1. What is RPA?
RPA is short for Robotic Process Automation which automates repetitive and labor-intensive tasks by mimicking human actions. All rule-based tasks and structured operation processes can be automated using this approach. Since it helps to automate business processes using a Robot it is called Robotic Process Automation.
2. What is the RPA Life Cycle?
The RPA Life Cycle comprises 4 crucial phases which include
- Analysis – This is the initial phase during which the RPA architect and Business team collaborate for understanding the business process requirement.
- Bot Development – The RPA developer team begins the development of the required automation robot
- Testing – This is a standard procedure that performs a quality check of the developed bot using various methods such as SDLC.
- Deployment and Maintenance – Once the Robot passes the quality check, it is deployed and installed into target systems and thus begins the maintenance phase.
3. What do you think are the differences between traditional automation and process automation?
In terms of technology, process automation is scalable, non-intrusive, and versatile. It is capable of mimicking human actions and has excellent customization and integration capabilities. On the other hand, traditional automation is less scalable, intrusive, and not as versatile as process automation. It relies on coding through APIs and has much lower customization and integration capabilities.
4. Can you name the different types of RPA software available in the market?
The most popular among all RPA tools is Blue Prism followed by UiPath, and Automation Anywhere. There is also other software such as Workfusion and OpenSpan.
5. What is Citrix Automation?
This mainly involves working in a virtual desktop application within which the Robot needs to automate processes. The Robot can perform all human-based actions inside the Citrix environment such as Data Entry, Filling forms, Auditing, Organizing, and submitting forms.
6. What do you mean by RPA Robots and how would you create them?
RPA Robots are software that carries out the required task or the programmed workflow and can mimic human interactions. Thus, it can do various tasks that a user is capable of. To create these Robots, the user needs to set up a workflow or a sequence of events to perform a task and upon execution, the Robot automatically handles the rest.
7. Differentiate between TaskBot, MetaBot, and IQBot?
- Taskbot is used for front-end operations which include repetitive and rule-based processes such as quote to cash, procure to pay, and HR administration.
- MetaBot is used for facilitating next-generation integration and scalability and is applied in complex and scalable processes such as Enterprise-wide automation that require a minimum level of maintenance.
- IQBot is based on a continuous enhancing and learning automation process that is necessary for managing fuzzy rules that allow real time machine learning such as deriving languages from a given data.
8. List a few industrial applications of RPA.
- HR: Generally used for automating payroll, background verification, and sourcing candidates.
- Banking: Processing loan, mortgage, and credit card application as well as opening new registrations.
- Telecommunications: Updating of customer data, managing fraud, and to monitor subscriber feeds.
- Retail: Sending shipping updates, order notifications, monitoring fake accounts, and much more.
9. State a few advantages of RPA automation?
RPA allows us to perform repetitive and labor-intensive tasks that significantly improve the efficiency of tasks along with minimizing time requirements. This helps to save costs, boost productivity, and increase the quality of work with minimal error.
10. What is Screen Scraping in RPA?
Screen Scraping allows the user to extract data from a particular element inside an application that is visible on the screen. It captures bitmap information from the screen and covers string/text information.
11. Can you name a few benefits of Screen Scraping?
It allows automation applications where the GUI elements are not accessible through code or frameworks. Also, it allows us to recognize text information on the screen using OCR technologies which makes it easier for implementation along with maintaining high accuracy.
12. Differentiate between RPA and Macros?
Robots can learn and improve themselves from repetitive processes and tasks and does not require human intervention. It is capable of responding to external events and enhance themselves according to a situation. Moreover, automation using Robots are highly secure. Macros on the other hand are unable to enhance themselves from repetitive processes and require human intervention to perform. They also fail to respond to external events and priority given to security is very low.
13. Explain the different frameworks of automation used in software automation testing?
- Data-driven framework
- Modular automation framework
- Hybrid automation framework
- Keyword-driven framework
14. State the components of RPA Solution Architecture?
- Configuration management
- Automation software for any environment such as Web, Citrix, or desktop
- Enterprise applications such as ERP Solutions (SAP)
- Automation platform: Distributing, Monitoring, and, Scheduling that executes Automation Robots
- Robotic Process Automation execution infrastructure
15. What do you understand by Thick client and Thin Client in RPA?
Thick Client can be directly installed on a local machine whereas Thin Client cannot run on a local machine but works on a virtual environment such as server or client architecture. Examples of Thin Client include VirtualBox and VMware. On the other hand, the Thick Client comprises any application such as Word, Excel, and Web Browsers.
16. State a few limitations of RPA?
Automation fails to perform in situations where judgment or decision making is involved. It does not have cognitive abilities to learn but enhances repetitive tasks. Another limitation is that it is prone to error when introduced in new environments and has a significantly high initial investment for implementation.
