José Blas Vilata
IT Engineer, Technical Director and founding member of EDICOM
What low-code is
Low-code is a software development approach that aims to create IT applications with little coding, and even no coding at all in extreme cases (no-code platforms). In other words, the aim is to avoid conventional manual programming as far as possible.
This is usually achieved by providing these platforms with graphical user interfaces and drag-and-drop utilities that allow us to “program” virtually without writing code.
Low-code platforms, in the broadest sense, let you write any kind of applications, but platforms that specialize in solving specific problems are also considered low-code. This is the case of the EDICOM iPaaS platform, which is specially adapted for application integration with virtually no coding and so requires little prior programming knowledge.
However, as can be deduced from the name, in the case of low-code platforms it is not possible to completely dispense with code, although it is reduced to less than 20% of the process and usually consists of simple formulas or scripts. This low coding possibility is precisely what gives the platform its power, as developers can make modifications.
You might say that low-code is to software what assembly lines are to industry; both automate difficult, repetitive and time-consuming manual tasks and allow consultants to do things that are much more important, such as focusing more on client issues and analysis.
Low-code iPaaS platform features
Graphical modelling methods
Thanks to its graphical user interface, the low-code iPaaS platform lets you work intuitively. The user has visual models at their disposal which are usually selected and parameterized using drag and drop utilities, allowing fast development of complex transformations, achieving a considerable increase in productivity.
Time-saving is always a priority in low-code development and is not achieved solely through visual modelling that replaces conventional programming. Users also increase their productivity by using templates or “assets” in the iPaaS environment that can be reused as many times as desired.
Some low-code platforms allow users to save and manage their applications in the cloud, which is the case with iPaaS. This way, if there are any changes in the models or if a new data source is introduced, there is no need to reprogram, as you only have to configure the changes visually. The visual tools used are also located in the cloud to allow immediate availability and deployment of the application or changes.
Support beyond the development phase
The low-code iPaaS platform is used to develop application integrations, its manufacturer EDICOM provides technical support beyond the development phase. This means that the support not only includes creation of the application, but also its implementation and maintenance tasks. It is also possible to pause or postpone projects and resume them at any time.
Advantages of a low-code platform
Among all the benefits of low-code development, the capacity to speed up the delivery of the new development is the most important, letting you save time and money. It makes it easier to focus on the clients’ ideas and not so much on the development technology.
In the age of digitalization, you have two choices: be disruptive… or be left out of the game. With the increase in demand, diminishing resources and shorter delivery times, how can we meet our targets?
Low-code platforms provide confidence, since technically they allow very complex things to be done by technical profiles that are well-versed in the workflows of companies, but may not necessarily have advanced programming knowledge, although that does NOT mean that they do not know how to program.
Let’s be objective… Who really has advanced programming knowledge? Some people are bound to, but there are many others who do not and who have simply come to the conclusion that clients don’t care about “how you do it”, and what is really important to them is the “value” of what you contribute to their processes and business.
Business agility enables companies to adapt and respond to market changes and new opportunities through innovative digital solutions that solve business problems. The low-code iPaaS platform helps companies undertake new digital communication initiatives prompted by abrupt changes in the market and new customer and supplier requirements. For example, you can integrate your accounting applications with the tax agency in the country of your choice, or you can integrate with your customers’ or suppliers’ systems to better meet their changing needs.
Imagine trying to do all of this by traditional coding: How agile could the IT department or company really be?
In the IT world, the degree of difficulty in hiring experienced full-stack developers is considered “difficult or very difficult” by most IT leaders. The speed and development simplicity of the low-code iPaaS platform allows junior developers and technology enthusiasts without a strong programming background and more affordable in the job market to create integration developments as if they were expert developers. Equally important, it enables skilled developers to work more efficiently, so that they can focus on more complex and less mundane aspects of programming.
We are in the age of automation and we have to assume that it will also affect skilled workers who will feel the impact sooner rather than later. Automation should not be seen as a reduction of jobs, but rather a specialization and professionalization of jobs. What companies should do to be more competitive is to detect from each post which tasks are routine and predictive. These are the candidates that can be automated with the help of technology, so that with these time savings, professionals can spend more time on tasks that are not predictable in a trivial way.
Automation must be seen as an opportunity to continue to grow efficiently.
The EDICOM iPaaS low-code platform is an example of how we can speed up the delivery of a new application integration development, thus saving time and money. It is not just a trend, but a new way to create applications much more efficiently, where the focus is on thinking about logical systems and not on writing code.