If you are drawn to this article, you are probably trying to find out what hides behind “low-code” phrase. I’ll try to provide you with an explanation.
According to wikipedia:
“A low-code development platform (LCDP) provides a development environment used to create application software through a graphical user interface instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming. A low-coded platform may produce entirely operational applications or require additional coding for specific situations.”
So, what does it really mean?
From my perspective the actual meaning of this definition is not focused on the way you use a tool to build an IT solution, but the competences you need to have to do so.
“Traditional” approach to software creation requires knowledge of one (or more) programming languages as well as complex development frameworks. With LCDP you just need general competence in IT. It’s enough to build a complete system, in most of the cases: without writing even a single line of code.
Moreover, you don’t need bother with several common aspects of application development:
- technical architecture,
All those areas are covered within LCDP itself.
Ok, let us now zoom out and look from the perspective of a team or an organization.
Such a development paradigm shift dramatically changes definition of poeple needed to build IT solutions. Instead of an army of seasoned coders of Java or C#, more business-oriented people can be engaged (they are often called Citizen Developers). It significantly simplifies and speeds up the development process, as the same people who define requirements for the system can build it with LCDP.
Thanks to that we can see low-code as the answer for shortage of coders we experience nowadays. At the same time it is rapidly growing area of software development market. GARTNER predicts that by 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.
It’s worth to mention that the low-code development platforms market is not homogenous. Tools called “low-code” today vary in terms of purpose, functionality and history. In consequence, the market splits into several segments:
- Business oriented solutions that allow to expand their functionality to some extent. In most cases they are focused on delivery of out-of-the-box business functionality and configuration is just part of their added value. There can be Contact Center, CRM, Document Management platforms, to give some examples.
- Platforms specialized in selected areas. Such tools are best of breed tools but in very narrow areas. Examples may be: Mobile native apps, integration and data processing, workflows etc..
- General purpose platforms. They are oriented to deliver complete environment allowing to build standalone business solutions with all aspect required. The strong side of this group is that they are business agnostic and allow to cover variety of business processes of an organization.
Thus, the choice of LCDP is no trivial and there is no clear answer, which is the best. To select the proper one firstly you should answer the question about the area in which you intend to use it and what is the real problem you are trying to solve.
Head of Business Development for VSoft archITekt
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