In a recent article, we’ve described the notion of low-code vs. high code. Business requires to have new functionalities and applications to be delivered in an ever increasing speed. Changing the paradigm from high-code (i.e. Java or DotNet) to low-code solutions, helps business users to manage applications that are built to change rather than to last.
Integrations play a super important role in this as well, as these allow data to be taken from anywhere to any other system. New constituents are entering this integration domain with new requirements. To help understand this paradigm shift for integrations and applications, let’s take a closer look along a few dimensions to realize the impact.
Speed of development
In terms of Speed of Development, low-code solutions are definitely faster compared to high-code solutions. Of course, if you have your Java stack organized in terms of environments, standards and libraries, you can create simple Java apps in fast manner. The true difference is in the fact that with low-code, the application or integration model can be adapted during the sprint demo to end-users on the fly. A one day development can be shown to the business user to get direct feedback on whether the user story has been understood properly. Once integration specifications are known, the right integration pattern is selected, and the integration can be ready for test within hours as well. Low-code integration models exist that will support such approaches. Speed allows to work more closely with the business. Of course, the devil is in the details based on our experience working with our clients. But close interaction with hourly progress helps to resolve these details there and then.
As a result, the Developers profile can be different in low-code environments. True business-oriented consultants that are technical savvy can work directly with business owners and users. Getting the job done, creating the Solution without too many technical boundaries helps to further speed up new functionalities. That is not to say that these solutions don’t require technical sound architectures. These are already available via micro-services architectures that are implemented already in our client base. Using hybrid integration platforms such as eMagiz the integration architecture is displayed and defined. The concepts of messaging and integration can be modeled start to end by these low code integration models, and the technical aspects are abstracted from. And you need some folks with good technical IT skills to spread sufficient technical skill in the business consultants group.
High quality and easy re-use
Due to abstraction and transparency of application and integration models, the platform doesn’t allow for that many code quality or application quality issues. There is a guided development approach, and standard placeholders for putting functionality in. One doesn’t need to think through compiler level consequences of syntax & semantics, or from embedded custom XSLTs that are hard to read. So the degree in terms of making mistakes at coding time is a lot less. Which at the end of the day, results in less rework. The current trend is that low-code solutions are adding AI intelligence for business users by re-using millions of code elements. Virtual developers will finish off the directions of a business consultant, or enhance models with standard approaches such as error-handling or validation approaches. Integration models can generated automatic models from known integration patterns. Unit testing can be done visually using the integration model.
Furthermore, low-code solutions allow to true re-use. Various components of an application can be re-used where needed – such as user management, logging, cloud metrics and business processes. You can publish components into the App or Integration Store, and easily import these elsewhere. On the other hand, the speed is such that a business consultant can re-create order entry processes at such a speed that re-using a business process is not always the best option.
Read the model, not the code
The Technical dimension is also different. In this context, I mean the documentation of the code, versioning and cloud readiness. Documentation in low-code is self-propelling – the model is visual and you can read the code without additional in-source documentation (sure a few small comments in the model will help 😉). Versioning of frameworks, DotNet binaries, Java versions etc. are transparent for clients and business consultants. No need to upgrade the entire code base with technical interventions that add no value to the client in the first place. Low-code solutions run in the Cloud by default so there is no need to run such a technical migration as well. So the low-code platform holds standard capabilities that allow for these differences.
Embrace tomorrows world today
As a conclusion, there is a strong fit between the business that is demanding solutions fast, and that wants to create change in applications and associated integrations. Working in an Agile/Scrum manner with business end-users is now truly possible. Having business consultants that work fast, clever and together with business users, create amazing results. Business environments are increasingly volatile, uncertain, more and more complex and often ambiguous. Low-code platforms can be used in these kinds of BizDevOps teams, embracing tomorrow’s world today.