The low-code balance
By Aaron Emmert
My previous posts, Agile Methodology: Part one and Part two, explained the benefit of using Appian with the Agile methodology. This week we’ll define low-code and explain its purpose. Before we do that, let’s take a step back and examine a recurring theme in software development.
“There has to be an easier way…”
This thought may have crossed your mind recently. Whether your task was time-consuming, convoluted, or simply a pain, you might have a gut feeling that there is a better way. Regardless of the circumstance, this natural response is a great motivator to find an alternate method to assist you in completing the task. Innovations like this are often inspired by one key trait: simplicity.
You don’t need a flashy solution with all the bells and whistles; you need something that is effective, efficient and modern. As we enable more configurations, we allow more functions and use cases but we also take a step towards the slippery slope of over-engineering.
As soon as you deviate from the concept of simplicity and start adding components outside of the minimum viable product (MVP) requirements, you risk ending up where you started from having another bloated system. Additional complexity may also delay the realization of value, as well as a lower return on investment.
Finding the right balance between simplicity and functionality is essential for any long-lasting application. One method of development within this ‘Goldilocks Zone’ of software development is to utilize low-code principles.
Appian’s toolbox with low-code development
If you were to take two different programming languages, for example, Assembly and Java, which one would require more lines of code to implement the same functionality? Moreover, how can programming complexity be reduced to a point where business users can assist in building software with a minimum amount of training?
This is the purpose behind Appian’s patented Self-Assembling Interface Layer (SAIL) framework, built for speed. By sacrificing the absolute freedom for customization, along with its complexity, you are given a platform that enables rapid development of capabilities.
It’s important to choose the right tool for the job and no one tool can do every job. With that in mind, Appian excels at workflow-oriented tasks. In order to maximize Appian’s versatility for your business needs, new or modified: components, functions, and properties are released with every new version of Appian. If out-of-the-box functionality doesn’t meet your business needs, Appian supports the use of custom plugins to fill the gap.
Due to the nature of Appian’s rapid development capabilities paired with the Agile process, once an organization has reached their MVP they may continue to enhance and adapt their application to dynamic business requirements. All while staying true to the original purpose of software development: keeping it simple.
About the author
As an Appian developer, Aaron strives to meet and exceed the expectation of our clients. He grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, where he is a fan of the Packers, dairy products, and cider. His hobbies include walking the dog, exercising, reading and playing video games. Read more of Aaron’s blogs here.