Work automation is the key to success in today’s competitive business world. It reduces costs, increases productivity and allows employees to focus on more challenging tasks. Two popular automation technologies are robotic process automation (RPA) and automation with APIs. Which one is better for your business? Here’s a brief overview comparing these two approaches. Read on.

RPA vs API – table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is robotic process automation (RPA)?
  3. What is automation with APIs?
  4. RPA vs API
  5. Hybrid strategies
  6. Choosing the right technology for your business
  7. Summary


Work automation is an essential element of contemporary organizations striving to improve their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness in the market. In this article, we’ll look at two popular automation technologies: robotic process automation (RPA) and automation using APIs. We’ll discuss their advantages, limitations and applications to help you make the right choice.

What is robotic process automation (RPA)?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technology that allows the automation of business processes using software robots. RPA is particularly useful for repetitive, rule-based and structured tasks, for example, the automatic retrieval of data from various sources, such as emails, Excel files or web applications. In fact, robotic process automation is software that mimics user actions, such as filling out forms, processing data or generating reports.

The benefits of using RPA:

  • reducing human errors,
  • increasing productivity and task completion time,
  • saving employees’ time, and thus letting them focus on more challenging tasks.

What is automation with APIs?

Automation with APIs (Application Programming Interface) relies on the use of specific programming interfaces that enable communication between various applications and services. APIs are used for integrating systems and automating work by exchanging data and performing operations programmatically. An example here may be the integration of an online store with a warehouse system, where orders are automatically forwarded for processing

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using APIs:

  • greater flexibility when integrating different systems,
  • fast and hassle-free data exchange between applications,
  • the ability to scale and expand features of the systems.


When comparing RPA and API, it’s worth highlighting some key differences and similarities between them:

it is better at automating UI-based processes, it is better suited for tasks that require integrating systems,
it can be used when there is no access to the API or no suitable API it is more flexible and scalable,
implementation and maintenance costs may be higher than in the case of APIs. implementation and maintenance costs are usually lower than in the case of RPA.

Hybrid strategies

In some cases, combining RPA and API may be the best solution, allowing you to leverage the advantages of both technologies. Hybrid strategies can be used when:

  • some processes require interaction with the user interface and others with the backend of the application,
  • there is no suitable API to perform all the required tasks,
  • process automation must be flexible and responsive to changing business needs.
  • Hybrid strategies combine the advantages of RPA and APIs to effectively automate both UI-based processes, and those related to the backend of the application. This ensures flexibility and responsiveness to dynamically changing business needs.

Choosing the right technology for your business

To choose the right automation technology for your business, you should:

  • carefully analyze the business processes you want to automate,
  • evaluate the availability of APIs and the feasibility of implementing robotic process automation,
  • consider implementation and maintenance costs, as well as training needs,
  • decide whether you need a hybrid strategy.


Whether you choose RPA or API depends on the specifics of business processes, available resources and an organization’s goals. It is important to carefully analyze your company’s needs, think about the benefits and limitations of each technology, as well as consider the possibility of implementing a hybrid strategy. Regardless of what you choose, properly planned and implemented work automation will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of your business.

Read also: Microservices and APIs.

If you like our content, join our busy bees community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok.

RPA vs API. How to choose the right automation strategy? | Digitizing your business #16 andy nichols avatar 1background

Author: Andy Nichols

A problem solver with 5 different degrees and endless reserves of motivation. This makes him a perfect Business Owner & Manager. When searching for employees and partners, openness and curiosity of the world are qualities he values the most.

Digitizing your business:

  1. What is business digitalization?
  2. How to avoid the pitfalls of digital transformation?
  3. Balancing digital transformation with data security
  4. Digital marketing
  5. Digital financial management and online accounting
  6. Managing digital teams
  7. Digitalization in industry
  8. Digital training and induction
  9. Cloud vs server. Pros and cons
  10. XaaS and subscription business models
  11. Cloud computing
  12. The future of digital enterprises
  13. The cloud and artificial intelligence
  14. What XaaS services to use when running a business?
  15. Microservices and APIs
  16. RPA vs API. How to choose the right automation strategy?
  17. Best-of-breed vs all-in-one. Which is right for you?
  18. All about workflow automation
  19. Top 5 no-code tools your company needs
  20. How to build business applications and websites using AI?
  21. Gamification in the workplace
  22. Gamification in business
  23. Gamification and customer experience
  24. What are disruptive technologies?
  25. The impact of disruptive technologies on business
  26. How to introduce business change wisely?
  27. What are the risks of AI?
  28. Nurturing digital culture. Balancing change and identity
  29. How to build an innovation culture in the workplace?
  30. What is a digital mindset?
  31. Frontline workers in the era of digital transformation