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In this post, I’ll give you a brief introduction about the Power Automate Desktop, a powerful RPA (Robotic Process Automation) low code feature in Power Automate.
Before we start to talk about the Power Automate Desktop, do you know what RPA is? RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is intelligent automation of otherwise manual tasks. It helps to reduce the effort of repetitive manual tasks and thereby improve organizational efficiency. We can make a simple comparison with Excel macros, but with a lot more features.
So now that you know what RPA is, let’s talk about the Power Automate Desktop!
In 2020, with the acquisition of Softomotive, Microsoft increased its investments in robotic process automation (RPA). This investment brought to us the Power Automate Desktop that broadens the RPA capabilities from Power Automate.
The Power Automate Desktop is a Power Automate extension that uses low code RPA (no code required) to record repetitive actions on your desktop, like mouse clicks and keyboards keystrokes. It uses those recordings to re-create the process with automated execution. It works on many applications such as SharePoint, Excel, Outlook, and many other third-party applications such as websites, ERP legacy systems, terminals, and so on. In the other words, you can create an automation that will go through all the needed actions to finish a specific task. It will simplify your daily work, and eliminate the potential human errors, that can happen in any manual operation.
Power Automate Desktop provides a user-friendly design with drag and drop capabilities, and a tool for real-time debugging, making it easy to create the steps of the processes. Even users that do not have any prior experience with automation, will be able to automate processes easily.
In this video, you’ll have a preview of what we are talking about: How to automate desktop-based tasks with Power Automate Desktop
Here are some examples of what tasks you could automate:
- Extract data from the Excel sheet;
- Visit a website and get info about the exchange rate, and convert to local currency an amount expressed in a foreign currency;
- Search on one or many systems to get specific information and, after that, insert it on the Excel sheet;
The video Automation benefits for the Communications sector, published by Microsoft, brings a brief example of how automation can improve processes in companies in the Communications sector. Ok, so far so good, but now you must be asking yourself what you need to get started, so let’s go!
You have two options to get the Power Automate Desktop:
- The Power Automate – Per-user plan with attended RPA license will allow individual users to analyze their processes and create unlimited cloud flows, plus automate legacy applications through robotic process automation (RPA) and AI
- The Power Automate – Per flow plan license + Unattended RPA add-on will enable the possibility to automate back-end processes through robotic process automation (RPA)—without requiring interaction from a person
In the first option, we also can acquire the Unattended RPA add-on. See more details on this link.
- A Microsoft work or school account to sign in to Power Automate.
- An account with administrator privileges to sign in to your Windows device.
- System requirements:
- A device that runs Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 11 Pro, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019. ARM devices aren’t supported.
- Minimum hardware:
- Storage: 1GB.
- RAM: 2GB.
- Recommended hardware:
- Storage: 2GB.
- RAM: 4GB.
- .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later
See this link to get additional details about the setup.
The Power Automate Desktop is a powerful tool that can bring a lot of value to anyone working on a computer. It is easy to use, included in many Power Platform license plans and has the power to automate all those tedious, cumbersome, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks we all hate.
You can check out my video with a quick example of how you can use the Power Automate Desktop to get data from Excel and move it to another application.
Also, I recommend you have a look at these guides.
I hope you’ve liked this introductory post! Bye!