Get familiar with conventions of Robot Framework
To begin with, you should have a fundamental understanding of the initial tool where the tools were developed. This is especially true for Blue Prism, and understanding its basic logic. In addition, with an increased understanding of Robot Framework syntax and Python, you can end up with significant reductions in code and the speed that the bot executes.
Identify the big differences and benefits
Things like reading an Excel file are usually one-liners in Robot Framework, so the code generated from the Blue Prism project might have a lot of extra lines.
The image below shows an example of logging into an email server and sending an email in Blue Prism vs. Robot Framework. Because Robot Framework was built for automated testing, the exception handling is pretty much built-in, and you have a lot of options to manage the edge-cases where they happen, instead of "global exception" and complex re-try loops.
Sending email in BluePrism vs. Robot Framework
For example, using Work Items and exception handling gives you a lot more flexible implementation where only individual failed items can be re-processed without having the bot developer to be on hand.
The Producer / Consumer example in Portal shows this in action.
Browser automation is different
Robocorp allows you to automate browsers directly with Selenium or Playwright. There is no need for extra extensions in the browser to automate.
The world of the open-source community is at your hands
- A wealth of Robot Framework and Python libraries are out there in the Open Source community, so it is always worth checking if someone has already done what you need to do:
- Robot Framework built-in keywords
- Rpaframework documentation collection of RPA focused keywords in one library.
- 3rd party libraries 3rd party libraries high-lighted by Robocorp
- conda-forge and PyPI open up the rest of the world.
- Using machine learning might not be as intimidating as you think and can yield significant results when used in earnest outside the marketing fluff.
- Our Portal has a lot of example bots and we always welcome contributions there to try and avoid everyone from having to automate the same applications and websites on their own.
- Most robot logic is not sensitive to your business, so by sharing the common part, you might get other people pitching in.
Take the courses
We have a good set in the certification courses that covers these things in action. You can go through them whenever you want; they are open and do not take long to do. So we keep recommending and repeating these 😉:
- RPA training courses and certifications
- Certification level I: Beginner's course (~2 hours)
- Certificate level II: Build a robot (~1-2 days)
- Certification level III: Work data management (~3 hours)