RPA vs API Integration

October 04, 2021
RPA vs API Integration

Business leaders recognize that automation technologies provide advantages to their growth. Yet, business leaders are indecisive on whether to choose Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or Application Programming Interface (API) automation technology in the automatization transition process. Both choices have advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will be explaining how to use these technologies in the best way. 

Identifying Technologies


Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of systems created for a software to use the functions defined in another software. For example, when you use an application on your cell phone, the application connects to the internet and sends the data to a server. Then the server receives the data, interprets it, takes the necessary action, and sends it back to your phone. After, the application presents the information you wanted to you in a readable way. All of these steps happen thanks to API. 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software system that automates manual tasks with specific rules. RPA software can retrieve data from several databases and business software, update, send automatic emails, perform authorization and data collection tasks.

After getting to know API and RPA technologies better, here is the difference between them: APIs interact with the target application only through the backend. RPA interacts with the target application through the backend or frontend. This means RPA software robots can perform actions on the application such as clicking or writing as a human user would.

Which Technology Should We Prefer And When?


It is imperative to determine the proper technology for a successful digital transformation. Unless suitable technology is chosen, the expected return on investment from technology transformation may not be delivered. Each business has specific processes. It is essential to know the advantages and disadvantages of technologies to decide on which one to choose. 

With both automatization technologies, it is possible to automate complicated processes end to end. If the task you want to automate requires action only between two apps, API is your most suitable option. Nevertheless, in most cases, processes involve more steps than the API integration can handle. In this case, RPA can assist you. 

Designing and developing APIs takes a lot of time and money. The process of designing and developing an RPA takes less money and time compared to an API, allowing you to automate your processes swiftly. On the other hand, maintenance and support costs are generally lower for an API since it only works with the backend approach. The front-end RPA approach results in more support costs due to its probability of disrupting workflows. Nonetheless, RPA technology is improving itself every day so the support cost for the business will gradually decrease.

The Final Decision For Your Digital Process is Yours!

APIs are suitable systems for high-capacity operations. If the operation has been developed before and it will only work between two applications, you can get high efficiency from APIs. RPA has less cost compared to APIs and its implementation is a lot quicker. It can work both in the backend as well as in the front end like an employee. Automate not only one process but all your processes with Robomotion RPA solutions. Contact us for further information.

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