OutSystems and Mendix take low-code to a new high

OutSystems and Mendix take low-code to a new high

For years, the Low-Code software development movement has swollen in influence as a way to use platforms to accelerate the creation of applications and services. That influence is set to be boosted by interesting developments, namely the large investment in one (OutSystems) and the acquisition of another (Mendix).

Both companies are young (founded in 2001 and 2005 respectively), have their roots in Europe and have become emblematic of the effort. The Low-Code movement was so named by analyst firm Forrester (Gartner prefers Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service) and it has developed its own appeal based on customers’ desire to get applications into production faster than was possible with traditional development environments that required lots of hand coding.

Of course there has always been a demand for such a naturally attractive concept, and terms from 4GL to RAD have marked various attempts to achieve the same objective. But Low-Code and its emphasis on platforms and iterative collaboration is changing the way that companies expedite the route from idea to minimal viable product and beyond.

I’ve tracked the movement for several years now and early this year spoke to Paulo Rosado, CEO of OutSystems who told me that the acceptance of the Low-Code moniker and model had made life significantly easier for him.

“It’s relaxing, there’s no evangelizing,” he told me. “RAD has such a negative connotation because I think fundamentally all those tools were tools, not platforms. They all add the fundamental problem that some of our competitors have which is they don’t have a visualization or modelling language that’s expressive enough, so you hit a wall and when you get a change request you can’t handle it.”

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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