How No-Code/Low-Code App Platforms Bring Value to Your Business

Thierry Ciot, Software Architect and Product Owner, Progress
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In our recent article “What is a No-Code/Low-Code platform” in the September edition, we saw that one key characteristic of a low-code platform is the rich set of built-in services the platform provides. The platform is so rich in services that we couldn’t get into enough details there, but in this follow-up article, we will explore the tremendous values that these services provide.

Developing an Application

Imagine you have a great idea, and you spend a couple of months developing an initial web application. Then you deploy and start to get some usage. You build a few more features and usage picks up. You have a nascent successful application. Soon, however, some clouds appear. New requirements come in faster than you can process them. These requirements require integration expertise your team does not have, and competition is breathing down your neck. You have a hard time hiring the needed expertise.

You create a roadmap and prioritize all the requirements. You start on some of the highest priority items but soon realize this is going to take more time than anyone had estimated. You announce a delay for the next release date and right after that you discover security and scalability issues in the initial design. You have to go back to the drawing board. Now your delivery speed has slowed to a crawl and you do not know how you will be able to compete.

‚Äč  Without any coding, you get complete integration capabilities as REST and SOAP APIs are automatically and dynamically generated off of the data model in real time 

Developing With a No-Code/Low-Code Platform

The multiple of services built into the no-code/low-code platform alleviate and even eliminate many of the issues mentioned in our very real example above. Now you can really focus on solving your business problems. But how does it do that?

The answer is multi-faceted. Rollbase is a platform that provides: Lots of point and click or low coding services both on the front end and on the back end that address the need of typical multi-device web applications; a security architecture and model; an environment for deploying and scaling applications.

Let’s explore these in some details.

As we saw in the previous article, we get an object model for objects and their relationships (1 to 1, 1 to n, n to m). For example, a Travel Destination object and its associated Hotels and Flights, or a portfolio and its associated stocks and bonds (this is a 1 to n relationship). As soon as we define this object model, we get a live web application working across multiple devices without writing a single line of code and without specialists in responsive and adaptive UIs. Application data gets automatically indexed for built-in search capabilities. We also get built-in support for import/export data to various formats and for international market thanks to several built-in translated languages as well as support for a multi-lingual interface including Right to Left (RTL) text direction for Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew languages.

In one more click, we can change the appearance of the application (themes) as well as its overall navigation pattern and style (UI blueprints) or create events and tasks as well as a built-in Calendar view—for example, to make appointments for customers in a portfolio application. With a few more clicks we get gauges, charts and geographical maps (for example to show where a travel destination is located), document generation and lots of no-code reporting capabilities. Now our UI team can concentrate in delivering features after features.

Backend Services

Without any coding, you get complete integration capabilities as REST and SOAP APIs are automatically and dynamically generated off of the data model in real time (without any build steps). Enabling integration becomes a no brainer task.

In a few click, you can enable:

• Workflow capabilities, for example if you wanted to get approval from a manager when doing an operation exceeding $5000 on portfolio application
• Email integration with various providers like Exchange or Google
• Email templates: Create emails that can be tailored with application data
• Integration of existing data with multiple external data-sources

Security

We immediately (meaning without coding) get a “Security Model (Authentication/Authorization)” and roles: You do not have to worry about designing, implementing and most importantly testing your own security model.

We do not need to re-invent the wheel for basic features like user management (Creating and provisioning users), authentication: Login, logout and password maintenance with multiple authentication providers (SAML, ADFS, OpenID Connect, LDAP, Kerberos) and auditing (you can track when and who does what to various objects with just a configuration option)

Deployment and Run

It does not stop at application development; we get a lot of services for running, deploying, scaling and managing the applications. For example:

• Built-in Scalability as well and high availability
• Multi-Tenant management: We can quickly scale our applications to multiple customers without the associated cost of maintaining multiple environments
• Marketplace: a repository for publishing applications across users and tenants
• Ability to deploy on private or public clouds and support for any cloud platform with any DB backend thus providing maximum flexibility to choose the service provider offering the best services and price and avoiding locking with specific vendor

You also get built-in backup, scheduled job and monitoring capabilities.

Try and Fail Fast, then Accelerate

Building web applications with a no-code/low-code platform like Rollbase not only allows you to build them very quickly (try and fail fast), but it also allows to accelerate your delivery speed dramatically when your application becomes successful. You don’t have to code lots of services or go through the long and difficult process of acquiring knowledge and hiring expertise in specific domains. You can now truly focus on your business.

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