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Simplify Office Automation with OpenBots

Ashish Nangla by Ashish Nangla ,July 15, 2021

There is no denying that Microsoft Office is a powerful tool employed by small businesses and large enterprises across the world. Numerous companies rely on Microsoft’s capabilities to perform a wide variety of tasks on a day-to-day basis. By incorporating OpenBots into the workforce, employees can eliminate the tedious, repetitive, time consuming tasks that are not part of the employee’s core job function with help from OpenBots in-built Office automation commands.

For instance, recurring manual tasks involving documents, spreadsheets, and emails can be performed by a digital worker, or ‘bot’, developed through OpenBots in accordance with the process’ requirements. These types of solutions increase productivity, efficiency, and cost savings, while reducing human error. OpenBots core components Studio, Agent, and Server offer a complete RPA solution that allows users to automate tasks that require Microsoft at their core.

Simplify Office Automation with OpenBots Article

Word Command Group

The Word command group in OpenBots Studio contains application specific commands, that allow bots to interact with an existing or new Word document throughout an automation. As the first step of any Word automation, the user must include the “Create Word Application” command. This command will allow the creation of an “OBAppInstance” variable, which holds the information for a particular Word document (new or existing). This instance variable, can then be employed as input for all other Word commands available, allowing the bot to perform modifications, extractions, or additions to the referenced document, such as append text, append images, export to pdf, replace text, and more. In addition, the created instance variable can be passed across obscripts as arguments, in order to modularize a series of actions performed on a singular Word document.

OpenBots Word Commands include:

Create Word Application Command This command creates a Word Instance of an existing or new Word document. This instance can be referenced by other Word commands and dictates if an automation will be visible to the user.
Append Image Command This command appends an image to a Word Document. Image is referenced by its path.
Append Text Command This command appends text to a Word Document. Text format can be specified through this command.
Read Document Command This command extracts text from a Word Document and saves the output to a selected string variable.
Replace Text Command This command replaces specific text in a Word Document by performing a find and replace action.
Export To PDF Command This command exports a Word Document to a PDF file.
Save Document As Command This command saves a Word Document to a specific file.

Excel Command Group

Similarly, the Excel command group contains application specific commands that allow bots to interact with an existing or new Excel document throughout an automation. Following the same structure employed for Word automation, the inclusion of the Create Excel Application command will be required as the first step when developing an Excel automation. The instance variable created can then be utilized to reference the targeted Excel document through the various commands available. It is a common practice in RPA to assist Excel automation by employing DataTable commands to perform data manipulation and processing. For instance, spreadsheet information can be extracted into a DataTable variable by employing the “Get Range” Command which can be modified during the course of the automation using the commands available under the DataTable command group. As a last step, the adjusted DataTable variable can be written back into the spreadsheet using the “Write Range” command.

OpenBots Excel Commands include:

Create Excel Application Command This command creates an Excel Instance of an existing or new workbook. This instance can be referenced by other Excel commands. Dictates if automation will be visible to the user.
Append Sheet Command This command appends a new Worksheet to an Excel Workbook.
Activate Sheet Command This command activates a specific Worksheet in an Excel Workbook.
Activate Range Command This command activates a specific range in an Excel Worksheet.
Write Range Command This command writes a DataTable to an Excel Worksheet starting from a specific cell address.
Write Row Command This command writes a DataRow to an Excel Worksheet starting from a specific cell address.
Write Cell Command This command sets the value of a specific cell in an Excel Worksheet.
Write Image To Cell Command This command writes an image to a specific cell in an Excel Worksheet.
Get Range Command This command gets the range from an Excel Worksheet and stores it in a DataTable.
Get Cell Command This command gets text from a specific cell in an Excel Worksheet.
AutoFill Range Command This command autofills a specified range in an Excel Worksheet based on a given source range.
Delete Range Command This command deletes a specific cell or range in an Excel Worksheet.
Delete Row Command This command deletes a specific row in an Excel Worksheet based on row index.
Delete Column Command This command deletes a specific column in an Excel Worksheet based on column letter.
Get Table Range Command This command gets the Range of an Excel Table.
Load Dictionary Command This command reads an Excel Config Worksheet and stores it in a Dictionary.
Run Macro Command This command runs a macro in an Excel Workbook.

Additional Excel commands include support for Pivot Table and Excel Tables, such as: Create Pivot Table, Refresh Pivot Table, Create Excel Table, Filter Excel Table, Sort Excel Table, and more.

Outlook Command Group

The Outlook command group enables bots to perform email automations by accessing the Outlook Application set on the machine executing the process. Before using the Outlook commands, it is necessary to ensure the user is logged into Outlook, as this will be the account employed by the bot to execute the directed tasks. The main functionalities surrounding Outlook automation can be divided into two general groups: sending emails and retrieving emails/email information. It is a common practice within the RPA world to utilize emails as a way to maintain communication between the bot and the business user. For instance, a summary or report can be sent at the end of any given automation, containing vital information about the run. On the other hand, a common use case among businesses is using a specific criterion as triggers to utilize incoming emails for certain automations.

OpenBots Outlook Commands include:

Send Outlook Email Command This command sends an email to a recipient or list of recipients, with an optional attachment(s) in Outlook.
Get Outlook Emails Command This command gets selected emails based on filter criteria from Outlook. Optionally, attachments and mail items can be saved to a specified location.
Get Outlook Email Attachments Command This command gets attachments from a selected email in Outlook.
Save Outlook Email Command This command saves an Outlook Mail item as an .msg file to a specified location.
Get Outlook Email Property Command This command gets a property from an outlook email. Properties include body, sender name, CC, creation time, recipient, etc.
Forward Outlook Email Command This command forwards a selected email in Outlook to a recipient or list of recipients.
Reply To Outlook Email Command This command replies to a selected email with an optional attachment(s) in Outlook.
Move/Copy Outlook Email Command This command moves or copies a selected email in Outlook to a specified mail folder.
Delete Outlook Email Command This command deletes a selected email in Outlook.

Office 365 is used by over a million companies worldwide, and over 731,000 companies in the United States alone (statista.com). The Microsoft Office Suite is a critical and common tool set within businesses of all sizes and often is used for repetitive manual tasks by employees. This makes processes using these programs very common and ideal for process automation.

As illustrated, with OpenBots, users can create automations using various crucial Microsoft Office suite commands to help save them time spent on daily/weekly/monthly tasks. Interested in learning more about OpenBots in-built Microsoft Office Commands? Request a demo today!

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Ashish Nangla

About Ashish Nangla

An InsureTech Leader with more than 16 years in the Insurance & Financial Services industry, Subject Matter Expert in User Experience (UX), Blockchain (Distributed Ledger including Ethereum, Hyperledger, Quorum, Corda), Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Chat Bots, Internet of Things (IOT), Usage Based Insurance and Cloud. Ashish is an Avid supporter of the technological evolution and is constantly exploring the possibilities of how technology and innovation can be leveraged to add more value businesses and their processes. At OpenBots, Ashish’s vision is to democratize enterprise RPA by eliminating bot license costs and make automation and the benefits that come with it more accessible to all.

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