Enterprises have a perennial requirement to develop applications either for their internal needs or for their clients. When the word “enterprise” and “application” are combined, it is a software designed for a large business which is complex in nature as it has to integrate or interface with current applications within the enterprise which needs to be deployed on either the internet, intranet and corporate networks while maintaining strict security demands in the process.
Today’s enterprises have needs to build custom web applications easily, quickly and securely. Applications need to be agile and versatile to work on both web and mobile devices. These requirements has spawned the emergence of modern web application development platforms.
Traditional methodologies of application development are very rigid and process oriented. They involve a series of steps like requirement, definition, planning, building, testing and deployment which lead to high cycle times at each stage. The traditional format requires projects with large teams and strict roles while maintaining stringent documentation and review at every stage of development. The customer interaction is minimal which takes place during the beginning and the end of the project. Every element that is designed in a project needs to be designed from scratch and is not reusable. All this translates to,
The fundamental expectation from a low-code app development platform is to offer a WYSIWYG development environment where developers can drag and drop components to design responsive user interfaces that adapt to a device’s screen resolution. With a low-code application development platform, enterprises will experience flexibility in their application development stages, with versatility offered with both developer and business user inputs. With easy testing of the application at each stage, customers can be looped in at all times providing a transparent and interactive application build.
The key areas where a low-code platforms trumps traditional app development are,
2-pass development is a new app development methodology that can be used with a low code platform, to do away with all the app dev challenges where there is a disconnect between the technology and the business imperative. The idea is to involve the business stakeholders like product managers and business analysts as part of the development process to maintain harmony and optimize the entire app building experience.
2-pass development approach, is like a baton transfer in relay between two runners. Only, in this case it is application development. It consists of a business pass and a technical pass.
Anytime an app is to be developed, the requirements are passed on to the Business pass team comprising of business stakeholders like product managers and business analysts and we group them as “RAD Developers”. They gather the app requirements and start to build the app using a low-code platform. The app building is usually creation of the user interface with live/test data, using visual app building experience provided by the platform. Visual app building involves simple drag and drop for UI building, connections to various systems like DB, LDAP and ERP and 1-click deployment into various environments like QA, staging and production among a host of other rapid development features. However, there will invariably be some app requirements that are not available out of the box and needs to be customized for the specific app. These are the requirements that will be passed on to the technical pass team to be taken care of. For instance, a particular customized UI widget that is not available out of the box, would be requested to be built by the technical pass team.
Technical team accomplishes two purposes. First, they create all the generic visual reusable components that are needed for the app building by the Business pass team. Second, they create the specific app requirements that comes from the Business pass team and they quickly get back to them. Members of the technical pass team are professional developers who specialize in front-end, back-end and integration(API) development.
Advantages over traditional application development
Having web application development platforms that are built on open technologies and frameworks allows flexibility and makes them developer friendly as developers don’t need to break sweat learning new technologies.
Web application development platforms that offer app development using front end technologies consisting of Angular and Bootstrap, which provides a framework of building responsive web applications, offer the best-of-breed approach to web application development.
On the back-end, these platforms use Java, Spring and Hibernate which are trusted, open standard frameworks used by millions or developers and are enterprise friendly to develop web applications. These open standards-based frameworks creates an environment for an enterprise to build applications rapidly without being bothered about any vendor lock-ins as the code generated can modified by full-stack developers. It can be easily extended or maintained using any other popular IDE or text editor as well.
WaveMaker is a Rapid App Development Platform that is the most open, extensible and flexible low-code platform that is designed to help you create good looking enterprise grade web applications quickly, easily and securely for any device.