17. Differentiate between UiPath and Blue Prism.
Blue Prism is based on C# whereas UiPath is primarily based on VB. Recent versions of UiPath do support C# as well. The control mechanisms for Blue Prism are based on a server that is application based but UiPath is controlled via web-based service. The initial cost of implementing Blue Prism is a lot higher than UiPath.
18. What do you think are important aspects that should be considered during the planning phase of automation?
The development team needs to select the right set of RPA tool. This ensures that the right framework can be implemented which will be able to perform the required automation and is suitable for it. Further, the development should include items that are out of scope and in scope based on the task. Another crucial aspect is environment testing and identifying the required deliverables.
19. What if an organization’s infrastructure is not aligning with RPA? What can be done?
RPA does not require extensive infrastructure or upgrades in the existing framework. It is capable of functioning and working in any given existing environment. Also, its high flexibility allows high modification capabilities that enable it to align it easily with any existing infrastructure.
20. When would you use UI Automation?
It is possible in scenarios where Robots and applications are running on the same system. It can directly integrate with API which enables us to perform application-based trigger events, interact with GUI elements to extract or input data, and much more.
21. Can you state the three types of UI Automation?
UI Automation comprises of Background based Automation, Desktop based Automation, and Image-based Automation.
22. State the different types of Logs? What do you understand by Log fields?
Logs can be classified into two types
This includes logging basic execution steps that include:
- Start of Execution
- End of Execution
- Start of Transaction
- End of Transaction
- Error logging
- Debug logging
This incorporates robotName, Message, Timestamp, Level, FileName, processVersion, jobId, windowsIdentity, and processName.
23. Differentiate between RPA and BPM?
RPA is helpful to perform labor-intensive repetitive tasks that humans would normally do. BPM is very different as it is used to boost the performance of a business by improving software technology such as business analytics and workflow engine.
24. Mention a few aspects of RPA.
- Code-free – Most of the workflow and sequencing interface is code-free and allows the user to easily understand. Moreover, the end-users are also able to easily run the robots or automation scripts easily
- User friendly – Most of the user interface is GUI and highly segregated to make it easier to use.
- Not disruptive – Transforming a process using RPA is very straightforward and simple
- Easy to use – Simple drag and drop activities to create workflows and sequences along with minimal coding requirements make it easy to use.
- High accuracy and time-efficient – It is highly accurate as Robots perform the required task which also makes the process faster than an average human performing the same task.
25. What factors can encourage an organization to implement RPA?
Most business processes are implementing RPA into their infrastructure due to the following reasons:
- It is highly accurate and error-free
- It can automate tasks by mimicking human actions that allow performing complex as well as simple copy-paste tasks.
- It can replace employees in an organization and can work 24X7, giving higher productivity.
- Verifying quality and testing output results won’t be necessary
- A one-time big investment that helps to minimize costs considerably in the long run.
26. Let's assume a hypothetical scenario where you were provided with an RPA project that you are unable to handle due to inadequate skills. Would you reject the project or find an alternative?
There are a lot of alternatives available that allow us to do the same task and hence allows the opportunity to gain the required skills. Not accepting the project is not the ideal solution Due to a large number of RPA alternatives which are easier to learn in a short duration.
27. What do you think are the pros and cons of RPA?
- High accuracy and error-free
- Higher productivity
- Cost minimization
- Easy to implement
- Will cause unemployment
- Complexities while implementation due to varying organization infrastructure
28. State the basic requirements of RPA for back office and front office processing?
RPA is highly flexible and hence can be used for both front-office and back-office processes. Almost all of the requirements and specifications are the same for the back office and front office processes which enables us to deploy the same configuration.
29. During automation testing, what scripting standards would you consider?
- Adequate and Proper indentation
- Reliable and proper comments for each block of code
- Naming uniformly all codes, blocks, sequences, and activities
- Solid exception and error handling for all possible scenarios
- Using inbuilt Packages and Frameworks wherever applicable
30. What do you understand by Information Collection in RPA tools?
It simply means acquiring and extracting information from various sources that are user-defined and then feeding that information to the Robot. This helps the Robot to execute actions more easily and reliably.
31. Explain Process Studio in terms of RPA?
Process Studio is the application provided by RPA software within which the user can create sequences, workflows, and activities. It is then used for developing the required automation and also for testing, and debugging purposes. This is similar to the coding environment in traditional programming languages.
32. Do you think RPA requires special skills to handle?
RPA does not require the use of any programming languages in 75% of the entire development phase. However, in critical and complex scenarios, the user may require to add a VB or C# code into the workflow for which programming skills are required. Irrespective of minimal coding requirements, the remaining development phase can be handled using simple drag and drop activities, flowchart, and sequences.
