RPA Vs Test Automation – What You Need to Know

What do you do when you have unanswered questions?

As most people do, I went to Quora to look for answers. And yes, I got what I was looking for and while I was finding my answer, I saw a lot of questions about Robotic Process Automation and Test Automation.

Questions such as,

  • What is the difference between Test Automation and Robotic Process Automation?
  • Can Selenium be used for Robotic Process Automation?
  • Does it make sense to use UFT for Robotic process automation?
  • What is the difference between UFT/QTP and Robotic Process Automation?
  • What is the difference between simple automation and Robotic Process Automation?

After seeing such questions, my assumption was that people are still unaware of the difference between RPA and Test Automation. Hence, I decided to write this blog.

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Tough RPA has been deployed across various industries, there are still some misconceptions about RPA and its process.

Especially there are many myths related to Robotic Process Automation and test automation.

You really have to figure out which of those are true and which ones are not. Understanding that will make things easier and more convenient and the payoff alone can be distinctive and unique in its own right.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation is an interesting concept because it allows you to automate those routine manual tasks and optimize your business process at a very professional level. With RPA you can easily automate all those rather repetitive and tedious tasks (time-consuming tasks, rule-based tasks). Also, it can be applied to multiple industries which are very helpful.

Why do we need it?

There are a lot of benefits in Robotic Process Automation such as,

  • Automating mundane tasks like data entry
  • Your work will be uninterrupted 24×7
  • An RPA bot can do the work of 4 to 8 employees thus increasing the productivity
  • RPA can be implemented quickly, and it is easy to scale

Test Automation Overview

Test automation is the process of executing the test cases with the help of an automation tool.

By automating the testing process, there will be less human intervention and you can run test cases overnight without a person overseeing the process. There are plenty of test automation tools available in the market that helps smoothen this process.

Is RPA similar to Test Automation?

At their core, they might look similar because both of them rely on automation. However, there are differences.

Test automation needs to be applied to a product, it has to be implemented via different environments and it’s also limited to a set of users.

Robotic Process Automation, on the other hand, can be applied to business processes and products. It only needs a single production environment and can be used by all individuals in a team.

Can RPA be considered as a Testing Tool?

Robotic Process Automation can be considered a testing tool up to an extent, but only as an umbrella term.

It has reached the next level where you don’t really need to rely on other systems to make this work the way you want. But it’s still not as good as test automation. Yet you can consider it to be a testing tool at a basic level.

Can Selenium be used For Robotic Process Automation?

There are lots of test automation tools on the market like Selenium, Katalon, QTP and Appium. These are good test automation tools. And no, they cannot be used for Robotic Process Automation.

Because the test automation tools have a constraint, they require software in order to run.

RPA can be applied to anything other than a product. As you can see, there are no testing tools that will help as an RPA tool, so that can be a bit challenging at first, yet very important to consider and keep in mind.

Robotic Process Automation causes job losses

Robotic Process Automation is not eating up jobs. If anything, it clearly shows that around 5% or even fewer jobs will be lost due to automation.

But RPA on its own will not cause job losses or anything like that.

You just have to realize that some jobs will eventually become obsolete. However Robotic Process Automation is not connected to that.

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To Sum up

As you can see, Robotic Process Automation does have quite a lot of things that needed to be cleared up.

Yet at the end of the day, the most important aspect is that Robotic Process Automation and test automation are not the same. They might feel similar, but there are obvious differences to think about.

Author: Pradeep Parthiban
Pradeep is a Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist at Indium Software with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.