For decades software developers and coders were the go-to resources for building mobile and web applications. But in today’s world that is changing. The rise of low-code and no-code platforms has changed the game in the world of application development.
Now non-technical roles such as clinicians, business managers, or analysts are able to build software applications using low-code and no-code platforms even if you have little to no knowledge of traditional programming languages!
Essentially low-code (LC) and no-code (NC) platforms are types of visual software development environments that allow the user to create mobile or web applications by using drag and drop application components. Furthermore, these platforms allow professional developers to quickly build, deploy, and integrate applications with other systems without having to write lines of code.
This recent trend is referred to as “citizen development.” It advocates the idea that business representatives and project managers can go in and develop apps without needing to rely on the IT department for a fraction of the cost and time commitment!
It would seem that due to a lack of skilled software developers - plus a compound effect of the ever-demanding technological world we live in – a simplified method of creating applications was in demand.
Enter stage left, low-code and no-code platforms.
The main difference between these two development platforms are essentially how much coding knowledge the user encompasses.
Low-code development platforms (LCDPs) require some basic coding skills in order to develop and create applications, while no-code development platforms (NCDPs) do not require any prior programming knowledge at all.
This is great because most companies have a wide range of skillsets within their workforce, so offering both platforms allows both fairly skilled developers and those with no skillset at all to be able to contribute to an organization’s development project.
However, generally speaking, most LC/NC platforms have the ability to integrate custom code if need be. So, if your team is looking for deeper customization, that option is also available to you.
The beauty of low-code and no-code platforms is not only do they expedite project turnaround times, but they also cut costs considerably! When you think about it, on average 75% of an application's cost is maintenance.
With visual tools, layered architecture, and built-in version control these platforms allow for easier code changes, reduced code duplication, and more consistent maintenance which produces faster feature releases and better runtime results. If the enterprise using the application has any company wide changes, then we can easily extract from the necessary layer of our application, make changes, and plug it back in.
InnoVet Health got trained on Low-Code/No-Code platform during COVID-19 pandemic when InnoVet participated in Pega’s Global Software (Low-Code No-Code) Hackathon. Our team created a pilot app to track emergency room COVID-19 cases and coordinate post-discharge care with a patient's primary care provider. Our app was awarded the Pega Novice Award!
Since then, we expanded on building our capabilities on the Pega platform (a popular low-code platform) and have been helping the Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) migrate its legacy health IT applications to Pegasystems for over a year now. We have been fortunate to be on the forefront to help VA staff use these applications to determine eligibility of patients for private care.
The code deployment manager within the Pega platform allows us to version control and easily deploy code from one environment to the next, streamlining code changes for more continuous deployment and faster feature releases. Our platform creates multichannel, dynamic applications using object-oriented programming principles instead of custom code.
As we progress further on this exciting project we explore how these positive outcomes allow VA to migrate as many of its legacy applications into low-code, no-code platforms.
By: Ryan Kelb (Low Code Developer at InnoVet Health)
InnoVet Health is an IT consultant company specializing in business intelligence, digital services, and health interoperability founded by MIT-alumni & informatics experts. Learn more about us on our website or reach out on LinkedIn.
Driving modernization and improving healthcare for our nation's Veterans.