An Introduction to low-code SaaS platforms

Updated on by Kate Gordon

There’s been a lot of talk about “low-code” platforms recently. If you’re not 100% sure what they are, then take a look at our beginner’s guide.

Though not given a specific name until 2014 by industry analysts Forrester Research, the low-code development platform market traces back to 2011. A recent report by Forrester states; “Enterprise development teams are adopting low-code development platforms, and the market’s growth prospects appear rosy.”

Sounds positive. So how does it work?

Traditionally, building applications, as well as integrations, is the preserve of developers and therefore requires traditional hand-coded computer programming. It’s an extremely customisable way of working.

A low-code platform, on the other hand, provides a development environment which can create app software through graphical user interfaces and configuration.

Low-code is a family of tools that creates complete applications visually using a visual interface (such as drag-and-drop functionality), rather than writing thousands of lines of complex code. To use a low-code development program, you don’t need to be an experienced developer.

Instead it is possible to create applications using a visual user interface in combination with model-driven logic. This visual user interface enables repeatable tasks thanks to a drag-and-drop functionality.

Such platforms can produce entirely operational applications, or require additional coding for specific situations.

Using a low-code SaaS platform, business users and IT can collaborate on building applications with modern user interfaces, integrations, data, workflows and business logic, to deliver business results in record time. Low-code platforms can also lower the initial cost of setup, training, deployment and maintenance.

Flexibility vs. speed, repeatability and scalability

While coding is a much more customisable way of working, there’s a trade-off in terms of developer resource. Low-code development platforms reduce the amount of traditional hand coding, enabling accelerated delivery of business applications. It enables a wider range of people within an organisation to contribute to the application’s development. Not just those with formal programming skills.

By opening up the option for app integrations to a wider audience, you can have people who understand the business side of things getting involved directly, rather than just developers. 

Another advantage is that developers often have their own ways of working.

Think of a dozen programmers, who each have their own slant of how something can be done. But if one of them leaves, then traditional coding doesn’t provide any standardisation for picking up where they left off.

Low code SaaS platforms provide standardisation of certain things, such as approach, formatting and more, making the whole process a lot more fluid and flexible. Low code therefore formalises a standardised process and makes it repeatable.

How Cyclr works

Cyclr aims to simplify the complex task of building integrations through the use of low-code tools. For example, technical challenges, such as API authentication and rate limiting, is automatically handled in ready made connectors. Combine these with a drag-and-drop integration builder and you have a new form of user friendly IDE to quickly create integrations.

This lowers the technical bar for creating integrations. Opening the door for non-technical users to build out integration use cases without the need for developer input.

Whether you’re making apps internally or externally, the speed of prototyping is massively enhanced. And if you’re looking to scale up, Cyclr has been built from the ground up to be deployed against heterogeneous SaaS environments. You can run our platform within your own shared cloud infrastructure or on a VPC. In either case, Cyclr supports numerous methods of deployment and scaling.

So if you’re looking for an interface layer to sit on top of a more complex layer to make it easier to build and integrate apps, low code is where it’s at!

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Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon is a PR consultant who provides tech companies with media campaigns and content creation. She has been working with Cyclr to raise their profile in the relevant media outlets.