Is robotic automation like screen scraping? In some ways. Screen scraping mostly talks about the old green-screen applications, mainframe ones, where you basically capture the screen. You process it based on its content and information that you have.
From a technology perspective, the RPA tools that are out there in the market today are very very different from screen scraping or macros. Much more intelligent. Much more capable. Much more robust.
It actually connects to the elements. Whether they are Windows applications, Java applications, Web applications. It does use screen scraping when talking about automation of mainframe but that’s only part of it.
I’ll provide an example. If you were doing your classic screen scraping or macro there will be a situation where you’re pre-determining your clicks on the screen on a certain application and you’re really dependent on an application staying the same. From a resolution perspective, from an overall layout perspective. RPA and tools that we have today enable a much more robust integration into the UI layer in such a way that it can tolerate screen resolution changes, layout changes. So, for example, you can move a button from point A to point B on the screen but the way in which the RPA tool locates, identifies, binds, and eventually clicks that button in the automation process is robust enough and smart enough to be able to adjust and still be able to function. So really from a functionality perspective, a macro and screen scraping provided kind of the early days of automation, but the way our tools work today is very different from a technology perspective and from a capabilities perspective.