An evolutionary approach to software engineering

Pritesh Pattni

OutSystems

Evolution. The gradual development of something to make it even better. It’s this approach that underpins the low code software development revolution, and that drives the progression of market leader OutSystems, one of the most respected low code platforms in use today.

What is low code?

Software development has seen significant changes in recent years, and rather than relying on traditional coding for every project, developers and businesses have been looking for more accessible, cost-effective and efficient methods.

The main alternative to traditional coding is low code, which has emerged as people look for ways to get to the same development goals without the challenges of traditional coding – high costs, protracted development cycles and the need for highly skilled developers, for example. Low code still requires development expertise and experience, but its drag-and-drop nature helps to reduce project timescales, eliminate common errors and speed up time to market.

Part of the low code ‘revolution’ is the fact that it allows developers to have an ongoing relationship with an application or programme. This allows changes, updates and improvements to be made quickly, affordably and with usability in mind – helping organisations to always deliver the best experience to their users.

The key benefits of low code development include:

Speedier, more agile development – low code platforms simplify complex development tasks. Drag-and-drop interfaces allow developers to build applications quickly, reducing long project timescales and delivering faster time to market.  

Integration capability – low code development promotes good integration across systems including varied data sources, APIs and existing systems. This helps to build new applications that reduce downtime and business disruption, thereby reducing costs.

AI and automation – like it or loathe it, AI and machine learning are important developments that will change the way we do things. Today’s leading low code platforms understand this, and have space for these capabilities to be introduced. From automating common tasks to improving decision making, ow code development can help organisations to take advantage of these opportunities.

Scalability – many organisations need software applications that can change and grow with them. This means scalability and adaptability – something that low code development offers as a matter of course.

Why is OutSystems a leader in this field?

There are some big players in the low code market – and many smaller companies too. If you are looking for low code development, you’ll probably start by researching the various platforms available and evaluating which might be best for your needs. In fact, that’s exactly what our team did when we wanted to take advantage of low code development for our own market-leading software product.

We chose OutSystems. And now we’re a proud OutSystems partner. So what can we share with you about why we think OutSystems is the platform of choice?

To start with, we’re not the only ones. In fact, in 2023, OutSystems was as a market leader for Enterprise level low code application platforms by the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ report.

It’s the ‘enterprise’ element of this that is important to us. This means that the platform is set up to support a wider range of scenarios than just ‘building something faster’. Another crucial aspect that sets OutSystems apart is their ‘no lock-in’ policy. This means that you can feel confident knowing that you have the flexibility to separate your code from the platform, all while keeping your application running smoothly and without any disruptions. This freedom empowers you to make strategic decisions for your business, ensuring that you are always in control of your software and ready to adapt to changing needs, knowing that your application is not tied down to any specific platform.

OutSystems recommends that you cover at least the following areas when you are evaluating platforms – and these help to identify whether the platform can truly support enterprise-level projects:

  • High quality omnichannel experiences
  • Breadth of app types you can build
  • Security automation and built-in DevSecOps
  • Licensing clarity and predictability
  • Reusability, composability and governed innovation
  • Platform engineering and DevOps integration

Of course, there are many aspects to compare in each of these areas, so your evaluation criteria should include:

  • Is the provider an established leader in its field?
  • Is the platform scalable, so solutions can support your growth plans?
  • Can you easily deploy your apps in leading app stores?
  • Does the platform support multi-experience user journeys?
  • Can you use the platform without having to expand your current tech stack?
  • Can the platform integrate with your existing business workflow and systems?
  • Does your provider support security mechanisms and allow your team to scan for vulnerabilities?
  • Is the pricing model realistic, transparent and suitable for your needs?
  • Is the platform designed to help your team build to best practice guidelines?
  • Can the platform co-exist successfully with traditional coding teams?

OutSystems ticks all these boxes and more. But what does that mean for you? It means that your application is being built to give you the best outcome at the best price, without compromising technical good practice, and with a focus on ensuring it works with other systems in your business, now and in the future.

What do you get if you unite great design, coding and development? You get an application that’s completely fit for today’s purpose while also being ready to update for tomorrow. This evolutionary approach to software engineering results in better products that are ready faster and with a lower budget.

It means access to quality software without the huge investment or lumbering timescales often associated with development. It means you get to market faster, with a secure, advanced product that can easily adapt to meeting your users’ changing needs.

It’s why we chose OutSystems – and it’s why we believe it’s the best choice for your next project. Why not get in touch with us today to find out more.

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