Robotic Process Automation [RPA], Test Automation

Robotic Process Automation [RPA], Test Automation

Is RPA a testing tool? Is Test Automation similar to RPA? Could Selenium be used for RPA? Does a Robot do RPA execution?

Let’s get started with an introduction to RPA.

What is RPA? What are its advantages and types?

The name Robotic Process Automation basically describes itself. In other words, RPA is everything that can help you switch from completing the routine tasks manually to optimize the business process.

What can be automated?

  • Automate daily tedious manual testing tasks which are:
  • Repetitive
  • Time-consuming
  • Rules-based
  • Use software robots or Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Be applied across different industries.

Generally, such an approach results in:

  • Improvements in efficiency and productivity.
  • Enhanced accuracy
  • Cost reduction
  • Maintaining compliance.

Myths of Robotic Process Automation:

1. RPA is similar to Test Automation

Overall, these two processes are similar as they both involve automation and offer the same advantages of reducing manual intervention and delivering quality. However, the System Under Automation (SUA) may differ depending on the adopted concept.

For example, let’s say, we’re into eCommerce business, and our main source of income is an online store that can be considered our product. In this example, test automation will be applied only to the product, an online store, and its features.

However, RPA could be applied to other business processes like data entry for product descriptions or automating the onboarding process for the HR department when hiring new employees.

2. Testing with RPA is just like Test Automation

As we know RPA is a concept built with the automation in mind but has reached the next level where no or only limited coding skills are required. RPA as a concept could be used to automate anything with no dependency on the target system.

3. Testing Tools like Selenium Could be used for RPA

The market is flooded with test automation tools like Selenium, QTP, QF-Test, etc. so could they be used as RPA tools? The short answer is NO, and the long answer is that test automation tools come with a constraint that they need software to run. At the same time, RPA could be applied to anything except a product. Hence, none of the testing tools available in the market could serve as an RPA tool.

4. RPA can cause job losses

A report published by McKinsey Global Institute says, “The right level of detail at which to analyze the potential impact of automation is that of individual activities rather than entire occupations. Given currently demonstrated technologies, very few occupations, less than 5% are candidates for full automation. However, almost every occupation has partial automation scope.”


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