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What Are the Technical Complexities of Migrating Between RPA Platforms?

3 min read
Nov 25, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Lately, there’s been a lot of noise being made about RPA platform migrations. The desire to switch RPA vendors comes from different places. Sometimes it’s as simple as looking at an alternative to get more returns and reduce the complexity of bot development. Other times it’s motivated by a desire to pursue a multi-platform RPA strategy.

Regardless of the reasons, and even with a growing vendor market, most RPA platform migrations are still occurring between the four major RPA tools: Microsoft Power Automate, UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere.

Somehow, despite only being four major players, there remains a lot of technical challenges between the platforms that can make RPA bot migration an expensive and time-intensive effort. In this article, we explore some of those migration challenges and complexities.

RPA Platform Migration Complexities

Structurally different approaches used by each RPA tool

Each RPA tool is structurally different in terms of how the bots are scripted. Tools like Automation Anywhere and Microsoft Power Automate Desktop are layered, whereas UiPath and Blue Prism are heavily scoped.

For example, Bot scripts in Automation Anywhere, Power Automate Desktop, and UiPath are more sequentially organized when compared to Blue Prism. Blue Prism, by comparison, has a tiered approach between the process studio, the object studio, and the application modeler. 

Conditions Variables and Arguments

Data types available in one RPA platform might not be available in another and vice-versa. Variable scoping is inconsistent between RPA tools, and using those variables in expressions can get very complex.

Similarly, logical elements like if statements, loops, and wait conditions can be structured very differently between different RPA tools.

Exception handling can be quite different

Each RPA tool approaches exception handling differently. Some tools like UiPath and Blue Prism have the concept of exception bubbling, (an exception will bubble upwards until it is handled, and if not handled, will continue to bubble to the main page of a process and cause it to fail). Automation Anywhere and Power Automate Desktop don’t. 

Application types and technologies for web, desktop, and other UI based applications

Selector handling between each RPA tool is different. As RPA vendors have matured, so have the ways they identify and spy applications.

Most applications have selectors defined using the underlying HTML code. Still, for some applications, selectors are defined using a combination of techniques such as placing an anchor or computer vision—these are technologies that might not necessarily be available on other RPA platforms. 

Automations leveraging external scripts (vb, powershell, etc.)

Automations often have scripts embedded for functionalities that are not provided by out-of-the-box activities.

Orchestration Queues

Sometimes processes are fundamentally based on Queues. RPA platforms like Blue Prism and UiPath have an entire Queuing infrastructure, whereas PAD has no similar concept. 

Hyperautomation use cases

As RPA platforms move towards hyperautomation, so too increases the usage of proprietary AI (artificial intelligence)/ML (machine learning) skills and capabilities around OCR (optical character recognition) and document understanding. This move introduces scenarios where automations may need to be redesigned using hyperautomation capabilities provided by the destination platforms.

For example, Automation Anywhere has IQBot that presents AI (Artificial Intelligence) related OCR capabilities. On the other hand, UiPath has Document Understanding.

The sum of all these technical challenges is what can make migration such a difficult task, regardless of how strong the motivation is behind it. There’s a belief in the automation space that the only way to migrate is to rewrite the bot in the target RPA platform, but that’s not true.

Blueprint has an RPA migration assistant that accounts for these complexities and makes switching RPA vendors possible, without all the pain and headaches.

Blueprint’s RPA Migration Assistant

Blueprint has an end-to-end migration solution that ingests bots from major RPA platforms. We leverage our extensive mapping engine to deconstruct the automation elements from ingested bots into generic representations that then enable conversion into a new, target RPA platform.

If you’re interested in learning more, download the Blueprint RPA Migration Assistant Tech Specs and discover exactly how our mapping engine facilitates smoother migrations.

Blueprint RPA Migration Assistant

Or, we can even provide you with a free estimate on migration depending on your current RPA platform and the vendor you’d like to migrate to. Click below. There’s nothing to lose!

Get Your Free Estimate