Forrester defined low-code development as, “Platforms that enable rapid delivery of business applications with a minimum of hand-coding and minimal upfront investment in setup, training, and deployment.”
To achieve this, a low-code platform allows collaboration between developers, business analysts, and subject matter experts which enables an alignment between business and IT. it helps reduce IT backlog, speeds up development and delivery times. Lastly, modern frameworks used in low-code platforms provide consumer-grade applications using enterprise-grade technology at a fraction of the cost.
For a company or a business to choose the right low-code platform development tool, they need to weigh out what benefits/priorities are a good fit for their requirements. We have put together seven key questions that will help you make an informed decision while choosing the right low-code platform for you.
To Summarize, we at WaveMaker, have taken into account the above questions keeping the end-user and business stakeholders in mind while creating our low-code platform. The WaveMaker low-code platform reduces the coding effort by an estimated 75% with its ready-to-use templates, themes, and easy drag & drop features. It facilitates easy integrations of APIs, import databases including web services as well as allow you to secure your application with authentication and roles. Developers are allowed to customize, extend markup, script, styles and they are provided with the option of 1-click test and deployment.
Get Started to experience what you can do with WaveMaker.
In today’s world, applications and software are at the crux of any enterprise. Whether it is a humble spreadsheet dashboard or a mission-critical transaction processing platform, each application has a role to play despite the varying degree of IT focus accorded to them.
One way to look at the enterprise application portfolio is from the lens of their rate of change, as explained by Gartner in their Pace-Layered Application Strategy. This strategy divides applications into three application categories, or “layers,” to distinguish application types based on their rate of change.
A closer examination reveals that these layers also denote the proportion of focus and budget traditionally accorded by enterprises. And if one were to analyze the number of applications with respect to their popularity (with respect to IT focus and budget), the distribution would be a long tail one as shown below.
It is apparent that Systems of Innovation and to some extent Systems of Differentiation fall under the long tail apps category.
The diverse set of heterogeneous applications that are used by small sets of employees or teams for a specific purpose and are typically beyond the scope of IT governance can be classified as long-tail apps.
Long-tail applications generally have the following characteristics:
Businesses want innovation and change. IT wants stability and control. With tight budgets, IT can rarely get to all of the custom apps the business needs. Hence, business teams or groups end up creating long-tail applications which are not approved by IT and are generally rely on non-standard and proprietary technologies. The result is a smorgasbord of systems and applications generally called as “shadow IT” or “stealth IT”.
When IT does try to migrate long-tail applications, they face the following problems:
When 81% of line-of-business workers and 83% of IT staff admit to using non-approved SaaS apps (Source: CIO Insight), it is a daunting task to banish shadow IT especially when traditional ways of delivering applications work against innovation – which is usually found in the long tail as we have discussed earlier.
In order for organizations to quickly deliver apps that users want without compromising on IT security and governance, enterprises need to follow a two-fold approach:
We have been able to successfully help enterprises across the globe navigate the shadow IT problems due to long-tail apps. WaveMaker Rapid Application Development Platform is a proven choice for both innovation and renovation because of the following reasons:
As an Architect for WaveMaker, I have come across multiple IT environments. They are getting more and more complex by the day, in spite of all advances with cloud computing and deployment options. IT Environments in large complex organizations are typically dispersed and have multiple silos as shown in the graphic below.
In addition, sub-groups typically have their own processes and technologies. This makes integration across organizations and the centralization of IT applications a big challenge.
This problem gets aggravated with each M&A activity. Acquisitions provide a great opportunity for innovation with the possibility of integrating assets of different organizations. But different technologies, systems, and processes hinder the realization of these opportunities.
Consolidation of IT for these organizations is a good position to be in as shown in the graphic below. But it is not trivial to achieve. More than the technology, managing resources, skills, and practices across organizations become bigger challenges.
Now, what if we can achieve integration of these different systems without actually consolidating IT systems? What if different existing systems can co-exist while realizing the benefits of consolidation? How would you go about doing it?
If you want to make your application future-proof, there is no other alternative other than to build APIs. How to make different types of applications API enabled, is a topic for another blog.
Let’s look at the organization now in the graphic below.
So what has changed?
Now, every system is open for communication. There may be different systems using different technologies, but they can all talk to each other with a common simple language. APIs.
As we have all the systems accessible, what next? How do we consolidate the information from here?
You must have looked at API management from the point of view of identity, authentication, rate limiting, throttling, metering, etc. But to make the best use of internal APIs, we need to transform them, aggregate them, and cache them where needed.
Take an example of an application like Kayak. They aggregate APIs from multiple airlines.
Similar is the requirement of a complex organization. Think of your large organization as vendors across multiple silos. Would you not like to manage all your vendors from a single place?
Current API Management products need to evolve to meet these challenges. API Management technologies, for most of their life, we're geared to public APIs that you wanted to monetize. They have also been priced by traffic usage. Recently many of these API Management vendors have started focusing on these internal enterprise APIs.
The graphic below shows how an API management platform is consolidated.
After the end of the second step, you are in a state where you have consolidated endpoints. A happy, future-proof state to be in. But this also means they need applications using these APIs. Not only the IT systems but multiple potential applications waiting to integrate these APIs to speed innovation to a different level.
With so much information available, you clearly can think of many more applications, than your IT can develop. Coding is time-consuming. The current trend is to go for ready-to-use components than to write them from scratch.
Going a step further, you don’t want to fall into figuring out the integration of these ready-to-use components either (boilerplate code). Developers with minimum technical/UI skills should also be able to deliver applications. But that simply increases the risk of poor quality applications.
This is where a low-code rapid application delivery platform can help you generate consistent beautiful-looking applications. Reusable widgets, styles, and templates are provided by the UI experts and other developers can simply use them with drag-drop features.