RPA 2019: UIPath vs Blue Prism

RPA 2019: UIPath vs Blue Prism

Robotic Process Automation has created a great deal of buzz in and around the technology space. The main aim of RPA is to let the bot do the tasks which are easy, repetitive and documented – so that by using these rules a bot (macro) is able to complete the task.

In this post we compare UIPath with Blue Prism.

UIPath vs Blue Prism

The table below compares the key features of the two well-known Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools. As third option it includes the specs of Kantu, the popular lightweight and open-source alternative to the big name RPA tools.

Feature UIPath Blue Prism Kantu
Enterprise Pricing Very expensive Very expensive $299-$2499
Free Version available Yes No Yes
Supported Platforms Win only Win only Win, Mac, Linux
Open-Source no no yes
Security Rating Good Good Very Good
Openness Medium (Open forums) Low (Nothing public) Very high (Open-Source, Forums)
Desktop Automation      
Image Recognition Yes Yes Yes
Text Recognition (OCR) Yes Yes Yes
Web Automation      
Supported Browser IE, Chrome, Firefox IE Chrome, Firefox
Browser Recorder Yes No Yes
Selenium IDE compatible No No Yes
Scripting      
Script language VB C# Many (API)
Advanced Scheduling Yes No With external tools

In addition to comparing UIPath and Blue Prism, the table above contains the Kantu specs, a popular lightweight alternative to the big name RPA tools.

At a9t9 we work in the computer vision, AI and usability space, so this is where we focus our comparison.

Enterprise Pricing

UIPath and Blue Prism both do not mention their Enterprise pricing on their websites. You need to ask their sales team for a quote. UIPath is rumored to have a 450 million revenue with 2000 customers, so this means each customer pays in average 225,000 US$ per year for its license (source: TechCrunch reporting on 2019/3/22). The Kantu Enterprise Edition has a public price list that starts at US$ 299, which is roughly 1000(!) times less.

UIPath and Kantu offer a free version of their tools with some limitations, but still very useful. The Kantu Web Automation Core is completely free to use, without any limitations.

Security

Both UIPath and Blue Prism are well-known trustworthy companies. But their code is closed source. So you must trust these companies that they do not send of critical corporate information to outside servers. By contrast, the Kantu core is open-source, so you can easily check that no information is send anywhere. We require a software to be Open-Source to be eligible for a very good security rating.

Desktop Automation

Desktop automation is sometimes also called “RDA” (Robotic Desktop Automation). This section rates the usefulness of the tool to automate tasks on the users desktop. Note that UIPath and Blue Prism can only automate tasks on a Windows desktop, whereas Kantu works on Mac and Linux desktops as well.

Web Automation

Web automation means Browser Automation. It is the ability to automate tasks directly in the web browser. Typical tasks include form filling, data up- and download and web scraping, the extraction from information from websites. For web automation Kantu brings a key advantage to the table by having Selenium-compatible commands. So if you know Selenium, you will be right at home with Kantu. And in the other direction, if you know how to automate tasks with Kantu, you are trained for the Selenium IDE at the same time.

Scripting

All automation tools have one thing in common: Unless the task or test to automate is very basic, you must expect to have to “script” or “program” part of the solution. UIPath uses the VB.NET language for this, a language that is rarely used otherwise. Blue Prism uses the more popular C#. And Kantu exposes a command line API that allows you to use it with any programming or scripting language, for example (in alphabetic order) C#, Java, Node.JS, PowerShell, Python, VB.NET, VBS and to combine it with other tools like AutoHotKey.

UIPath and Blue Prism IDE

The UIPath and the Blue Prism tool allow the user to “draw” a workflow within a flow chart editor. This is helpful for beginners and marketed as “no coding” solution. Here is how this looks:

UIPath has a modern-looking UI.

The Blue Prism UI looks like an older flowchart drawing app. It is functional but it shows its age.

“Programming by flowchart” was pioneered by LabView decades ago. The program with it in general is that it becomes difficult to maintain as your scripts grows. And sharing code snippets is difficult, as you can not copy and paste “flowcharts” easily e. g. in a forum. These are two of the many reasons why it remained a niche.

By contrast, the Kantu tool uses the classic text based approach, similar to other known tools like the Selenium IDE. Kantu focuses on computer-vision and AI powered automation. For everything else, Kantu can be combined with any scripting or programming language like Powershell or Python.

RPA Market Overview

For more RPA Market Overview blog posts please see

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