1 Problem Statement:
With Software changes and releases becoming frequent, platform providers can supply their customers with an API. APIs can enable platform users to write their code and perform various activities at the code level without using the platform’s UI.
This API architecture undermines the core selling point of RPA.
RPA is a brilliant tool for front-end automation and has revolutionized the IT/BPO industry. But RPA leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
- Is it a long-term permanent solution?
- What happens when processes change?
- What happens when the Supplier changes the software interface?
- How long can you wait before your platform supplier delivers your change or feature request?
- Did we achieve modularity in the RPA bot ecosystem?
- Are bot workflows truly automated to the fullest?
- Why is running my bot so resource intensive? What about my costs when I want to scale 100X. Will my costs become 100x?
- Are my bots secure?
- Does RPA work on legacy systems?
2 The Solution
The simple answer lies in the architecture of API. With the world of software getting more interconnected, the need for software to talk to each other has never been higher.
How to achieve this intercommunication between an application built on a JAVA and a PHP website?
The simple answer is API. APIs are standard application interfaces that transmit and receive data post-authentication. These bridges can serve as communication platforms and as processing and enriching stations.
In the future, fewer organizations will prefer to use the GUI platform, and API will become the primary selling point.
2.1 How can we achieve end-to-end enterprise automation?
The right strategy that includes RPA and API is key to achieving enterprise automation. Since API works at the machine level, i.e., back-end, clients can fetch and process data directly with the platform without interacting with the graphical Interface.
Organizations can quickly set up RPA bots to provide a boost to operations. The time and money saved should be used to build a small-scale application that will process data coming from the API. When API interfaces successfully process data, the RPA bots can be scaled down. This smooth transition will ensure that all manual interventions are withdrawn, and a process can be called fully automated. The RPA to API journey is the way to enterprise automation.
What if I use multiple Vendors?
And if an organization uses three different vendors, the API interfaces pass data from one vendor to another’s platform. So, in such a situation where one had to rely on three scripts to run an end to process on different platforms, with APIs, data can pass data to the custom platform built by the client to perform the activities. APIs are platform agnostic. With APIs, we can achieve true automation.
2.3 Why doesn’t everyone do it?
Everyone can, but it requires a lot of change, training and learning. There is no limitation on what language and framework one can use to operate through APIs. Organizations can onboard a python expert to build the data processing engine, and Security developers can enable secured API connection between the process engine and the vendor platform.
But the biggest catch is that the supplier platform must enable an API for the client. Many modern software providers are doing it, and soon everyone will catch up.
2.4 Do I buy RPA?
Yes. RPA is easy to set up and can alleviate bottleneck issues quickly. But RPA is never the long-term answer. API is the long-term solution, but building one takes time and resources. So, RPA can fill in the development time of an API ecosystem. The best part of this strategy is that the logic will remain the same, and as the research has already been done, the developer will have to spend less time writing logic.
3 Benefits of APIs in the long run
APIs will unlock maximum potential for the operations of an organization. Here are some benefits and advantages of adopting the API strategy for operations.
- Negate the dependence on the vendor to accommodate a custom feature.
- Long-term permanent solution
- Unlimited scalability
- Perform automation on Legacy systems (API interface must be enabled using a platform like MuleSoft)
- Tokenized systems ensure the highest security standards
- Create new custom processes without depending on the Platform UI
- Utmost flexibility of processes and data
- Reduced overhead costs
- Small resource footprint – fewer cloud costs
- Everything is opensource