OutSystems, via a Project Morpheus initiative, intends to leverage generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to make it possible to automatically generate an application that developers will then use low-code tools to customize for specific use cases.
In the meantime, the company is extending an existing alliance with Microsoft to provide a connector that integrates its namesake low-code platform with instances of ChatGPT. These instances are made available via Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI cloud service to make it possible to build a low-code application in a matter of minutes.
Rodrigo Coutinho, director of data science for OutSystems, said that as generative AI continues to evolve, it will become possible for developers to use a natural language interface to create an application. However, there will also be plenty of instances where end users still prefer to access applications via a graphical user interface that developers build using low-code platforms, he noted.
An application editor will also provide ongoing suggestions for everything from how the user interface is designed to the way data is managed.
Developers will also be able to verify how code functions using the OutSystems visual language. In addition, The OutSystem compiler will be able to deterministically detect threats and code patterns produced by generative AI platforms that will include Google, Amazon and others alongside Microsoft.
Ultimately, citizen and junior developers will be able to build sophisticated applications that previously would have required the skills of a professional developer, noted Coutinho.
It’s not clear how much developers will embrace a low-code platform to build software. However, the one thing that is certain is the whole process of defining requirements before an application can be built will soon become obsolete as the building of an application becomes more iterative and involves developers working alongside subject matter experts, added Coutinho.
It may awhile before that vision of application development is realized, but the pace at which applications are built and deployed is clearly about to accelerate. The impact of all that code will naturally vary, but it’s already apparent that the cost of building many applications may soon drop to almost zero. Developers will soon be spending more time on making sure workflows are logical than writing actual code, noted Coutinho.
In addition to relying more on AI to build software, organizations should also rely more on AI to deploy it at unprecedented levels of scale. The days when application development projects were measured in months, sometimes years, is coming to an end. AI platforms will enable organizations to experiment at will because the time and effort required to build and deploy a new iteration of an application will be virtually nil.
Of course, no one can predict what impact all that code will have on society as we know it. But the only limit going forward may soon be what our collective imaginations can conceive than the level of developer expertise that can be marshalled at any given time.