Automation tools and techniques are methods or software solutions that enable companies and individuals to automate repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and improve efficiency. These tools can be used in various domains such as software development, manufacturing, marketing, data analysis, and customer support.

Some commonly used automation tools and techniques include:

1. Robotic Process Automation (RPA): RPA is a type of software that can mimic human actions to execute tasks. It can perform repetitive and rule-based tasks in applications, such as data entry, data extraction, form filling, and report generation.

2. Workflow Automation: Workflow automation tools help streamline business processes by automating task assignments, approvals, notifications, and document routing. These tools often integrate with other systems and applications to trigger actions based on predefined rules.

3. Task and Project Management Tools: These tools help teams coordinate and track progress on tasks and projects. They often include features for assigning tasks, setting deadlines, file sharing, collaboration, and reporting.

4. Test Automation: Test automation tools are used in software development to automate the running of tests. These tools enable developers to write scripts that simulate user interactions and validate the correct behavior of an application.

5. Data Integration and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load): Data integration and ETL tools automate the process of extracting data from multiple sources, transforming it to match the required format, and loading it into a target system or database. These tools are commonly used in data warehousing and analytics projects.

6. Chatbots: Chatbots are automated software programs that can simulate conversations with humans. They are often used in customer support, sales, and marketing to answer frequently asked questions, provide information, and assist with basic tasks.

7. Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD): CI/CD tools automate the process of building, testing, and deploying software applications. These tools can automatically build the application, run unit tests, and deploy the application to production servers, reducing human error and enabling faster software releases.

8. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and ML techniques can be used to automate complex tasks that require human intelligence. These include natural language processing, image recognition, pattern recognition, and predictive analytics.

Automation tools and techniques not only save time and effort but also reduce errors and improve productivity. They can free up human resources to focus on more value-added tasks and improve overall business performance.