AOT Technologies helps advance the cause of low-code open-source software with its powerful and easy-to-use forms-and-workflow solution formsflow.ai
AOT Technologies has combined leading open-source forms, workflow, analytics and security products with bespoke client and integration APIs to deliver a seamless, compelling alternative to COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) enterprise software solutions.
It’s open source, so has zero licensing costs, its form builder comes with rich UI components, form designs and actions are easily customizable, and there’s complex field support for special features such as calculations, signature fields, and conditional rendering.
There’s a server-based workflow (or BPM) engine with a wide range of capabilities, allowing graphical design of workflows, easy association of digital forms, and asynchronous, timed, and parallel flows allowed. The assignment, reassignment, and escalation of tasks can be easily accommodated.
The formsflow.ai feature set includes flexible identity management that uses existing customer identity management for single sign-on as well as roles and authentication such as through IDIR, the BC Services Card, and GitHub.
The software also provides stand-alone implementation or federation if necessary.
And there’s integrated metrics and analytics. Metrics can report on workflow metadata, such as work outstanding, and the analytics features allow you to “slice ‘n’ dice” form data to produce sentiment analysis and identify trends.
It provides containerized deployment and is easily installed on premises or off site in a private or public cloud.
TRUE TO FORM
As proud partners of LowCodeCon 2021, AOT was happy to feature formsflow.ai in a presentation by Chris Robinson, senior technical architect at AOT Technologies and Karim Gillani, a digital services architect with the BC government.
By building its own framework around best-of-breed components, AOT has brought together reliable open-source software to provide formsflow.ai’s features: form.io for the forms, Camunda for the workflow, and redash for the data dashboards, displaying machine learning–enhanced analytics.
AOT’s flagship open-source software provides drag-and-drop form creation and workflow design as well as data analytics. The software integrates with legacy systems to allow end users access to the forms and business users the ability to easily create and modify forms as needs change.
Workflow can also be mapped as specified business users are alerted that the next step in processing a form is now available. Different stages can be assigned to different users or groups, giving the option of one user taking over if another is unavailable.
DOING IT THE NEW WAY
Karim discussed how formsflow.ai has overturned a legacy of old processes and attitudes. This low-code software package makes it easy for Service BC, which runs many of the provincial government’s frontline services, to modify forms and workflows as conditions change.
And managers can turn to technologists, the people who like doing Excel macros, for instance, to keep on making changes instead of calling in the IT department. For instance, if legislation and regulation change, then forms can be tweaked within days, hours, even minutes.
Low-code solutions reduce the need for big projects, while making development at all scales easier. Karim said a low-code solution such as formsflow.ai allows a quick demo of an MVP, which then provides the business case to call in the developers.
“I find it really beneficial in the beginning because it forces the BPM and it forces the business process up front,” he said, “so you’re not gathering requirements and iterating through them and building and realizing your requirements are wrong. You’re doing that right up front.”
AOT’s own Chris Robinson said developers’ traditional habits, including dedicated staging and testing phases, may have to yield to the new low-code reality, adding that “we need to maybe just concentrate on releasing quickly, releasing small releases, and just getting them out there.”
He said it’s in tune with the spirit of DevOps and the release-small-but-often philosophy of increasingly many developers.