How productive is outsystems for your company?

After the first month of development, it was found that using outsystems service studio saves approximately 40 man-hours per month/per developer.

Are we developing too slow? interested to know what kind of numbers is everyone else getting.

Hello Robert,

That is really interesting! How are you getting your metrics and what previous technology are you comparing with?

According to the Atos Origin study the Outsystems Platform reflects in about 20% performance improvements over .NET. YMMV but your testimony seems to be in accordance to that.

I've got a personal, side project that I've put probably 20, 30 hours into and it is just about ready for a public beta. I expected to put in at LEAST twice this amount of work using ASP.NET. And I hate to say it, but I think I would have been even more productive if this was what I was doing as my day job, had gone through on site training (I am using the Community Edition), and was patient enough to go through more of the online training up front. I also lost about 5 hours to things that I had to learn; for example, I had to make a WCF service to expose some of my other code that I wanted to consume, and I had never worked with WCF before so I lost a lot of time getting WCF working right on my end.

I know that there are other systems out there which claim to do what the Agile Platform actually does, but I have not tried them and I feel so little desire to bother. Agile Platform does exactly what I need, and the only issues I've found have been small little bugs here or there that the dev team has responded to quite well. I could not be happier. For the first time in my life, I am enjoying working on a typical, data driven Web application.

Before we discovered outsystems we built our platform in Microsoft C# .NET 3.5 using visual studio 2008 IDE, built our database models in Sybase PowerDesigner v15 and our backend data access layer using LLBGen ORM plus a bunch of other tools for code refracting, code snippets management, source code version control management etc...

Like many applications that we built, we keep track and manage all application in development in our project managment portal (we use Ontime Project Management tool by Axosoft). Here we have a list of approved features/software requirements specification documents/release sprints (milestones) etc and we record the number of hours that it has taken a developer to complete a certain application feature.
We then rebuild exactly the same application features using the same developer, same specification with outsystems development tool. Again we recorded the number of hours it has taken the developer to complete the application feature using outsystems development tool.
The total numbers of hours from the two projects were then compared, to work out the overall efficiency of outsystems platform.
If we were to calculate, the total number of hours saved on change management and software maintenance, and reuse components that could be reuse in future projects the end result may exceed a saving of 40 hours per month, but we were unable measure this type of data at this time.
We spent approximately 2 to 3.5 months to learn how to use outsystems,  built our own version of enterprisemanager (which we just scrapped), conducted development testing on a production project, even ripped apart outsystems source code and looked it to see how everything all fitted together -- before we said YES this thing is really for us! Ok let’s do this for real now!
Why did we bother and cared so much to test outsystems for so long? Because we been here before, we used other RAD development tools from other vendors which would not be named here. Some RAD tools just left us stuck half way through a project (yes we purchased their product and we threw away many thousands of dollars in the bin! To conduct testing, one particular vendors even said ok we will give you a $75,000USD product to use and you will not have to pay us a cent,  just use our product but we said no but thank you). 
We had to kill one test project because we waited too long for the RAD guys to catch up! There is always something missing with RAD tools, or something we want in it that the vendor cannot provide us with.
Outsystems is great but it’s not 100% prefect either yet no software in the world is 100% prefect, we know this you know this but outsystem is one of the most complete RAD development platform on the market. As long as all the important features are there, allowing us to do what we want really really fast, it can scale and at the same time not leave us stuck then we will use it. 
For the record, here are a few important questions that we have asked ourselves before we chose to use outsystems
  • Does it scale?
  • Does it follow industry standards? and Is it secured?
  • Is it going to break our bank account? ie does outsystems business model scale to support our business model?  
  • Is it going to help us become more productive than we are now?
  • is it Flexible  and extensible? Can we build modular apps in smaller reusable modules?
  • can we connect to existing software products? or web services? etc
  • Is it going to leave us stuck?

We tested outsystem product and this product did not leave us stuck! Sure there could be extra features that we wish this product had, but we are happy enough that we can do what we want right now TODAY because most of the important feature are here right now! So we can live with that. Its not going to leave us stuck and that’s very important to us.
 Lucky last outsystems selling point: Outsystems allows us to make changes to our project really really fast, -- fast changes that we were unable to do before using traditional development tools.

EDIT: we did not conduct  a stress test because we ran out of time! Besides we can see how outsystems applications are built anyways and pretty much if we did a stress test the results should be quite similar to any other .NET web application.  (we did rip outsystems application code apart to make sure of this :) )

IMO 1st sprint demos are crucial for the project acceptance by users, by that I mean you need to show something good, and working, to the client. And since I started using Outsystems I know that I can deliver much more from the start until the end than in pretty much anything else.

Users feel comfortable to ask for changes because they know it won't take forever to implement, so the business also feels the change!

I've asked for several new implementations to the platform due to bugs, performance or whatever and always found a warm welcome to these requests and their implementation, this is something one can't measure in plain money or productivity.

My 2 cents.

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