OutSystems has turned its low-code platform into a framework for generating microservices that can run on-premises or in a variety of public clouds.
Mike Hughes, senior director of product marketing at OutSystems, said applications generated using OutSystems 11 now can be deployed on both platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments and container-as-a-service (CaaS) environments, including Amazon Web Services public clouds and the Pivotal PaaS based on open source Cloud Foundry software and CaaS platforms such AWS ECS, Azure Container Service, or as a set of Docker containers running on-premises.
In addition, OutSystems 11 includes a set of monitoring tools capable of identifying issues emanating from within the applications and external dependencies, as well as a set of impact analysis tools that identify issues before an application is deployed. Those tools are critical elements of a concerted effort to apply DevOps practices and principles to the development of applications created using low-code tools, said Hughes.
OutSystems 11 also now includes an entitlement model for controlling who can create and manage services and who can consume them, using a full entitlement model that extends to all applications and services.
Finally, OutSystems has added support for automated risk assessments, granular access controls and activity monitoring of supplemental manual processes along with a revamped user interface.
IT organizations of all sizes are trying to cope with a growing application development backlog by embracing low-code tools that can be employed either by professional developers to accelerate development or so-called citizen developers to create applications on their own. Legacy approaches to application development have created a gridlock issue that organizations are not going to be able to break without embracing a more modern approach to application development that combines the best of low-code application development platforms and DevOps practices, said Hughes.
Hughes noted that more organizations than ever are trying to accelerate application development at a time when digital process transformation has become a much high priority. The rate at which new applications can be built, tested and deployed has a direct impact on an organization’s ability to compete, he said. The challenge organizations face is that much of the subject matter expertise required to build these applications resides in business units that have limited application development expertise. The central IT organization, conversely, typically has a limited number of developers available to work on applications at any one time. Rather than simply providing citizen developers with low-code tools, OutSystems is making a case for an approach to rapid application development that provides guidelines for citizen developers in a way that doesn’t create the equivalent of a black box that professional developers can’t later drill down into to determine how an application is behaving.
It may take a while for low-code application development and DevOps processes to meld within enterprise IT organizations. But the more DevOps tools that come included with the application development frameworks being provided, the greater the chances DevOps processes eventually will pervade the enterprise.