In the beginning,
enterprise applications were regarded as cumbersome software
architectures where code reusability remained a distant dream. Hence,
application development and delivery leaders were always on the lookout
for newer approaches and platforms (such as the rapid application development model) that would enable these professionals to achieve higher ‘digital speed’. Such platforms (for example, the RAD platform) could accomplish the development and delivery of new apps in a matter of days and weeks instead of months.
As the rapid application development model (the iterative and prototype-centric approach) became popular, complex and fragmented software architectures became obsolete. In time, RAD platforms were able to accelerate the application development and delivery process. The rapid application development model thus enabled businesses to serve and eventually retain potential customers.
The primary purpose of low code app development with RAD platforms is to enhance the digital business journey. The RAD platform does this by significantly reducing manual coding, limiting upfront investments in training, setup, and deployment. The rapid action development model also utilizes programming languages such as Java and C#/.NET that eventually supplements declarative and visual development.
Benefits of using the rapid application development model or RAD Platforms
Listed below are advantages that the rapid application development model provides to business users.
Professional developers usually spend a significant amount of time hand-coding business logic inside apps. Initial programming of business logic can be time-consuming but developers trying to make any alterations to the business logic face serious challenges as it takes up the maximum amount of time. Some enterprise low-code app development platforms or RAD platforms offer declarative tooling, allowing developers to visually configure business logic through workflow models, decision tables, and business rules. This feature of the rapid application development model typically reduces hand coding and enables developers to make changes to business logic with ease. The RAD platform also fosters effective teamwork and collaboration between application development and delivery professionals. An additional benefit of the rapid application development model is the ease of interaction between business analysts and subject matter experts when implementing such changes in business logic.
Most low-code platforms or RAD platforms offer a drag-and-drop functionality where techies can drag and drop symbols around the visual development interface. In this way, the rapid application development model can create an application with little coding. The RAD platform helps to speed up the development process and significantly reduces the learning curve for developers. Consequently, the RAD platform shrinks the time required for building apps. The rapid application development model also allows developers to work with abundant precision, leaving enough room for user customizations.
Some low-code app development usingRAD platforms enables developers to build apps by using a single code base that can adapt to an operating system i.e., iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. This feature of the rapid application development model allows apps to run smoothly on any device or platform as the application is equipped with cross-platform capabilities. From a development perspective, the cross-platform capabilities offered by the rapid application development model save time and effort that would have been expended for recreating the application for each specific operating system.
The rapid application development model is a much-needed solution for app developers, The RAD platform empowers business users to move at an accelerated pace when building apps. The rapid application development model fosters an iterative and collaborative environment between the users and IT departments. Though professionals have an understanding of the organizational workflow processes, they often end up engaging in time-consuming and error-prone workarounds when trying to solve real-world problems. But with the rapid application development model, developers and users are able to overcome this challenge and successfully meet their objectives.
vThere is a common misconception that low-code app development with RAD platforms is primarily responsible for eliminating the need for application coding. Such is not the case as the RAD platform also depicts a high ability to eradicate shadow IT. Business users oftentimes resort to unauthorized third-party Cloud applications or homegrown solutions not endorsed by their IT departments – a practice known as shadow IT. Therefore, with the proliferation of shadow practices, IT security concerns loom large, app resources become fragmented, and it also results in weak or absent audit trails. This also creates productivity black holes, restricts easy identification of data integration issues, and intensifies an organization’s technical debt.
Using a RAD platform ensures transparency, enabling IT teams to focus more on activities that drive productivity. The rapid application development model also allows developers to invest more time in building apps that eventually enables businesses to achieve seamless digital transformation.
Low-Code App Development Using RAD platforms vs. No-Code platforms
Enterprise low-code app development platforms have long been established as superior due to their use of the rapid application development model which streamlines and expedites the delivery of enterprise applications. No-code platforms, on the one hand, are a new breed of platforms that are aimed at ‘citizen developers.’ These platforms typically offer little or no extensibility and are most suited for addressing simpler business application needs.
The rapid application development model scores over no-code platforms solely because they completely support a business’s digital transformation journey. However, these distinct but overlapping market segments are often fraught with confusion. The best possible way to segregate the two market categories would be by focusing more on the intended users and less on whether users are writing any code. This makes sense as it is possible for developers to create sophisticated apps with low-code development platforms or RAD platforms without a writing a line of code. Furthermore, citizen developers write code only if they want to as the code is usually optional for any platform in this category.
On the downside, citizen developers creating an application requiring integration with other existing enterprise apps have to require assistance from an IT department for the actual integration. The dangers of shadow IT also loom large with the no-code platform, creating security vulnerabilities and compliance violations. Moreover, citizen-built apps are likely to become obsolete and are usually considered to be of a lower quality than apps built with the rapid application development model or RAD platforms.
Therefore, businesses considering between no-code platforms and the rad softwaremust carefully weigh the pros and cons of such tools. Most businesses, however, leverage the benefits of the rapid application development model or RAD platforms solely because enterprises can only rely on the specialist knowledge of seasoned developers to build enterprise applications.