Workflow Engines vs. RPA – what is the difference?

by Sojo Nagaroor

29. September 2023 4 minutes

In the midst of increasingly fierce competition, companies are striving for greater efficiency by optimizing and ideally automating their workflows. Two technologies that can support this are workflow engines and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Both approaches have the common goal of improving processes and automating recurring tasks. However, they differ in their approach and areas of application. But which approach is right for you in the digitization process?

Workflow Engine vs RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Efficient automation for repetitive tasks and legacy systems.

RPA is a technology that uses software robots, or so-called «bots» to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks by mimicking human interactions. It is particularly well-suited for automating activities that do not require complex integration between disparate systems and often involve interaction with older legacy systems.

Workflow Engine

A workflow engine is a software platform designed to model, orchestrate, manage and execute business processes. It automates the exchange of information and tasks between different applications and users. It is particularly suited for automating complex, repetitive, or collaborative business processes that require seamless collaboration between different applications and users.


Workflow engines and RPA are different tools, each designed to address different areas of focus. Therefore, the choice of technology depends on an organization's specific needs. Workflow engines are particularly suited for modeling and managing complex business processes that require human interaction and decision making. In contrast, RPA is the ideal solution for automating repetitive tasks that would otherwise take a lot of time.

The two technologies are also often used in combination to create comprehensive automation solutions that cover both process modeling and task automation.

Choose the right automation solution now!

Learn more about workflow engines and RPA. Make the optimal choice for your automation needs.

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