Office Hours: System & Database Integrations with Kofax RPA

Kofax RPA is a powerful robotic process automation platform with a simple drag-and-drop software robot designer. Kofax RPA automates manual tasks and activities like accessing web portals or desktop applications, connecting to servers and databases, and copying and transposing data, replacing the need for cumbersome data integrations between systems and databases.

Transcript

Quinn Huntsman:
Hello, and welcome to another RPI Consultants office hours. Today, we’re going to be diving into the world of Kofax RPA, specifically Kofax RPA working with various enterprise systems, working with APIs, and also showing you at a high level how to create a database integration. Before we get started here, just a couple of housekeeping items. First thing, we want to let you know that we have a couple of upcoming webinars as well as another office hours here in June.

Friday, June 19th, at 1:00 PM Central we’ll have another office hours on iScripts for Perceptive Content or otherwise known as ImageNow. This as a part to follow up presentation to another office hours we did on Perceptive iScripting, I think a couple of months ago. So, if you watched that or if you are interested in learning iScripting and Perceptive Content, I would definitely tune in for this.

Following that to kick off for July, we have a double header on Wednesday the 1st, starting at 11:00 AM. We’re going to have a webinar on Perceptive Content enhancement pack two. This is the summer release of Perceptive Content. So, we’ll be giving you all the details on that new release. And then later in the afternoon that day we have, at 1:00 PM Central, a webinar on making OnBase work with Infor.

So, if you like our office hours or have attended our office hours or webinars in the past, definitely check these out. If you need any more information on our webinars or office hours, be sure to visit rpic.com/webinars. Next step, I want to let you know about a workshop we offer for Kofax RPA. This is an engaging onsite kind of like a training workshop we do for Kofax RPA.

So, we will set you up with one of our RPA consultants and this includes things like some documentation and roadmapping on how you might be able to use RPA for your organization. We will set you up with a free one-year development license for Kofax RPA. This is something we can help you obtain through Kofax. We will also provide you product setup and training as well as discuss robot prototyping and deployment for your organization.

So, if you’re interested in scheduling or discussing what this might look like for you and your organization, be sure to reach out. A little bit about me before we get started. My name is Quinn Huntsman. I’m a business analyst on the CPA team here at RPI Consultants. I am a certified technical solution specialist for Kofax RPA.

Other than that, my background is in Perceptive Content; specifically, I work a lot with upgrades, general administration and various troubleshooting. Fun fact about me: I’m currently re-watching some shows at home, enjoying that as well as enjoying practicing cooking at home since we have the time to do that. So, to outline what we’re going to cover today, we are going to be talking about system integrations and database integrations with Kofax RPA.

Usually, we have these presentations live. So, we want to remind you that they’re interactive. But this one happens to be pre recorded. So, if you have any questions about what you saw today, be sure to reach out to us whether it’s on our website or through our YouTube channel or just email us. So, another thing before we get started. I want to make sure to outline just exactly what is Kofax RPA, if this is your first-time hearing about it or watching one of our RPA webinars.

So Kofax RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. So, it easy to use drag-and-drop software that allows you to build robots that don’t stop working and they never make mistakes. It can replace manual tasks and allow you to build decision points for activities like opening and signing into desktop applications or web portals. It can even perform front end activities, functions, lookups, as well as kind of what we’re going to be diving into today, which is work with APIs and/or databases.

Again, it is a simple to use. You don’t have to know how to code. A drag-and-drop interface that allows you to build robots, even with some complex logic in there. And the last thing I want to mention about this here is that there is a free one-year development license available from Kofax. So, I encourage you all, if you are interested in Kofax RPA, to go obtain that license and solve the software and give it a shot.

So just to provide an agenda of what we’re going to do today. We’re going to show RPA working with databases and APIs. So, the advantages to doing this. A lot of work with RPA will involve working with the front end of a website, which can be frustrating at times, depending on the website. Not all websites are built the same. Not all websites support working with them from an RPA standpoint.

