, encryption, and audit. It also provides robots that are centrally defined and managed
- Blue Prism Automation Tool comes with a variety of spy modes for different application types
- It has many advanced features to configure the dashboard so that session information can be directed to external analytics and monitoring systems
- Blue Prism’s Latest Version 6 Provides Support for Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS Cloud Deployment Patterns
- Exception steps can be set to save screen captures. When used in a production environment, this feature can securely solve resource processing issues.
- You can automate excel, xml, csv, pdf, images etc.
- No need to write any code when working with Blue Prism Tool
- It can automate software developed in Java, Mainframe, Web-based, Windows applications
Blue Prism RPA Features:
Here are the popular Blue Prism RPA features:
- Process studio
- Object studio
- Object Studio provides some “stages” that are not available in Process Studio
- Object Studio doesn’t have a main page, but has two default pages
- Pages are organised as a flat grouping instead of hierarchically like in Process Studio
- Consistency and Scalability
- Reduced bot creation time for subsequent processes
- System changes only need to be updated in one place, rather than through each process. Bot maintenance becomes easy
- Process diagrams consist of various stages linked together using links to form a logical structure.
- Steps are selected from the toolbar and placed on the diagram using the mouse.
- They can be selected, moved, resized, formatted, cut, copied, pasted and deleted as much as you might expect.
- Stages also have various properties that can be accessed by double-clicking.
- Links are created using the Link tool by dragging the mouse from the centre of one stage to the centre of another.
- Dragging without the link tool can be used to select more than one step at a time.
- Now with examples in this Blue Prism tutorial, we will learn how to create a process in Blue Prism
Components of Blue Prism:
Blue Prism is a set of libraries, tools and runtime environment for RPA:
Every software robot has two main parts:
What is Object Studio?
The Object Studio in Blue Prism is used to create various objects. Object Studio is the place where we can create Visual Business Objects. It is abbreviated as VBO. VBO is designed to interact with other applications. A variety of actions can be performed within these objects in Object Studio.
We’ll see that Object Studio closely resembles Process Studio. There are important differences, which are:
Benefits of developing VBOs:
What is Process Studio?
Process Studio is an area where an actual process is created. It looks similar to a traditional flowchart. It allows business logic, control loops, variable and object calls to be sequenced and tested in a visible business flow. Each page in a process has its own tab, and generally, the process defined in Process Studio is similar to a flowchart.
A process acts like a human user. It implements the logic of a software robot. It’s almost like a personal interaction with multiple applications to complete a series of steps that can invoke actions to complete the same steps.
- Right-click on the Processes heading under Studio and then select “Create a Process” from the context menu.
- Name the new process “first process”.
- Enter a brief description of the process.
- The new process will appear under the Process heading. Now double click to open it.
- On the left side of the screen is the Stage toolbar. Click and drag it into position to place a stage on the page. Try it out by dragging a few different steps across the page.
- You’ll notice that one of the steps in the Steps toolbar has a blue rectangle highlighting it. If you click on the page directly then whatever step will be highlighted will be added. Click the Calculation step on the toolbar to highlight it.
- Double click on the properties of different stages to view them
- Press the save button but keep the diagram open.
- Space is effectively infinite in Process Studio, and the Pan and Zoom tools can be used to manoeuvre around the diagram. Grid lines and “Snap” settings are on by default, but can be turned off (via the View menu) if necessary.
How to Create a New Proces:
From the main Blue Prism window, select “Studio” from the tabbed menu at the top of the screen:
Here, you can see how the cursor changes and next to it is the Calculate Steps icon. Now click on the Process page to add the calculation step. This saves you having to go back to the toolbar if you have multiple steps of the same type to add. Even with the calculated step cursor you can drag and place other step types.
When the steps are on the page you can:
- A process is very similar to a business object.
- Each process is defined using one or more pages
- Each page contains different steps and data
- Always starts with its main page
- Each page of the process has a separate tab, which allows you to divide processes into different logical groups.
- A process works like a human user who thinks and types very fast.
- The process needs to be published, only then it will be visible to the control panel.
- The biggest advantage of Process Studio is it allows you to design logic by assembling the design surface graphically.
Advantages of Process Studio:
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- In order to implement the RPA system in any organisation, there will be a need to have some useful functions and a real process to do so; It will need to work with external applications. The interface of an application is never contained in a process diagram, but in a separate diagram called a business object.
- A business object is never configured in Process Studio, but in a specific environment called Object Studio. The main purpose of Business Object is to provide an interface to a single application. A business item does not come into contact with the control panel and is never used on its own. Instead, it is always used by a process.
What is a Business Object:
- IT skills are not required to implement this
- It can be easily applied in less than 4 to 6 weeks
- Provides the highest return of your ROI, tremendous payouts with self-financing returns
- Automates application controls and fields to increase bot speed, regardless of their onscreen status
- Custom Digital Front – Integrates front office agents and back-office automation to improve human-robot interactivity and productivity
- Robust and feature-rich analytics suite.
