Low-Code development platforms give the chance of accelerating business software development, replacing much of traditional programming with tools aimed at eliminating repetitive and non-creative activities, such as configurators, wizards, or visual modeling.
Unlike No-Code platforms, which completely eliminate the use of programming at the expense of flexibility and the ability to satisfy a wide variability of functional requirements, Low-Code platforms leave open a wider space for customizing business logic, graphical interface, and architecture, using specific programming techniques and languages.
This approach allows users to access a greater pool of possibilities for implementing business requirements while ensuring speed and flexibility. This means that, in the setup phase of the development team of an enterprise software, the composition of the resources can include various technical and business skills, which collaborate in the realization of softwares using the Low-Code platform not only as a development tool but also as an environment for collaboration and sharing.
The distribution of code and Low Code activities vary according to the platform used and the type of project. For example, using the development environment of WebRatio Platform, on average, 90% of the activities are carried out by Low-Code developers (analysts, designers, modelers) and 10% from Code developers (Java programmers and UI programmers).
Different languages and tools within a Low-Code platform are used in different roles. They also include the figures who deal with project management, Agile methodology, and solution design. Here is a brief description of each role
He or she is the person responsible for outlining the functional and non-functional characteristics of the software to be created. He or she establishes the priorities and objectives to be pursued.
He or she is the facilitator and coordinator of the team's activities. Depending on the working methodology one chooses to adopt, the facilitator can be a scrum master, a project manager, or fill other roles.
He or she deals with the analysis and formalization of business requirements. They use visual tools for business object definition and process design using modeling languages such as BPMN.
He or she is the specialist who designs the user experience, that is, the set of perceptions that a user experiences when interacting with a product or using a service. The goal is to ensure a smooth and congenial user experience.
The use of Low-Code tools simplifies and speeds up software development, but this does not imply that the projects that can be carried out are simple and poorly structured. For this reason, the presence of a Software Architect is essential to deal with the design of the technical architecture of the software as a whole, the breakdown into microservices and the sizing of the execution environment.
He or she is the application developer, the main user of the Low-Code platform. As mentioned, using a tool such as WebRatio Platform, he or she dedicates almost all his or her time to visual modeling using IFML to describe the interaction flows between user and system and using WYSIWYG tools to design the graphical aspect. The rest of the time is usually used to program and customize some aspects of the logic, integration, and presentation:
He or she is the figure who deals with the design and execution of application tests and works closely with other figures such as the architect, developer or UX Designer to identify all potential functional, graphic and structural problems.
Of course, depending on the complexity and skills of the development team members, some people may cover multiple roles at the same time. For instance, the most experienced developers often deal with both the Low-Code and Code aspects; the architect of the solution is sometimes also the technical leader of the team; the product owner sometimes also holds the role of business analyst.
Let's see three examples of enterprise applications to understand the potential efficiency of Low-Code development teams:
The creation of two mobile apps to manage over 500,000 automation nodes installed in more than 20,000 managed apartments was developed by a team of only two people.
An end-to-end supply chain management solution was developed by four people. This allows over 250 people from 20 sites and four countries to manage all processes related to the purchase, storage, and processing of the material purchased, sale, shipping and delivery.
The Digital Food Management Planning system, used by 3,000 users in 380 stores in 23 countries, was built in by just two people