33. In what situation will you automate a test in RPA?
- RPA can test multiple data sets or data tables on specified positions and levels.
- Tasks that are repetitive such as regression tests, sanity, and smoke tests can be easily automated.
34. What do you consider as must-have features of the RPA tool?
- Must provide support for different types of test environments
- Easy object identification and debugging
- Image testing technique and similar database testing functionality
- A wide of frameworks, APIs, and packages are supported
35. How would you develop scripts and test cases in RPA?
A vital functionality of RPA is Automating Testing that helps to develop Robot which will perform tests. This tool can be configured and fine-tuned to test a wide variety of applications without the need for human intervention.
36. Do you consider RPA as a reliable and secure solution for modern enterprises?
RPA can perform various tasks and log each of them which provides sufficient information in situations of crisis. It can easily replace humans in a task environment where repetitive and rules-based data input, and data extraction are involved. Moreover, it can be developed with different levels of access as per the employees’ job role. Overall, I think RPA is highly secure and reliable.
37. What do you consider as the prominent feature of RPA tools?
In my personal opinion, the most effective functionality that RPA provides is that it can 24X7 and perform the same task as a human but at a much higher rate. Another prominent functionality is that it is capable to interact with any type of application using its framework or OCR.
38. While using an agile method, when for Automation Testing should be avoided?
In certain cases where the requirements change frequently and also in circumstances where the required documentation is huge, Automation Testing can be easily avoided. In both cases, it becomes costly and time-consuming and hence Automation Testing should be avoided.
39. State all the frameworks you are familiar with in Software Automation Testing?
- A modular framework for automation
- Data-driven framework for automation
- A hybrid framework for automation
- Keyword-driven framework for automation
40. Which factors will you consider as the success of Automation Testing?
- Cost Minimization of various modules
- Defect Detection Ratio
41. Name a few components of RPA architecture?
- Dashboard or Control Centre
- A studio for Developing and debugging automation scripts
- Robot Application that carries out the automation
- Plugins and Extensions
- User action Recorders
42. What kind of support would you need to handle an operation or process based on RPA?
In my opinion, the requirement of support for handling an operation and process depends on the skillset and experience of an individual. Since requirements and business processes vary from project to project, the requirement of support depends directly on the skills of the individual and whether it matches the requirement of the said project.
43. Do you consider RPA as wide range automation in the true sense?
RPA has been implemented in major industries such as Healthcare, Banking, Telecommunication, and even for other enterprises to manage their ERP applications and transaction systems. So yes, I do consider RPA as wide range automation in the true sense.
44. Can you state one automation software that supports an open platform for automation?
UiPath supports an open platform for automation and also supports virtual environments such as Citrix. However, it can only work on Windows Operating Systems.
45. What are your personal views on the future of RPA?
I believe that RPA will be able to replace all sorts of Data Entry, validation, auditing, and testing jobs in the near future. Moreover, it lays a foundation for code-free programming which has huge potential in the near future.
46. State the different types of recorders available in RPA tools?
The types of recorders provided by each RPA tool varies but in general it provides the following
- Web recorders
- Screen recorders
- Smart recorder
47. How long does an average RPA project take?
The average lifespan of an RPA depends on the complexity of the business process, the environment in which the automation requires to work, and the organizational infrastructure available to run the automation. Generally, an RPA project lasts a few weeks.
48. Does Blue Prism require Coding?
80% of the entire development using Blue Prism does not require coding. It uses C# as the primary code which allows the user to integrate advanced algorithms not available as packages or frameworks inside Blue Prism. For successful completion and effective automation script, a small amount of coding is necessary.
49. Does handling RPA require special skills?
The user does not require any special skills or knowledge of programming languages in order to develop or to execute a Robot. However, the RPA tools consist of many GUI driven activities, sequences, and functionalities that the user will require some time to get used to.
50. Explain the use of PGP.
By assigning a Passphrase, PGP can encrypt as well as decrypt a file.
51. Explain dynamic selectors in terms of RPA?
Selectors which comprises of a part that changes information to match the variability of the target element are called Dynamic Selectors in RPA. Such selectors may contain a variable or a wildcard to perform the required operation even when the target UI frequently changes its name, URL, etc.
52. How is Chabot different from RPA?
Chat Bot is a type of RPA that answers queries of customers or chats with another human just like a human. On the other hand, RPA is used to develop such Robot which can perform human tasks by mimicking their actions. RPA can create various types of Robots such as IQ Bot, MetaBot, and TaskBot.
53. Explain the term element mask.
The element mask enables the user to copy the attributes of one element and then apply it to another element. It is the future of application modelers.
54. How many types of variables are there in AA?
Automation Anywhere consists of two types of variables which are Local Variable, and System Variable.