Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is becoming increasingly popular in the business world, with multiple tools
and platforms available to make it possible. RPA enables the automation of routine digital processes that
traditionally require human involvement. It helps develop, implement, and control software bots that mimic
human actions and interact with digital systems. These bots possess the capacity to analyze screen content,
execute keystrokes, identify and extract data, access multiple systems, and perform a range of pre-defined
The leading integration platform, MuleSoft, has recently entered the RPA market with its new addition to the
MuleSoft ecosystem - MuleSoft Robotic Process Automation. The new RPA capabilities are fully integrated into
its system, providing businesses a unique combination of integration, API management, and automation to
scale and increase the speed of work. Before diving deeper into MuleSoft RPA and its components for business
automation, let us understand the benefits of RPA for businesses.
Benefits of RPA
The primary advantage of robotic process automation is its ability to perform tasks typically carried out by
humans with increased efficiency and reduced likelihood of errors. Implementing RPA enables businesses to
achieve the following:
Increased productivity and efficiency
Performing repetitive tasks can be time-consuming and drain an employee's energy. By implementing RPA and a
well-designed workflow, teams can automate repetitive tasks. They can increase their capacity to focus on
work that requires specialized skills. Automation also significantly reduces manual errors, faster
processing times, lower processing costs, and increased productivity per employee. Typically, businesses can
expect to save anywhere between 25% to 50% through these efficiency improvements.
RPA offers a unique benefit in workflows characterized by fluctuating volumes. For instance, a company may
experience increased requests during specific seasons. Without automation, the organization may be forced to
hire temporary staff or reallocate existing employees from other tasks to manage the workload. However, with
robots, the company can promptly adjust its workforce capacity to accommodate any workload volume.
Improved accuracy, consistency, and reliability
In business, duplicate payments resulting from unplanned replication of invoices due to a transposed digit
in the purchase order can pose a significant challenge. However, with the implementation of mission-critical
workflows, human error is no longer a factor, ensuring unwavering reliability, consistency, and accuracy.
Incorporating RPA into business operations reduces human involvement in handling personal information,
especially in regions with stringent data protection regulations. This leads to improved compliance and
streamlined implementation of governance protocols, as sensitive data exposure is minimized.
Simplified legacy system automation
Implementing automation may not be a challenge for newly established companies, but established
organizations with legacy systems can face substantial risks when adopting automation. RPA tools based on
no-code platforms provide a solution that does not require replacing all legacy systems. By imitating human
interactions, such as clicks and keystrokes, RPA instances can be trained to handle legacy software
workflows, simplifying the automation process.
MuleSoft Robotic Process Automation and API Integration
RPA holds major significance in the context of API integration. As complementary technologies, RPA and API
can be used in collaboration in many situations to broaden the scope of endpoints. In other cases, RPA can
be used to automate processes in cases where an API-led effort is not possible, for example:
- Applications do not have an API: These are typically legacy applications with no API
(more prevalent in on-premises footprints).
- The system is heavily customized: These are systems where the existing APIs cannot
cover the customizations done to the web application, and these extensions can only be accessed via UI.
- The cost of developing a new API is unknown: In such cases, RPA can be used as a
temporary instrumentation method to evaluate the investment to create a new API for the legacy system.
- Different teams to manage MuleSoft automation and integration: There are separate teams
for APIs ownership and integration and for automating the business processes.
With the introduction of MuleSoft RPA, MuleSoft combines MuleSoft API integration and MuleSoft automation on
one leading unified platform. Anypoint Platform enables IT teams to deliver API products, composable
services, and bots at scale for the entire organization. MuleSoft RPA automates repetitive and manual tasks
with reusable bots. It uses a single unified platform to manage the entire RPA lifecycle. This approach
enables companies to develop, manage, and monitor every deployed robot in one place. It also assures
increased governance, auditing capabilities, and collaboration.
To top it all off, MuleSoft RPA was also built with simplicity so that processes can be automated using
clicks, not codes using Composer. MuleSoft Composer is a no-code, cloud-based integration tool. It provides
features similar to that of the Anypoint Platform, such as runtime, monitoring, security, and governance.
