Getting Started with Website Automation
Website automation can be helpful in automating repeated processes that involve interacting with a web browser, like scraping data from a website or entering information into an online form. With robotic process automation (RPA), it’s simple to set up a website automation task that hands over your most repetitive website tasks to software robots.
How simple? Watch this video of web automation in action as a user automates a task to input username and password credentials to login to a website.
Want to try website automation for yourself? Follow these steps for our example web automation task.
Make A List Of Potential Website Tasks You'd Like To Automate
You can use RPA software robots to replicate the actions you’d take on a website, like:
- Automate the opening, navigating in, or closing of a browser
- Replicate moving a mouse to objects to click links and buttons
- Send keystrokes and function keys, as well as clicking links and buttons
- Control windows including opening, closing, and moving windows
- Wait for the occurrence of a specific event or occurrence before continuing with a task
Choose Your Website Automation Software
Setup Your Website Automation Task
For this example, we’re going to show you how to create the website login task from the video. With Automate’s simple drag-and-drop actions, you can create your web automation task in under 10 minutes.
- Download Automate for free
- Begin by locating the Web Browser Actions from the Actions Menu. We will do this by typing in the word "web" into our search bar.
- Drag and drop the Open Action into our Task Builder. Notice that you have different options for the browsers you can open with Automate. However, we suggest using Internet Explorer for all website automation, as it is the most compatible option.
- Paste in the URL you want to open.
- Locate the Web Browser Actions again within the Automate Actions pane.
- Use the Create Session Action to ensure that Automate is using the correct URL and webpage to input the username and password information. Although we created browser session one in the first step, we’ll start using browser session two for the remaining steps.
- Use the magnifying glass to select the window. As you can see, the green box appears surrounding the window. This will ensure Automate locates that window and the correct URL. Click Okay to save the changes.
- Use the Set Value Action to input both your username and password into the designated fields. Drag the Set Value Option into the Task Builder. We want to make sure we change the default session to browser session two. Again, using the magnifying glass will allow Automate to find the page with which it is interacting. Once we see the green border around the selected window, we can release our mouse button.
- Use the HTML Locator to draw a blue border around the field in which we will place our username.
- Put your password in the password field. Again using the Web Browser Actions and the Set Value Option. We'll make sure to change this to browser session number two and use the magnifying glass to select the window we're interacting with the Drag Option to pinpoint that HTML element and the fields that we're inputting our passwords into.
- Add your password for the input fields and click Okay.
- Locate the Click Action and it into the Task Builder, making sure to identify browser session two.
- Use the magnifying glass to identify the window with the green border and the HTML element detector to find the sign in button.
- The interaction options at the bottom allow you to double click and or wait until the page is ready for input. This site only requires a single click, and since this is the last step of our task, we will leave both of those options unselected.
- Run your task for the full effect. Notice while the task is running that the green status bar in the bottom left area of the window will show us as each task step completes. As you can see, automate has successfully logged us in as we're at our home page.
Follow along yourself as Brigette Matz, Automate Trainer/Consultant gives you a guided tutorial through the steps to set your website login task up.
Automate, a powerful RPA solution from HelpSystems, lets you use RPA software to streamline your most tedious manual website interaction processes. Try out this task and more with a free, 30-day trial.