A new year gives us all the opportunity to set new ambitious goals, reflect on the things that went well, and celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year. In light of that, let’s take a look at the top 5 pieces of developer portal content that developers found helpful in 2020.
Getting Start Learning Journeys is a great first place to start if you’re new to RPA or new to the Automation Anywhere platform. At a relatively high level, these learning journeys cover many basic concepts of “What is RPA?”, using different packages within a bot, and some best practices for creating reusable and secure bots and packages. These are less tutorial-style content and more of read-through articles to build a firm foundation in RPA and automation concepts. Many users have found these as a helpful reference and a great place to get started – which is why they were 2 of the top accessed developer portal items for all of 2020.
Software Developer Learning Journey: This journey assumes you have some experience in development, even if it isn’t necessarily on the Automation Anywhere platform. Extensive development experience is not required, but general concepts like familiarity with conditional statements and looping is assumed.
Business User/Citizen Developer Learning Journey: This journey assumes no prior background in software development or RPA. While some of its content overlaps with what can be found in the Software Developer Learning Journey, many of the learning experiences are unique to this experience: learning to use bots to solve problems, a Control Room overview, and an intro to the core concepts of problem-solving.
Working with Large Excel Datasets in a Bot digs deep into a common and somewhat specific situation: exploring different approaches to working with large Excel datasets. In this particular use case, we take a look at how we might work with a large sample dataset of 42,000 postal codes in the United States. As any RPA developer knows, there’s typically more than just one way to solve a problem – so in this breakdown, we take a look at approaching a postal code lookup using the Excel Advanced package, the Excel Basic package, and the Database package. The article explores how to connect to the spreadsheet with each of the suggested packages, how to perform the lookup operation, and records the time taken to perform the lookup for each package. For sure worth reviewing if you find yourself ever having to take operations on datasets that are above ~4000 rows or where advanced SQL queries may help to reduce some requirements for looping.
It’s always helpful to hear how other organizations and RPA developers are solving problems for their organization – especially when it comes directly from the people doing the heavy lifting! In this Tech Breakdown guest post, CoE lead and bot developer Zeth Baker shares some of his experiences in developing RPA solutions for Republic Airways. You won’t want to miss this article as Zeth shares some very creative approaches to enable employees of Republic Airways to engage with, run, and dynamically schedule their bots. Unlike a typical case study, all of this content was written by Zeth himself – so it gets a bit technical – which is great for other developers who may be interested in building off of Zeth’s ideas.
Full bot build tutorials are always popular. The Shopping List Full Bot Build tutorial walks users through building and testing a bot from start to finish. Regardless of your bot building experience, go through this video-based build-along tutorial and build a shopping list bot with Automation Anywhere Developer Evangelist Micah Smith. The bot can be built using Automation Anywhere Enterprise A2019 or using the Automation Anywhere Community Edition – with all required resources provided for both. Concepts covered include automating a web application, downloading a CSV file, and looping through each row of the CSV to enter data into a web form. As you build and test your solution, the referenced challenge page will check the accuracy of the data entered (as well as recording the speed of your bot run!) to provide you with helpful feedback on your bot build.
Rounding out the list of the top 5 are the Intelligent Automation bot build video tutorials. In this 2-part bot build tutorial, Automation Anywhere Developer Evangelist Micah Smith takes users through a real-life use case: classifying helpdesk tickets sent to a helpdesk inbox. To ensure that the solution would be dynamic enough to meet the needs of a real-world solution, users are taken through the process of building a customizable machine learning model to help classify the text of incoming emails to one of five different helpdesk departments. Oh, but you don’t have experience in machine learning? No worries…in the Intelligent Automation Part I session, Micah works with RPA developer Harish Mehta to design and develop a freely available .net application called ML Classifier that makes building a machine learning model as easy as importing some text files and clicking build. In Intelligent Automation Part II, Micah walks users through finalizing that custom built ML model, and invoking it from the bot to accurately classify incoming helpdesk tickets. You won’t want to miss this series as it’s a great look into the possibilities that open up when machine learning is combined with robotic process automation.
The How to Build a Twilio Package tutorial earns its spot as an honorable mention as it’s a very comprehensive tutorial on package development – a much requested, advanced RPA topic. Many RPA developers have been able to take advantage of the modular design of Enterprise A2019 by importing custom Automation Anywhere Bot Store packages into their environments. In this tutorial, Automation Anywhere Developer Evangelist Arjun Meda takes users through the process of building a custom Enterprise A2019 package of their own. While the tutorial focuses on building a package that integrates with the Twilio platform, the concepts are the same for any package development that developers may wish to take on in the future. This custom development is great for creating reusable assets that can be shared across development teams and can enable citizen developers to engage with more complex applications in an easy way.
Hopefully, you found some helpful content to go through from this list of 2020’s most popular posts. While this highlights some of the most visited content, this list is not exhaustive of ALL of the useful content on the Automation Anywhere developer portal. There are many great tutorials, blog posts, and videos that are worth checking out. So, cheers to 2020 finally being over and on to even more new and engaging content for 2021!