We have already written about the increasingly popular IT trend RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and its main benefits on our website. This service is the youngest in our portfolio, but the fastest growing. We also talked about it with our RPA developer Andrej.
By using RPA technology, we can offer an effective solution to speed up and simplify the often repetitive processes performed by employees in a larger or smaller company.
Applying the most well-known RPA tools such as BluePrism, UiPath and Service Trace to work processes ensures increased productivity, improved processing of transactions, minimization of errors and reduction of costs.
Our company, FPT Software, comes to market with its own RPA solution called akaBot. The akaBot tool is functionally similar to UiPath in many ways, but the price for a license is more affordable, which is one of the main criteria for customer decision-making when implementing robotic process automation in a company.
Our colleague, Vít Krajíček, who has been working with the tool for a long time, introduced it to us in more detail.
The akaBot platform consists of three parts: Studio, Agent and Center. AkaBot Studio is used by the developer to create the RPA programs. For ease of use and clarity, Drag and Drop control works in this section.
Fig.1 akaBot Studio
In the upper left panel there is a list of all pre-prepared commands / activities, from which the developer can gradually compile the entire program. Activities can be stored in sequences or a flowchart, which is designed to create more complex programs.
Offered are activities to automate work with computer files and almost all Windows programs, activities for Microsoft Excel and Word, activities to automate the sending of emails, work with SAP as well as to automate work in Internet browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer).
In the absence of a specific activity, the developer can easily program it in VB.Net directly in akaBot.
Fig.2 Toolbox panel
In the lower left panel there are all created sequences and flowcharts, which increases the clarity of the interface.
Fig.3 Panel with created sequences and flowcharts
The top panel logically contains buttons for saving, starting, stopping, debugging and publishing the program to the akaBot Center or akaBot Agent, as well as buttons for other support activities.
Fig.4 Top panel of the akabot Studio
At the bottom of screen there is an Output panel with information about the status of ongoing activities. Possible errors, lists of variables, arguments and imported libraries are recorded.
Fig.5 Output panel
The panel on the right summarizes the properties of the currently used activities with the option to change the settings.
Fig.6 Activity properties panel
The second part of the platform is the akaBot Agent, which is used by the client to run RPA processes. The akaBot Agent can operate standalone or connected to the akaBot Center along with other akaBot Agents on other PCs.
The layout of the akaBot Agent interface is simple and very clear. The home page lists all published programs created in the akaBot Studio or downloaded from the akaBot Center. Another part is the Settings section for successful connection of the akaBot Agent to the akaBot Center.
Fig.7 akaBot Agent
akaBot Center is a command and control center that is used to organize akaBot Agents, programs, creating schedules, manually or automatically start processes, save login data, etc.
Fig.8 akaBot Center
The akaBot tool is currently used in our company to provide services for customers in Bratislava and Dubai, but its potential and high competitiveness predetermine its application in several projects.