What is low-code? A guide to enterprise low-code app development

What is low-code? A guide to enterprise low-code app development

By Prometteur solutions 19 Min Read

Traditionally, software development has been a time-consuming and meticulous process. Individual lines of code that represent instructions and data are written by developers. They arrange the code into functional routines and modules that offer the features and functioning of the programme. 

This method necessitates a thorough understanding of all aspects of application development, including programming languages, development environments such as integrated development environments and compilers, testing and deployment tools, and the various policies and practices used in coding, testing, and deployment. 

Low-code is a visual, highly abstracted, mainly automated method to software development in which desired tasks are defined at a high level and much of the underlying code is generated by tools. Low-code principles and methods may be used to solve a broad variety of daily programming tasks by professional developers and line of business (LOB) workers who understand business concerns. Developer teams may be able to concentrate on bigger, more difficult projects as a result of this. 

The key advantage of low-code development over conventional app development is that it saves money and time, allowing a company to provide certain goods and services quicker and for less money. There are several reasons why a company should continue to employ traditional development methodologies, particularly when developing complicated or specialised enterprise software. 

Many projects need functions and activities that do not simply fit into low-code techniques, such as optimal performance, and the amount of labour required to design and adapt low-code to fulfil those requirements cannot be justified. 

Low-code vs. no-code: 

While low-code approaches may make many common business programming jobs easier and faster, they are not meant to replace all coding. Many low-code projects need some programming skills, either to alter existing functional components or to build new ones, as well as to combine components in unique ways that a low-code tool may not allow. 

Low-code and no-code systems are basically the same, but there is a major distinction: no-code strives to deliver all of the desired features and functionalities while eliminating the need to add or alter components, requiring users to have no programming or application design experience. Low-code platforms are usually thought of as a subset of no-code platforms. 

Principles of development, Low Code

Although low-code has a high level of automation, the platforms and development procedures are not. The best outcomes from low-code initiatives are also dependent on good business and technical concepts. 

Recognize the low-code platform. 

The task is not done for you by low-code platforms. It is nevertheless critical that all stakeholders, from developers to business analysts to project owners, take part in the low-code platform’s assessment, selection, and implementation. When stakeholders can discover uses for low-code in future projects and possibly offer more value to the endeavour, the time spent learning the platform’s features and capabilities will pay off. 

Customization should be avoided. 

Low-strength code’s lies in its prefabricated components, which can be dragged and dropped into a workflow. Components are often generic and may be used in a variety of situations, although they do not necessarily meet the requirements of the programming job at hand. It is possible to customize existing components and add new ones, such as UI and visual design aspects, but this adds to development time and labour (and expense), and may negate the benefits of low-code technologies like speed and simplicity. 

Customizations should be made more generically. 

Consider features in the context of high-level or frequent usage objectives while customising an application. Create a bespoke component that may be reused in other applications. 

Do not forget about the team. 

Even though the criteria and business goals for the project at hand are simpler than those for typical software projects, the team that picks and utilises a low-code platform must understand them. In quick low-code settings, product owners and other important stakeholders should be ready to answer inquiries and evaluate builds. 

Maintain a competitive advantage for your company. 

It is simple to iterate and experiment with new or different features and functionalities using low-code. Even so, a project strategy and roadmap may help keep a low-code project on track. Builds should be tested and reviewed often, and any modifications to requirements and features should be discussed with business stakeholders. 

How mainstream businesses are adapting to low-code. 

To get innovations closer to intended business objectives, more businesses have chosen low-code platforms, both inside and between central IT and IT in business units. 

What are the advantages of low-code programming? 

Low-code development has several advantages for a company: 

The pace of development has been accelerated. 

Writing individual lines of code and mastering sophisticated syntax takes a lot of time and effort. Low-code enables practitioners to package complicated concepts and processes into bundled functions or components that may be assembled in a logical manner. This may also help to speed up future project updates and iterations. 

Staff availability is more diverse. 

