Low-code facilitates software development by allowing developers to build from ready-made UI components and code for custom elements. This is the next-gen development paradigm that is rapidly bringing digital transformation to businesses across multiple industries. Our low-code Hall of Fame series is dedicated to the best-in-class low-code development platforms that can help entrepreneurs create business software of any complexity faster and cheaper.
In today’s article, we present OutSystems. Traditionally, here you’ll find a short platform profile, find what’s under the hood and what kinds of software you can build using OutSystems.
OutSystems founders were seasoned developers when the idea to create a low-code development platform stroke them in 2001. They noticed that most of the software development projects fail due to broken deadlines or overrun budgets. With the new approach to the development process, they strived to increase the project’s success rate. At the same time, OutSystems creators wanted to make software scaling much easier to reduce further maintenance expenses.
Today, OutSystems focuses on two factors: digital transformation and development speed. This means that on one hand, the platform gives developers the ability to create a wide range of software: mobile applications, web portals and internal apps, automatization tools (chatbots), and even the business core systems. On the other hand, the abundance of pre-made components, an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, and a convenient coding environment with developer productivity features facilitate the development process. For instance, Outsystems allows developers to deliver a complex B2B mobile application in several weeks and then easily maintain or scale it.
According to Forrester, Outsystems leads the domain, living out the perfect image of the low-code platforms with its development speed, convenient working environment, app management tools, and unlimited customization capacity. Suffice it to say that Forrester gave it a 100% product capability score.
And as icing on the cake goes strong developer community support and the training system. High-quality online and live low-code courses are part of all the user plans including a free plan. What’s more, Outsystems provide professional support through its own developer community (free plan), and professional customer service on business days (Standard plan) or 24/7 (Enterprise plan).
Inside the OutSystems Low-code platform
OutSystems apps dev to deployment transition is as easy as a click. The automated scriptless deployment feature doesn’t demand any specific programming skills to move apps to production. Additionally, the Outsystems platform is embedded with DevOps tools, automated governance, AI-powered app lifecycle management, and CI/CD pipelines.
The feature provides real-time performance monitoring, bus checks, and impact analysis.
AI-powered OutSystems LifeTime feature unites job scheduling, web-service endpoints, version control, and business properties.
The platform ensures your app health right from the start of project development with dependency analysis and app infrastructure monitoring. Alternatively, you can use your own set of DevOps tools.
CI/CD support enables developers to deploy Outsystems low-code applications across different environments.
Outsystems has a comprehensible visual editor with a drag-and-drop functionality which makes it easy for citizen developers and professionals to build their apps.
Then, Outsystems offers a single integrated environment that covers a full-cycle development process: development, QA, deployment, monitoring, and management. Building a low-code application in Outsystem's single integrated environment covers front-end, back-end, database, and integrations. In the paid user plans, developers unlock the full DevOps automation which takes much workload from them and, respectively saves money for the business.
Outsystem’s low-code platform has a standard-based cloud-native architecture. Cloud-native architecture makes Outsystems applications so powerful that they can compete with the leading systems in performance, scalability, and security. However, using such innovative architecture may require specific knowledge and skills from your low-code developers.
The platform provides developers with both horizontal and vertical scalability. Outsystems applications can serve millions of users simultaneously which is crucial for enterprise-grade services.
500+ security points make OutSystems apps secure by design. It means that the applications will have strong DDOS resistance, and facilitate the handling of new code vulnerabilities, and mobile threats.
Your developers can extend Outsystems apps with custom C# or Java code. Custom components are easy to integrate with existing apps and systems through open-source or custom connectors. What’s more, low-code developers can use artificial intelligence, IoT outputs, reactive web, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), and microservices. All in all, Outsystems doesn’t limit the creativity of your developers.
