Attended vs. Unattended Automations: Explained

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Attended vs. Unattended Automations


Where Does RPA Software Live and How Does It Interact with Your Computer/Applications?

“Where does RPA Software live on my computer?” Our team gets this question often. It’s a good question because in our day-to-day we think of downloading software as a change in our computers’ functions.

For example, downloading the latest Apple software to your phone or laptop is going to change the way your phone operates. However, RPA Software is different.

Let’s break it down into two categories: Attended Automations and Unattended Automations.



Attended Automations

Think of an attended automation as your little computer buddy. Much like that paperclip popping up when you opened Microsoft Office. RPA Software will be downloaded to your computer at the appropriate time when you are ready to import your bot automation (or to learn how to build a bot if you are enrolled in our Citizen Development program).

At that time, you will need to give your new software access to any portals or logins that you are using the bot for. Let’s say you want a bot to open your emails and download files to save in a folder. You will have to give that bot access to your email.

Your bot will not have access to anything you don’t give it access to. Its interactions with your computer/applications will not affect your day-to-day, in fact you may not even notice it’s running until you get a report!

An attended automation gives you more freedom to oversee your bot. You can control its movements right from your computer. To learn more about attended automations, check out our Citizen Developer demo!


Unattended Automations

An unattended automation lives on a virtual machine. This type of automation is sent to your computer when needed to complete the desired task and heads home after work. This type of automation will still need access to any portals or logins that you are using the bot for.

This bot will still do all of the things the attended bot will. The only difference is that it lives in a virtual machine and only visits your computer when told do so by the automation. Let’s say every 15 minutes you need to have a bid board updated.

Great! That will be programmed in by the developer you’re working with, and that bot will come by your computer every 15 minutes to update your bid boards. Again, as with the attended bot, its interactions with your computer/applications will not affect your day-to-day.

Check out our demo “Physician Letter Assistant (To Relieve Physician Burnout)” to learn more!

Bots simulate human process functions. We call this a mapping. Given the task you want to automate, you will be asked to map out your process. How do you log in? What do you click on? How do you get from point A to point B?

Then the robot will be mapped in exactly that way to copy the human map. The robot won’t be able to click through anything outside of its written script.

e hope this helps you to understand a little more about how RPA Software works and where it lives. As always, should you have any questions please reach out to us or check out our eBooks to learn more!