- April 10, 2022
- Automation with Python
Python has been around for a long time and is considered to be one of the most versatile programming languages available. Python offers many benefits for automation, including its readability, flexibility, and ease of use. However, Python for automation is not the only option when it comes to automating tasks. Some businesses may find that RPA solutions such as UiPath are a better fit for their needs. In this blog post, we will compare Python and RPA in terms of their pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision about which solution is best for your business!
What is Python?
Python is a high-level, interpreted, general-purpose programming language, created in December 1989 by Guido van Rossum, with a design philosophy entitled, “There’s only one way to do it, and that’s why it works.” Python has a syntax that allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C++ or Java. Python is considered to be very readable and thus, it can be easily understood by beginners and experienced developers alike. Python is also versatile – it can be used for web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, automation, and more. Python is an interpreted language, meaning that it doesn’t need to be compiled before it is run. This makes Python very portable, as Python code can be run on any platform that has a Python interpreter. Python is open source and free to use, even for commercial purposes. Python is constantly being improved by a large and active community of developers. Python’s popularity has been growing steadily over the past few years – it is now the fourth most popular programming language in the world, and it is used by major companies such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and more. Python’s popularity only continues to grow in the coming years.
What is RPA?
RPA or Robotic Process Automation is a technology that enables the automation of business processes through the use of software robots. RPA software bots can mimic human actions to carry out tasks such as data entry, process workflow, and managing online applications. RPA is often used to automate repetitive and rule-based tasks that are traditionally carried out by humans. RPA can help businesses improve efficiency and accuracy, and free up employees to focus on more value-added tasks. RPA is a relatively new technology – it only emerged in the past few years – but it has been growing in popularity rapidly. RPA is used by major companies such as IBM, Deloitte, and Infosys.
Let’s, first of all, discuss some of the use cases for Python Automation using a variety of Python libraries.
Web Scraping with Python
Python can be used for web scrapingin severalf ways. One popular Python library for web scraping is Beautiful Soup. Beautiful Soup allows you to extract data from HTML and XML files. Python can also be used to make API calls to websites and scrape data from the resulting JSON file. Another popular Python library for web scraping is Scrapy. Scrapy is a Python framework for creating web spiders, which are programs that can extract data from websites. Python can also be used to create Selenium scripts, which are programs that can automate web browser interactions. All of these Python libraries can be used to scrape data from websites in a variety of ways.
Data Analysis with Python
Python can also be used for data analysis. Python libraries such as pandas and NumPy can be used to clean and process data. Python can also be used to perform statistical analysis and machine learning. Python libraries such as scikit-learn make it easy to build machine learning models. Python is a versatile language that can be used for a variety of tasks, including web scraping and data analysis.
Browser Automation with Python
Python can also be used for browser automation. Python libraries such as Selenium can be used to automate web browser interactions. Python can also be used to create web spiders, which are programs that can extract data from websites. Python is a versatile language that can be used for a variety of tasks, including web scraping and browser automation.
Browser Automation and Web Scraping are actually where my bread and butter of automation began. The majority of challenges to automating tasks surrounded browser automation. Whether that be extracting data from the web, or logging into platforms to extract reports daily. The Python programming language provided me with the flexibility to easily do this.
To some extent, you could argue that my slight bias towards Python in this regard comes from the fact I have the most experience with it for Browser Automation and Web Scraping. However, I do believe it is a little more flexible than RPA solutions for this.
Excel Spreadsheet Automation with Python
Python can be used to automate tasks in Excel spreadsheets. Python can read and write data in cells, format cells, and perform many other spreadsheet tasks. Python is more versatile than RPA solutions such as UiPath because it can be used for a wide variety of automation tasks, not just Excel spreadsheets. Python is also less expensive than UiPath. Python is a good solution for automating Excel spreadsheets if you are looking for a versatile and less expensive option.
Report Creation with Python
Python can be used to automate the creation of reports. This is done by first creating a Python script that will generate the report. The Python script can then be run on a schedule so that the report is automatically generated and emailed to the relevant stakeholders. This can save a lot of time and effort, as well as ensure that reports are always up-to-date. Python can also be used to automate the creation of charts and graphs, which can be included in the report. This can make the report more visually appealing and easier to understand. Python is a powerful tool that can be used to create high-quality reports with minimal effort.
