If you’ve seen the “Start Here” section on the blog, I talked about the WHAT and the WHY of RPA. This post is sort of a continuation of these two articles. Let’s call it RPA 103 – The HOW.
It’s time to start building your own robots! So we will look at some popular RPA Tools available today. For example, UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, etc. followed by quick steps to get started with one… UiPath!
Several great products are available in the Robotic Process Automation world, and many of them are very popular with companies and advanced developers. However, RPA For Everyone is focused on helping beginners and non-coders to get started with robots. This is why I recommend starting with UiPath RPA because above all else, it has the most beginner-friendly community worldwide!
What Should You Expect From This Post?
By the end of this post, you will have learned the following:
» The leading Robotic Process Automation tools
» What matters when making the choice
» Why UiPath
» Set up your UiPath Cloud account in 1 minute (😲) which kinda answers the “why” a little bit
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by UiPath or any other third party. This is my personal opinion based on my experience working with the various RPA tools available. Because my mission with RPA For Everyone is to build a community of RPA beginners and non-coders, I am recommending this based on the factors I think are important when getting started.
Before we get into the specifics of any one platform, let’s look at the current state of the RPA industry.
Which Are the Best RPA Tools in the Industry?
Of late, many software platforms in the market are making an effort to offer RPA capabilities. As a result, the competition to create the best automation technology has been fierce over the last few years. Now, this is good news because that has led to the great overall progress of this technology. Take a look at the chart below.
The RPA Magic Quadrant by Gartner is a highly regarded report and it offers an easy-to-understand summary of most of the RPA tools worth mentioning.
The picture may have changed a little since this report was published, it certainly hasn’t changed too much to discount this assessment.
History does repeat itself…
Looking at the picture above, there are three or four clear winners (The Leaders Quadrant). UiPath, Blue Prism (BP), and Automation Anywhere (AA) have been leading the market for quite some time. And there is a good chance you have heard at least one or more of them whenever RPA comes up in conversation.
Interestingly, this picture hasn’t changed much in the recent past, at least for some of them:
Which RPA tool should I learn to build my first robot?
If you were the decision-maker for a big business trying to pick one product, you’d be well-placed to pick any particular one from the Leaders Quadrant. Although, once again, this website is called RPA For Everyone, and we’re not trying to pick the best corporate dark horse.
We’re talking about your personal journey to Mount BoreDo(o)m to destroy the One (bo)Ring (task from your daily routine)! #LOTR
If you just facepalmed after that last line, I totally welcome it! 😁
Suppose you’re just getting started in Robotic Process Automation (or planning to). In that case, you should compare the tools on parameters that matter on an individual’s level rather than a business level. By the way, this includes entrepreneurs and small businesses because these parameters still hold true.
What criteria should I consider when choosing RPA tools?
» Access and Resource Availability: How easily can you get set up and start learning? What is the cost involved?
» Where Can I Get The Education: Are there training resources available? What is the quality of the material?
» Level of Difficulty: If you’re totally new, how much time and effort needs to be invested to be good?
» Community and Support: We all get stuck when learning something new. Is there enough help around?
Let’s address these with a brief comparison of the industry leaders.
A Quick-And-Easy Comparison (plus links to everything!)
|Access & Resource Availability
» Community ✅
» Community ✅
|Community Edition Setup
|» Relatively Easy ⚠️
» Local install
» Web-only interface
» Involves local
» Only available for
|» Very Easy ✅
» 1 Minute Setup
» Local install
» Unlimited License
|Blue Prism University
|Level of Difficulty
|User Interface (UI)
|⚠️ Community Edition
only offers a minimal
|⚠️ Learners Edition offers
a locally installed tool
with a limited usage
|✅ UiPath Studio
offers a UI that is
100% compatible with
|Your robots live on
You can control them
from Control Room.
|For Learners Edition,
all robots are managed
and stored locally.
|Your robots live on
You can control them
|Community and Support
|Blue Prism Community
I spent good time and effort on this table, so you don’t have to.🙂
All Eyes On Me 🎶
Take a look at this chart of the worldwide Google searches made for RPA tools. Evidently, the consistently higher UiPath trend shows the vast reach of (and curiosity about) UiPath across the world. (This is a snapshot in time. To see the latest live data, click on this direct link)
So, what other RPA tools or platforms are available?
Aside from the three compared above, there are several other companies offering free (or freeish) access to their development platforms. So, here are a few honourable mentions: IBM Robotic Process Automation, Appian and G1ANT, which has made its development license free to use.
I have included a detailed compilation of the FREE flavours of RPA Solutions for your reference. Of course, if you have experience with or curiosity about any particular one on the list, please leave a comment or your question(s) under this post. You may also reach out via any of the blog’s social channels, accessible at any time at the top of the page.
If you’re still not convinced…
As I mentioned in the disclaimer before, this is not a sponsored post. Because RPA For Everyone was created with one goal: to provide readers easy access to helpful RPA resources. Especially when they’re just getting started.
I grew up in a country that emphasises free education for every child until Year 12. As a result (or side effect), I too strongly believe in free access to education… beyond just academics.
Back in 2017, when I learned about UiPath and its Community Edition, I couldn’t believe it! Especially so, because I had worked with Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism; and none of them even had a developer-friendly version. Back then, it seemed like a bold or crazy move (or both); but then I found out about UiPath CEO Daniel Dines’ driving force behind building UiPath.
The Power Of Free Education
Daniel Dines taught himself the C programming language and recognises the power of free education. For instance, included below is a direct quote from Dines speaking about UiPath Foundation, a non-profit created to empower children to take charge of their future.
There are few things more rewarding today than to see someone reaching their full potential. That is why sharing is one of our primary goals. With the help of every UiPather, current partner NGOs and those who join us in the future, through the UiPath Foundation, we will reach those children who most need support and quick access to education.Daniel Dines, Co-founder and CEO of UiPath
The point behind sharing this seemingly not-so-relevant quote is this: A company that believes in bringing education to children is not just talking about it. In fact, they are also practising what they preach by making their most popular software platform totally free for anyone and everyone!
The UiPath Quick Setup
And now, as promised at the beginning, let’s set up your own UiPath Cloud! So, go on and get started: take a look at this detailed and very helpful video guide from my friend and fellow UiPather Anders Jensen:
Also, just one last thing – for continued updates about new posts and hear about updates on RPA, please consider subscribing to my newsletter. I hate spam as much as anyone else, so I only send emails when relevant. Leave your feedback or queries in the comments section, so that I can cover those better in future posts.
Until then, ciao!