December 27, 2016

5 pitfalls to avoid when choosing a low-code platform

5 pitfalls to avoid when choosing a low-code platform

Today, enterprises are embarking on a journey venturing into new possibilities of application development to meet business demands. The adoption of low-code application development platforms seems to be very popular with most enterprises these days. However, while some have made the transition to low-code application development, there are enterprises out there who are unsure and hesitate in making this change to adapt to a low-code platform. This is understandable, as there are risks involved when it comes to choosing a low-code platform and a wrong choice can be costly.
We have put together five pitfalls that an enterprise can avoid while they choose a low-code app development platform.

  1. Assuming all platforms support integrations to build full-stack applications
    Most platforms offer visual development capabilities. But, it is extremely important to look for features that ease the external integration of data and services. Look for out-of-the-box integrations and verify whether custom integrations can be built and reused across apps while choosing low-code platforms. In addition, choosing a platform that supports open source technologies allows an open and extensible approach to application delivery. This permits developers to create full-stack applications without worrying about vendor lock-in.
  2. Assuming the feature set is standard across all platforms
    It is key for enterprises to make a detailed study of the features of a low-code RAD platform to understand which ones would best suit their requirements. Out-of-the-box features provided by one low-code platform differ from the other platform. Few things to look out for are :

    • A modern low-code platform should provide ease of use to the user with features like visual development with simple drag and drop.
    • Collaborative development - where a developer can share their work with others and develop an application
    • Support of APIs which are the front and center of business applications and architecture.
    • Choose a platform that allows developers to create, publish and discover APIs with ease.
    • Apart from hosting and release management, look for solutions that allow for rapid and continuous provisioning, deployment, instant scalability, and maximum utilization of resources without hidden costs.
  3. Assuming applications built are compatible with mobile devices
    Modern applications are required to work on multiple mobile devices, like phones and tablets. For such applications being built on a low-code platform, it does not mean re-building an application to suit the orientation of a phone or tablet. It means the No-code platform must offer cross-platform app development. Which in other words, is the ability to create applications using a single code base that can adapt to any native platform or operating system (which could be iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/RIM, etc) using a hybrid adaptive design enables applications to be run seamlessly on any device giving it cross-platform capabilities.
  4. Assuming application migration is easy
    Modern low-code application development platforms offer multiple options of development like cloud and on-premise. Enterprises have frequently changing requirements of development either for their internal use or for their clients and have to adhere to either an on-premise or cloud-based setup. Now, the question arises can an application partly built over the cloud be migrated hassle-free to an on-premise setup of the same low-code RAD platform provider. As development requirements change from cloud to on-premise, the low-code platform you choose should allow easy portability or migration of applications from one development setup to the other.
  5. Maintenance, security, and support
    For an enterprise, terms like maintenance, security, and support are crucial when they take a decision to invest in a low-code app development platform.

    • Maintainability is a critical aspect of application delivery and is overlooked by many platforms. Verifying the generated code follows:  design patterns, is well-organized, uses standard naming conventions, and generates documentation that enables developers to understand and maintain.
    • Enterprises crave the right security for their applications. While choosing a low-code application development platform, enterprises need to make sure they can handle flexible authentication and authorization mechanisms to secure users and various tasks within the application. It would be an added bonus if it could provide easy integrations of popular identity management systems like AD, LDAP, SSO, and OAuth.
    • Before investing in a modern low-code platform, enterprises need to make sure that the platform provides adequate support during the usage of the platform and meets all the SLAs promised by the platform to the enterprise.

Benjamin Franklin famously said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Keeping that in mind, the above pitfalls can be avoided and can help enterprises choose the right low-code platform for their application development needs.
WaveMaker’s Low-code RAD Platform is designed keeping in mind the requirements of a Software Developer, Citizen developer/business user, IT architect, and CIO.
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