Investing in low-code development platforms is like playing the stock market. If you do your homework and invest wisely, you can achieve an incredible return on your investment for many years to come. Choose unwisely and it can be devastating.
With that in mind, taking the time to investigate five key considerations will make you a well-informed decision maker when selecting a low-code platform for your development team. Making the right decision will help simplify application development, increase the pace of delivery and insulate developers from the ever-changing underlying technologies over the long haul.
The five key considerations for selecting a low-code platform are:
- Application Framework
- Any-to-Any Integration
- Unlimited Depth and Reach
- Business Rules Engine
- True Cross-Platform Support
A low-code platform will significantly reduce costs over the entire software development lifecycle. It will also shield developers from having to worry about how their project will be deployed across various devices, interfaces and platforms, enabling them to remain focused on quickly delivering business applications.
This blog post is the first of a four-part series that discusses these key considerations, starting with Applications Frameworks.
Being able to quickly develop applications that meet the needs of today’s user can be a real challenge. To accomplish this feat, low-code development platforms elevate application development to a higher level by enabling programmers to design the majority of an enterprise-grade application using application frameworks, or models, versus hand-cranking low-level source code.
These low-code application frameworks provide ‘get it right the first time’ results. They are architected with a proven development strategy to quickly design how the application will behave, specify which database tables to access and consume all required integration points to complete a given task.
The best low-code development platforms will rapidly assist in the prototyping, design and deployment stages of creating enterprise-grade web and mobile applications.
Working hand-in-hand with end users, prototypes can be defined in minutes. Designers can email a web link to the application so that remote users can review and provide immediate feedback too. Gathering user feedback early and often greatly saves time on the back-end of the development phase and greatly increases user acceptance.
For some low-code development platforms, the prototype is not discarded. It can be gradually converted into the final application. To transition the prototype into a completed application, developers replace the prototyped parts with real programs.
Flexible Deployment Options
Low-code applications tend to be browser-based, whether in the cloud and/or on-premises. If you require responsive design for better viewing on all different sized form factors, nearly every low-code vendor will provide that functionality out of the box.
Most low-code take a mobile-first approach, but then the desktop version can suffer if additional development is not done. The best low-code platforms will offer completely different mobile and desktop versions from the same code base. The mobile version will be optimized for small screens. The desktop version will be optimized for large screens and provide employees with Windows-like functionality and performance, enabling them to be as productive as possible.
Boost Developer Productivity
Low-code development platforms are designed to boost developer productivity by providing an intuitive development environment that hides and abstracts low-level technology. The result achieved is extraordinary levels of efficiency and a shorter learning curve.
In my next blog post, I’ll cover two additional considerations (Any-to-Any Integration and Unlimited Depth and Reach) and why they are both crucial for low-code success when developing business applications that are of consequence.
For more help on selecting the best low-code development platform, download The Five Key Considerations When Selecting a Low-Code Platform white paper.