High-performance low-code gives professional developers and IT organizations the key capabilities needed to build mission-critical and consumer apps super fast and iterate them even faster. In this blog, I explain what high-performance low-code and why it goes beyond regular low-code.


You Built Version 1 of Your App with Low-Code. Congrats?

You have one month to deliver a financial planning application that enables users to budget, access transactions, view investment status, plan expenses, and make appointments with financial advisors and personal bankers. Building it from scratch is out of the question; there’s no time for hand-coding, testing, fixing, scaling, and changing features. So, what are you going to do? The most obvious solution to your problem is to use low-code. It’s easy and fast.

But, let’s say you convince your developers to adopt it, the stars align right, and you successfully release version 1. While you’re breaking out the champagne, someone asks you to add bill negotiation and text message alerts about scheduled payments and financial tasks. Can low-code save you then? It depends.

There are all kinds of low-code platforms out there that tell you they have the capability to develop and deliver applications with no limits. They make convincing cases about “development without limits,” and how they have what it takes to update your financial planning app indefinitely. But do they really? Or are they part of a buzzword bandwagon? It depends.

Put an LCAP on It

Low-code and no-code are two of the hottest buzzwords around. The market is predicted to be worth well over $175 billion in 10 years (up from $11.45 billion in 2019).

Why is it so popular? I think it’s probably because of how important it is to get to market with applications that address very recent changes in consumer behavior and the workforce (think hybrid work) at top speed. And, in certain use cases, low-code is legit. OutSystems itself is no stranger to the accolades or to reaping the benefits of offering one of the top platforms in this market. The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Development Platforms For Professional Developers has named us a Leader.

We’re proud of this distinction because we were low-code before low-code was cool. OutSystems has been offering customers a visual way of developing software and applications since 2001. But that’s not the only thing the OutSystems platform does. Much of what we offer goes beyond regular low-code. To help you understand what that means, let’s go back to “Space, the final frontier.”

The Trouble with Tech’s Tribbles: Regular Low-Code Tools

In the “Trouble With Tribbles'' episode of Star Trek, everyone fell in love with the cute little animal that someone brought aboard the Starship Enterprise. Until the Tribbles multiplied like crazy, that is. Then they started threatening the food supply when they took over the grain elevator. Although the Tribbles helped the Enterprise crew identify a villain, their value didn’t really make up for their limitations.

Low-code tools have a similar history. At the end of 2021, more than 440 vendors were touting their “low-code/no-code” wares. This is the equivalent of the grain elevator on the Enterprise. Just like the Tribbles, tons of these tools fall on your head if you go looking in the low-code market.

This is not to say that the low-code tools you find in reports or touted by venture capitalists as the hottest tech item on earth don’t have value. They do. Some can help you build a prototype or even version 1 of your financial planning app really fast. Others provide specific value in industry use cases and business process workflow. Still others are extensions to core software with different capabilities, so they are limited in what they can achieve from a data, integration, and application perspective.

All of this makes it difficult to update and change version 1 when new needs and expectations arise. Regular low-code, whether it’s designed for app development, business process automation, core software extension, or taking spreadsheets to a new level, has all kinds of limitations.

High-Performance Low-Code: So Much More than Regular Low-Code

The OutSystems platform is different, because it isn’t regular low-code; it’s high-performance low-code.

High-performance low-code differs from regular low-code by uniting design, code, and deployment into a single system. The OutSystems high-performance low-code platform radically simplifies and accelerates the process of creating business-critical software and consumer-facing web and mobile applications. It offers modern technology that helps you build and change nearly any type of application, from consumer apps and portals, to internal digital solutions that make the lives of your workforce easier, to custom core systems designed for your unique business.

With OutSystems, specialized capabilities simplify the complexity of creating enterprise applications and connecting to enterprise data. AI-assisted development guides developers through processes, suggesting the next best actions and sources for help, eliminating friction and long lead times. The platform even enables individuals with a diverse array of expertise to all participate seamlessly in designing, building, deploying, and managing applications. The result? Serious applications. Serious productivity.

Platform services and a multitude of security checks provide scalability, governance, protection from threats, and compliance. AI finds and solves issues early, eliminating design errors and duplication of effort. Real-time application performance data helps identify anything that needs to be corrected or optimized. This all sets you up for continuous innovation.

Continuous innovation is not on the regular low-code menu, but OutSystems was built for it. OutSystems platform services, AI, and visual tools enable the continuous introduction of features and capabilities. Developers can evolve apps every bit as quickly as the business changes and new technology is introduced.

You’re Fired (Not)

If, in the process of looking for a low-code solution to your app development time crunch, you read the Forrester Wave and chose OutSystems, congratulations. Not only do you still have a job, but you will be the hero who uses high-performance low-code to solve your organization’s most critical challenges. When you tell the rest of the team that version 2 will be done in a week, the person that asked for the bill negotiation and text notifications will be ordering the champagne.

Did you choose a different tool or are you just starting your search? If so, the Forrester Wave report is a valuable resource. Download it today and see why OutSystems was named a Leader.