How to increase your IT business agility through Automation and Process Mining

By Ravi Srinivasan, Sr. Product Manager — HP Automation

 

Many IT organizations rely on process mining to discover and improve business processes by extracting data from event logs that are readily available in their information systems. They use this data to streamline and standardize business processes, or enable compliance to organizational policies.

 

Process mining is increasingly about more than just scraping log entries. By recording how users complete a task in a software’s UI, IT can enable an automated approach to execute the same task, by turning a captured set of actions into a script that performs the series of steps rather than a user doing it manually. These scripts are commonly used for testing IT infrastructure or automating an operational task.

 

This blog will walk you through how this works in an innovative process mining approach, where a prerecorded task can be part of a larger IT process workflow automated with HP Operations Orchestration (OO).

 

Capture user behavior with HP Virtual User Generator

 

A key component of the HP OO process mining model is the HP Virtual User Generator (VuGen), a UI recording tool that runs on a client desktop to capture the communication between the client application and the server.

 

VuGen emulates the exact behavior of a real browser by sending various protocol requests to the server. These transactions are then saved as a script that can be replayed to emulate a real user. For example, a script can be used in testing to generate a load on the web server (Figure 1). You can also use VuGen scripts in production to automate operational tasks to increase operator efficiency and reduce errors.

 

HP-VuGenScript-good.png

 

Fig. 1 VuGen Script

 

The VUGen script directly interacts with the UI itself, not the underlying API, so it is automating in the user’s space, which can be an important consideration for audit and compliance. VuGen also records screenshots as part of an audit trail. Most importantly, end-users who are not comfortable with this kind of technology do not need to know about automation—it just records their actions to make automation simple.

 

Run scripts in HP Operations Orchestration

 

HP OO lets you use existing process scripts without having to reprogram them as an HP OO workflow. This enables you to take full advantage of existing recorded scripts, work more quickly and reduce operational costs. In addition, HP OO provides auditable and traceable end-to-end process automation to help you meet compliance requirements.

 

HP OO ships with operations out of the box that allow you to run pre-recorded scripts locally or on a remote system via a command line invocation. Also, the HP OO LoadRunner integration provides a flow that is already configured for running VuGen scripts, so your recorded scripts can work as part of a larger end-to-end workflow.

 

The specific steps are as follows:

  1.    Record the actions
  2.    Document the process as a flow
  3.    Pass the data from workflow to recorded scripts as metadata parameters

 

This metadata allows IT organizations to use the same recording scripts in any scenario, for anything you want to automate.

 

One such use is to automate repeated SAP Basis administration GUI-based tasks. For example, if VuGen records an SAP GUI task (Figure 2), the HP OO flow executes an SAP Transaction Code ST03 to get the latest performance statistics and export the data to a local file based on parameterized value. You can then reuse this same OO flow in addition to SAP operations to record any user interaction.

HP-OOflow.png

 

Fig. 2: HP OO flow

 

 

Taking full advantage of HP OO automation

Reusing your recorded scripts in HP Operations Orchestration allows you to carefully manage

a transition from your existing scripts to an API-based product integration with HP OO

content packs, which will enable you to take full advantage of HP OO’s automation capabilities.

 

One example is the SAP Process Automation Pack for SAP environments, which can improve management of your SAP R/3 environment. Click here to download more information on HP Operations Orchestration SAP Process Automation Pack, including an SAP Wizard, operations, and example flows.

 

Learn more about HP Operations Orchestration (HP OO), a next generation IT Process Automation solution, and how it automates manual IT processes and helps to reduce costs, errors, system downtime and risk of non-compliance.

 

 

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