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Tech trends | 4min

3 essential elements of a low-code app platform

May 26, 2020

What professional developers expect from a platform that calls itself "low code"

There are at least 3 essential aspects that professional developers expect from a low-code platform they can use to develop and automate business applications: extensibility, mixed graphical tooling+coding options, and DevOps & continuous delivery capability.

1) Low-code platforms for developers still need to permit freedom to code.

Extension points on an application development platform like API connections permit developers freedom to extend a library, connect a different UI framework, or connect a third-party platform (for example, by adding an API). A feature that allows a developer to add a customized API means they’re not blocked or forced to replace existing systems or services, or blocked from adding brand-new ones. For example, extension points permit two-way integration between open process-based application platforms and open RPA platforms, which permits developers to add robotic process automation to specific steps in an end-to-end process that also coordinates human actions and services (micro- and mono-, new and legacy).

2) Low-code platforms for developers should effectively support technical teams with varying preferences and skill levels.

Application development teams are frequently composed of different profiles (eg, front-end and back-end) who are likely to be using a mixed development approach. If there is an easy-to-use, graphical way to design a web page or to graphically configure the parameters of an application there will always be someone who will be happy to use it. But there are also those who will not, who prefer to code because - well, coding well is a skill that good developers are rightfully proud of. Some developers may prefer graphical tooling for user interface development while others prefer hand-coding with HTML5, and still others with Javascript. Low-code platforms that permit collaboration among a heterogeneous team by providing tooling for coding along with drag-and-drop options might just help solve the oft-cited problem of “the lack of available developers to support all the projects that need to be done.”

3) Low-code platforms for developers should allow them to use their preferred tools, methods and frameworks.

Developing applications today is all about building new capabilities quickly, seeing what works and doesn’t work, making changes based on feedback and leveraging agility. And that means a low code application development platform should be natively integratable with technologies such as Github for collaboration and repository management, Docker to automate delivery, Kubernetes for horizontal autoscaling, Jenkins for continuous integration and Ansible for application and platform provisioning and deployment. 

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