developer coding

Is LowCode/NoCode the best platform for you?

In Blog by David RobinsonLeave a Comment

One of the great things about Domino is that it was an awesome Rapid Application Development tool.  From its inception, non-developers were empowered with the ability to create applications.  They could take advantage of numerous built-in functions such as the database, views, mail, security and search, and create fully functional applications.    As time progressed, Domino matured and the programming model became more extensive.  Developers could build more complex applications using LotusScript, javascript, java, etc… but still, complete it within a fraction of the time and effort required by other platforms.

Low Code/No Code (LCAPs) platforms are now becoming a mainstream platform for developing applications. But is it the best choice to put your Domino Applications?  Here are some points for you to consider…

LCAPS are a closed Platform

LCAPS are closed platforms.  Developers work through the GUI IDE.  For most development needs, that might suffice.  However, there will be complex applications that you won’t be able to deliver due to the closed nature of the platform.  You won’t have access to the underlying framework to make changes.  Nor will you have APIs to make use of.  That will require that you change the requirements to fit the product.

In a similar vein, most developers that have worked through a Domino to SharePoint migration have come across this.  In SharePoint’s case, the sheer limitation of the platform itself makes the migration of complex applications very difficult.

Complete Redevelopment – No Migration Solutions

Because LCAPs are closed platforms, 3rd party vendors have not had access to the underlying APIs to create migration utilities for them.  It’s up to the LCAPs companies to either give partners access to the underlying APIs or create the migration solutions for you.  To date, they haven’t been focused on the Notes Domino market, so any project to migrate to LCAPs is a complete rewrite.  No jump start.  No base framework.  No data migration.  It’s just you, the LCAP IDE and an old Domino application. And in most cases, no true business owner or documentation for the original application.

What product should I choose?

Gartner currently lists 137 vendors in the Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms market space.  It is still far too early to select a dominant product.  And know that any of the larger players in this market come with a high cost of entry.  For example Application Express by Oracle, Salesforce,  Service Now or Pega Platform all come with a high cost of implementation and licensing.  Choosing the right LCAP comes with risk.

How Vibrant is the Development community?

Identifying candidate platforms should include researching how big and vibrant the development community is.  Though selecting a product based on its ease of development when you need to consider the active development or vendor community is an oxymoron.  But like any technology, you need experts with the product to help you implement it, learn it, maintain it and possibly upgrade it.  It’s the nature of the Enterprise market.  Your staff will not be able to ramp up quickly enough to develop in it or support it.  You may be at the mercy of the software vendor itself to provide the resourcing, and the development costs can add up quickly.

The long and short of it is, LCAP’s are not an ideal platform for Domino applications.   At least at this point, they aren’t.   But our Revive solution is.  Revive falls in the Pro Code market.  It’s based on a completely open framework.  Sure we include libraries and components for you to base your application on but it’s still based on common enterprise standards.  Spring, Hibernate, Rest, ReactJS and Java.  Resources that most companies already have.  We migrate the data and the core of the existing Domino application to Revive with a click of a button.  That means that we carry over most of the application and code for you to continue your development, regardless of whether you have a full list of the existing requirements.  Your developer can go through the new application and make decisions on how to deliver the business function based on the existing domino business functions that we carried over for you.  You can use your resources or ours to enhance the application.  Revive is not an “application island” and provides you with the quickest, lowest-cost alternative that already fits most organizations.


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