Scripting standards for Automation Testing in RPA

Over the past ten years, robotic process automation technology has undeniably emerged as one of the most crucial tools for accelerating business transformation for many companies. Even though the majority of the important RPA product vendors are preoccupied with marketing oversimplification of the Technology using visual programming method, it makes sense to evaluate the outcome holistically on the basis of usage of typical IT principles.

"Anyone who is not an IT specialist may construct an RPA BOT using our platform." This seems like a typical sales presentation for RPA systems, so why is RPA so prone to failure? Why is it difficult to keep receiving RPA advantages over a longer length of time? Why do RPA BOTs continue to threaten security across the board in the IT environment? Business leaders took these worries seriously and set out to create a standardized framework that would ensure a superior BOT outcome. Regardless of RPA products, the majority of these standards are very useful for automation using RPA.

The bulk of these standards, regardless of RPA solutions, are highly helpful for automation utilizing RPA −

  • Readability is influenced by the clarity of the code's logic and naming conventions, the absence of garbage code, and the componentization of the code.

  • It is simpler to handle updates and BOT calibration when there are configurable parameters, such as performance parameters, URLs, File & Folder locations, email Ids, credentials, business rule threshold parameters, log messages, email formats, etc., coupled with a generic design.

  • Reliability will increase if certain features are present, such as robust exception handling, the best interface design possible, the prevention of memory leaks, and well−designed auto−recovery and auto−healing methods. Low exception rates will ensure accuracy is maintained.

  • Security is the extent to which an environment is free from both known and unknown threats thanks to elements like credential management, authorisation & authentication, and business data storage & exchange.

  • Performance − Minimal average handling time through efficient delay management, parallel execution, use of the best interaction style, efficient memory management, and efficient business logic setup

  • Zero use of trash code − It is critical to remove all junk code, such as disabled or unused code objects, in order to enhance readability and prevent unnecessary memory blockage. Because it doesn't affect the functionality of the BOT, the majority of the developer community happily ignores this. Automatically deleting unused code, primarily variables, is another feature that a select few RPA solutions provide. Always look for and actively employ these elements.

  • Code complexity − Here, logical simplification is intended to be used. Here are some things to be aware of −

    • The best possible usage of variables and arguments

    • Stay away from loops and nested ifs.

    • Application of the necessary tasks or actions in accordance with the RPA Products' availability for a specific logic.

  • Exception handling − Any RPA BOT aims to process transactions with a low exception rate and 100% accuracy. The same message should be sent even if the BOT is unable to complete the transaction as an exception for manual intervention. Additionally, because there are so many unknowns the BOT will encounter in real−life settings, there will undoubtedly be exceptions, but the BOT should be able to gracefully exit those circumstances. Finding a reliable exception-handling approach quickly is essential to managing this situation. The Try−catch code construct should be used throughout the entire programme to handle all known exceptions, which should be categorized as business exceptions.

  • Data storage Keeping only legitimate and necessary information in the code and logs is primarily meant by this. The following warning indicators need to be on our radar. Rather than hard−coding the necessary information, make it changeable. Examples include email addresses, login credentials, file paths, etc

    Check the data being recorded and stored. Transaction ids may be retained to enhance traceability, but it's crucial to confirm that the appropriate approvals are in place before doing so. The logs shouldn't typically contain any additional business data.

  • Divide the task into several smaller tasks −If revisions or debugging are necessary, it will take a long time to grasp the code if the job includes more than 500 lines. Make sure your created subtasks are merged with the main task. For instance, subtasks for opening apps, creating directories, and reading configuration files.

  • Nothing should be hard−coded in the code − Make sure there are no variables or pieces of information that are hard−coded into the code to prevent future adjustments. Read from the configuration file instead. Avoid storing private or client information in configuration files, variables, or code at all costs; instead, save it securely. Keep in encrypted or credential locker mode to prevent any security threads.

  • Used Again Components − To save time for other developers or other projects, be sure to create any repetitive processes as reusable components.

    Example: Other developers or other processes should employ standard activities like login into the software, generating folder structures, and reading configuration files after making only small alterations inside the organizations.

  • Memory Management − Memory management is a term used to describe a system that should be considered in the context of RPA in order to prevent memory leaks and excessive memory usage by bots. When configuring the bots, development teams should be mindful of behaviors like repeatedly opening the same file, frequently opening and deleting files, and not explicitly terminating browser and database connections, among other things, in order to efficiently manage memory resources.

    Production monitoring teams should schedule routine maintenance procedures, such as bot restarts, at suitable intervals to free up resources like RAM, open browser tabs, and open database connections, if any. When configuring the bots, development teams should be careful to use the RPA products' pre−built features and activities whenever possible, avoid creating custom activities for features that already exist in the product, and break down process steps so that shorter, simpler, and more efficient logic can be used in place of longer, more complicated logic. Avoid hard−coding data or values into the code. Pick the best logging level.

  • Remark and Log − The advantage of adding pertinent comment and log is that it enables comprehension of the code flow without opening each command in the job

Updated on: 08-Dec-2022


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