We are excited to announce that UiPath has acquired Cloud Elements, a pioneering API integration company.
Our vision at UiPath is to deliver the fully automated enterprise™—a truly transformed organization that assigns all automatable work to robots, provides ‘a robot for every person™,’ makes it easy for anyone to get involved in automation, and seamlessly brings artificial intelligence (AI) into operations.
As our customers scale automation, we are committed to building a flexible platform that supports them on their journeys. The UiPath Platform offers the industry’s best user interface (UI) automation capabilities to automate any end-to-end business process, as well as native API-based integrations with commonly used enterprise systems. The acquisition of Cloud Elements expands the API-based automation capabilities in the UiPath Platform.
Together, UiPath and Cloud Elements offer customers flexibility to automate end-to-end business processes using an optimal mix of UI and API-based automation capabilities.
We believe the acquisition makes UiPath the first automation provider to offer best-in-class and enterprise-grade UI and API-based automation capabilities that can be seamlessly used together—all in a single platform.
As companies continue to invest in enterprise applications (a large company uses an average of 175 apps), work gets fragmented. Employees toggle between systems to update information, get data, or complete tasks. Apps designed to simplify work do the opposite over time – creating disjointed experiences, reducing productivity, and demotivating workers.
Two automation approaches help companies integrate systems and streamline processes: API-based integrations and UI automation.
Traditional automation approaches have historically relied on ad hoc API integrations. API-based automation is a critical and familiar component of enterprise IT strategy, supporting large-scale data syncs between systems and enabling server-side event-based triggering. While APIs do a good job integrating transactions across systems, they don’t capture the automation opportunity for an end-to-end business process. A process is often more complex than simply transferring data from system A to system B, so employees must do manual work to fill in the gap. What’s more: ad hoc API integrations are costly to set up and maintain, and most legacy systems do not offer APIs.
UI automation is the essential ingredient for end-to-end business process automation. It captures the work that people actually do. It leverages computer vision to emulate human behavior—which means it can be used to automate seemingly any complete business process across any set of systems, including native cloud apps and on-premises legacy systems.
To maximize the benefits of automation, companies require a versatile and powerful approach that includes both API-based automation and UI automation.
UiPath offers industry-leading UI automation capabilities and API integrations—all in a single platform. UiPath UI automation effectively integrates AI computer vision and machine learning capabilities to emulate human behavior. And UiPath native integrations help companies seamlessly automate across commonly used systems, such as Microsoft, ServiceNow, and Salesforce.
Let's look at how a real-world business process needs this combination to get all the work done.
UiPath remains committed to continued innovation in the automation space: the acquisition of Cloud Elements expands API-based automation capabilities in the UiPath Platform to bring more robust native integration capabilities to UiPath customers.
This acquisition allows the UiPath Platform to integrate with more applications that workers use to accomplish their work. This means we can get new pre-built native integrations for software as a service (SaaS) and on-prem apps in the hands of our customers – faster. In addition to the native integrations UiPath has built with commonly used enterprise systems, Cloud Elements offers 200+ additional connectors for systems such as ADP, Ariba, Autodesk, Concur, SugarCRM, and more.
UiPath robots already have rich support for client-side triggers and events. This means they can act based on desktop changes such as hotkeys or UI changes. Cloud Elements technology expands event trigger capabilities enabling UiPath robots to listen for and kick off automation based on server-side events and updates. This means, for example, in a pay-to-procure process that an automation could fire whenever a new invoice is created in the back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Finally, using APIs in automations requires knowledge of the API itself (including understanding input syntax and authorization). Cloud Elements extends the low-code capabilities of the UiPath Platform by enabling both experienced and junior developers to develop automations faster with normalized API methods and standardized authentication.
UiPath customers can mix and match between UI and API-based automation to find the optimal automation for end-to-end processes in any tech stack. UiPath robots seamlessly transition from UI automation in one part of a process to APIs in another part of the process.
Because Cloud Elements technology abstracts the complexities of APIs, citizen developers can add integrations to build low-code automations that use APIs.
With Cloud Elements, integration becomes a cross-platform capability that works with any product in the UiPath Platform, supporting customers at every stage of their automation journey—from Discovery to Measurement.
UiPath leads the market in UI automation governance. You have asked for the same richness and depth of governance around API access and usage patterns. Today, UiPath offers governance capabilities for our existing native integrations. Cloud Elements capabilities broaden enterprise governance for API-based automations, making it easier for IT to implement and enforce best practices around APIs.
The UiPath Platform maximizes automation health today with modern UI automation and our object repository for central management of UI components. Cloud Elements brings such capabilities to API-powered automations, making it easier to maintain them centrally. This means you are able to easily respond to an API change that requires downstream automations to also change.
UiPath has long been committed to building an extensible platform. We support hundreds of integrations out of the box. They can be extended, and new ones can be built from scratch. We have an active and thriving Marketplace. Cloud Elements has also had a long-standing commitment to extensibility and an engaged community innovating on their platform.
The UiPath Platform is an open platform that gives customers flexibility to address their integration needs in the manner that makes most sense for them. UiPath is committed to integrating with integration platform as a service (iPaaS) platforms that many customers use today, such as Workato or MuleSoft. Cloud Elements technology is complementary to traditional iPaaS solutions. By expanding our API integration capabilities with Cloud Elements technology and coupling this effort with deep integrations with iPaaS tools, UiPath provides our customers the best integration options for their automation needs.
We are excited to join forces with Cloud Elements to support our customers’ evolving automation needs. Together, we have a unique opportunity to continue to move the automation space forward.
This blog has been co-authored by Vijay Khanna and Ted Kummert. Khanna is the Chief Corporate Development Officer at UiPath.