An increasing number of software coding tasks are being handed off to AI functions, especially in … [+]
What software needs now is more AI. This is the universal mantra that every software application development and data platform company will beat out relentlessly throughout 2020.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Machine Learning (ML) processes that feed it and make it smarter has driven every software industry specialist to look for avenues where it can surgically enhance its products and services with additional layers of automated intelligence.
Low-code software company Appian has clearly been drinking from the same AI Kool-Aid pot as everybody else; the company’s latest platform release features a range of AI assists designed to make low code software development a more intelligently abetted process.
Manifestations of AI smartness
Appian incorporates intelligence through its use of Google AI services. The company uses this backbone technology to manifest levels of smartness across a variety of areas in its platform.
As a branded part of its total technology proposition, the company says that Appian AI can be used to add Artificial Intelligence to any Appian application — and that now includes Google Cloud Translation as a Connected System. Low code coders (who, let’s remember, are still generally very highly trained software engineers) can use these tools to enable an app to detect languages and translate text with no coding.
The company has also provided an updated Google Cloud Vision Connected System, which now offers integration with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems. This means that Appian AI users using Google Cloud Vision and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can now also use Google Service Account authentication. This is said to be simpler and more secure than provisioning Application Programming Interface (API) keys. Google Cloud Vision includes options to use pre-trained Vision API models to detect emotion, understand text and perform other ‘vision’ related AI functions.
“Appian’s latest release demonstrates our commitment to simplifying what it takes to build great software,” said Malcolm Ross, Deputy CTO at Appian. “That focus on simplicity, combined with the power of our platform, is why we can offer the Appian Guarantee that a customer’s first project will be live in just eight weeks.”
Extra ‘Connected Systems’
Other Appian engineered Connected Systems brought forward now include a guided, low-code designer experience for interacting with DocuSign, the document signature technology company. The company has also added Google Drive so that Appian apps can be made to transfer, manage and search files and folders in Google Drive from Appian. Additionally, there’s also support for AWS Signature Version 4, a technology designed for Amazon Web Services authentication tasks.
In line with the general trend to automate through AI-type efficiencies, Appian also says that it has made access to its Health Check easier.
Health Check is used during all stages of the application life cycle to determine how an application is performing, whether it adheres to best practices and to identify any risks associated with maintainability or scalability. Summarized findings are presented in a detailed Health Check report so that coders can shape the way their software project is developing.
Process mining for dummies
As an addition to all the extras tabled here, Appian has also partnered with Celonis, a specialist provider of AI-enhanced process mining and process excellence software. So what is process mining in simple terms?
Process mining is the arm of technology devoted to analyzing business processes (human task workflows and machine-driven functions) based upon software ‘event logs’ (lower level information streams that track when software comes into life and performs any function) that are exposed to specialized data mining algorithms, which are applied to that event log data in order to identify trends, patterns and details.
Celonis claims to delivers business value by enabling companies to discover inefficiencies across a range of operational functions, act to improve businesses processes in real time and continually monitor them to ensure optimal performance.
Surrender to efficiency
As noted above, Appian calls these functions no-code ‘Connected System’ integrations. They are a way of bolting on additional functionalities to software applications that have been built using Appian itself.
Given that programmers who use Appian have (to an extent) surrendered to the efficiency of a low-code system like this with its shortcuts, template and pre-baked goodies, the company is clearly trying to make sure that programmers using its technology still have access to a smörgåsbord of meats, pickles and relishes.