Solid governance for solid OutSystems applications

solid governance

Sure, working with OutSystems offers quick results. But Rapid Application Development is not synonymous with improvisation. Building applications on a strategic platform such as OutSystems requires a strict governance policy.

Low-code platform

As a low-code platform, OutSystems allows to visually develop applications. On top of that, you easily integrate them with existing systems and add new code whenever needed. But although deep technical development skills may not be required when starting out with OutSystems, there still is a need for governance. Especially when developing business-critical applications on the platform.

Architecture

We all know that an application’s success depends on various elements. Architecture indeed is a very important one. The application’s architecture defines if it will be secure, scalable, maintainable and available. In the ideal scenario, it is based on best practices and offers the desired level of performance. In order to check all those boxes, it is important to allocate the necessary resources to governance.

Plan ahead

Spending money and time on governance saves even more money and time throughout the application’s development and life cycles. Although OutSystems allows to move forward really quickly during the development phase, we advise to plan ahead and thoroughly analyze the project’s requirements before getting head-first into coding. What functionalities are needed? Which are the user profiles? What is the desired level of security? And what about hosting the application in the cloud? Which level of load balancing will be needed? And many more.

And yes, the development process is based on an agile approach. But then again, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to think everything through before you start working. Don’t assume the platform will generate whatever code you need – although it would – but try and aim for a first time right approach.

Investment with return

Agreed, it all sounds quite logical. However, in reality the combination of low-code and agile often leads to projects spinning out of control quite spectacularly. At Providit, we avoid that sort of drama. We prefer to cover the project’s entire scope: from infrastructure and architecture, to governance, application development, support and training. Obviously, application development is our main focus. But then again, that’s exactly why we know how important governance is for all the steps that follow in the process later on.

In the long run

Would you like to rely on OutSystems as a strategic platform for business-critical applications? Good plan! But it is absolutely essential to make that initial investment in governance. It allows you to lay the foundation on which you build robust applications. In the long run, the initial investment in governance leads to even faster development, with better overall results – and less costs – in terms of performance and maintenance.

Would you like to learn more about Providit’s vision on application development governance? Contact us!

Are you eager to know what we can mean to the digital transformation of your organization? Discover it here!

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OutSystems 11, the latest version: what’s in it for you?

OutSystems 11
At the beginning of October, Outsystems organized its annual conference, NextStep 2018, in Amsterdam. During the conference, over two thousand participants witnessed the unveiling of OutSystems 11. OutSystems 11 is the latest version of the nr 1 low-code delivery platform. So, what benefits can new and existing customers expect from OutSystems 11? Let's have a look. 

OutSystems 11: what’s in it for you?

With previous versions of OutSystems, customers mainly focused on developing applications on top of existing core or legacy systems. For example, a contract management system on top of an existing customer management system or a new interface on top of legacy web services. But with OutSystems 11, you now have all the tools to start replacing those legacy core systems. The two most important new features to achieve this are low-code microservices and the support for deploying to containers. Let's focus on the first feature: low-code microservices. With low-code microservices, you effectively implement a full-fledged microservices architecture. Gone are the hours of validating and fixing cross-architecture impacts on complex sets of apps or large systems! You now safely create and change reusable services and applications fast and at scale. The second feature: containers. With containers, you take advantage of streamlined, lean operations and faster deployment, as well as increased scalability, resilience and portability. You're now able to deploy apps and services to leading container-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service providers, including Amazon, ECS, Azure Container Service, Pivot PAS and on-premises Docker container environments.

Artificial Intelligence, a look into the future

Outsystems has started a research initiative to bring Artificial Intelligence (AI) to low-code development. By leveraging the possibilities of machine learning, Outsystems AI predict the next steps in your business flow. By recommending the most likely options, it's not only increasing the development speed even further, it's also guiding the developer in making higher quality applications. Ar you curious how you take full advantage of the latest features in low-code development? Do not hesitate to contact us! Read more

Low-code: objection or opportunity?

Digital Transformation Roadshow
On 19 April 2018, OutSystems organized its first Digital Transformation Roadshow in Belgium. Developers had the opportunity to get hands-on experience in building apps and to become more productive and better low-coders. IT leaders and architects followed a separate track where they got inspired by stories about how low-code accelerates business innovation. Being the largest OutSystems partner in Belgium, OutSystems invited us to this Digital Transformation Roadshow to share our insights on the most current objections to and opportunities for low-code.

Four business objections presented on the Digital Transformation Roadshow

  1. No need for low-code

Organizations might think that they don’t need a low-code platform as they are on track with their digital transformation. This might be the case but maintaining the status quo is not an option on the long term, as the competition moves forward and applies new technologies to get a competitive advantage. You have to keep your eyes open.
  1. Not ready for low-code

Some organizations are convinced that low-code is the future, but their current organization isn’t ready for it yet. Given the company structure and processes, they feel that they won’t be able to use the low-code platform to its full extend.
  1. Too good to be true

Agreed, the sales talk sounds almost too good to be true. On the other hand, low-code platforms such as OutSystems, have been around since 2001 and they have fully matured by now. It’s also a misunderstanding that you can build applications on a low-code platform without any expertise. Low-code makes development easier, but not completely obvious. As of a certain moment, it does require IT expertise. But before that point, there’s a big area where even business people without prior IT education can get started building enterprise applications.
  1. Expensive

Initially, a low-code platform costs more compared to conventional programming languages. But the good news is that it achieves better long-term results. It increases business productivity, resulting in cost savings. For example, low-code development shortens time-to-market and requires less maintenance.

