10 Low Code Features You Should Look For In A Platform

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10 Low Code Features You Should Look For In A Platform low code system features

There are a lot of low-code software development platforms out there with their own unique set of features, advantages, and disadvantages.

But when there are so many to choose from, how will you find the right low-code platform suitable for your business needs? The answer is simple: low code system features.

Today, we’re going to discuss 10 distinctive code system features that should be a top priority when you’re trying to opt for low-code software development. Let’s get right into it.

Feature #1: Reusability

Reusability is one of the staples of modern coding standards, and it allows developers to create reusable code blocks that can be called from different applications.

Utilizing reusable components is a more logical approach to modern software development since it allows for faster development that delivers maintainable applications.

Enterprise low-code application development platforms like Mendix allow you to take the ‘building block’ approach to development and let you reuse functions and parts of already developed applications in other applications.

This certain approach offers three important benefits.

Ease of Maintenance

Rather than modifying the entire application, the building block approach lets you modify a single block that contains a certain feature.

Increased Development Speed

When you create more and more reusable blocks over time, it reduces overall development time for future projects as you already have a collection of reusable blocks to utilize.

Ability To Create Powerful Applications

Since there’s no limit to the combinations of different code blocks, the possibilities for developing unique applications with powerful and complex features are endless.

Feature #2: Hybrid Development Features

Hybrid development indicates a mix of low-code and no-code development. But you might think, “Why is there a low-code vs no-code debate? Aren’t they the same thing?”

While they come off as similar processes, low-code development is generally aimed at developers while no-code development targets the citizen developers.

Low code development allows professional developers to build a basic application rather quickly, but more complex features require custom coding in a typical build process.

No-code, on the other hand, requires zero coding experience and allows for creating a basic application at higher numbers.

While they both have their use cases and benefits, you should look for a low-code solution that allows both to coexist and enable a hybrid development scenario.

There are two main ways this can be achieved

Two Different Build Processes

High-performance low-code platforms offer a developer interface and an end-user interface at the same time. While the developer interface requires more professional expertise, the end user interface requires zero coding experience, and they both can operate simultaneously.

Single Process Progressing Step By Step

Some low-code development platforms offer a single build process that works like a development wizard. Developers can inject codes in the application when it’s necessary, or edit the code after primary development is complete.

While this option doesn’t require coding to function, the option is still there for those who wish to utilize it.

Feature #3: Citizen Developer Accessibility

The term “citizen developer” refers to entities within an organization who are not professional developers, or have any experience with programming. But they can join the development process through the power of low code.

When you’re evolving your business and your software product, you need everyone to be involved for them to contribute their ideas to perfect the final application.

A good low-code platform will offer citizen developers access through permission controls. However, a citizen developer shouldn’t have access to the same data as a professional developer.

An enterprise low-code solution can help you achieve the right access control on a few levels

Application Level

Application-level permission allows you to control application access on a per-user basis. Through this method, users with different roles will see a different options menu.

Row Level

Row-level permissions control data access within a single application in a way where multiple users can access the same application, but can only view data that they are authorized to see.

User Privileges

These privileges are used to personalize the available features for each user within the application. They can control the overall look and feel of the application as well as limit user capabilities according to role permission.

Developer Permission

This feature allows control of what the developers of the application can access within the development environment. This can be used to keep end-users from accessing every single software feature or database table.

Feature #4: Automation Capabilities

Inefficient process management can waste nearly a third of overall employee time. A good low-code platform answers to this issue with process automation.

Many applications and processes of most businesses that exist today weren’t built for a modern-era tech stack. As a result, the developers have to fill the gaps manually.

Automation allows for seamless passing of data between systems without manual interference and takes redundant processes out of the equation entirely.

Enterprise-level low-code solutions also come with a workflow automation designer that allows you to automate business processes through a drag-and-drop interface, ensuring effective automation.

Feature #5: Reporting Features

A good low-code platform comes with business intelligence, reporting, and dashboard features that offer a huge advantage to your business.

An enterprise low-code platform can offer read/write capabilities for analytical data as well as creating reports. You receive proactive analysis that can act based on data changes.

It gives you the ability to send alerts, trigger workflows, and perform data-based actions.

