Low code platform: the future of application development?

In the context of application development, the low code platform is not new. This concept, which is resurfacing today, has its origins in an increasingly thin technical and functional boundary. The agility of the businesses is undoubtedly a factor. It is important to know that over the last 20 years, more and more people have been trained to use computers and the web. This new generation of specialists does not have the development skills, but has the know-how to design and model powerful software tools. Thus, a modern way of creating software has developed. This does not require IT departments to have a great deal of development knowledge and is based on the use of so-called “low code” or “no code” platforms. You will find this theme in our technological innovation file.

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Low-code platform, a concept that is not new, but that is de rigueur today

Instead of low code platform, we used to talk about fourth generation language or model driven development. So we are not on a new concept, but rather on a trend that has been revived. The objective of no code or low code is simple: to do without the use of a computer language to produce software. The advantages of this approach are multiple.

Indeed, it offers the opportunity to quickly create business applications that will replace the tools currently used, as is the case with Excel. Excel has so far the merit of allowing low code development of multiple applications through the built-in scripting language, but these applications are not optimized from an ergonomic point of view.

With the no-code approach, it is possible to produce tools that are adapted and pleasant to use by simply using drag’n’drop. Thus, it is now easy to replace traditional Excel or PowerPoint files used in business. This innovation is valid for all uses: information gathering, analysis, communication, etc.

Understanding the business need

The context in which this new trend is taking place is that of designing projects within very short deadlines. Companies no longer want to wait 6, 12 or 18 months for software: they need it now. Thus, tools have been developed to enable rapid prototyping of applications without the need for a dedicated IT team. In a few weeks, a person who does not have the experience of a programmer will be able to produce usable software for a client.

The objective of this approach is to respond to business uses, i.e. to allow the modeling of business processes. At that time, process management was possible through fourth generation languages. These languages offered the opportunity for non-developers to produce enterprise applications with simplified user interfaces and human-readable lines of code.

Model-driven development has allowed us to deepen these results by proposing business languages adapted to specific activities. Many publishers provide users with low-code platforms. Examples include Microsoft Apps and Oracle APEX. These are intended to facilitate the production of new web applications compatible with all operating systems.

Low code platforms, what uses for companies?

The use of these platforms accelerates the digitalization of many processes. Previously, only the critical and important processes of a company were integrated into an application. Now with the use of these low code platforms, all uses can be digitized and integrated into an application. Within companies, a large amount of data is managed in more or less elaborate Excel files. These excel files allow for simplicity of use coupled with powerful capabilities but without any security or data historization.

A low-code platform like Oracle APEX coupled with a standalone database allows you to build a secure web application to collect and share data. But is this the end of developers? No, although these applications can be built simply by business users, like Excel software and its vba macros, the support of an IT specialist will allow you to go further in the exploitation of these platforms.



Also read in our report on HR – Finance – IT issues and innovations:

  • Generation Y is changing the way work is organized: an opportunity for companies!
  • Candidate experience: still a central issue for HR departments in 2020
  • Corporate training: a transformation in progress?
  • Continuous feedback: towards a new management style?
  • HR innovation: what can we expect in the coming years?
  • Big data and BI: from predictive to prescriptive analysis
  • Infrastructure as code: why is it a key IT issue for the future?
  • IT containerization is changing application development
  • Low code platform: the future of application development?
  • SOA and microservices: what are the benefits for an enterprise?
  • Performance management: CFOs’ priority for 2020
  • The finance department is always at the heart of digital transformation
  • Risk management, cash management: what challenges for CFOs in 2020?

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