By David Brain
￼Code integration in RPA refers to the general capability of an RPA tool to work with code-based actions. This provides the RPA tool with the ability to embed code internally within a process or execute external scripts. This blog will briefly explore the merit of each of these facets. If accounted for, these factors can contribute to a seamless integration of your RPA solution.
Common Framework Integrations
Just like common application integrations, RPA tools are compatible with various code frameworks. Depending on the RPA tool, these frameworks can be utilized to provide a wider breadth of integration capabilities. One of the most common is the Windows .NET framework, this is the most widely used coding library within RPA tools currently, typically allowing developers to make use of the C# or VB languages to enhance an automation.
Customization Through Embedded (Internal) Code
RPA relies on its ability to perform elaborate integrations without needing much code to be written. However, cases can arise where custom code will optimize your solution. Most RPA tools allow developers to embed code directly into the process. This is usually done through objects or actions that include code-based input for extra customization. For instance, an object tasked with filling in a spreadsheet can be embedded with code to allow it to apply advanced formatting to data and cells.
Utilizing External Scripts
Other uses for extra code involve running custom external scripts that perform specific actions. While this strategy can improve capabilities, it increases the amount of ‘moving parts’ and can make an automation harder to maintain. Additionally, if the script is not fully secured and is externally accessible, it could pose a security risk when used. That is why it is important to fully assess the external script before employing this capability.
Utilizing custom built application APIs in an RPA project is uncommon, but there are instances where interfacing with applications through their custom APIs can help improve the speed of a process. The two main web APIs, SOAP and REST, are most commonly used by RPA software to communicate application data. These enable your business to extract structured data in XML or JSON formats.
Not all RPA deployments will depend on code integration, but having compatibility with a wide variety of code frameworks can improve the capability and functionality of a process. If a system makes use of the SOAP or REST API’s, then first look for built-in functionality within you RPA tool to simplify data retrieval. For more expert insights on how your business can make the most out of RPA, read the other blogs in our RPA Technical Insights Series.
This is part 12 of a 22 part blog series by the leading experts at Symphony Ventures. It addresses how to choose the right RPA tools for your business needs. Drawing from our global team’s extensive knowledge in automation consulting, implementation, and managed services across a range of diverse industries, we’ve drilled into the technical criteria to consider when selecting which RPA software best enables your company’s digital operation strategy. Read part 11, An Overview of the Most Common Application Integrations in RPA.