Choosing the Best Low-Code Platform For Your Dev Team

By Bhagwat Kadam
Date(2018, 6, 3)

With more and more functional users dawning on the concept of low-code development, many organizations are already using low-code development platforms as a way of life. And with the kind of benefits such platforms and the low-code approach offers, why wouldn’t you want to switch to it? But jumping the wagon on something and doing it right are two different things.

If you wish to reap the benefits of the low-code approach, you need to traverse through a few basic phases, select your ideal platform from the best low-code platforms out there, and then make the switch.

When choosing a low-code platform for your business, it is important to bear in mind that many platforms out there call themselves “low-code”. Some are perfect for large enterprises while others are more suitable for startups and small enterprises. There’s a whole range of platforms customized for the developer community and then there are platforms tailored for “citizen” users. In a perfect world, a low-code platform would offer all those flavours. But is there any such platform out there in the real world? (Skip to the last section to discover one such platform).

Features to look for in a low code platform Before you make the final choice, consider the following points which will shape the features for your ideal low-code platform:

  • Cloud or OnPrem
    Think about your long term strategy on cloud adoption. It is important to know if the low code platform you are considering has a cloud offering. You may want onPrem today but in the future might want to migrate to the cloud. Your platform should provide the means to do so.

  • Workflow BPM Tools
    This is a key feature of any low code platform so it is important to know what kind of workflow tools the platform offers. You should look for a platform that supports BPMN open standard tools.

  • Mobility
    A great low-code platform should offer support for making apps mobile responsive from the get-go or at least in an extremely easy manner. So it is imperative to keep that as a primary feature requirement.

  • Integrations
    There’s no point in adopting a new platform if you have to make a whole lot of changes in your existing setup to incorporate it. So the low-code platform you’re considering should integrate seamlessly with your existing systems. Also, it should have capabilities like support for data import or export to/from other third-party apps.

  • Vertical Solutions
    An important thing to keep an eye out for are the vertical solutions offered by the platform. If it has pre-built solutions for verticals like CRM, Case management, Retail, Events, Education, etc. it would solve a lot of business pain points quite simply.

  • Usability (Ease of use)
    Along with having great features, the platform should be extremely easy to use. The learning curve should be minimal at best. Any low-code platform loses its purpose if the user has to take extensive training to use it. Ideally, your platform should include inbuilt aids to make usage an easy self-learning activity.

  • Data Store and Modeling
    the platform should provide features to structure your data as per your needs, it shouldn’t be all black box. It should allow you to easily create data models and define relationships between multiple data sets.

  • Form Designer
    Another key feature of the platform is building forms using designer. Check detailed controls supported by the low-code platform you’re considering. It should enable you to add custom controls if required. Preferably, it should offer access to html and styling for an advanced user to take control.

  • Performance
    A key consideration is to study if there’s a way to track the platform’s impact on the server as well as its overall performance. You should look for a platform which offers such support from within itself. If some kind of monitoring tools are offered, great!

  • Reporting & Analytics
    An ideal low-code platform should offer options to generate custom reports and also provide analysis tools at the same time. This is another desirable feature you should definitely look for.

  • Technical Support & Community
    Today, all platforms have their specific developer communities supporting them. Technical help forums come handy for users to understand a platform better and solve frequent issues or confusions. You should consider how helpful and responsive the technical support for your platform is and what project documentation support it provides.

  • API Management
    A good low-code platform should expose REST APIs to system features and customer apps you would want to build. You may want to perform different operations like checking how to add a new API if required, or adding new code, or changing code of your custom APIs. It should be quite easy to do that with your platform.

  • Document Management
    Document Management is a features that often doesn’t make it to the desired feature list of good low-code platforms. But it should. The platform you are considering should offer extensive document management features with version management support.

  • Identity & Access Management
    Your low-code platform should either offer IAM out of the box or allow you to be integrated with your IAM tool.

  • Programming Language Support
    The platform should offer support for multiple programming languages to maximize support for the developer community. There should be ample opportunity to reuse components while writing minimal code.

  • Debugging Support
    Checking out the debugging options offered by the platform is just as important as any other aspect. There should be an easy and straightforward way to find and fix errors within apps built using the platform.

  • Release & Deployment
    Deployment is often one of the toughest phases of application development. A low-code platform should offer easy deployment, preferably, one-click deployment. Also, it should be easy to manage intermediate releases.

  • Source Code Management
    The platform should provide features to manage source code from within it. There should be support to maintain source code versions in an orderly and simple manner.

  • Export/Import Data
    Before adopting a platform, you should find out from which all platforms and in which all formats data can be imported into and exported from it. Also, consider which integrations are supported by it.

  • Migrations & Upgrades
    Ideally, it should be easy to migrate an existing project into your low-code platform. If it offers an auto-update feature, all the more better.

Tips for choosing the best low-code platform for your team
Before you pick a low-code platform, consider the following first:
1.Establish what you wish to achieve with the platform
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, chances are, you’ll end up making the wrong choice. Thus, first narrow down on what exactly you wish to achieve with a low-code platform. This knowledge will also help you in preparing a list of desirable features to look for in a low-code platform for your unique business needs. Consider the tools that are already being used in-house and look through all popular low-code development platforms in the market to compare features.

2.Set out which people will be using the platform
While features like visual development aids, inbuilt tools and solutions, and more break down app development to quite a basic level, you should realize that not everyone has the vision to become a “functional” or “citizen” developer. The right user for a low-code platform is one who at least understands data flows and business logic, and understands them well. A strong product point of view is an added bonus.

3.Prepare for a slight learning curve
The process would be easy, but the transition might take some time getting used to. And that’s a fact you can neither deny nor put aside. People in your organization who are used to the traditional way of building applications might take some time adjusting to the drag-and-drop, minimal coding way of life. However, if you choose a platform that pays attention to user-friendliness and convenience, you can reduce the learning curve to a minimum.

Through with the above points and ready to make a choice? Let us give you a helping hand.

Bitpod Platform might just be what you need
Equipped with all features highlighted above, Bitpod platform is undoubtedly one of the best low-code platforms out there. For more information, visit the official Bitpod website at