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Recently, Gartner, Forrester and other industry research organizations have updated their low-code related reports, which adjust the low-code capability model. In an overall direction, the above industry research organization raises the importance of data modeling/model driven and refines governance requirements when evaluating low-code development platform products.

In fact, with the generalization and deepening of low code application scenarios, the international mainstream industry research institutions have made clear the general direction of “low code development and traditional development methods are consistent in application scenarios”, and measure low code development tools according to the standards of developing complex systems and large-scale systems.

Core Competence System

In this context, based on my observation and understanding of the low code industry and considering the unique needs of China, I have sorted out a core competence of the low code development platform, which is divided into four aspects: development, expansion, experience and control, for reference in technology selection.

1. The development

1.1 Model Driven Development

Model – driven software development is a mature methodology, is the common practice of enterprise system development. Model-driven development can be broadly divided into three phases:

Data model: according to database design paradigm, produce composed of tables, relationships, constraints, such as data model, business model: to build the business logic on the data model, forming a complete business model (also called a domain model) interface: based on the business model development interactive page, choreography business model in order to realize the business operation

1.2 Visualization: UI design

Use a visual way to build the front-end interface and front-end interaction behavior. If your project needs to maintain a uniform VI, then support for the introduction of CSS files should also be included in the project.

1.3 Visualization: Logical processing development

Use a visual approach to build the business processing logic on the front end or back end. For enterprise-level applications with transactional requirements, such as ERP, WMS, or finance, it is important to focus on how the back-end business logic is processed.

1.4 Visualization: system operation and maintenance

Low code development platform should pay attention to the whole life cycle of software development, and the visualization of deployment, iteration, monitoring and other links can also significantly reduce the overall cost of software.

2. The extension

2.1 Database Integration

Database integration ability is a necessary condition to break through the “data island”, but also one of the lowest cost schemes. Programming abilities such as the ability to connect to an external database and to invoke stored procedures on that database are critical to software development projects in large enterprises.

2.2 WebAPI integration

Modern software systems and SaaS services provide interfaces in the form of Web APIs for integration. By calling Web API, the low code development platform can have more powerful development ability and wider application scenarios.

2.3 Programming Interface

Software requirements and IT environments often change faster than development platform iterations, and programming interfaces are the last line of defense to avoid being stuck in the last mile.

2.4 Extensible component ecology

On top of the programming interface, it would be nice to have an ecosystem of components that allow users to quickly find the development features they need and avoid “reinventing the wheel.”

Experience 3.

3.1 Responsive page support

Responsive pages can be divided into streaming and grid layouts. Support for responsive pages means that users don’t have to design for a specific screen size, which can significantly increase the efficiency of UI development.

3.2 Customized native APP support

To take full advantage of hardware features, developing native apps for iOS or Android has not been abandoned. The ability to build a fully customized native APP, from the Logo to the functionality, is still a must for some projects.

3.3 Localized mobile terminal support

Mobile office in China is basically equivalent to nail and WeChat, so the low code development platform needs to have the ability of seamless docking with these two IM software, from page embedding to user integration, which cannot be ignored.

4. Control

4.1 the Web version of the IDE

Compared to the desktop version of the IDE, the Web version has the advantages of faster deployment and more uniform version, which is acceptable for large project development teams to sacrifice some development efficiency.

4.2 Version management

The high complexity and frequent requirement changes of enterprise applications make versioning important. In fact, in the professional development world, version control has become the norm, and a whole project management methodology has been derived from it.

4.3 Code warehouse management

Similar to code, the assets developed by users with low code tools are also the wealth of the company or team. How to keep these assets safely and reliably and store them in Git and other code libraries located in local area network or Internet is a good idea to configure the access rights.

4.4 LAN deployment

In China, many enterprises still put forward very strict requirements on the controllability of data and applications. If users need to develop core business systems for them and support LAN deployment, they have to face the reality that they can also develop, deploy and use without the Internet at all.

Typical domestic and foreign products cross review

In order to show the core competence system intuitively, I selected several typical low code development platform products (OUTSYSTEMS, POWERAPPS, moveable type grid, pegpin suitable) at home and abroad for cross evaluation. The evaluation here is only qualitative, not quantitative. One comment, for reference only.

If you have used a low code platform in a real project, you are welcome to use this system to review the product and comment in the comments for your reference.