Overall, Python is a great solution for automating report creation. It is easy to use and can save a lot of time and effort. I also like the flexibility in terms of the design of a report. As someone with a background in website design, I like being able to design the report in HTML, and the send emails with the report as the basis of the HTML email.
The main argument against Python here rather than RPA is that they can both complete the tasks noted so far. I would argue that Python is a little more flexible for the most part, and I believe Python is a great option for Browser Automation utilizing Selenium.
Instances where RPA is better than Python
There are some instances where RPA is a better solution than Python. One example is if you need to automate tasks in a legacy system that does not have an API. In this case, Python would not be able to interact with the system, and RPA would be the only option. It depends on the specific scenario, as sometimes there are workarounds. But generally, an RPA solution such as UiPath would be better in this example.
If you need to automate tasks that are very complex and require a lot of different steps. In this case, Python can usually automate most things. However, a process with many different steps may also encounter aspects that Python either cannot do or is not efficient at handling. Alternatively, other programming languages may also handle these processes better than Python.
Python is also not as good as RPA for automating tasks that require human input, such as filling out forms.
When it comes to the monitoring of errors, Python can do it. However, I generally find the RPA solutions are already set up for error monitoring, and it is generally a more seamless implementation. On the other hand, you need to build your error reporting and monitoring with Python. Therefore for vast corporate solutions, RPA is a better option. The level of monitoring required would, in my view, just be too complex for a suite for Python automation solutions.
Python Machine Learning vs RPA Machine Learning
Python is a great solution for machine learning tasks. Python has many libraries that can be used for machine learning, such as TensorFlow and Keras. Python is also easy to use, which makes it a good choice for people who are new to machine learning. Although, it should be noted that machine learning is not a simple task as a whole. Arguably, if you don’t know that Python is a better machine learning solution than RPA, then you probably shouldn’t attempt to use Machine Learning in a production environment at work. RPA solutions such as UiPath also have machine learning capabilities. However, Python is generally more flexible and easier to use for machine learning tasks. Therefore, Python is a better solution for automating machine learning tasks.
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python
“Automate the Boring Stuff” is a well-loved book written by Al Sweigart. The book is aimed at beginner Python programmers, and it covers a wide range of topics such as web scraping, automating tasks, and working with Excel spreadsheets. The book is well written and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to use Python for automation. It is also a great book for those who are adept pythoneers/pythonistas.
Alternatives to Python for Automation
Choosing the Right Automation Solution
The best automation solution is the one that meets your specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to automation. Python is a great choice for many people, but it may not be the right solution for you. Consider your specific needs and choose the automation solution that is right for you.
Automating Data Science with Automation
Python is a versatile scripting language that automates tasks. Python is easy to use and learn for beginners, yet powerful enough for experienced programmers. Python code can be written once and run on any operating system. Python also has a rich set of libraries and tools for data science, making it an ideal choice for automating data science tasks. RPA solutions such as UiPath are designed for specific tasks and do not offer the flexibility or power of Python when it comes to data analytics. Python is the better choice for automating data science tasks.
Python Automation Ideas
- Sending out, replying to, and sorting emails
- Filling out PDFs and Excel files
- Sending HTTP requests
- Converting image files
- Performing quick math equations
- Calculating exchange rates
- Scraping data from web pages and saving it on the harddrive
The Best Python Library for Automation
There is no best Python Library for Automation, as it depends on your requirements. The real benefit of Python is just the flexibility that it has. You will be able to find libraries to help with your tedious tasks depending on what you need. Whether that be parsing HTML or looking into XML documents. Google is your friend when it comes to finding the right python package for your repetitive tasks use case.
In Conclusion, Python is a great toolkit to have in anyone’s coding arsenal. It’s simple enough for beginners yet robust enough for more experienced coders. If you’re looking for an all-around solution, Python is the way to go. However, if you need something more specific like web scraping or dealing with PDFs, there are other Python libraries out there that can help with that as well.