Examining the differences between RPAs and APIs
Shawn Malhotra, CTO of the Corporates Customer Segment at Thomson Reuters, delves into the differences between Robotic Process Automation and an Application Program Interface. Both technologies remove the human element from a process, automatically pulling information from a system, processing it in some way and injecting it back to a (possibly different) system. RPAs are designed to mimic human actions, while APIs integrate across applications, allowing them to interact with each other. RPAs are less flexible, and make their assumptions on current, not potential, user behaviours. An API, meanwhile, is a well-defined software-to-software interface, meaning the applications talk to each other without any user knowledge or intervention and it can cope with huge amounts of data compared to an RPA.