Thursday, August 27, 2020

Automating API creation over existing data-sources

 If you need to quickly build REST APIs over existing data in excel sheets, RDBMS, NoSQL data stores; then the DreamFactory toolkit is immensely helpful. 

DreamFactory is available under the Apache 2 license and you can host it on your public/private cloud platforms. Just with a few clicks, you will have a complete secure API service available to perform CRUD operations on your data. DreamFactory runs on the Apache LAMP stack ((Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python). 

Besides generating the APIs, DreamFactory can also dynamically generate a Client SDK for HTML5 frameworks like jQuery, AngularJS, and Sencha, and a code library for native clients like iOS, Windows 8, and Android.

DreamFactory also has a toolkit to convert your SOAP webservices into REST APIs -

It also has a cool feature called DataMesh wherein we can create virtual foreign key relationships between tables in the same database or between completely different databases without altering your schema or writing any code. Create, read, update, or delete objects and related objects with a single API call.

DreamFactory also automatically creates Swagger API documentation and has basic API Management capabilities built in (e.g. rate limiting)

Displaying PDF, Word, PPT docs on web pages

 If you need to display documents in PDF, Word or PPT formats on your web application, then the following JavaScript toolkit will come to your rescue. 

ViewerJS -

ViewerJS uses 2 other JS libraries behind the scenes - PDF.js ( and WebODF (

Any document that is following the Open Document Format (ODF) can be rendered using ViewerJS. All Office 365 files now follow the ODF format. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ruminating on the hype around hyper-automation

 So what exactly is hyper-automation?

In simple terms 'Hyper-Automation' is going beyond plain RPA. In RPA, the bot just mimics what a human would do. 

But in hyper-automation, along with the RPA tool, we use other technologies like AI/ML, workflow engine, rules engine to automate E2E process flows. Thus we make the business process more streamlined and robust ---- essentially better than what the human was doing. 

Even Process Discovery Tools are considered to be an important part of the hyper-automation journey. Process Discovery Tools enable us to understand the current state business processes and offers suggestions on streamlining it. It does not make sense to automate a fragmented process, but we should first streamline the process, remove redundancies and then automate it. 

Example - A bot reading an unstructured email and understanding its intent, extracting relevant data points from it (AI) and completing the requested transaction via a desktop app (RPA).