Low-Code development as a software delivery method has gained popularity in recent years. Low-Code has been heralded by many organisations as a powerful way to streamline the software development process and improve agility. But although it's become more popular than ever before, there are still many things that need to be clarified about Low-Code development methods. In this blog, we’re going to look at eight common misconceptions of Low-Code development.
Myth 1: Applications Built with Low-Code Are Not Secure
There's a myth that Low-Code applications are not secure. It’s based on the assumption that if you're using a Low-Code platform, you're cutting corners and skimping on security to get an app built faster. But this isn't true. In fact, the OutSystems platform automatically applies more than 400 risk and security controls, including Open Web Application Security Project standards for all applications created through their platform. And they generate code that security testing tools can scan, so you have peace of mind knowing your application is protected from top threats identified by OWASP.
Just like traditional software development projects, It's also advised that regular peer reviews are carried out to evaluate and maintain quality standards and provide credibility. Having an experienced developer at the project’s helm is ultimately one of the best ways of ensuring tight security controls. Whilst you don’t need to be fluent in ten different programming languages to deliver a Low-Code project, having a traditional coding background puts a developer in a much more informed position to identify potential security risks and the strict levels of compliance that must be adhered to. All architecture and security principles from traditional development translate to Low-Code.
Myth 2: Vendor lock-in
Just like security, the degree of vulnerability to vendor lock-in depends on the platform you choose. Whilst it’s true that some platforms can be restrictive, this isn’t true for all. With OutSystems, you have the ability to produce clean and standardized C# code that works everywhere. This makes it easier also to maintain all applications outside of their platform.
Myth 3: Low-Code applications have limited customisation and functionality, so you cannot build complex applications
There’s a myth that because with Low-Code, you’re working with pre-built components, you’re stuck with out-of-the-box features that you can’t customise. How true this depends on the Low-Code platform you chose. Pre-built components are great; they mean you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time, in essence, saving you time and money. It’s built, tested, has a solid core and is ready to be reused as many times as needed. But what happens when you want something a little more personalised?
If what you need is a complete custom solution, then Low-Code offers flexibility. Thanks to custom user interfaces and integrations, with many Low-Code solutions, there are ways of adding custom functionality using traditional code, such as C# in the case of OutSystems. Choosing the right Low-Code tool is dependent on your team. If you need something fully customised, OutSystems enterprise level allows you to build/test/release your own customised components.
Myth 4: No technical background is needed to deliver a Low-Code project
Whilst it’s true that you don’t need a traditional coding background to create applications using a Low-Code development platform, any citizen developer can create a fully functioning application. It’s always recommended that to build anything at scale, you’re going to need the input of an experienced professional developer at the architecture stage of any project. The guidance of an experienced developer will give input into all aspects of the solution, from UX to data structures and security.
Myth 5: Low-Code promotes Shadow IT
A Low-Code project is managed in the same way as any other project. You create the platform and data points based on what you need. Over time, as your business grows and adapts your technology needs to change with it. Typically we see shadow IT creeping in when the technology cannot evolve fast enough to keep up with business needs.
With the OutSystems platform, the integration builder allows you to easily integrate environments with a wizard-style configuration meaning that you don’t have to write a single line of code. Rather than bridging the gaps where technology is failing, you can quickly adapt your technology when the need arises. Better yet, your IT department can manage the entire process. Regardless of what technology you use, if you are building an enterprise application and need to prepare in the same way for traditional or Low-Code development. This means getting IT involved in the planning process for integrations that fall under their jurisdiction.
Myth 6: Low-Code seems cheap in the beginning but gets expensive
Whilst it’s true that there are ongoing licence fees for utilising a Low-Code development platform, it’s important to consider the ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ – it’s faster to deliver, with fewer opportunities for introducing bugs in code. It is also a simpler model for ongoing support and maintenance when compared to the maintenance of custom code, which can over the life cycle of the product, cost up to 10 times the initial custom development costs.
The question you should be asking yourself is, does the licencing model fit the application you’re building? If you know how many end users you’re building for, this makes it much easier to determine which licence will give you the most bang for your buck. One of the great things about OutSystems is that as your business grows, your licences can grow with you, meaning you’re never paying for any unnecessary extras.
With OutSystems, you also have the added benefit of optional cloud hosting for no additional cost. If you choose to host on the cloud, you automatically get security patches implemented as soon as they’re available, saving your valuable resources.
Myth 7: A Low-Code development platform will eventually become legacy
Software has a lifecycle, it’s true, and that’s a good thing. It’s how technology advances, programs become slicker and smarter, and the way we create user experiences evolves. This is not unique to Low-Code development platforms; every line of code becomes technical debt eventually. What makes OutSystems different is that it allows faster refactoring of your code and reduces technical debt. Refactoring can be a time-consuming job for any developer, but with OutSystems, it’s as simple as right-clicking.
Myth 8: Low-Code lacks documentation, community and customer support
Whilst Low-Code development isn’t a new concept, there seems to be a widely held belief that there is limited technical support available. When looking at Low-Code options, an active online community is a good sign of adoption.
For example, OutSystems offer:
An active community and forum
Components in the Forge, which is a repository of reusable, open code modules, connectors, UI components to extend your application
Regular events such as webinars and conferences
An assigned representative as a central point of contact for support
No matter your experience level or how niche your question may be, there is support available to help your developers.
High-performance platforms such as OutSystems, which use Low-Code methods to boost business agility, have proved their worth. They provide the benefits of rapid application development, with all the advantages of working in a more familiar, traditional coding environment. Whether your applications are for the mobile or web environment, you still require the professional services of an experienced developer, and this is where Low-Code really shines. A high-performance Low-Code platform allows developers to be more efficient by empowering them to produce applications in less time. Not only that, but they benefit from the speed of deployment and update capabilities that are a natural part of a high-performance Low-Code platform. To find out more about how Low-Code development can boost your business, contact us today.