Multi-OS RPA automation: do your robots run on any operating system? - Jidoka


Multi-OS RPA automation: do your robots run on any operating system?

7 December, 2017

Before Internet, streaming TV, mobile phones and virtual assistants, before all those things you know and use every day, I was already programming. I started at a very young age, since the day I became aware of the fact that a computer does just what you tell it to do. I was sure about what my future would be.

I took my first steps with the Basic language on an Amstrad, soon I jumped to write programs in assembler language for the Zilog Z80A, what a good times! Later I started with a Commodore Amiga also in assembler, in this case for the Motorola MC68000, while I begun also programming in C. At that time, we were starting to see the potential of a code written on a system that could later be compiled and operated on another system.

However, when Java appeared, the universal language par excellence, the following milestone was achieved: write once, run anywhere. That is: programmers no longer need to recompile code, it is executed directly.

Obviously this approach has some limitations. When we need to move toward a deeper level, closer to the core of the operating systems, there are lines of code that can’t be written once and run always. But still, the ability to reuse code and knowledge is simply spectacular.

This is one of the reasons why we choose Java for Jidoka construction. RPA robot’s peculiarities require you to adjust code to the machine where they will be executed, since the systems are used just as humans do and humans don’t use applications in the same way on different operating systems. However, thanks to Java, the code shared by a robot that works on different operating systems is close to 99%.

Jidoka Agent, program that enables robot’s execution, is written in Java, so any system that supports the Java virtual machine, which in practice means any desktop and operating system, is open to use Jidoka.

During the 90s, this ease of use wasn’t really necessary. The share of desktop business software was almost entirely covered by the only operating system that many users knew: Windows.

However, with the emergence of free and increasingly neat Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, some companies have already migrated to these environments.

In addition, the final explosion of Mac, curiously coming primarily from the hand of his younger brother, and more valuable to Apple, as is the iPhone, has made more and more companies choose this OS.

What should we do with all the Mac users universe? And with those who have opted for free software and open source Linux distributions?

Against that background, it is becoming increasingly interesting to be able to run robots on any operating system, so using Java seems to be the right choice.

The Jidoka platform is compatible with Linux and macOS, it allows to run robots, collects statistics, manages exceptions, etc., like on Windows. The platform component that runs on the final operating system is the same.

As it is always better to show it than to tell it, we have built a robot showing Jidoka in action on three operating systems: Windows, Linux and macOS.

The robot follows this workflow, applying our top-down approach:

The main steps are:

  • Opening a browser, in this case Google Chrome
  • Browsing the Jidoka blog
  • Opening OpenOffice, office solution available for the three operating systems
  • Extracting all the blog articles and inserting them into an OpenOffice document, including images, applying different text formats
  • Closing OpenOffice and the browser

We would also like to show you a video of different robot executions on the three operating systems:

Being able to executing robots on several systems is a plus for an RPA tool, which is not limited to the majority system such as Windows, but provides an alternative to macOS and Linux users, making the universe of RPA clients even bigger.

And not only can we build robots that automate on-line processes executed by people, some of our customers, being aware of the capability of Jidoka robots to run on Linux systems, have automated batch processes governed and orchestrated by the centralized Jidoka Console.

Jidoka can execute processes in which no GUI (graphic user interface) are used, processes invisible to users, associated to scheduled tasks or batch executions. These kind of processes also benefits from features like orchestration, queue management, statistics, executions based on permissions, etc. Jidoka offers to robots associated to administrative processes using applications as people do.

In essence, Jidoka is a “super process manager” both desktop and batch, on any operating system.

Does your RPA provider run robots on Linux and Mac?

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