Outsystems low-code apps have 275+ pre-built connectors to integrate them with SOAP services and REST APIs, ERPs (SAP), and external databases (oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, DB2, PostgreSQL, Aurora PostgreSQL, Azure PostgreSQL). Also, you can integrate connectors with custom code or use Integration Builder to create fully customized connectors to any external database. OutSystems support SAP natively which means developers can connect it with any mobile/web app and extend it with different functionalities. The connectors and the visual editor enable developers to connect applications to the above-mentioned systems fast and error-free. The platform automatically saves the data on the actions, errors, and bugs that occurred during the development process.
For cloud integrations, you can download connectors to the most popular services from Outsystems Forge. Outsystems Forge is integrated into the visual editor so it won’t be a problem for devs to get the connectors. Among the cloud, integrations are cloud services (Jira, Zendesk, Salesforce, PayPal, Twilio, IdP), cloud storage (AmazonS3, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox), and social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
Outsystems apps can address multiple business needs including customer applications, internal tools, core systems, process automatization tools, and legacy systems modernization. Among the examples of software, you can build using the platform are business-to-consumer banking mobile apps, customer loyalty applications, internal portals, mobile field service apps, SAP extensions, customer self-service with chatbots, and many other types of applications.
Outsystems has three pricing plans Free, Standard, and Enterprise.
Pros and Cons of Outsystems
- Stable and performant applications of high complexity;
- Convenient and multifunctional drag-and-drop UI;
- Fast low-code development process and easy deployment;
- Inclusive free plan for SMBs;
- Interactive training courses and great customer support;
- Direct mobile app publication to App Store and Google Play;
- Lots of pre-built components and integrations;
- Strong security features.
- Expensive enterprise-level pricing plans;
- Doesn’t support desktop applications;
- It may be difficult to find pro OutSystems developers.
Without a doubt, Outsystems is one of the trendsetters in the low-code community. It offers impressive capabilities, and greatly facilitates the development and production of complex software.
At the same time, we need to point out that OutSystems serves enterprises and SMBs. The capabilities and apps the platform is able to produce software are beyond average and go for the respective pricing. Luckily, Outsystems has a free plan with a pretty generous offering that will be sufficient for SMEs as well. However, to access the best productivity tools, customization capabilities, and integrations you will need to go for a paid package.
But let’s see what the actual Outsystems users say about the platform.
“The most significant advantage we've noticed is the enhanced productivity we can achieve with a single developer/resource. This has decreased the time, effort, and costs associated with developing and supporting solutions, allowing us to provide more, high-quality, and innovative solutions to our business partners for the same investment.”
“Outsystems is easy to use and spares precious time from not having to deal with many distracting and time-consuming tasks, allowing me to focus on the design and business logic, to achieve the best possible product for the clients. It is reliable and supported by an ever-growing community that makes ready-made solutions such as integrations and other components easy to use and adapt.”
“For almost all of our application development, we have standardized on OutSystems. This platform has been shown to be very well suited for both the quick creation of new applications and the administration of current ones.”
“One-click publishing, a popular and distinctive feature of OutSystems, is one of its positive features. Your application can be published globally with just one click, which I have never seen before in any technology.Time is of the utmost importance, or we can always say that money is time, and that is what we are doing here.”
“Due to the fact that OutSystems is a full-fledged application development platform, its adoption is not encouraged for those that are not committed to fundamental business change driven by technology. We must be prepared to put in the necessary time and effort to get benefits that go beyond the obvious.”
Although OutSystems covers a large spectrum of software development needs, you may consider using other platforms with more moderate pricing or different functionalities. Here are the alternatives:
Low-code development experts
Low-code approach is the fastest and easiest way to build your business application or internal workflow optimization software. Low-code and no-code platforms cater to all types of businesses (SMEs, startups, and enterprises) and individuals alike. But usually, to access the full potential of low-code you may need professional developer assistance that has experience using these platforms.
You can discuss your project with our low-code development experts if that is your case. We have more than 7 years of software development experience including working with various low-code development platforms including Retool, UI Bakery, Appsmith, Budibase, and others.
We can help you at any stage of your low-code app development: from the right low-code platform selection and process strategizing to full-scale development, customization, and integration with your existing systems. For more information, reach out to our low-code development team leads and get a free consultation.
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