Low code, customizable or fixed development… many development techniques exist but which one to choose when building a project? In this article, we will discuss the subject of low code, but above all, we will talk about our unique creation: the technical development choice matrix.
Low Code, what is it?
It was in 2014 that the term Low Code (or Low Code Development Platform) was coined by Forrester and Gartner to classify development platforms focused on simplicity of development and their ease of use.
Low Code is the new trend of the moment, it allows rapid innovation and the creation of applications with little code.
Since the 2019 pandemic, this movement has been especially in vogue as its disruptions have highlighted the technical and technological depth of some companies. Low code has allowed companies to get equipped quickly and to facilitate the organization of their work in times of crisis.
From a practical point of view, Low Code should be visualized as a multitude of components (already programmed) that can be used without programming skills. Low Code platforms allow an easy arrangement of the elements. Nevertheless, they will have to be configured to achieve the desired logic. On the other hand, a minimum of technical skills is required to organize the functional logic of the tool, to adapt the UI/UX or to guarantee maintainability.
It is important to distinguish Low Code from No Code, which allows the partial customization of certain components, unlike No Code. In short, Low Code, according to us, is a simplified form of software development that requires a minimum of technical knowledge without programming.
The inevitable emergence of Low Code
Low Code allows for the creation of custom tools that require a longer design time and greater complexity because there is a real search for added value: cross-platform, special components, performance needs, etc. The acquisition cost is also a factor to take into account. Low Code can quickly provide similar solutions, but at what price?
Inevitably, Low Code allows a reduction of the risk associated with the dependence on an IT department ensuring the development and maintenance of an application park, inducing the optimization of resources (human and financial). These tools offer a form of autonomy to business teams but create a real dependence on an editor, thus generating recurring costs.
Often perceived as a tool that replaces development professionals, Low Code could, on the contrary, facilitate their daily work by reducing their workload. It is not always necessary to program a system, Low Code allows the simplification of the realization.
Developers are and will always be essential to the success of a project, especially for the customization of these digital solutions, the addition of complex functionalities, the development of APIs and especially for maintainability.
Mixing Low Code and programming allows you to provide a quality tool while respecting the stages of a project’s life cycle but more quickly. The complementarity of development and Low Code, therefore, seems inevitable.
This trend seems promising for the next few years. There is still time to discover its potential to integrate it into a more complete business strategy.
The Technical Design Choice Matrix
The technical design choice matrix is one of our original creations. We have developed it thanks to our various experiences. When a client presents us with a project, we analyze it as a whole and make choices in order to orient the project towards an adapted technical architecture.
Depending on certain criteria such as the structure or the sector of activity, it is important to ask yourself some questions before launching into the development. Here are some examples:
- Do I need a solution quickly?
- (Are we on an MVP, with a short time to market?)
- Do I have any particular technical constraints?
- (Will the solution have performance or security requirements?)
- Do I have any particular business constraints?
- (Do I need to be autonomous with the solution in the future?)
- Is the evolution of the tool already known?
- (Should I be able to use Business Intelligence on the collected data?)
- What is my acquisition budget?
- Do I want a customized or customizable tool?
This matrix is our decision support tool for our customers because it helps to clarify the best technical choices for their project. The technical architecture is not to be minimized and we believe that Low Code is complementary to development, adapts to certain types of projects and should be able to integrate into the daily life of IT teams.
Written by Technology Partner’s team, Charline Pennisi, Julien Gras and Brice Bortolet.