- Double-byte character set support allows you to extend RPA to systems and processes that require double-bytes, such as Asian languages
- Multi-level encryption algorithm provides secure connectivity, data storage and access
- Enterprise-wide Password Vault with Authenticated CyberArk Credential Management for consistent enterprise-wide credentialing
- Custom Permissions feature allows user-specific access to robot groups, robots, processes for secure robotic automation process
- The improved control panel provides real-time feedback on the status of the robot and allows you to gain a complete insight into the digital workforce.
- Build highly efficient and automated end-to-end business processes
- Further in this Blue Prism RPA tutorial, we will learn some international case studies of Blue Prism.
Benefits of using Blue Prism:
Following are the main benefits of using Blue Prism:
- Case 1: National Retail Bank
- Allows them to make inter-bank transfers in just 20 seconds using Blue Prism vs a manual process of 10 minutes
- 130 Processes Automated
- 100 robots deployed
- Automation vs 200+ FTE Saved Audit done in 1 minute with a complete working day process of about 8 hours.
- Case 2: Global Telco
- Telco launched RPA software in 2013. They wanted to optimise their back-office operations.
- Covers 15 main processes
- Changed 1.000-1.200 FTE
- 400-500k cases per month
- 160 robots were deceived: 3 . run by a team of
- 12 months payback period
- 3-year ROI of 650-800%
- Other Popular RPA Tools
- Blue prism
- Automation anywhere
- UI Path
- Work fusion
Blue-Prism International Case Studies:
Following are 2 major case studies of BluePrism implementation.
Blue Prism RPA Capabilities Covered:
- Back office robot
- Front office robot
- Back office robot
- Back office robots will run unattended.
- They are in batch mode.
- They run in a virtual environment.
- Back office robots are not supervised by anyone.
- Back office robots send heartbeats to servers, so that they can be notified immediately when the robot is down.
- Back office robots help reduce error and are cost effective.
- Front office robots share the same workstation as an employee, who has control over where and when it is used.
- Front office robots are stand alone and require human intervention.
- The user triggers these robots and they move only under manual monitoring.
- Front office robots are operated from a local machine and cannot be run or scheduled remotely.
Uses of RP:
Following are the uses of RPA –
Dual data entry scenario:
Data entered manually in one system need not be re-entered in another system. RPA replaces such double manual effort as invoices are indexed in the workflow and then re-entered manually in the ERP.
Straight through processing:
Inputs coming from various systems such as web pages for customer orders, workflows for invoicing, emails or Excel files must be entered into the ERP. However, if the input is clean and the rules are well laid out the data entry can be done through RPA.
Virtual integration between different systems
Standalone, legacy, ERP or workflow systems often do not communicate with each other and while integrating them would cost millions of dollars and precious IT time, RPA can provide lightweight integration connecting disparate systems at the user interface level.
Responding to data extraction and responding to requests
When data and report requests come in from multiple process owners, vendors, and even end customers, employees log into the system to extract the data, format it, and send an email to the requestor. RPA lends itself well to such rule-based actions.
Rule based decision making
RPA can perform decision-based actions provided the rules driving those decisions are well laid out. For example, on an invoice coming in from a utility vendor, the RPA may change the payment terms to “immediately” which is on the invoice.
Life cycle of RPA:
The lifecycle of RPA is given below –
Analyse and identify
The first phase of the RPA life cycle is to analyze the business problem for RPA development. This is commonly done by business analysts and RPA architects. Processes that can be automated are identified, development timelines are set, approaches are documented, and approval is obtained from stakeholders to initiate development.
RPA developers work on requirements in the development environment to automate manual processes. The development is done in the wizard and it is a limited requirement for coding in developing the bots.
In this phase, the bots are tested to evaluate the quality and correct errors if any.
After the bot is thoroughly tested, it will be deployed in a live environment where users start using it. It enters the maintenance phase where support and change requests for the bot are considered and defects are rectified with immediate effect.
Types of Robots in RPA
There are two types of robots in RPA as given below –
Following are the features of Back Office Robot –
Front office robot:
Following are the features of Front Office Robot ->
- Blue Prism is a UK based software development company in the field of Robotic Process Automation
- It is a complete automation solution resulting in task distribution and queue management
- Blue Prism is a set of libraries, tools and runtime environment for RPA.
- Every software robot has two main parts: 1.) Process Studio 2.) Object Studio
- Object Studio is where we can create Visual Business Objects. It is also called VBO
- Process Studio looks very similar to a traditional flowchart. This is an area where a real process is made
- The major advantage of the Blue Prism RPA tool is that it can be easily implemented in less than 4 to 6 weeks.