You might have read Cloud-Native Development with Low-Code: Meet the First Apps Deployed with ODC and wondered: “What’s it like to develop apps in OutSystems Developer Cloud?”

I can’t speak for the developers who built those first apps, but I can share my experience while working internally with OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC). Since it’s my personal experience, it’s likely that your experience will differ from mine, but this article should give you an idea of what it’s like.


Table of contents:

You already know that ODC is a cloud-native, low-code application development platform. It supports Kubernetes, Linux containers, and microservices, all on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) foundation. That’s cool and all, but how does the development experience change? My answer to that is, not much but you’ll need to go with an open mind.

If you are new to OutSystems and have never used it before, you can try the OutSystems platform by creating a free account.

Here are 5 things I think are important to know if you have OutSystems 11 experience.

1. Application Architecture Design

While this is not part of the development process, the decisions you make during the application architecture design will have an impact on the development experience. In OutSystems 11, we use the Disclose, Organize and Assemble process to design the architecture of an application. In ODC, the focus of this process shifts to understanding the organizational context of the application.

  • Disclose: Understand the stakeholder’s needs and the business owners/sponsors structure in the organization. This will come in handy for the Organize step.
  • Organize: With the needs and organizational structure disclosed we now need to identify the bounded contexts. In the end we group the business concepts by bounded context.
  • Assemble: Finally we assemble our applications given the bounded context from the previous step and ensure team autonomy and clear ownership of the applications.

If you want to know more about this step, take a look at the Architecture Fundamentals in ODC Course - Training | OutSystems

2. Where Are My Modules?

If you’re an experienced OutSystems 11 developer, the lack of modules might mess with your head a bit. But, trust me, when you get used to it, you’ll see the development speed increase significantly. Why? Because we got used to arranging our code into pretty neat little boxes called modules: database here, business logic there, and UI over there. The downside of this is having to create code (actions and blocks) to wrap the application’s features in each of these boxes to be used by the other boxes. Hey, how many CRUD wrappers can we create, amirite? What about those blocks that use other blocks using other blocks?

When you get used to structuring code at the app level in ODC, you will see the amount of “unnecessary” code you’ve been creating in the past years. You now have everything in one place, the application.

3. Sharing Data Between Apps and Other Patterns

If you are building just one app, this won’t matter. But let’s say that you are consuming a REST API or you have a web and mobile app. How do you share and change data that is consumed by both apps? And how do you consume a REST API now? What about themes?

In ODC you can create two types of apps: App or Library. An App is what you are used to in OutSystems 11. It can be a web, tablet or mobile app.A Library is where you create business-agnostic code to be reused by another application. Libraries are deployed together (meaning, same container) with the application that is consuming it.

Once again, we got you covered with one more ODC training course–architecture patterns in ODC.

4. Let Me Tell You a Secret

How many times have you wished you could have a Site Property (now, also known as Setting) as an API Key that could be used by different applications with a different value? Or just have its value hidden like a password?

Well, let me tell you a secret… You can now!

It’s called a Secret Setting.

Check out how Secrets work: Set as secret - OutSystems Developer Cloud Documentation

5. SQL Server Is Dead, Long Live Aurora PostgreSQL!

While this will not change your daily experience it might come in handy to know what is the underlying database technology in ODC. I’m sharing this in case you need to get jiggy with your data in development.

Here’s a helpful guide for your adventures: SQL queries compared to OutSystems 11 - OS Developer Cloud Documentation

There’s a lot more to talk about ODC, but I wouldn’t ruin all the fun of experiencing it first hand by telling you every little detail!

In case you want to hone your skills, don’t forget to check out the ODC Training Courses.