Feature #6: Customization Capabilities

Customization features are a must when you’re creating low-code applications, but not all platforms are created equal.

While there can be significant differences in customization, the idea that the platforms don’t offer any customization is one of many low-code myths.

Low-code platforms come in with big libraries of pre-built elements and code blocks, and all of these blocks can be customized to create specific software solutions.

If you want to choose a low-code platform that doesn’t limit your customization abilities, look for the following factors in the platform:

  • How is the customization performed on applications that you will generate through the platform?
  • Can the output be customized to match the brand appearance of your company?
  • Can you add custom business logic when building applications?
  • Can you create rules/logic to make the application fit the business profile?
  • Can you create/ modify application templates?

Feature #7: Standard Programming Languages

One of the core benefits of a low code platform is the time and money savings by reducing the requirement for coding knowledge.

However, not all platforms work the same way, and some platforms require more pre-existing programming skills compared to others.

While some platforms offer a very low learning curve, others require you to learn their unique language for you to take full advantage of the platform itself.

When a platform is forcing you to stick to one programming language rather than offering flexible options, you should avoid those platforms without a doubt.

Feature #8: Nature of Architecture Openness

This is a feature that may seem invisible to the users but impacts the overall user experience immensely.

Platform architecture plays a critical role when it comes to:

  • Portability
  • Security
  • Flexibility
  • Tool integration
  • Extendability

When it comes to determining the architecture openness, you can determine said openness through the integration capabilities of a platform. If you’re trying to determine if your software can be extended to meet the right needs, you simply need to ask the following two questions:

  • How easily can you integrate this with your existing systems?
  • How easily can you integrate this with third-party services?

Feature #9: Governance Features

While it’s not a traditional feature, platform flexibility and data governance features are critical for sustaining your low-code application. 

To determine how much vendor lock-in you will have to deal with once you’re trying to move the application to a different platform, look at the software from a few different angles to understand your situation.

  • Who controls the data?: If the data is stored on their servers, you need to find a simple way to download and extract the data from the servers of the platform.
  • Does the platform require a subscription?: You should always work with a platform that uses independent tools instead of a subscription.
  • How easily can you switch platforms?: Meaning, what happens when you decide to switch from cloud to in-house alternatives? The idea is to maintain flexibility so you don’t lock yourself in a single platform.

Feature #10: Standardized Development Procedures

This is an advantage of low-code platforms that often gets overlooked. This is vital when you’re working with a development team, or a new and different team is picking up the work from the previous team.

Each developer has their unique coding habits and methods. When you’re working with a team where the coding styles vary from one person to another, it will result in different applications being developed in different styles.

With standardized development, it’s easier to bring all the differences into a single flow where it’s easier for one to document the changes, and easy for someone else to pick up on the changes by following the documentation.

To Wrap It All Up

Let’s take a quick look back at the ten low-code system features that you should check for when selecting a low-code platform:

  • Feature #1: Reusability
  • Feature #2: Hybrid Development Features
  • Feature #3: Citizen Developer Accessibility
  • Feature #4: Automation Capabilities
  • Feature #5: Reporting Features
  • Feature #6: Customization Capabilities
  • Feature #7: Standard Programming Languages
  • Feature #8: Nature of Architecture Openness
  • Feature #9: Overall Governance
  • Feature #10: Standardized Development Procedures

Looking for a low-code platform that offers all the right features and has no weaknesses? Mendix is the perfect high-performance low-code platform to utilize all the low-code system features we mentioned above. 

FAQ

How Do Low-Code Systems Handle Updates and Maintenance?

Providers often roll out updates and maintenance seamlessly, minimizing disruptions to ongoing projects.

Are There Restrictions on the Types of Applications That Can Be Built Using Low-Code Systems?

While versatile, certain highly specialized applications might require more custom development outside the low-code platform.

What Role Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) Play in Low-Code Systems?

AI capabilities are increasingly integrated into low-code systems, offering features like predictive analytics, natural language processing, and machine learning.

Can Low-Code Systems Be Used for Prototyping and Rapid Development?

They excel in rapid prototyping and development due to their visual interfaces and pre-built components.

What Level of Documentation Is Available Within Low-Code Systems?

Platforms typically offer comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and guides to aid users in navigating and utilizing their features.

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