RPA platform legacy modernization

Abto Software
4 min readOct 6, 2023

This post is a short overview of an Abto Software modernization project.

Our client is an end-to-end process intelligence provider who designs custom workflow automation software. The company’s primary mission is assisting business leaders across industries, no matter the segment and size, by delivering robust, enterprise-level automation solutions that transform everyday routines.

The product is an automation software specifically designed to simplify manual tasks.

RPA software legacy upgrade: Key goals

Our company has entered into cooperation to handle multiple issues, which affected customer experiences. After conducting initial investigation, our engineers found that the platform is outdated, unstable, inflexible, and complicated in terms of maintenance and support.

We provided legacy modernization, performance optimization, cloud migration, and more.

RPA solution legacy upgrade: Our contribution

Abto Software was contracted to handle complex issues that deteriorated customer satisfaction and retention. The strategy we suggested included web browser extensions, plug design, UI automation, as well as other complementing services.

We covered:

Customer problems we resolved

The main customer problems were that the solution:

  • Wasn’t working for customers who used Microsoft’s Windows Terminal Server
  • Wasn’t covering automation functionality for certain Java-based applications
  • Wasn’t monitoring local and remote file system changes as expected, which meant automation activities weren’t triggered
  • Wasn’t working with the Citrix environment

To resolve these problems:

  • We implemented a service to monitor user sessions on the Terminal Server and launch new sessions
  • We integrated Java-based UI-automation engines side-by-side: Access Bridge, FLA UI 2, FLA UI 3
  • We embedded Polling FileSystemWatcher, then defined watcher abstraction and added multiple implementations for different file systems
  • We addressed Citrix issues by leveraging Citrix’s ICA virtual channels

Product issues we handled

The main product issues to handle:

  • About 80% of issues were originating from small automation activities, which were the basis and main building blocks of larger automation scenarios
  • It took up to one month for the support team to upgrade a customer to the newer version

To handle these issues, we implemented:

  • Plugin-like infrastructure based on extension-based design
  • Distribution and version management for the automation activities
  • An SDK to write automation activities
  • Testing capabilities to troubleshoot automation activity
  • A health check tool to analyze target and upgraded environments
  • An installer to support partial installation and workflows
Extensions-based design for the existing monolith, by Abto Software

The project’s technology stack: .NET framework, .NET 7, Node.js, Python, WPF, Angular, Elektron.Js, GraphQL, REST API, browser extensions, Named Pipes, Web Sockets.

The utilized cloud services: AWS EC2, AWS MQ, AWS S3, AWS RDS, AWS VPN, AWS Elasticache, Network Firewall, AWS VPC, Amazon CloudFront, AWS CloudWatch, AWS Secrets Manager, AWS Key Management.

The product: Quick overview

The product is an RPA software, which provides both automation and additional tech guidance for employees. By leveraging artificial intelligence, the described RPA solution increases quality of the processed information, reduces errors, and, accordingly, facilitates overall business performance by noticeably boosting productivity.

The product is an on-demand tool bringing additional business value:

  • RPA robots can interact with the user interface, precisely mimicking the actions of humans
  • RPA robots can work without breaks, which means they’re constantly delivering results

The project’s main challenges: Our approach and strategy

Backward compatibility

The software is implemented and utilized by organizations with numerous integrated automations in place — with each new change, our focus has been on preserving backward compatibility to ensure seamless operation. To achieve this goal, we employed a combination of strategies, which include fallback options and custom migration tools.

Tight deadlines

Our team worked closely with the technical support to meet tight deadlines and upgrade enterprise customers. Our engineers smoothly implemented necessary enhancements while ensuring uncompromised functionality.

Product installation

We handled the challenge by adopting a more modern and flexible framework, Windows Installer XML (WIX). We have also designed an installer to support partial installation and upgrade the workflows, which granted user-friendly experience.

Citrix integration

The said legacy product was meant to support Citrix Virtual Desktop and Citrix Virtual Application scenarios. We involved C and .NET engineers to implement a custom Citrix ICA virtual channel, which provides a reliable, bi-directional connection with the Citrix servers.

Why us

Abto Software has an extensive expertise in delivering robotic process automation software for enterprises. With knowledge and experience in designing and integrating robotic process automation solutions, our team empowers leaders across industries to accelerate day-to-day processes, increase efficiency, reduce mistakes, and streamline their performance.

We transform manual processes into smooth, faultless operations that drive business success.

The modernization of the RPA platform resulted in:

  • Faster upgrades
  • Smooth workflows
  • Reduced manual workflow steps
  • Minimized bugs during migration

The services we provide also span the following:

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Abto Software

We empower customers business with innovative software by applying science, R&D, and own IP at abtosoftware.com