There are many Open source RPA tools in the market now. One of the pioneers in this space is Open RPA from Allan Zimmermann. He is passionate about Open source and so his products – OpenRPA and OpenFlow – both follow open-source principles in letter and spirit.
If you like to listen or watch a demo of Open RPA before we dive in, here is a Podcast and demo video.
Now, let us find out more about this open source Robotic Process Automation pioneer.
Open RPA is an easy-to-use open-source automation tool with a drag-drop interface like mainstream Robotic Process Automation tools vendors.
It is a simple yet powerful automation option, especially when combined with Open Flow. You drag-drop automation building blocks to build your automation workflows. It looks a lot like the popular RPA UiPath.
As their website says it “lets you automate virtually any task and process in minutes. It’s free to use, easy to scale – and yours to own.”. This is largely true though you cannot expect it to be as smooth or flawless as the well-funded commercial RPA options.
You can combine OpenRPA with OpenFlow to orchestrate any automation.
OpenFlow is a simple wrapper around the event-based workflow engine NodeRED. Node-Red as you may know is an Open-source workflow engine with a Web UI.
You can integrate Open RPA with OpenFlow to go beyond Robotic process automation and implement end-to-end Automation use cases.
OpenFlow can be thought of as a workflow or Business process management (BPM) tool. It integrates and automates across people, multiple systems, and even things (IoT). Here is the system landscape:
Open Flow supports Scheduling, Central management, Remote management, and handling of state, projects, and workflows. It also adds Access Control management on all objects, encryption, and access control.
All that is built largely by one man using a bunch of open source technologies.
Open RPA and Open Flow Technologies
This Open source automation tool looks a lot like UiPath because it uses the same Windows software under the hood – the Windows Workflow Foundation. The entire platform is built using a microservice architecture.
OpenFlow combines NodeRed with RabbitMQ and MongoDB to support a more scalable NodeRed implementation for Automation needs.
Let us see how we can start automating this open source software.
You can get started by installing and creating a new project which is all explained in this video by Anders Jensen.
The best part of the open source is that you can get started for free and look to premium options when it starts working for you. OpenRPA has a few options.
A largely free software, you only pay for premium support, hosting and even special licenses.
I am sure they will add more options as they continue to grow.
The software is improving slowly but continuously and looks promising. With the support of the community, it can develop into robust software.
What else would you like to know about OpenRPA? Let us know in the comments 👇
Last Updated on 4th March 2021