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.
- Is the platform built on open standards?
While most low-code platforms claim “No Vendor Lock-in”, the reality is that most of them use proprietary technologies and application stack. Choose a low-code Platform that is based on proven open source technologies in order to ensure an open and extensible approach to application delivery. Also, the platform should use best-of-breed application stack for developing full stack applications.
- Does the platform simplify external integration with inbuilt integrations?
While most vendors offer decent visual development capabilities, it is extremely important to look for features that ease external integration of data and services as most business data is stored in disparate, proprietary systems. Look for out-of-the-box integrations and verify whether custom integrations can be built and reused across apps.
- Does the platform offer cross platform development?
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.
- Does the platform handle scale-ability and cloud needs?
Ensure that low-code platform vendors don’t get away with merely providing a hosting and release management solution. Check for the ability to scale applications and handle private cloud needs. Look for solutions that allow for rapid and continuous provisioning, deployment, instant scale-ability and maximum utilization of resources. Verify whether the platform supports building custom software stacks and deploying micro-services-based apps, and orchestrates IT infrastructure effectively.
- Does the platform make it easier to create, share & consume APIs ?
Today, APIs are at the front and center of business applications and architecture. Most low-code platforms support APIs at best. However, one must choose a platform that takes an API-first approach to application delivery. It should be easy to import data from any service and bind it to UI components. Moreover, the platform should allow developers to create, publish and discover APIs with ease.
- Is it easy to maintain the code generated?
With most low-code platforms, even the most experienced developer would not understand the code generated by the platform. Maintainability is a critical aspect of application delivery and is overlooked by many these platforms. Verify that the code generated follows design patterns, is well-organized, uses standard naming conventions and generates documentation that developers can understand and maintain.
- How well does the application handle security?
Enterprise applications needs both coarse grained and fine grained security control mechanisms. The low-code platform must support flexible authentication and authorization mechanisms to secure users and various tasks within the application. Check for integration support for popular identity management systems like AD, LDAP, SSO and OAuth.
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 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.
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