OutSystems at a NextStep 2017 conference today announced it is making available free plug-ins for a low-code application development environment that makes it simpler to call external artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) services delivered via the cloud.
The plug-ins being made available enable developers to access machine learning and IoT cloud services such as those from IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning and IoT. That approach makes it possible for developers to invoke those services via an application programming interface (API) versus trying to embed those capabilities in an application themselves.
In addition, OutSystems previewed an ability to generate REST APIs and Docker containers to create an application based on microservices. Available via an early access program, that capability is also being integrated with staging and impact analysis software that OutSystems already provides. That capability is expected to be generally available in 2018.
OutSystems also previewed forthcoming integration between its application development platform and the Microsoft Teams collaboration software on the Azure Cloud and support as part of an ongoing effort to improve DevOps. OutSystems also announced that it is adding tools to make it simpler to build mobile applications in addition to tools that enable those applications to be visually debugged.
Finally, OutSystems announced today that its platform has attained ISO 27001, ISO 22301, and SOC 2 certifications in addition to becoming a member of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).
OutSystems CEO Paulo Rosado says adding the ability to call these services is part of an ongoing effort to simplify application development by making available plug-ins that eliminate the need for developers to write code to access external services.
In general, Rosado says, organizations should make use of external services whenever the task is trying to be accomplished in a non-differentiated process. Custom application development should be reserved for instances where organizations are applying their own intellectual property to a process. Low-code platforms, says Rosado, make it possible to now deliver those applications on time.
“Low code plus agile allows for extreme predictability,” says Rosado.
Historically, low-code platforms have been employed to rapidly develop lightweight applications. But Rosado says the OutSystems platform is capable of being used to build complex applications on average in eight weeks. In fact, Rosado says applications that can scale to 11,250 transactions per second can be deployed using OutSystems.
It’s not clear yet to what degree low-code approaches to building applications will replace other application development methodologies. But given the backlog of applications and change requests most IT organizations are wrestling, chances are high that many of them are likely to conclude that existing methodologies simply can’t keep pace with demand.