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Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award Finalist Profile: Eagle Drones

Feature Article | November 23, 2017 by Devyani Bhattacharjee

A new test-automation-as-a-service platform helps certify cloud products with less effort, greater confidence, and higher speed.

Test automation, or using a software to test the quality of an application, is not a new practice. It has existed for a while, but is not without its share of discontent.

For example, test-automation software needs to be built and updated every time the application gets updated. The more layered and complex the application technology is, the more difficult the automation development is. The time and resources taken for automation development far offsets its advantages.

The complexity also mandates that the automation software is built wholly by engineers. Business experts are therefore not very involved and actual business scenarios are not properly integrated in the test environment.

Case for Change: Test-Automation-as-a-Service

With 2,000 customers, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is one of the fastest-growing core HR solutions on the market, growing 49% in number of customers over the past year alone. With innovative solutions and a changing cloud landscape, the solution is built on a myriad of back-end technologies and has an architecture that is open for future integrations. One can imagine that it is a mammoth task to build a high-quality test-automation platform for such an intricate application in time with every release.

Here is where a Bangalore-based group of quality experts came to the rescue. A team with varied expertise ranging from UI design, API, performance, database, and user experience took up the challenge under Srinivasan Subramanian, leading the vision of test-automation-as-a-service.

Flying the Eagle

The objective was to have a simple but highly adaptable automation interface that all stakeholders, including business experts, could work on and certify product quality.

As customers are currently migrating to next-generation cloud solutions, it was also imperative to ensure that any new test automation would support future multiple generations of software delivery. The project team looked into existing automation frameworks that could be used as a base for this agile transformation, but the options weren’t satisfactory.

It was time to build something new. The team pulled up their sleeves and created a completely new test-automation platform: Eagle Drones. They used a decentralized architecture and distributed computing powered by microservices as the backbone of their Eagle Drone. It was built on the following principles

  • Pulling in existing microservices that can be added by the user to create their own test scenarios
  • A user-friendly interface hiding the complexities of the technologies in each microservices
  • Drag-and-drop features for easy functioning

The strategy was bold, considering it had not been done before. But it paid off. In just four months, the team provided a next-generation test-automation-as a-service-platform that could certify products in the cloud. The product was used to validate 222 features well within development sprints of four weeks each and ran more than 1,500 scenarios during the past two quarterly releases. With in-built intelligence and an easy-to-use interface, the platform has helped release the product with less effort, greater confidence, and much higher speed.

This platform embraces principles of agility, re-usability, and Run Simple with an exemplary user interface where all stakeholders can now participate and add to product quality.


The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award is the highest employee recognition at SAP, awarded annually by the CEO to an individual or a team.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission Title: Eagle Drones – Simplifying Automation through Microservices
  • Board area: Cloud Business Group
  • Team: SAP SuccessFactors
  • Number of employees: Eight
  • Achievement: Eagle Drones platform was created in four months, with 222 features validated well within development sprints of four weeks each and ran more than 1,500 scenarios during the past two quarterly releases
  • Impact: Eagle Drones has disrupted traditional automation paradigms making it a simple and fun endeavor, and enables all stakeholders to contribute toward improving product quality and customer success

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