Bring your agile application development to the next level
Software development teams that follow an agile methodology are often more productive and bring solutions to the market much faster than non-agile teams. More effective communication and being more responsive to customer demands is the key to achieve productivity gains. Promoters of agile software development methods will also argue that the business-IT gap is reduced significantly when using agile frameworks such as Scrum, SAFe, Kanban, Lean, Extreme programming (XP), and others. But how can we bring agile application development to the next level?
We believe that this can be accomplished by agile teams using a low-code application development platform. Low-code platforms offer more sustainable solutions that are easy to adapt, maintain and continuously develop with changing business requirements, enabling you to be more responsive to customer demands.
Advantages of low-code
Low-code is disrupting traditional software development:
- 10x faster: According to analysts, the speed of application development is up to 10x faster than traditional methods.
- Hours instead of days or weeks: Modern businesses experience a constant need to change and adapt their digital solutions to new requirements. Using low-code, changes can be implemented and deployed in hours instead of days or weeks.
- IT gap removed: The traditional business-IT gap is practically removed when businesses adopt a low-code application development platform. The business side and end-users are closely involved during the development process and experience that their feedback and changes to the software are implemented on the fly. This ensures that the application always gets the specific functionality required by the business side.
- Developers that understand business requirements: Digital transformation and demand for software has grown exponentially in recent years, and there is a huge shortage of software developers in the world. In most modern low-code application development platforms, there is no manual handwriting of code – everything is done using visual tools and in a point and click manner. Traditional knowledge of complex programming syntax is replaced by an understanding of business requirements and the ability to model business processes.
Design principles of low-code platforms
These advantages are the result of two important design principles of a modern low-code application development platform:
- No coding allowed: The development platform does not allow any coding or insertion of code. This ensures that the platform is identical at all customers’ sites. The platform has been tested and hardened by plenty of users in various industries, for many years. Since there is no application-specific code, this also removes the risk of introducing “code injection” vulnerabilities or other security issues caused by poor programming.
- Business is kept separate from technology: There is complete separation between the technology (the low-code application development platform) and the business logic, also known as the application model. This ensures that the low-code development platform and the application model can be developed and maintained independently of each other. The business domain experts focus on solving business problems, while the low-code vendor maintains and continuously develops the technical platform and removes technical debt.
Beware that not all low-code platforms adhere to these principles. Only some generic low-code development platforms with extensive expressiveness do. These are the ones with enough functionality to support any application requirements.
The power of separation
Let us use the Genus application development platform as an example to illustrate the power of complete separation.
The Genus platform is developed by an agile team of traditional developers, taking a Kanban-like approach to software delivery. Typically, a new version of the platform is released every month. Each minor release includes functionality for improved model expressiveness, updates to libraries, technology, and fixing of issues, and remains backward compatible. There is no need to release more frequently, as all business logic and application features are developed as part of the application model.
The application model is a code-free description of the business, the logic and functionality, the user interface, the interaction with data (databases, data flows, etc.), and integration with other systems, typically using REST APIs. Some customers develop an application model that does not change much over time. In some cases, the application model has remained unchanged for several years, while the underlying low-code platform is updated regularly to get updated libraries that patch new vulnerabilities.
Next level agile application development
Low-code truly shines in fast pace environments, where there are continuously new requirements, new regulations, and new feature requests. The application model needs to adapt and be updated frequently. Because the application model is code-free and does not rely on platform updates, updates can be released daily or even more often if needed. Some Genus customers update their application models 5 times per week and have done so for several years. The result is state-of-the-art applications, that evolve hand in hand with the business, and are true enablers of a continuous digital transformation journey. This is how low-code platforms bring agile application development to the next level, far and beyond all traditional agile frameworks.
Curious about low-code and want to learn more? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates from Genus.