So, what working with APIs and databases allows you to do is skip the front end of the website and work directly with the data that you need from that. So, we are going to demonstrate how to retrieve, create, update, and delete records. One of the main benefits here really with RPA is that it allows you to create integrations that would otherwise not exist between systems.

So hopefully this demonstration today gives you an idea of the robustness of Kofax RPA and just how that can work. So, what we’re going to do is leverage a call REST web service step to create a document and Perceptive Content. The web service we’re going to consume is going to be integration server. This is a web service available to communicate with Perceptive Content server.

And then what we’re going to do once that’s done is, we’re going to demonstrate connecting to Microsoft SQL server and then querying the database to find that document that we created. So, without further ado here, let’s go ahead and get started. I’ve got a prebuilt version of the robot here, but we’re going to build it from scratch again. I just want to show you kind of how simple this can be, and also give you a quick tour of what you’re actually looking at.

So, the view here is what’s called Kofax RPAs design studio. It is the development environment, the IDE for Kofax RPA. In the middle here you’ve got your workflow view essentially, showing all the different steps. That’s what these gray little boxes are. You can see the progression of them down here in the bottom half of the middle of the screen. This is where you’ll see the output from your execution here.

Over on the left you can see we’ve got some basic folder structure. This is kind of like if you’ve ever worked in Microsoft Visual Studio, this is pretty much your project view. It helps you stay organized with your robots, types and all of that, which we’ll explain a little bit more about as we go here. You’ll notice here on the bottom left we have our database information.

This will be important later on. This will show where we connect to our databases, which databases are available from the management console, which we’ll also discover here. And then which databases have been mapped and are available in design studio for you to actually build with. So lastly, here is our variables pane over here on the right. This is the building blocks of our project here.

This will allow you to create empty boxes to hold all the data you need to as you go here. So, for instance we need to have some kind of variable to hold the data that we are returning from SQL when we query the database to find the document we create. So, I have a variable here created to store all of the different columns for that, as well as I have some login credentials here pre created and then some other things here that we’ll use as well.

What you’re seeing in the bottom right corner is a configuration panel for the step that you’re on. So, this shows you the different options for what you’re building as far as the step itself. You can also get here by right clicking and going to configure for the step, or you can just hit F2 to get there as well. So, the first thing I want to give you a look at is the power of RPA and how it works with web services.

So, what we’re going to be leveraging is working with a REST web service. And this first step here is just one I’ve renamed, but we can look at the options for call REST web service. So, the first thing it wants for a REST web service is an end point. And so, this part of it is something where there’s no really hard and fast rule for working with an RPA.

You just kind of have to learn a little bit about the specific API you’re working with, dive in and get that information, test it out. There is a very handy tool that I use a lot called Postman. That’s very good when you’re trying to test and work with APIs initially. If it’s easier for you to use a tool like that before migrating that work into RPA, I highly recommend checking out Postman.

But with the integration server API we’re going to be leveraging today, I happen to know that there’s documentation available on Hyland’s site for integration server. And this specific page here shows an example of all the different operations or API calls you can make to integration server, as well as an example of how to build those. So, here’s an example of one we’ll be using today.

This is a POST call we’ll be making to an integration server to create a document. And here is a JSON body that shows an example of how you might do that. Again, this part, you kind of have to do a little bit of prerequisite research to make sure you understand what’s available with the API you’re planning to work with and just how you might go about making those calls.

Now, once you have that kind of backlogged, it’s pretty standard and pretty easy once you get into RPA to take all of that and sort of plug it in. So again, we have our URL, which is our end point. The first thing before we create a document that we’re going to do is just test our connection to the integration server. So that’s why we have that here.

Another thing that’s good to do before you start working with APIs is make sure the server where you actually have the roboserver installed can communicate with the server where the web service you are looking to consume actu