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Low Code: Have it Your Way

Blog: Jim Sinur

While low-code is a better approach to delivering software in a rapid fashion through visual approaches, there are various forms of low code that can be used separately or in combination to deliver outcomes. Each low-code vendor will try to convince you that they have the best offering, but we all know that one vendor can’t really do it all. It is important to understand the forms of low-code and which ones appeal to your organization. Click here to read about low-code benefits.

Model Focused:

This form of low code uses highly visual approaches to describe the intentions of the software. Often these model focused capabilities can describe how work can flow from one step to another as well as the basic step activities and outcomes. The types of models that are being leveraged today are broad deep and rich. Click here for an explanation of the use of models in digital efforts. Suffice it to say tha models are quite convenient and show a visual connection to interrelated activities. The weakness sometimes is to understand the underlying details during the execution of these models when testing or debugging software.

Composition Focused:

When there is an inventory of pre-built code, process snippets, services or micro-services, a composition environment can be used to reuse these together or with new components to create either a loosely or tightly coupled package of software components. These new combinations will need to be tested as a group in the various contexts to make sure the outcomes are satisfactory. The weakness of this approach is to search and find just the right service to aggregate in a new group for new uses. Also changing these components might add extra overhead is they are reused in many contexts.

Configuration Focused:

This approach has code that is ready to execute, but the features and options will need to be selected. This is also called parameter or data-driven software. Most of the possibilities have been pre-designed into the software ahead of time and the developers can turn on or features on or off. In highly generalized approaches all the combinations may or may not be built-in. This is especially true of bootstrapped general software packages that leverage metadata. The weakness of this approach is that there is a lower level of customization. 

Framework/Template Focused:

Frameworks and templates are general outlines of known and tested in a simplistic way. They can be easily extended and customized for each use. This is a looser form of software package that allows for high levels of customization or extension. Often there are forms of configuration here as well and sometimes there are some lower-level services to compose. Frameworks appeal to those who want jump starts over the custom/ bespoke code approach. The weakness of this approach is that it requires that the user fill in a goodly number of details that need to be tested.

Graphical / Menu Focused: 

This approach is very popular and it is usually leveraged in the above approaches. There are often pull down visual menus that are utilized to build or configure the software. This is a highly useful “pick and chose” solution that delivers solid software in a productive fashion. There is a significant amount of visual creativity leveraged in this approach.

Net; Net: 

All of these approaches have proven to work in any number of combinations and in any number of organizations. It is truly a “have it your way” combination of options for developers of all kinds. Low-code fits well with digital transformation especially when migrating away from existing applications and packages. 

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