The global market for web-based applications projects a significant increase in the next few years, so more companies are opting for web-based software to better manage their businesses. However, working with these applications requires employees to perform repetitive yet essential tasks weekly, daily, or even hourly. These tasks can often lead to human errors (e.g., data duplicates, missed tasks), which can cause inefficiencies in the rolled-out web solution. Web automation (i.e., leveraging bots to automate repetitive tasks within web application development) is one of the solutions that can help minimize these errors and maximize productivity.
What is web automation?
Web automation is a concept in which software bots (e.g., RPA bots, web scrapers, workload automation software) automatically record your actions. Then, based on the recorded data, perform repetitive and error-prone human tasks within a web browser or application.
Some of these tasks are:
- Fill online forms: Filling long online forms can be a tiring task. You can create a web automation task by recording the process of filling an online form; the bots will automatically replicate that in the future.
- Extract data from the web: Bots can be programmed to extract data from online sources and reorganize and store that data for various uses in the future. For example, scraping data using web scrapers or RPA bots from multiple online sources to use for the pricing of your eCommerce business.
- Transfer data: Through web automation, extracted or stored data can be easily transferred into other documents, reports, or other business applications
- Web testing: This is typically done through RPA. Using RPA, web automation tasks can be created to hand over testing and monitoring or web applications to bots whenever they occur. For example:
- During the implementation of a web application, frequent tests need to be run to ensure a high level of service to the customer. These tests can be automated.
- Creating and downloading online reports: Bots in web automation can, for instance, download pricing reports and extract relevant data to generate reports which need to be shared with stakeholders.
How does web automation work?
In web automation, RPA task bots leverage screen scraping to monitor how users interact with GUI elements within an internet browser to perform a task online and replicate them using an automation tool. For instance:
- A real estate company can automate downloading or updating property listings on its website.
- A hospital can leverage web automation to automate the process of sharing lab results with patients through the hospital portal or government health websites.
For example, the website automation workflow of a business task can look something like this:
Importance and benefits of web automation
Website automation is essential for every organization’s administrative processes. It helps save time, keeps errors to a minimum, and frees up your mental real estate, which you can invest elsewhere. Businesses of any size can benefit from web automation to carry out essential operations and stay competitive.
Some of the benefits of web automation include:
- Enhanced visibility: Web automation helps businesses achieve enhanced visibility within their systems since bots record every step within a workflow and keep logs of those steps as audit trails. Companies can have access to these logs and gain full visibility of the process.
- Reduced turnaround time: Web automation can also help improve the testing of new applications. Since bots can run multiple test cases on multiple browsers at the same time 24/7, it can help save turnaround time so you can roll out the application faster. According to a case study, an automobile manufacturer reported that automation helped reduce quality assurance efforts for their online app testing and monitoring function.
- IT team skill development: While operational tasks on your web application are performed automatically by bots, employees can use that time on high-value functions. A study by EY revealed that employees have reported that automation has provided them with more time to learn new skills.
- Reduction of human errors: Since bots are programmed to follow rule-based tasks without human intervention, they are less likely to make errors or miss steps within a workflow.
Approaches to web automation
While choosing the best approach for implementing web automation in your business, some factors should be considered. An initial consideration can be understanding the tasks and the resource that needs to be automated.
Traditionally, web automation is done through writing codes. However, not all businesses that want to roll out a web application have an expert team with enough coding capabilities. Therefore, considering your team’s abilities is also important before approaching web automation.
- Businesses who want to leverage RPA and other automation solutions but have limited coding capabilities within their teams can rely on low code and no code solutions.
- There are pre-existing web automation tools in the market for businesses that do not have knowledge or time for programming and also for businesses that do.
Web automation tools available in the market
The following table shows the top 6 available web automation tools in the market and their features:
|Name of the Tool
|Low Code / No Code
|C#, Java, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby
|Java, C#, and Python
|Free to Use
|Free to Use
|Parasoft Continuous Quality Suite
|C and C++
|VB Script, java script and Windows shell script
To explore automation use cases and trends, read our in-depth articles about:
- The 5 Key RPA Trends To Watch For
- Automation Testing Tools: Code-based, Robotics & AI tools
- What is Hyperautomation? Technologies, Benefits, Challenges
If you believe your business will benefit from an automation solution, scroll down our data-driven lists of different automation solutions.
And we can also help you through the process:
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