OutSystems Low-Code Platform Makes App Development Easy
Meet the OutSystems low-code platform. Same team, faster time to market. Deploy in minutes. Find out what high-performance low-code can do for you.
In today's digital age, the demand for software applications is skyrocketing. Whether it's a mobile app, web app, or enterprise software, applications have become essential tools for businesses and individuals alike. However, the process of application development is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It involves careful planning, programming, and implementation.
Application development is the process of creating software that supports a business function.
It consists of tasks relating to each of the seven stages of the application lifecycle. This starts with planning and gathering business requirements; continues with designing, development, testing, and deployment; and ends with the maintenance of your finished software application.
7 Stages of an application lifecycle.
Traditional software was hosted on hardware devices owned and managed by the enterprise using the application. Today, firms are increasingly turning to the software-as-a-service delivery model in which the application is hosted on the cloud and accessed via a browser: with SaaS, the enterprise typically pays a per-person, per-month fee, and all ownership and maintenance costs are eliminated.
The app development process typically involves several key steps. Here are the main stages involved in app development:
Should you build or buy software?
Many off-the-shelf applications provide all (or, at least most) of the functionality needed to implement all the business processes you might wish to support. On the other hand, if an organization has unique requirements (or uses digital technology to generate business advantage), creating in-house software is a better bet.
To learn more about when you should build versus when you should buy software, take a look at the blog post Build vs. Buy in a Fast-Changing World.
The next challenge is to decide what application development methodologies you should use.
Traditionally, all organizations deployed the waterfall approach where teams would define everything at the start of a project, then build it, then give it to customers.
The waterfall approach has pros and cons. It is meticulous: a lot of work goes into defining and scoping projects requirements, and a project manager oversees the entire process. But it also requires large teams and is slow: long lead times mean that business requirements or the competitive environment might have completely changed by the time the application is launched.
Rapid application development.
Rapid application development was created to address some of the problems of waterfall development. It emphasizes rapid prototyping and the creation of a minimum viable product: this is then rapidly iterated to add features and functionality and address any issues. This approach gets software to market quickly, requires only small teams, and enables those using it to pivot quickly to respond to changing requirements.
On the downside, RAD relies upon highly skilled and adaptable software developers who, as we’ve seen, are in short supply. Additionally, the small team size means it’s difficult to apply RAD to large projects. It also requires a lot of input from end-users. While this makes it ideal for software that is driven by the desire to create a great user interface, these customers may be hard to find or may not have the expertise to provide the necessary information.
Like RAD, Agile is highly iterative, but rather than focus on complete applications, it concentrates on creating functional capabilities that can be aggregated together to fulfill business requirements. Agile is based on 12 principles, including simplicity, customer focus, and embracing changing circumstances.
A popular agile framework is Scrum. It guides application development and utilizes ‘sprints’ in which a diverse team focuses on delivering a particular function within a finite time. Agile is closely associated with DevOps: more than a methodology, DevOps is a mindset that seeks to accelerate application delivery by breaking down the barriers between the development function and the users it serves.
Low-code and no-code development.
Low-code and no-code are software development approaches that enable the delivery of applications faster and with minimal hand-coding by providing a visual development environment.
Although they use similar approaches, low-code and no-code are slightly different.
Low-code is good for developing standalone mobile and web apps and portals that require integration with other systems and several data sources. It can be used for just about anything. The most advanced low-code platforms are catered to pro-developers while promoting collaboration with business users.
No-code tools, by contrast, should only be used for front-end use-cases and are usually associated with citizen developers. So, unless you’re developing only the simplest applications and require little in the way of customization, low-code is likely the better option.
Mobile app development.
Mobile app development is the process of creating software applications specifically designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It involves a combination of technical skills, creativity, and problem-solving to transform an idea or concept into a functional and user-friendly mobile app. Companies that invest in the development of mobile applications can tap into the vast potential of the mobile market, reach a larger audience, and provide customers with convenient and personalized experiences.
OutSystems is a high-performance low-code app development platform that combines visual, model-driven development with AI, DevOps, and cloud to address your needs for enterprise applications and software that makes the difference in your business.
Our platform empowers developers to build robust and feature-rich applications with reduced development effort and time. It enables faster time-to-market, promotes collaboration, and supports the development of both web and mobile applications.
The OutSystems visual development environment, extensive component library, integration capabilities, and application lifecycle management tools make it a powerful solution for accelerating app development.
If you’re looking for a platform to deliver your application development needs, why not take OutSystems for a test drive? Check out our free edition to learn more.