It was a bright sunny day when my manager came up with an idea that actually helped me realize the true potential of Robotic Process Automation or RPA. Our organization handles most of the Database Administration for our client and employees number of resources(mostly DBAs) for various tasks. We analyzed various types of tasks performed frequently by the DBA team to find out if their stuff could be automated by RPA, that could not have been automated by the usual automation methods.
The analysis reported that the DBA team used to execute scripts requested by the IT team(mostly developers) in the Production environment since the IT team does not have access to the production environment. There was a proper business process being followed here and we decided to automate it with RPA. We started this project as Proof of Concept(PoC) and demo-ed this to our client before taking it up as a billable project. Read below to see RPA bots in action.
Scripts are directly executed in the production environment. Any discrepancy in the process of execution of the script might hamper the production environment and hence the Script Execution was a critical project where Scripts must be thoroughly validated before being executed in the production machines.
The AS IS Process
As per the business process, the IT team would create a Service Now ticket adding the script to be executed, as an attachment, and assign it to the DBA team. Once assigned, one of the DBA would pick this up, do some validations on the script given by the IT member, and finally execute it in the production environment before closing the ticket.
We developed an RPA solution with UiPath environment for this problem statement. A new Service Now user was created as part of the new business process, and this bot user was given the same privileges as a DBA user. The automation was scheduled to run every 3 hours. Below is the approach used by the automation bot to resolve this challenge, as soon as it was triggered.
- Log in to Service Now as Bot user and find all tickets assigned to the DBA group.
- Filter tickets by “Script Execution” category and start a loop on all available tickets.
- For each ticket, download the script provided in the ticket as an attachment to the local UiPath server and read this script file.
- Validate this script as per the business requirements by looking for keywords in the script file.
- If validations are passed, open Putty and login to the production environment(Unix). Execute the script and obtain the logs.
- Provide the logs in Service Now “Closing Notes” and assign back the ticket to the user who created it.
|Stat Element||Before RPA||With RPA|
|Avg. Ticket Closure Time||1 Day||Max 3 hrs|
|Effort per Ticket||30-40 mins||4-5 mins|