In 2014, the term “low code” was coined to classify development platforms that allow developers and users of all skill levels the ability to code applications without prior knowledge of the subject. Since then, these platforms and their extensive capabilities have skyrocketed in popularity, opening doors for organizations that were once only accessible to seasoned developers.
But for those who are ready to get their hands on this tool, it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly where to start.
So first, let’s talk very briefly about what low code really is.
To be honest, low code is actually post-code. Coders from Mendix, for example, have already written sophisticated code to perform a variety of functions, and then they write code to enable visual modeling. You can then use this simple-looking visual modeling—also called “drag-and-drop” modeling—to build applications.
In other words, programmers have already coded complex functions and wrapped them up in a drag-and-drop interface. What you do is put those complex functions together to work in the order and manner you want them to work. You don’t have to write the code. You don’t even have to know what the code is.
Now, you’ll still have to follow some rules when you’re dragging and dropping the components to build your application. Everything—from a building to a car to an application—has to be built in a specific order, following specific rules, or it just won’t work. But with experienced guidance, those rules are easy to learn, and soon you’ll be creating your own applications.
And how do you do that?
The first step in a low code project is to define a workflow. This is a business process that you want to streamline and automate. It can be anything, and it can (and probably does) involve other software applications. You may need guidance in streamlining the workflow, and this is where Tresbu Digital comes in. We can help you define that workflow based on your goals.
For example, let’s take textile manufacturing equipment management as a low-code use case
Suppose you have some specialty spinning machines that are used both for customer orders and research purposes. You want specific spinning machines to be available for projects based on customer obligation, research priority, and profitability. You also want those spinning machines to receive maintenance on a regular schedule.
You have job scheduling software and maintenance software and a library of written procedures on how to schedule jobs and how to maintain software, but they’re not coordinated. Sometimes critical jobs are accidentally scheduled for machines that are down for maintenance. Sometimes customer orders are run on machines that should be down for maintenance, but aren’t, and the output is faulty. If only you could bring together the job scheduling, the maintenance scheduling, and written procedures into one automated process that assigns jobs to the appropriate spinning machines and NOT to machines that need maintenance, takes down and locks out machines that need maintenance, and alerts all the appropriate people of schedules and maintenance. With low code, now you can.
Time to select the right low code platform.
Then, you need to select a low code platform to automate this workflow. There are a lot of options out on the market, but you need to fully understand your business goals in order to decide which would work best at the right price.
Ask your team some important questions like:
– Do we just need to solve one particular problem or broader delivery goals for the future?
– What role will this app play in our larger pool of tools and business processes?
– What are the common vendor fees your budget will cover? (This might be end-user seats, maintenance fees, etc.)
– Who is going to be utilizing this platform regularly?
– How does this vendor handle security for potential data breaches?
– What does the vendor’s customer support look like during and after development?
In the end, you have to start somewhere.
When it comes to getting started with low code, the best thing you can do is to clearly define your workflow and begin vetting low code providers against your set of needs. Once you’ve begun to have these conversations both internally and externally, the right solution will become clear.
Still not sure you’re ready to dive in alone? That’s what we are here for . See how Tresbu Digital can help you to find the right low code solution like Mendix to actualize your goals. Let’s talk!