White paper

Robotic process automation (RPA) using Power Automate

Scaling to the new heights of automation

Udayan Pal,

Technical Architect

Published: January 11, 2023
Robotic process automation (RPA) using Power Automate
Robotic process automation (RPA) using Power Automate

Power Platform is a high-productivity, low-code application development platform by Microsoft. It is a family of integrated products to deliver business applications and automation. This whitepaper will provide insights to the person or department responsible for planning, deploying, and supporting automation using Power Automate Desktop (user interface (UI) flows) and Power Automate (could flow). This paper has thrown light on the automation capabilities of Power Platform using Power Automate cloud flow and Power Automate UI flow – an RPA offering. It also elaborates on how the Power Platform embraces the idea of one automation platform using Power Automate.

Power Automate is a vital part of the Microsoft Power Platform. It is a comprehensive cloud-based automation engine for automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks using a low-code/no-code (LCNC) approach. Power Automate cloud flow can automate workflows between organizations’ favorite applications and services using built-in or custom connectors. A relatively new feature of Power Automate is UI flows which offer robotic process automation (RPA) capability. Organizations can automate legacy applications, and manual processes using the UI flows through an easy UI-based automation integrated development environment (IDE). It also has rich support for manual UI action recording features.

What’s more to know about automation?

Power Automate Desktop (UI flows) is a relatively new capability added to the Power Platform. We should look for Power Automate (desktop flow) when an application (windows or web) needs to be automated. Still, we don’t have an application programming interface (API) or connector to create a custom connector, as API is not publicly exposed. With the addition of Power Automate Desktop, users gain additional options which support RPA in Power Platform.

Power Automate Flow (cloud flow) mainly targets web-based application automation for automating processes. It uses 500 + prebuilt connectors and has an opportunity to build custom connectors to automate almost any process.

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