In most businesses, skilled developer expertise is in short supply. Low-code programming enables less-skilled programmers (or even non-programmers) to participate in the software development process since they are familiar with the business objectives. Any modification or hand-coding that is necessary may frequently be completed with minimal assistance from expert developers. 

Efficiency has increased. 

Low-code may be used to develop tools for certain divisions inside a company. HR, for example, may need a tool to estimate or anticipate wages and benefits in order to make more informed payroll choices. 

Business procedures that have been digitised. 

Business operations dependent on paper or spreadsheets are time-consuming and error-prone. Low-code may be used to construct apps that collect needed data, send the data and requests through the company’s approval process, offer results to requesters, and interface with traditional business systems like ERP. Low-code, for example, may be utilised to speed up a capital request application. 

Apps for mobile devices. 

A company may use low-code to create a variety of mobile applications that offer data and business interactions to clients. Customers may, for example, use an insurance company’s mobile app to make claims and upload event evidence, such as crash images, from their cell phones. Low-code platforms nowadays can create applications for both AndroiInnovation at a lower cost. 

Similarly, organisations may test concepts that would be too expensive or time-consuming to build traditionally, such as providing a platform for marketing units to monitor ad campaign expenditure vs response and discover the most effective methods to contact consumers. 

Niche tasks may be accommodated. 

Low-code may rapidly and cost-effectively support restricted applications and tiny user bases. For example, a company may not be able to afford to design a tool that is solely utilised in the finance department, but low-code may be an appealing alternative. 

Performance, governance, and compliance management Low-code platforms are often used to monitor and manage software projects and their components. This makes it easy for the company to retain development control and establish norms that aid in corporate governance and compliance. Instrumentation, analytics, and reporting are common features of low-code platforms, and they may assist in collecting critical facts about a project’s performance and use, which can help teams plan upgrades and troubleshoot. 

Enterprise digital transformation and low-code 

Every business needs a digital strategy these days, a blueprint that explains how to use digital technologies and services to support business goals, create or enable new goals, improve business performance, or re-create business processes in ways that were previously impractical or impossible without them. A complete digital strategy may drastically alter an organization’s policies, priorities, investments, and long-term objectives. 

Because many of these initiatives entail software development projects that low-code can support or even expedite, low-code fits with digital transformation goals. User portals, mobile apps, and business tools are some examples. 

Business process management (BPM) is one of these areas, which typically entails manual paper-based business processes, analyses, and time-consuming managerial approvals. Businesses use BPM methods, such as a BPM platform, to organise and analyse business data, evaluate budgets, and streamline approvals, among other things. BPM functions can be added as low-code initiatives, and some BPM tools offer low-code abstractions when digitising business processes. 

Low-code is, of course, only one component of a digital transformation strategy. It also necessitates close collaboration between teams of business and technology leaders in order to comprehend the business, identify digital products and opportunities that best meet the organization’s needs, and evaluate and implement various technologies. 

What are some of the drawbacks to low-code development? 

While low-code approaches and tools make compelling arguments for enterprise adoption, they also have a number of drawbacks: 

Beyond the tools, there is knowledge. 

Apps produced with trustworthy code need expertise of enterprise software development and business procedures, and low-code is not a method to get around qualified people and a well-designed infrastructure. Businesses that hire people with little or no programming experience to do enterprise-level programming responsibilities may wind up spending more money fixing poor code than they would if they had written excellent code from the start. 

Code that is inefficient and unoptimized. 

When programming is abstracted into generic, reusable components, the underlying code might become bloated and too complex for the job at hand. Many possible changes that might decrease programme size and increase speed are often overlooked. Handwritten code of high quality may solve such coding issues quickly and elegantly. 

Under the hood, there is a lot of complexity. 

When the resultant code works as intended, low-promise code’s simplicity is fulfilled. What if it does not operate or is not up to par? Is the application safe and compliant with the company’s compliance policy? To analyse underperformance, fix problems, or enforce software security and other coding standards, someone inside the business must have a thorough understanding of what is going on under the hood of the low-code platform. 

