Low-Code Platform Evaluation | How to Evaluate Low-Code Platforms

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Software solutions are critical business capabilities

A good low-code platform will help you meet the increasing demand for software solutions. But picking the right platform is difficult. The following evaluation criteria will help you choose an enterprise-grade low-code platform that will enable your team to rapidly deliver apps the business needs while appeasing the concerns of Security and Ops leaders.

Collaborative development experience

Determine who in the organization will build on the low-code platform. If it is both professional and citizen developers, ensure the platform has separate IDEs for the two developer personas. The platform should have built-in tools to facilitate real-time collaboration between business and IT throughout the application lifecycle.

Key questions to consider:

  • How can business stakeholders provide feedback throughout the development process?
  • How do multiple developers work on the same project?
  • - How does the work transfer between professional and citizen developers? How is conflict resolution handled across different developers’ work?

Data integration

Apps need data and organizations sit on mountains of data. But often, vast amounts of this data are locked away in silos, making it accessible for app consumption. If developers cannot access data for their apps, then their 6x to 10x increase in app development speed will be negated. Like app development, low-code platforms should make it easy for developers to find, understand, and use data from multiple sources, including internal and external systems, without compromising data security.

Key questions to consider:

  • How effortless would it be for developers to integrate data from various sources?
  • How safe is it to integrate data?
  • Does the data consumption make it easy to build a microservices-based solution? How?

App lifecycle support

Continuous support throughout application lifecycle eliminates the traditional bottlenecks, costs, and risks associated with app delivery while increasing app quality and providing a better development experience for all the stakeholders involved. The platform should have an integrated set of tools and services to support the complete application lifecycle—including ideation and requirements gathering, development and deployment, and operations and performance management.

Key questions to consider:

  • How does the platform support developers from app ideation to deployment without leaving the environment?
  • How does the platform handle versioning, source control, and consistency checks?
  • Can test and quality automation be included in application delivery pipelines?
  • How does the platform support DevOps?

User experience

Today’s end-users expect frictionless experiences across various digital touchpoints. The low-code platform should offer development and operational support for web, mobile, immersive, or conversational experiences.

Key questions to consider:

  • How can developers build experiences for various modalities without rework?
  • What kind of support does the platform provide for native mobile and PWA?
  • How can developers maximize the reuse of back-end services between experiences with Mesh App Service Architecture (MASA)?

Increase developer productivity

A no-code IDE with drag-and-drop widgets, reusable components, and real-time collaboration enhances business users productivity. The platform should also offer a sophisticated low-code IDE that includes integration flexibility and out-of-the-box DevOps tools to help professional developers build complex apps and systems faster. Having AI-augmented development is a plus.

Key questions to consider:

  • How does the platform support industry-standard interfaces and protocols such as REST, JDBC, and OData? Is the platform open and extensible with custom code and APIs?
  • How will developers build, share, and create an enterprise-wide library of reusable components on the platform?
  • Does the platform provide for “full stack” delivery from a generalized skillset?
  • What kind of capabilities does the platform offer around workflow automation and data integration?

Cloud support

You want the apps that ship faster to the end user, scale for growth, don’t crash when the usage increases, and you want apps that have the freedom to deploy where it makes the most sense for the business. The platform should support the scalable development of cloud-native apps with the option to deploy on public, private, or hybrid clouds, as well as on premise. Look for a platform that will simplify operations.

Key questions to consider:

  • How will the platform guarantee maximum uptime with mission-critical resiliency?
  • How easy is it to move applications from one cloud to another if business needs change?
  • What kind of intervention is required for scaling as application data and utilization grows or goes down?
  • How does the platform ensure app security?

Additional considerations

  • Low-code use case support

    What kind of applications do you want to deliver with low code? If you’re looking to build simple productivity apps and web forms, a no-code platform will suffice. But if your goal is to deliver mission-critical apps, modernize core systems, and offer sophisticated user experiences, then invest in an enterprise-grade low-code platform.

  • Vendor focus

    Along with the actual product capabilities, it’s critical to evaluate the vendor’s strategic vision for the product and their future viability as a company, you want to partner with a vendor that’s going to stick around and continuously invest in its customers. The vendor should have a strong ecosystem of delivery partners, developer communities, marketplaces, and training resources.

Mendix leads the way for low-code application development platforms