In the current dynamic landscape, rolling out new applications and developing innovative software is the need of the hour, however, demands high-performance quality engineering to ensure utmost quality and accuracy. However, conventional methods come with several challenges, poor quality leading to hampering the outcome. Thus, automation testing is the proven way that can optimise the software development cycle, but the majority of automation testing tools require extensive codes to run the tests making it challenging for many.
In order to simplify this process, Vuram, a hyper-automation services company, launched an automation testing tool — VATT (Vuram Automation Testing Tool) built using an intelligent hybrid framework to achieve complete automation for testing applications. Such a solution not only bridged the loopholes of the testing phase of the software development but also provided speed and accuracy that’s is critical for businesses to sustain amid this crisis. To understand how such low code platforms can become the future of application development, Analytics India Magazine spoke to Venkatesh Ramarathinam, the CEO of Vuram.
Edited excerpts —
Can you tell us about the recently launched Automation Testing tool? Also, how does it stand out in the market?
We have launched Vuram Automation Testing Tool or VATT, where instead of writing several lines of codes for testing an Appian application, a single line of code is all it takes to create and run tests. The intelligent hybrid framework that the tool is built on allows for accurate, end-to-end functional testing. Since it’s designed to achieve total automation, it can save significant execution time during the quality testing phase of software development.
The tool comes with a great range of predefined functions and several reusable scenarios that replace complex code with a single line of code. This allows users to create and run tests efficiently for Appian applications. Firstly, the users have to download our tool package and import into the eclipse IDE. They just need to call the inbuilt functions available in VATT. These inbuilt functions will help the user to interact with the Appian components and automate easily without writing dozens of codes.
The tool also maintains test data dynamically in Excel sheets. So, the tests can be run with different data sets without changing the script. Besides, VATT also ensures security levels according to the user roles. After executing the test results, the results will be auto emailed. This minimises status checks on the part of users. Another essential feature is that it has visually-rich reporting capabilities to assess test results.
This framework is designed using the Java language, and with that, we have built a lot of inbuilt functions which helps the quality engineer to achieve the automation testing easily. Also, we have developed the logic, which will establish an automatic connection between the VATT and Excel sheet.
How do you see low-code platforms becoming the future of application development?
In recent years, we have seen tremendous growth in the segment of low-code development platforms. Several new products are being introduced that offer a wide range of features to the enterprises. Enterprise-grade platforms such as Appian continue to innovate and dominate the market with their low-code capabilities. These platforms offer a significant reduction in the time to market, the cost to deliver and the total cost of ownership.
All the applications that are built on low-code platforms allow their customers to tweak the solution according to their needs and fit the technology to their business model, instead of trying to meet their practices around the technology.
One of the most significant benefits of taking a low-code approach to application development is speed. With a low-code platform, business units can prototype applications in a few hours, rather than weeks or months. This facility will allow the IT companies to gain valuable feedback from their end-users and to adjust their solutions to meet the evolving and mission-critical business requirements. It enables a faster and more streamlined process of development, positioning IT as an adaptive and responsive business partner for creating new applications, processes and taking advantage of innovations in coding, cloud and hosting infrastructure, scalability and security requirements. Low-code development will also lower the barrier to entry, cost and time to deployment, thus a need of the hour.
Is low code’s traction going to bridge the skills gaps or yield unemployment?
Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it is indispensable. Every organisation, irrespective of its size or industry it is in, needs to continuously transform to survive in the evolving and demanding business environments. Low-code tools are what help accelerate digital transformation.
Low code tools differ from each other in the underlying technology they use, the extensions they allow to the toolset, the feature set they provide to solve a particular problem and more. As low code tools get more traction, the talent pool will have newer opportunities to learn new technologies and ways to solve problems. It will undoubtedly get more job opportunities and career paths for people. It is certainly not going to cause any unemployment.
As we have seen with every new technology, opportunities increase and thereby demand increases. What might have been an entry barrier for people with specialised knowledge to work in the IT sector might now become a bit easier for people with good analytical skills to become developers on low-code platforms.
How can Robotic Process Automation help companies during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Globally, the current pandemic situation has accelerated companies to have reliable processes and effective technologies to work more efficiently and effectively to carry out their businesses. Robotic process automation has become a beacon of hope for businesses aimed at increasing the productivity and quality of work across the organisation where even after the lockdown ends, half of the employee population will work from home such as IT companies.
Using RPA, businesses can create and train software ‘bots’ that can serve as a virtual workforce. The bot can perform numerous repetitive tasks such as copying, pasting, comparing information between applications; they can even check information against various regulations and business rules. By automating mundane, repetitive, high-volume and rules-based tasks, the technology reduces the burden on humans. It is an important part of the solution stack for companies that want to become digital.
How has COVID-19 accelerated the shift to digital and workplace transformation? How is Vuram participating in this?
The pandemic has thrown a daunting yet relevant challenge to the corporates. They need to adopt digital transformation, irrespective of their current capabilities quickly. In the post-COVID world, technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics will be more prevalent in our everyday lives. Organisations that benefited from the emerging or already built digital capabilities will be in a better position to emerge as leaders in the post-pandemic era.
Vuram has been in a very good spot to navigate the challenges thrown by the COVID situation easily. One of our founding principles was to enable our people to perform their work from any location. This simple objective led us to have zero servers in any of our premises; no software that we locally host resides in any particular machine. We have nimble cloud software agreements; we use effective collaborative tools for communication and coordination and use project management and delivery tools that are trusted, scalable and feature-rich. All our internal processes run on a BPM platform. Some of our processes were dependent on physical presence in the office. These processes were not mission-critical, but because of our digital maturity, we are now moving the few remaining processes to the platform as well.
We have a continued reputation for being the best in Appian delivery. And now we are looking to expand that reputation to other areas of Hyperautomation. We are also looking at the direct sales of our solutions and technology toolsets.
We have selected a few verticals to focus on and channelise our efforts towards them. We are focusing on specific verticals and are building-specific solutions that are modern, feature-rich, simple-to-use, pre-built and are easily configurable to a particular customer’s requirements. We are looking at the SMB segment as a potential growth market for our services. We have also identified a few industries that can benefit significantly from adopting modern technology platforms including education, manufacturing and healthcare.