Examples of low-code development in several industries 

Low-code may be used in a variety of ways to simplify app development and delivery, but there are several industry-specific advantages to employing it. 

There are just a few usage scenarios. 

Some commercial programming challenges are efficiently solved by low-code platforms, but not all. It may struggle with a number of hard tasks or demand so much modification and integration that traditional software development methodologies and tool sets are preferable. 

There is a chance of a vendor lock-in. 

When a team utilises a low-code tool to build an app, the tool may generate code that is poorly documented and difficult to maintain outside of it. Examine the capacity of a low-code tool to export, access, and modify code with other editors and software development tools. 

What are some examples of low-code use cases? 

Low-code initiatives may meet a variety of possible possibilities if IT and the business side define and connect business objectives with explicit IT needs. The following are examples of low-code applications: 

Portals on the internet. 

Customers may use portals to communicate with companies, locate services or goods, get quotations, verify resource availability, schedule work or place orders, and make payments. Instead of manually writing HTML and back-end components, low-code may assist in swiftly creating a variety of portals with similar front ends or user interfaces. 

Business-to-business (B2B) systems. 

For day-to-day operations, businesses depend on LOB systems and applications. A mortgage lending organisation, for example, may implement a system to manage mortgage papers and documentation, integrate appraisals, and perform credit checks and financial studies on borrowers. Businesses often purchase such a platform from a provider or develop it in-house using standard coding methods. Low-code provides a third alternative for enterprises to create, add, and migrate adaptable and scalable apps to single or multi-cloud deployments. 

d and iOS devices from a single project. 

Applications that use microservices. 

A microservices architecture is a network-based architecture that generates highly scalable applications from a collection of separate components that interact through APIs. In contrast to traditional monolithic programmes, the components may be built, deployed, and maintained individually, allowing for quicker development and simpler upgrades with less regression testing. Low-code is a potential platform for microservices-based components, as well as for swiftly creating and re-imagining core systems for improved performance and reliability, as well as for assisting in the translation of old legacy code into new, agile microservices applications. 

Apps that are based on the Internet of Things. 

Businesses are grappling with how to extract useful business data from the massive amounts of sensors and real-world devices that make up the internet of things (IoT), as well as how to monetise the data or services that arise. Low-code may be used to create applications and services that connect IoT endpoints and gather data, transfer IoT data via back-end computing infrastructures, and give the results to internal or external clients. A low-code horticulture application, for example, may employ moisture and temperature sensors, as well as data on growth cycles and circumstances, to manage interior lighting and watering for planted crops. 

Sellers of low-code software and vendors of low-code vendors 

Low-code tools and platforms continue to grow and change in the market. In a tool or platform, several suppliers mix low-code and no-code functionality. For usage ranging from basic websites and mobile applications to enterprise-class application development, businesses may pick from a variety of cloud-native and third-party low-code solutions and platforms. 

The advent of big corporate and cloud suppliers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, to compete with more conventional low-code providers like OutSystems, Mendix, Appian, and others, has been a recent trend. These prominent suppliers have invested much in providing clients with greater connectors to legacy corporate systems as well as cloud platform stacks. 

Businesses should assess a low-code platform’s specialised capabilities, paying close attention to how the platform handles components in particular. The bundled models and components of the low-code tool, for example, should precisely map to the high-level building blocks and functional approaches that the company currently employs, reducing the need for adjustments and new bespoke components. A low-code tool may have robust API support and the ability to integrate with traditional code projects, but if it does not fit the use model, the customization work will outweigh the benefits. 

The simplicity and effectiveness with which the customisation engine develops new graphic blocks or custom code should be evaluated by a company that deems it needs to build additional components. Developers may assure optimum and safe code for unique purposes or projects by creating a new component rather than changing an old one. 

Low-future code’s and the low-code platform market 

The future of low-code development and platforms will be moulded by the patterns and behaviours that shaped 2020 as a result of the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, which put a huge pressure on development funds, manpower availability, and team relationships. Because workers are now more distant and less accessible, many firms have struggled to establish applications, portals, online forms, and automated processes.

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