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Automation is is unanimous with most top businesses around the world in current times. It saves time, cost and manual labour and takes out the possibility of human errors that can occur while performing repetitive and tiring tasks. Automation has become common in the software environment as well and new methodologies are being tried on a regular basis to achieve faster and more reliable results.

This is where RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is slowly becoming a huge thing as it has the ability to automate of a lot of processes under one umbrella. However, the general public often confuses it with Test Automation, since that too deals with automating various tasks.

In this article, we will tell you why choosing RPA over Test Automation can help your cause significantly. Before that, you first need to have a basic understanding of what these two processes are and how they are different from each other.

Robotics Process Automation: RPA is the software that mimics humans while performing a line of functions to reduce the use of a human workforce. There are certain RPA tools that work along with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to perform tasks related to business administration and testing as well. RPA has the ability to deliver the end results without any human interaction in the process at all.

Test Automation: It is a method used in software testing wherein specialised automated test tools perform certain tests according to the codes written in them. It basically controls the execution phase of the tests and checks if it matches with the desired results. There is little to no human interaction in this process and it is particularly used where there is no need of manual testing.

Major Differences between RPA and Test Automation

 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Test Automation

RPA automates business processes. Test Automation automates repetitive test cases.
RPA can be applied to both the product and the business practices. Test Automation can be only applied to the product and its features.
RPA provides a simple drag and drop feature to automate the jobs. You need programming and coding language to perform tasks of Test Automation.
RPA can be performed under a single production environment. Test Automation is implemented separately in different environments like the QA, UAT, Performance and Production and so on.
RPA is accessible to all the individuals involved in various teams and is easy to manage. Test Automation can only be used by a certain group of testers and developers.
RPA can be used with a wide variety of software environments. Test Automation can be used only within limited software environments. For example, Selenium can be used only for web applications and no other environments like mobile or hybrid apps.
RPA helps in automating administration tasks as well, like form-filling, loan processing, data entry and many more. Test Automation helps you automate only the test cases.
RPA tools can be used to perform testing as well. However, they are not as efficient as regular test automation tools. Test Automation tools can only be used for the testing process and no RPA processes.

 

RPA can pretty much be applied to anything that has a structured form. As a result, you can apply it to any of the testing tools out there. Test Automation can only work if there is some software to support it.
RPA tools ensure that the business production environment is robust enough to achieve the business adjectives. Test Automation only validates whether the software or the application is working in the intended way.
RPA tools, using the AI engine, can understand the whole process like humans and take decisions accordingly. Test Automation can only perform tasks that are written in the codes unless you integrate AI and ML into the test cases.
RPA helps in reducing the actual manual labour force. Test Automation helps in reducing the execution time.
RPA plays the role of a virtual workforce. Test Automation plays the role of an assistant.

 

Now that you know the major differences between RPA and Test Automation, let us give you an idea of why RPA can serve you more than the traditional Test Automation.

Why should you choose RPA?

To start with, workflow automation is not something that is new in the world of software testing but it required software engineers to develop and write codes. Through these codes, the API connects to the software to perform tasks.

However, this is not the case with RPA, as it can create its own workplan by observing a user performing tasks through the application’s graphical interface. The robots have the ability to mimic such tasks and repeat them efficiently, thus freeing up personnel to get involved in other innovative tasks where human intervention is crucial.

Lower Error Rate

RPA basically weaves a series of commands under pre-defined business rules, which the bots perform to improve efficiency of the system. Apart from that, it reduces errors and offers better compliance of different tasks in the system.  RPA is extremely rewarding to adopt in processes where there are high volumes of data-driven repetitive tasks to be performed and also in software where business processes play a crucial role along with test cases.

Reduced Manual Effort

Another reason for the increased popularity of RPA in the industry because of the fact that it reduces the manual effort in the end-to-end testing, thus dissolving custom APIs, collaborations and business rationales, which helps you save money, time and human resource.

Easy Scalability

RPA, being an agile system, is easily scalable. Once the RPA software bot recognises the tasks and interprets the actions needed to perform the necessary tasks, it can then be used to extract data and deliver it to the target code from front-end to back-end. Moreover, this is done without causing any changes in the existing infrastructure or environment.

One can teach the RPA bots anything based on the process requirement, be it to trigger responses according to the collected data or communicate with other systems autonomously. This can reduce the use of high number of APIs and other integrations commonly used otherwise in the software to achieve end results.

This ability to scale the RPA system according to your project requirements makes the overall process much simpler, thus freeing up testers and developers to perform other necessary tasks.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, both RPA and Test Automation offer benefits related to automation and the reduction of manual intervention but their extent of use varies in a huge way. For example, adopting the RPA system in an e-commerce website or application changes the game completely, as it allows you to automate several other business processes involved in it apart from the test cases of the website and thus helping you reach the end goals in quick time.

Now that you know how RPA works, you must have got an idea of how it can improve the efficiency of development, testing and operation phases of the software. To get the best in the field of either RPA or Test Automation, get in touch with TestUnity.

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