Our Top 5 Takeaways from UiPath DevCon 2020

Published on in Robotic Process Automation by Bogdan Ostaci

In the current context of the pandemic, the annual UiPath conference, usually a large in-person event, was instead held over a two-day period via webinar called The RPA Developer Conference and dubbed DevCon.

RPA technology is evolving rapidly and even during the pandemic with employees working from home, having robots assist human users with some of their tasks has still been beneficial. UiPath developers have continued ongoing projects, bringing new products and features to DevCon so that the RPA developer community could train the robots to perform more complex tasks  – even some that had seemed impossible to automate.

Below are the top 5 things that caught my attention in the presentations contained in DevCon:

  1. Connecting and Transforming Data for Process Mining.

Process mining is critical for continuously monitoring and optimizing processes by analyzing data from the lines of business applications. It is invaluable during all stages of RPA because it pinpoints where the technology will have the biggest impact and it monitors the robots during the RPA development process. Moreover, process mining during Production, because it enables the discovery of new RPA opportunities optimizing the entire process.

Process Mining is suitable for both Developers and  Business Users. Developers can access to develop, customize, and administrate platform applications. Business Users, on the other hand, can get full insight into processes, the ability to monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), detect bottlenecks, and discover RPA opportunities.

After introducing  Process Mining the UiPath team presented the AppOne, an out-of-the-box-template as they called it, a place where we can bring the data from our systems and pass it to the app. By connecting to our systems, the data is processed and debugging graphs are created. Finally, the graphs and the formatted data is passed to the business users to analyze and discover the points where the processes can be improved. A course on Process Mining using AppOne is already on the UiPath Academy so that you can start training on this feature.

  1. Activity Creator: a Quick and Easy Way to Create Custom Activities

UiPath has introduced the Activity Creator extension for those who need a specific activity but can’t find it in Studio. You can create your own custom activity in Visual Studio by starting a new project (UiPath Standard Activity Project which can be installed from Manage Packages) and populate it with the activities you need to continue developing the automation. The UiPath team is always receiving feedback from the user community with things that they would like to see in Studio and they take into account all the suggestions.

  1. Document Understanding using AI

There is no company in the world that doesn’t deal with documents.

In the majority of the cases, the robots have to interact with a range of different documents from different departments like Human Resources, Finance, Healthcare, Public Sector, etc. UiPath uses Document Understanding and AI so that the robots can process documents automatically with minimal human involvement.  Further, a variety of document types and quality is not an issue. The processing is done by combining various technologies suitable for a wide range of documents structure, volume, and quality. A robot’s accurate and fast data extraction minimizes human involvement reducing both the time and cost of the process, as well as human error, rework, and loss. Document Understanding will become an end-to-end solution powered by AI.

We need to mention as well the Document Understanding Framework for processing a wide range of documents and layouts, handwriting, checkboxes, and signatures. Machine learning (ML) skills will improve over time based on the custom data.

  1. UiPathRobot.JS

UiPath has introduced the UiPathRobot.JS offering developers a way to integrate RPA Robots with their own applications. The package can be integrated with web apps and various extension frameworks.

The types of Apps to integrate the SDK are:

  • Custom WebTools – to access your attended robots and list the processes, start a specific job, or list the job status.
  • Office Extensions – Add-ins for Office built with Javascript. We can start the robot directly in the Excel file by selecting the needed data, considered the input for the process, and press Run.
  • Chatbots – In order that users to don’t waste time following instructions, the chatbot can collect the information from the user’s machine and without intervention, it gives access to the robot to take action.

To find out more please access https://robotjs.uipath.com.

  1. Chatbots + RPA (UiPath + Druid) – Capabilities and Benefits

This year UiPath has announced that they partnered with Druid to integrate chatbots in the process of automation. By using the Druid platform the user has access to more than 250 Pre-built, conversational AI templates and has support in more than 30 languages including English, Spanish, and Romanian. The Druid Chatbots use Flexible NLP (natural language processing), which is a powerful tool to interpret and provide information contextually. Chatbots can be integrated with channels including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Slack, Teams, etc., and what’s more, they can seamlessly redirect chats to an agent-based on conversation rules or user intent.

With DruidUiPath integrations a user can trigger Unattended Robots processes from the chat using Orchestrator Queues, and they can manage Attended Robots using Robot.JS and get human feedback during the RPA process.

At the end of the Conference UiPath hosted a Fireside Chat with the company’s co-founder and CEO a Daniel Dines. There, he responded to questions from the community regarding the new UiPath Apps and Cloud premises, the subject of a Low-Code or No-Code future in the RPA space, Machine Learning, AI, and more. We highly recommend watching it.

To sum up, DevCon has introduced new components to use in the development of the automation, we are excited about the Document Understanding Framework and all the power it receives using with AI. Second, we like that from now we can integrate the UiRobot into our applications using UiPathRobot.JS and with the implication of the Chatbots, we take things further.

To watch the recordings from UiPath DevCon, follow this link.

Image Copyright: UiPath Website.

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