Understanding the value of low-code apps for professional developers
By now, you’ve probably heard of low-code application development. Maybe you’ve read about it in a blog or in a low-code whitepaper courtesy of your favorite market research firm. What you might not have heard is that low-code development isn’t just for citizen developers, it’s for code-first developers too.
Low code apps aren’t designed to replace or automate your job. Rather, they empower you to accelerate application development by collaborating with citizen developers while maintaining governance of your apps at scale. Read on to discover how to do more with less by adopting a low-code development environment.
Low-code apps offer a collaboration-first approach to development
Low-code development environments bring together citizen developers and code-first developers to encourage collaborative coding. The collaborative nature of low-code apps allows stakeholders from across business lines to provide expertise and influence the direction of an application’s development. Business and IT professionals can now provide value through their unique experience and perspectives to maximize the impact of an application.
This approach enables code-first developers to collaborate with citizen developers on their preferred respective platforms. Code-first developers can now create artifacts in a surface like VS Code that can be readily consumed in a low-code application like Power Apps Studio by citizen developers. In the past, code-first developers were forced to leave their native surfaces to engage with citizen developers. By using Power Platform Extension for VS Code, you can collaborate without the inconvenience of adopting a new platform.
The benefit of collaborative development extends to the debugging process as well. As a developer, the end-user experience for your API is always top-of-mind. Leverage low-code apps to identify pain points and work with citizen developers to debug and optimize code in a common platform. Additionally, low-code apps relieve some of the headaches associated with the traditional debugging process. With Microsoft’s Power Platform and VS Code, key features like Monitor and port tunneling for ASP.NET Core projects make debugging easier even for seasoned developers.
Increase development speed for front-end processes
Low-code apps don’t just bridge the gap between citizen developers and code-first developers, they also dramatically accelerate your development timelines. By leveraging data from the tools and systems you already use, you avoid the hassle of lengthy cross-platform data migration. This benefit, along with the ability to customize common code components, allows you to build basic front ends in minutes.
The Power Apps Component Framework (PCF) allows you to save time by making custom code components as reusable visual extensions. These components are metadata driven, performant, and can accelerate your time to development.
These PCF components can be used on Canvas as well as model-driven apps, and can be packaged into standard Power Platform solutions. Examples of what these code components can do include the ability to transform numeric text into interactive dials or sliders and converting lists into visually friendly experiences like calendars or maps.
Furthermore, development on the front-end is streamlined through drag-and-drop visual interfaces complete with pre-built UX components. The drag-and-drop approach allows citizen developers to work alongside code-first developers, freeing them to work on more code-intensive work.
Streamline back-end processes with API management
Back-end developers focused on database and API management can easily extend their tools and processes with low-code environments. With Power Platform you can maintain control over all your custom connections and API endpoints to stay compliant, collaborative, and organized across a variety of platforms.
API management, once reserved only for code-first developers, is now accessible to citizen developers with Azure API Management Connector on Power Platform. This platform reduces development time by simplifying the creation of APIs to the Power Platform for easy discovery and consumption. API Management accelerates application development, unifies your management experience, and provides full observability across all internal and external APIs.
Automate application deployment and governance at scale with low-code apps
Traditional DevOps workflows don’t allow citizen developers to participate in the application governance process. Power Platform now enables these developers to create simplified ALM automation workflows that can be deployed and audited from environment to environment. By leveraging the upcoming Power Platform Pipelines feature, simple in-product deployments can be performed by citizen developers within Managed Environments.
To achieve more complex workflows, you can leverage Azure DevOps or GitHub Actions for Power Platform. Bringing these two approaches together allows you to “daisy chain” DevOps pipelines created by citizen developers within Power Platform Pipelines and more complex pipelines created by code-first developers in Azure DevOps.
DevOps teams can leverage Power Platform to simplify complex application lifecycle management (ALM) processes with GitHub Actions for Power Platform. This platform helps automate repetitive tasks and eliminates the need to manually manage the application lifecycle of apps built on the Power Platform. Some of the actions you can automate include environment provisioning or deprovisioning, static analysis checks, and importing or exporting application metadata.
You might be worried that a low-code application development platform will produce a cascade of ungoverned applications across the enterprise. With Power Platform, you can rest assured that IT admins are equipped to proactively govern with Managed Environments for Power Platform. Rather than requiring IT admins to govern assets from standalone providers with unique governance capabilities and limitations, admins can enjoy a bird’s eye view of their entire Power Platform usage via email updates. IT admins can see every asset created within the platform, unlocking the potential to control access, monitor usage, and govern at scale.
Get started using low code today with our Power Apps Developer Plan
If you’re ready to create a collaborative coding environment, accelerate application development, and automate repetitive tasks, you need a low-code application environment. Get started today with the Power Apps Developer Plan.
This plan provides a full list of capabilities offered by the Power Apps platform. Using this plan, you and your team of developers get an environment to start developing and testing apps right away. Your team will benefit from premium and custom connector support, data modeling with Dataverse, workflow automation with Power Automate, and more.