Sales and business analysts may find Composer highly appealing due to its user-friendly interface that
allows them to create integrations without coding skills. RPA processes can be triggered from the MuleSoft
Composer by consuming the RPA bot published in the MuleSoft Exchange (MuleSoft component for storing
- Anypoint Platform - System Integration
- MuleSoft RPA - Human Process Automation
- Composer - Business Process Automation
MuleSoft RPA Components
- MuleSoft RPA Manager: MuleSoft RPA Manager is a cloud-based platform that centrally
organizes and manages RPA processes throughout their lifecycles.
- MuleSoft RPA Builder and MuleSoft RPA Recorder: MuleSoft RPA Builder and MuleSoft RPA
Recorder are development tools that run in a local Windows system. They connect with MuleSoft RPA
Manager to participate in the design and development phases of an RPA project.
- MuleSoft RPA Bots: MuleSoft RPA Bots are used in the later lifecycle phases from
testing to production to communication with the MuleSoft RPA Manager.
Similar to how API lifecycle management is effectively managed in the Anypoint Platform, MuleSoft RPA offers
a range of features to facilitate a structured and efficient RPA lifecycle implementation.
The MuleSoft RPA process comprises a series of phases to ensure it is valuable to the organization and
succeeds upon deployment. Like the API lifecycle in MuleSoft, RPA phases are collectively known as the RPA
Below are the different phases in the RPA lifecycle:
- Production (Manage and Monitor)
The RPA Manager has a visual diagram to showcase what phase an RPA process is in.
Different job roles, called personas, are assigned to each lifecycle phase. MuleSoft RPA aligns specific job
roles to the phases. For example, an RPA process in the design phase blocks an RPA developer from
implementing it in the RPA Builder. When the RPA process is in the test, deploy, or production phase, RPA
designers and RPA developers are blocked from editing the RPA process. Let us look at the RPA lifecycle
phases and statuses in more detail.
The process evaluation module in the RPA manager is used in this phase to determine if a business
process qualifies to be automated. This is done by evaluating the benefits and cost savings of building
the automation based on the process complexity, stability, and other key values.
Once the evaluation is complete and the process qualifies for automation, the next phase is designing
the workflow. The design specifies the actions to perform and the conditions under which the actions
will be performed. RPA Manager creates workflows using the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN).
Workflows can be designed manually using the drag-and-drop tools in RPA Manager or automatically using
the RPA Recorder.
In this phase, the previously created process is optimized with specific instructions for humans and
bots. With the RPA Builder, a BPMN diagram generated in RPA Manager can be imported. Then, the
drag-and-drop operations or record key inputs can be used to specify the steps. The completed process
can be published to the RPA Manager.
During the test phase, various testing scenarios for the automation projects can be created to confirm
that it is working as intended. This stage works as the quality assurance step of development. In this
phase, real-world test scenarios can be created using different parameters, and users can troubleshoot
failed steps in case of errors.
After successfully completing the testing phase, the automation project is ready to deploy. In the
deployment phase, the RPA Manager is used to set up the production parameters, define the process
execution schedule, and choose the RPA bots to run the process. Users can deploy one automation process
to one or multiple RPA bots.
The RPA Manager provides different management and monitoring options for deployed automation. Users can
monitor the performance of the deployed automation, set up alerts and notifications when there are
issues, and identify the source of these issues.
It is inevitable for organizations to have RPA digital workers in their environment. MuleSoft RPA enables businesses to bring the best of RPA, API management, and integration capabilities to
their business. By facilitating end-to-end business automation, MuleSoft RPA streamlines processes, enhances
speed and efficiency, drives innovation and collaboration, and enables users to integrate and automate with
disconnected legacy systems. Learn how organizations can leverage MuleSoft RPA with automation enablers like
Nous Infosystems to build bots that assist their automation needs and become a composable business.
Realize these benefits by engaging with a trusted RPA Service