SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0 is an updated product version offering simple-to-use bot building capabilities following the Low-Code/No-Code approach creating the path to Hyperautomation.
With SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0, expert developers, citizen developers and business process experts can build bots to augment and automate human tasks across LoBs to save time, costs and reduce human errors in business operations.
In the last blog post on “No Code” in SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0, I explained some concepts like automation, input and output parameters, variables, conditions, SDK activity and testing.
Before jumping to new SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0 No-Code features, a quick reminder that the SAP Intelligent RPA Cloud Studio is the web application used to design bots to automate your applications. It is already available in your SAP Intelligent RPA 1.0 (Cloud Studio documentation – SAP Intelligent RPA Trial tenant), and it will be complemented with the features in this blog. At the time I am writing the post, to participate in the SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0 BETA program, please read the last paragraph of this blog where Andreas explains what to do. Note that when SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0 will be released, the 2.0 features will automatically appear in your SAP Intelligent RPA Trial tenant without you having to do anything other than update your agent to the latest version to run the new 2.0 features.
In this post, I will explain the concepts of automation modularity, Excel spreadsheet management, control loop focusing on the “For each” control.
In the first blog post, I explained how to create automation in Cloud Studio composed of several steps that could be either an SDK activity, application, data or controls. This automation will be send to your Desktop Agent to have a bot that complete a specific task.
Automation can itself be used in another automation wherever the particular automation’s task should be performed, this is what we qualify as automation modularity. Automation modularity is generally desirable, especially in large, complicated projects. Judicious use of automation modularity will often substantially reduce the cost of developing and maintaining a large script as in the SAP Intelligent RPA 1.0 version.
Indeed, by decomposing a complex automation into simpler automations we will reduce duplication of work, enable reuse of automations across multiple projects and possibly divide a large task among various programmers or various stages of a project. This will also help to hide complexity of implementation details to users who are not specialists – for example letting your business users use the automation without knowing its internal complexity.
Automation modularity also improves readability of a project by replacing a block of steps with a single automation step with a more descriptive name that could serve as a documentation for your colleagues. Even if the automation is not meant to be reused, this makes the calling automation concise and readable and it will positively increase the project’s maintainability. Modularity also improves traceability and if you are not decomposing the steps into an automation, your debugging could be impaired.
The video below showcases automation modularity with an automation calling another automation and this way your project’s quality, reliability, maintainability, traceability and reusability will increase.
A simple type or a data type is the way you can model your data to define how the automation intends to use the data:
- Simple types could be either number or string or boolean,
- Data type is a way to compose simple types into a compound type representing your data structure and containing several property fields. Those fields are either simple types defined that could be arranged in a hierarchy form or even other project’s data types,
- You can define simple type or data type as a list that represent a collection of those elements.
Data type is the way you will organize your data, that will influence the way you manage them, and also will impact access and modification efficiency.
The video below showcases how to create a data type in your project and how to use it.
Getting data from an external application is a common task in RPA, and one of the most common ways to do it for many cases is via an Excel spreadsheet. With SAP Intelligent RPA, you have a complete SDK package called Excel to manipulate an Excel spreadsheet in fine details. You also have an activity helper to very quickly map Excel spreadsheet columns to a datatype graphically and this way get as return of this activity a list of objects of this data type called Excel Cloud Link.
The video below showcases how to use the Excel Cloud Link activity helper to map an Excel spreadsheet to a list of customers.
In the first blog post on “No Code”, I explained how to use condition control with SAP Intelligent RPA, but there are several other controls such as loop controls named For each, Repeat and Forever that require a closer look.
Loop controls allow a sequence of steps to be executed multiple times. One of the loop controls is called For each and it is used to traverse all member of a list. Of course, the For each control requires a list as input so the flow can look like this: for each member in list, do something to current member.
For each control has as the following parameters that can be used in the scope of the loop:
- currentMember that of course represents the current members of the list you are traversing,
- index of the list’s current member, with the first index’s member starting to 0.
The video below showcases how to use the For each control to loop on customer lists, format them and lastly log them.
I hope you have learned new concepts in this second blog post on the No-Code development with SAP Intelligent RPA. There are even more No-Code concepts such as application capture, we could discuss in a 3rd blog post of this No-Code development with SAP Intelligent RPA series.
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