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Automation with MuleSoft Composer and RPA

  • colm_barry

Over the past few years, automation of business processes has become more of a requirement. Many discussions in the C-level boardrooms centre more around which tool is more suitable to their needs, as evidence shows that automation can create better customer and employee experiences and mitigate data entry errors. 

When considering the solutions for these needs, MuleSoft Automation can help you democratise and accelerate innovation with its two powerful tools: MuleSoft Composer and MuleSoft RPA. MuleSoft Composer connects apps and data with just a few clicks and no code, and it can be used by a variety of business teams. MuleSoft RPA is a Gartner-recognised automation tool that lets you use bots to automate business tasks and processes. This can save you time and prevent human errors. MuleSoft RPA can interact with legacy systems and applications that do not have available APIs, process files or images, extract data, or create steps that require human input.

To better understand how these tools can help your organisation, let’s have a look at the following business use case: 

A sales team wants to automate the account data synchronisation in IBM’s AS400 when an update on account records happens in Salesforce. Instead of a sales rep making changes to account data in AS400 over and over again manually, MuleSoft Composer and RPA will handle this process automatically. This way, sales reps can have more time for other important tasks, and the risk of data input errors is greatly reduced. 

Systems involved in this automated process will be Salesforce, AS400, MuleSoft Composer, and MuleSoft RPA.

In the diagram below you can see the automation process design with steps for each system:

In our solution, we activated "Person Accounts" in Salesforce, but it is entirely optional, and the solution can work with simple “Accounts” in the same way. We used the following "Account” fields in Salesforce: date of birth, passport ID, external ID, phone, email, and address (street, city, and country).

Next, we will create a MuleSoft RPA process. The usual RPA Lifecycle starts with the “Process Evaluation” where you can determine if there is a benefit to a business process being automated. After creating a process evaluation in RPA Manager and adjusting qualifiers and benefits, you can see the result in the “Process Matrix” with a green area being the best suited for automation.

After the process is evaluated, it can be approved or rejected in the RPA Manager. After approval, you can assign it to either the CoE team or Project project manager. Then, the “Process Design” stage starts. Our solution's BPMN diagram looks like this:

Our flow consists of 3 main bot tasks: 

Log into AS400, update the record with account record values coming from Salesforce, and close AS400. We have an exclusive gateway here to route the flow in case of a failure in the “update” step to another bot task, which will send an email notification to the Admin with an error message and record details.

You can also use the RPA Recorder tool to record your process. By doing so, you gather more information (including screenshots and keystrokes) about the process, which might be helpful in the next “Build” phase for developers. Another benefit of using “RPA Recorder” is that the generated documentation can auto-generate workflows in the RPA Builder containing implementation action steps and other elements. In RPA Builder, you can configure each step from the BPMN diagram using a drag-and-drop interface, recording keyboard inputs and mouse clicks, utilising activity parameters, or using other functionalities.

Additionally, you can run or debug your steps locally. After that, the process can be uploaded back to the “RPA Manager” and be promoted to the “Test” phase. MuleSoft RPA manager allows you to easily create a series of test plan configurations. Remember to test the process under all possible scenarios; set different values for activity parameters in each configuration of a test plan, and specify one or more available RPA bots to run the RPA process.

After passing all the tests, the RPA process can be published to the “Production” phase and the execution plan configured. In the execution plan, we need to create an invokable production configuration with empty activity parameters, then choose the run execution (existing desktop session or secure session for an appropriate user), and one or more bots to run the process.

Whenever the RPA process will be invoked, you can always monitor the process with the “Process Streaming” feature of MuleSoft RPA Manager and see which activity is performed now and how the RPA bot performs it.

Finally, after the RPA process is set, let’s connect everything together in one flow with MuleSoft Composer. 

  • Create a flow which will be triggered by a system event
  • Add a new Salesforce connection and connect to your Sandbox org (after the tests are completed, you can change the connection to the Production instance)
  • Choose an event that starts the flow - On new or updated record, Object - Account, and you can also add trigger conditions (for example only Person Account records and External Id not empty).
  • Additionally, you can choose which Account fields your process is gonna take to the next flow, or keep all the fields by default.

Then, we add a next step and choose a system action - MuleSoft RPA and the action “invoke RPA process”. After you choose the RPA Process which was created before - you can map the input fields to the data coming from the previous step.

That’s it. Save and activate Composer flow. The solution is ready to be tested. You can see in the below video the solution to our use case in action.

If you want to know more about MuleSoft automation products and how they can help you, feel free to reach out to the Pexlify team for more information.

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