Four developer/development objections 

  1. No need for another technology

Starting with low-code indeed means introducing another technology at first. But with low-code, you build mobile and web applications with the same platform. So, in the long term, the web and mobile team can step away from their current technology and do everything with low-code.
  1. Developers want to write code

There are developers that you will never convince of low-code. They see it as inferior to writing code. Other developers will be open to low-code as rapid application delivery is key to improve business results.
  1. Managers don’t want developers to leave

IT managers are afraid that key developers will leave the organization if they implement a low-code platform. However, change is the only constant. But developers who want to leave, will apply for open positions anyway. On the positive side, developers that are tired of investing time in learning new versions of programming language often have the ideal profile to become low-code developers, thanks to their business acumen.
  1. Lack of resources

Currently, we have lack of developers to fill all open job positions in the market. Low-code platforms provide organizations the possibility to solve this problem. Besides developers, business professionals are also able to develop low-code applications.

Three business opportunities presented on the Digital Transformation Roadshow

  1. Faster time-to-market

An important business advantage of low-code is the fact that you can build and manage apps with higher speed. This helps organizations to respond faster to new business and market changes, resulting in better business results.
  1. Reuse of IT resources

Low-code platforms help IT resources with a lack of in-depth traditional programming skills to build applications. Low-code increases the productivity and flexibility of IT resources in the organization.
  1. Involvement of non-IT resources

The use of a low-code platform offers an interesting business alternative because a conventional coding background is not required. Business professionals can also develop low-code applications. They only need IT support for the more complex tasks. Do you want to know more about the future of coding and improve your bottom line business results with low-code? Get in touch with Providit! Read more

Belgium OutSystems Community meetup – 27 March 2018

meetup
This community meetup was all about mobile. Two topics were on the agenda of this community meetup. First, Adrian Birlogeanu explained in detail the mobile app for commuters he created. Very interesting explanation on both the business case as the technical aspect. Afterwards, it was time to actually built a mobile app. Both newcomers who never used OutSystems before as more experienced developers without mobile knowledge started building their first mobile app. With this session, we wanted to give a first taste on mobile development. I’m sure more in-depth sessions will follow.     Read more

Low-code: an excellent (r)evolutionary step in software development

low-code

A low-code platform consists of standardized pieces of code. They create excellent software quality and quick results. OutSystems is such a Rapid Application Development/Delivery (RAD) platform. It makes it easy to develop and deliver applications across iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Web. Besides that, low-code helps to visually develop applications. And it easily integrates with existing systems and allows to add custom code.

There are two common misconceptions among software developers about low-code. One is that typing code is the only real programming. The other is that low-code is nothing but “drawing”. It’s interesting to see that developers quickly change their minds when they actually start working with such a platform. They promptly experience its benefits for developers, IT departments and businesses.

The advantages 

The maintenance costs of software account for a big part of the total software costs. Low-code platforms drastically reduce these costs. But these platforms have many other advantages. They help save time, for example, with development cycles that are 3 to 10 times faster than regular software development. This results in decreasing maintenance costs and faster development of innovative business applications. OutSystems is such a delivery platform that integrates all development phases. From concept over a first minimum viable product to a full-blown application, optimizing release, support and maintenance. The standardized blocks of code easily integrate with all kind of (legacy) systems from databases, excel to all kinds of APIs. On top of that, all dependencies are monitored and managed within the platform. Therefore, low-code delivers higher software quality and more stable systems.

Strategic imperatives

Low-code platforms are already in use by organizations in the energy, transport and service sectors. They create strategic advantages by building new applications faster than their competitors. These platforms provide the opportunity to quickly respond to changes in markets. For example, in case of an emergency, an insurance company develops an administrative application in a few days. This enables them to quickly respond to sudden changes in the demand of insurance services. Organizations with a lot of legacy systems greatly benefit from low-code platform solutions as well. Recruiting and retaining IT resources with the right knowledge and experience about legacy systems becomes increasingly difficult. A low-code platform integrates these legacy systems. It also ensures that an organization develops new applications on top of these systems. The initial cost of low-code platforms is relatively higher compared to conventional programming languages. But the use of these platforms creates a better return on investment in the long run. This is due to an increase of business productivity, resulting in substantial cost savings over the application’s life cycle. We may conclude that low-code platforms provide an important (r)evolutionary step in software development. Organizations that look beyond the misconceptions about these platforms benefit from strategic advantages.   Would you like to learn more about the future of software development? Get in touch with us for more information about OutSystems. Read more

OutSystems workshop HoGent – 15 February 2017

OutSystems workshop HoGent – 15 February 2017

On February 15th, 3rd year IT students of HoGent could choose between 6 different tracks of IT related sessions and workshops. During 3 days, they organized a total of 36 with the help of different IT organizations. Providit gave an introduction on the OutSystems Low-code Platform. First, we gave a general overview on why this platform is a good choice to build mobile and web applications. And then it was up to them to try it out. Using the JumpStart material provided by OutSystems, the students took the first steps in this, at least for them, completely new way of creating applications.

    HoGent Workshop Read more

We’re proud that we can already celebrate the 1st anniversary of Providit.

Providit with only 1 goal in mind: sharing our enthusiasm about the OutSystems Platform with the rest of Belgium, both customers and developers. Merely 1 year later, both the company and we personally have grown a lot. Started with only 2, we now already are 10... Tim and I would like to thank all of you for your effort in building the company. The first year was on all levels a warming up as everything was completely new. As we’re getting up to speed, we feel confident that the next year will be even more interesting than the first one.   Read more