We’ll be the first to admit that no-code as a concept isn’t new. In some ways, it has been the holy grail of software development for a long time, but previous attempts have all fallen short of the true promise of enterprise-grade visual development.
However, in the last decade, a few technology trends converged to make the dream of no-code possible in the enterprise:
Trend #1: The Explosion of Microservices
First up was the proliferation of microservices. Understandably, enterprise developers capitalized on creating APIs and endpoints for a lot of their internal services.
In doing so, they created a layer that made other developers’ lives easier — but making use of any of these microservices still required coding. What enterprises needed was a new method to stitch microservices together and build intelligent workflows to orchestrate inputs and outputs — all without code as a bottleneck.
Trend #2: Schema-free/Document-based Databases
The second factor was the advent of the next generation of document-based noSQL databases (vs. tabular SQL databases). These schema-free databases allow for unparalleled flexibility in accepting all types of data — from the flat files prevalent in legacy systems to modern JSON — while also maintaining critical features like transactional support, joins, and customizable consistency.
Trend #3: Enterprise Cloud-Adoption
The advent of cloud services was a game-changer for enterprises. In regards to no-code, having a platform hosted in the cloud means that it will be secure, scaleable, upgradeable, and future-proof.
Trend #4: Increased demands on IT
In some ways one could argue IT has never been without strong demands from the business. However, over the past 5-10 years this demand has exploded and IT is being asked to create extensive range of functionality. Why is this happening? It’s most likely for a few different reasons.
The first is the explosion of high-quality applications on the market. This has set consumer expectations very high, and consumers are now demanding amazing application experiences as the norm for all of their experiences.
The second is the proliferation of competition. Many industries are being attacked by pure-play startups with a variety of business models and large technology companies. These companies often aren’t burdened with legacy technology, so they’re able to innovate much faster and bring great user experiences to market.
The last is the advent of mobility. Application need to work not only on desktop devices, but across both iOS and Android operating systems. This creates a proliferation of channels that must be accounted for during development
The Bottom Line
While no single item in the above list is a requirement to building a no-code platform, these trends have made these platforms significantly easier to scale and manage. The platform should natively integrate microservices with powerful no-code data manipulation capabilities. The platform should be document-based to handle all types of bespoke data models, allowing it to keep up with constantly increasing demands on IT.