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Power Automate Desktop, What? Why? & How?

by Mo Faheem
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

What is Power Automate Desktop?

Power Automate Desktop is a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution. According to Wikipedia definition, RPA is a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots or on artificial intelligence /digital workers. It is sometimes referred to as software robotics. Read the Wikipedia definition of RPA.

So in simple words, RPA is the conversion process of manual, tedious, repetitive desktop tasks that doesn’t support API integration into a robotic automated process by recording human-computer interactions.

According to Microsoft, there are two types of RPA processes that can be modelled and executed using Power Automate Desktop, as follows,

Attended RPA

Attended RPA Power Automate, as the name indicates, is the process that requires human instructions either by initiation or to respond to directions questions.

Unattended RPA

Fully bot automated process for menial tasks that don’t require any human interference and can be scheduled or triggered based on events

Attended RPA vs unattended RPA

History of Power Automate Desktop and Robotic Process Automation

I don’t know if this section is important, however, you can skip through.

Briefly, Power Automate Desktop used to be known as WinAutomatin until Microsoft acquired Softomotive back in May 2020. Acquisition press release, please read here.

WinAutomate was a well-known player in the RPA field with great capabilities, and now being part of the Power Automate family expected to be a market leader.

Why Power Automate Desktop?

Besides the fact that I love watching actions gets executed, applications windows get opened, and forms get filled from variables all by their own, Robotic Process Automations RPA are highly useful.

In many well-established companies, there are on-prem legacy systems that those companies cannot stop using, and the need to integrate those systems or with the cloud is crucial; However, those systems are likely won’t support API connectivity, and a manual input or copy of data is the only possible way. In such cases, an RPA solution is the tool that can facilitate such integration. Also, a logic or calculation can be added to the RPA flow to enrich the processed data.

How Power Automate Desktop?

How Power Automate Desktop works is a big topic that cant be covered in one post, and I will try to discuss it in detail In future posts. For now, we will discuss the basic elements of the applications.

Power Automate Desktop

As in the image, a wide range of actions is available to be dragged into the flow. user can record actions from web or from web.

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