5 min read

Announcing general availability of robotic process automation in Microsoft Power Automate

Woman sitting at laptop using Microsoft Power Automate.

End-to-end intelligent automation for all

Today we’re announcing the robotic process automation (RPA) capability in Microsoft Power Automate, called UI flows, will now be generally available. Check out the details from our previous blog that also covers the new pricing model. With RPA, Power Automate continues to strengthen its ability to provide organizations with an intelligent cloud-based automation platform that combines RPA with API-based automation, infused with AI. All these capabilities are available in a low-code platform that natively integrates with Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Azure. With our low barrier-to-entry pricing model, we also make it easier for organizations to expedite their digital transformation journey. Learn more about the uniquely affordable licensing.

Automation is not an island

Organizations deploy many different tools to help optimize their businesses and this myriad of tools often impedes efficiency. Thus, organizations are constantly looking for simpler ways to scale, while streamlining the number of applications and services required to do their work. For organizations to reap the benefits of automation, it cannot be an island. To this end, we have invested heavily in building native integration across Azure, Microsoft Power Platform, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 and also offer over 300 connectors to many of the world’s most widely used applications. Additionally, with the launch of RPA, Power Automate removes the gap between applications that have modern APIs and those that do not. Power Automate is designed to connect your entire IT environment with one seamless automation platform.

  • Accelerating low-code automation with Microsoft Power Platform: Microsoft Power Platform’s simple and intuitive interface supports access for citizen developers to build sophisticated apps, chats, dashboards, data entities, and AI models, all without a line of code. All these artifacts can trigger automation (API or RPA) with pre-designed integration points across the platform.
  • No-cliffs developer automation with Azure: While citizen developers can build sophisticated automations without a line of code, pro-developers can build sophisticated solutions using Azure and Visual Studio, Azure Functions, and Azure Logic Apps. This allows technical developers to extend Power Automate capabilities to more sophisticated and technical solutions. Additionally, Power Automate offers the Azure Dev Ops connector, providing several options for development teams to enhance communication and task management between each other.
  • Integration with Office 365 productivity solutions: Streamline business processes by integrating apps and automating workflows across Office 365 including Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork. Using Office 365, you can automate routine tasks and processes between your favorite apps like Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and SharePoint.

This unified low-code, intelligent automation platform has an extensive set of capabilities and orchestrates human workflows with business process management. Power Automate also offers powerful governance and security tools to help ensure that admins can feel at ease with citizen developer and business user adoption.

Partners In Health, a Boston-based social justice and healthcare nonprofit, serves impoverished communities in 10 countries, striving to bring modern medical science to those most in need. 

“We are excited to leverage Power Automate RPA capabilities for use cases ranging from processing invoices and checks, to improving the efficiency of digitizing paper data by health workers and clinicians in our care delivery sites.” – Bella Chih-Ning, Senior Information Systems and Analytics Manager, Partners in Health 

Bridging the automation gap by bringing RPA to the fingertips of all users 

Empower your entire organization to get started with our low barrier-to-entry RPA business model. This comprehensive RPA offering, from the user experience and unique business model to centralized management, is designed with democratization in mind, and scales with both new customers and our existing customers. It is now practical to license the entire organization with RPA. Learn more about Power Automate pricing options.

We’ve designed our RPA solution for both attended and unattended RPA scenarios so that citizen developers and pro developers alike can automate their work. They can start by recording manual tasks, such as mouse clicks, keyboard inputs, and data entry, and then automate the replay of these steps to integrate with more complex process automations.

illimity is a new-generation bank in Italy that relies on the best information technology (IT) and guarantees new levels of quality, service, and efficiency.  

“At illimity, we are planning to leverage Power Automate RPA capabilities for document processing, which is a key function in the banking industry. We are manually processing hundreds of documents weekly between parties and see this as a great opportunity to use RPA in helping us save time and resources.”  -Francesco Zitelli, Collaboration Solutions Team Leader, illimity  

Attended RPA

Example of running UI flows in attended mode on your desktop.

With attended UI flows, Power Automate provides an easy solution for citizen developers to build automation for legacy applications. Users can record click-steps and mouse motions on their desktop to automate two types of applications:

  • Automate windows applications: Record actions on your Windows desktop and turn manual tasks into automated workflows with a step-by-step guided experience. At the time of general availability, automation relies on applications’ support for accessibility experiences, with the ability to fallback to coordinate-based playback as an option.
  • Automate web-based applications: With UI flows, you can also automate web sites with a design time and playback experience designed for web content.

Unattended RPA

Example of setting up a gateway in UI flows with unattended mode.

Customers can use unattended UI flows to automate tasks without the need for any human intervention. Running UI flows in unattended mode enables automation across single or multiple desktops or virtual machines. This option allows UI flows to login to a designated Windows device, execute the desired automation, and then logout. Key features for unattended mode include:

  • Execution on a cluster of machines: This feature enables you to define a cluster of machines that increase capacity and reduce the management cost of running unattended automation.
  • Centralized reporting: Users can centrally review job performance across their cluster of machines.­­­

Learn more about how to get started with attended and unattended UI flows.

Delivering insights with process discovery partner FortressIQ

Part of an organization’s success in driving their digital transformation is the ability to easily obtain data-driven insights about its current state tasks and processes, understand which of those processes present opportunities for automation, and quickly implement RPA at scale. FortressIQ’s Process Discovery platform delivers cognitive process intelligence, a powerful combination of AI-driven process discovery, detailed process modeling capabilities, process mining, and automatic generation of process documentation. Back in November of 2019 at Microsoft Ignite, we announced our partnership with a visionary leader in process discovery, FortressIQ, who uses AI, computer vision, and machine learning to enable customers to pinpoint the most optimal areas for automation. Today we’re announcing the availability of FortressIQ’s process discovery capabilities within Power Automate so that you can empower your workforce to automate processes with the ease and efficiency of a low-code solution.

Benefits include:

  • Digitally discover tasks and processes being executed
  • Automatically produce detailed process documentation
  • Reduce time and cost to automate tasks
  • Help increase ROI through improved outcomes and reduced RPA rework
  • Quickly implement automation at scale

Learn more about how to use FortressIQ’s process discovery method with Power Automate.

Get started now

Watch the video to learn more:

UI flows is licensed as part of two new Power Automate offers that provide organizations with the flexibility to address a range of attended and unattended scenarios. Visit the UI flows web page to learn more, and sign up for a free trial.