Excellent to see that you being the end user have taken to love automation and are willing to upskill. If those developers who are negative towards UiPath have still managed to make you believe in RPA, imagine what you can develop when you do use UiPath the correct way You know where this post is going!
Personally, I believe a good automation project needs to consider use of a multitude of tools as and when required. Each tool has its own strength and can help the other tool, but professionally in (2021-2023), I would choose UiPath even with the pain-points it has because of the time it saves my team and me. 95% of the time, I look forward to working in UiPath Studio in my workday. Let me elaborate.
Integrations in Studio
Be it API or custom code or script your team generates in C#, PowerShell, BAT or any other programing language are easy to integrate into UiPath projects.
Sheer performance and ease of Web-Automation
Native integrations in web-browser drivers such as chromium make web automations a cake walk in UiPath. It just works! From experience, a bot which took 11 minutes to scrape data in Blue Prism (which does not have good tools extractor scattered table data) vs. UiPath which took 33 seconds!
This to me is a must. We have to take care of our eyes, don’t want to be 55 and realize that a simple Dark Mode would have helped de-stress the eyes! As a full-time developer you will be actively looking at the studio for 4 to 6 hours a day. To me it is very difficult to look at a white studio / object studio (BluePrism, Power Automate!). It takes a toll on you quite soon. UiPath took this community feedback and took action.
Unlike most RPA tools, UiPath offers the best user experience when it comes to finding which selectors exists in an application. Each time you have to identify an element you get an option to open in in UiExplorer if you wish. There you can see the hierarchy of the whole application. Other tools also have this, but they are inferior to Ui Explorer.
No developer wants to develop the same thing twice. UiPath workflows can be packaged both as standalone .xaml or .nupkg files and consumed in any other project. This is not something unique to UiPath, but the implementation in other tools is time consuming.
Templates; once you like how your workflow or project looks and would like to convert it to a template, in a click of a button you can convert it to a template and store it such that other developers in your team also have access to it.
We all have crossed this path. Deleted something, which should not have. UiPath offers inbuilt version control integrations with local GIT / or remote TFS or Github or other providers. The ease of backing up in UiPath is great. You always know that your code is backed-up, which branch or repo you are in etc.
A lot more features to like
There are many more advantages with UiPath and Studio as a developer tool. The forum “tutorials” is a good place to gauge the capabilities of Studio. ( Latest News/Tutorials topics - UiPath Community Forum)
It is not all sunshine
UiPath is great in pushing out new features, but the speed at which they are growing makes it difficult for enterprises to port solutions. For example, say a new feature was released in 20.04 in just 6 months came an enormous update 20.10. You can ask anyone who maintains the UiPath infrastructure while knowing that the LTS (long-term support) window is just 2 years. They don’t like it, they just do it because they have to!
Clearly, other RPA tools have better implementation of Debugging, which allow for better failure reporting. Without explicitly throwing an exception with good message, UiPath does not return where in the whole process the robot failed. Very vague auto generated failure messages. Another feature, which is missing, is you cannot just jump over some activities and continue in debugging mode. Blue Prism trumps here, excellent for finding out where the failure occurred and easy to manually debug.
When you start buying licenses in many other RPA tools it is all-or-nothing and I some cases you pay as you use (Robocorp). And there is UiPath who want to be modular and has setup each of their product with its own license. Great for companies, which choose the cloud version, but companies who want UiPath on-premises are left with a nightmare of maintaining and identifying license schemes.
- You want orchestrator? – Orchestrator License
- You want studio? – Studio Pro License
- You want studio for more than 5 developers? – You cannot use Orchestrator basic license, upgrade required.
- You want production robot? – Production License
- You want nonproduction robot? – NonProduction License
- You want attended robot? – Attended License
- You want test robot? – Test License
- You want a process surveillance? – You want Insights license
- You want Document understanding? – Needs license
Other N number of licenses to follow. You get the point.
What started as a simple investment and profit can soon diminish if the scale of your RPA is small. For larger enterprises, the amount of cases robot handles makes it worthwhile. Nonetheless, communicating and following up these licenses is a repetitive job in itself!
This affects us at developers because we are responsible for license management and have to inform changes to the yearly budgets.
All in all, I would still recommend UiPath until a better tool comes over, which it will. It may be Power Automate or Robocorp for all we known. When you do start with UiPath also try to skill yourself in Power Automate. Microsoft is much better at license management and as RPA-technology moves towards API-based automation, a tool such as Power Automate is well suited and will have longer product lifecycle than UiPath, unless UiPath does something unexpectedly to its licensing structure and makes it easier for many companies to choose them.
Also, invest your time in PowerShell, BAT scripts, Python and C# if possible. These skills can be ported to any role in IT, so when RPA loses its hype and shine, you are ready to take on new challenges.
Last but not the least, since you are starting out in a new field, I would like to suggest a book: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World: Newport, Cal: 9781455586691: Amazon.com: Books
We wish you success in your RPA journey!