At a time when companies are increasingly turning to low-code development, Creatio has released a new version of its low-code development platform, Creatio 8.0 Atlas, which adds an updated and unified no-code development console, an AI-assisted UI/UX framework configurator, and the ability to more easily reuse already designed components at any step in the application development process.
Companies have come under pressure during the pandemic to bring certain types of applications to market more quickly, such as cloud-based programs, and are increasingly adopting low/no code development platforms, also known as LCAPs, to ensure collaboration between IT and business teams, and reduce application build time, according to market research firm Gartner.
LCAPs allow non-expert programmers, including business analysts, to create applications. By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020, according to Gartner.
AI helps UI design
The new version of the Creatio platform includes an AI-assisted framework for user interface design, called Freedom UI. It contains a library of predefined views, widgets, and templates to speed up the design process, is adaptable to different screens and devices, and meets the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), according to the company.
“Freedom UI’s AI module, after self-learning, will make recommendations to developers for elements and styles during an app’s design based on what the app is made for,” said Andie Dovgan, Growth Director at Creatio .
AI-aided design software will help companies train more developers in a short period of time, noted Dion Hinchcliffe, principal analyst at Constellation Research. “Under-skilled or unskilled developers will need help throughout most of the process. AI-based suggestions can accelerate their use and learning of the tool, making solution development more agile and faster, with less training required,” Hinchcliffe added.
Creatio’s approach seems to be based on the premise of creating as many developers as possible, Hinchcliffe added. “This approach allows low-skilled or unskilled developers to build apps that can be used on many different types of devices without the need for a professional front-end developer who knows how to build responsible-style apps. This makes it more likely that enterprise apps will be developed.” helpful,” Hinchliffe said.
However, the analyst noted that there is stiff competition in the low-code software market, as there are many vendors offering AI-based tools to help citizen developers. One such example is the adoption of the GPT-3 AI linguistic prediction model within Microsoft’s low-code PowerApps tool to convert a worker’s natural language specifications into actual code.
Simplify development without code
Creatio’s Atlas 8.0 release also includes an updated and unified no-code console, where low-code developers can configure data models and access rights, design workflows, enable no-code integrations using SOAP and REST services, and launch apps.
The unified console also allows experienced professional developers access to more sophisticated configuration tools, facilitating collaborative development between professional and less experienced developers, further democratizing the phenomenon of citizen development in enterprises, according to the company.
“We’re using the same tools, but packaging them in a way that lowers the barriers to getting started with LCAPs,” Dovgan said.
Constellation’s Hinchcliffe said that while some vendors are creating interfaces that only coders will understand, Creatio’s approach of simplifying the development process with something akin to a single console can benefit companies with development cycle times, as that developers won’t have to search for features.
Reuse of elements already designed
The new version of Creatio’s LCAP takes what the company calls a “composable” approach to development, allowing developers to reuse already designed elements directly from the console as part of the application development process.
“The code-free composable development process allows users to assemble apps and reuse components by taking advantage of the ‘Lego bricks’ approach,” Dovgan said, adding that developers could also use apps, connectors and templates from its marketplace with “a single click to include it in the design process”.
The concept of being able to reuse elements already created or designed is something that has been sought after in software development circles for a long time, Hinchcliffe said, adding that the idea is to allow every functionality or capability that someone built in non-code for company is easily shared and reused by everyone else.
“Most code can’t be easily reused, but by ensuring that no-code solutions are built to be composable, you can now accumulate features that can be reused across the enterprise.” Popular visions of no-code features could spread virally, saving time and effort everywhere by spreading local innovations. There aren’t many no-code/low-code platforms that do this today, although some do, but in a very different way than this,” Hinchcliffe noted.
Some of the other enhancements in the new version of Atlas include ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) capabilities that allow non-code developers to view available instances, perform typical deployment operations, and orchestrate applications. at each stage of the development life cycle.
The ALM portal makes it possible to organize the work of different teams (non-code architects, non-code developers, professional developers, etc.), while managing collaboration processes, Dovgan said.
Rivals abound in the low-code platform market
According to the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms report, there are many Creatio competitors trying to meet enterprise demand for democratizing application development, hyper-automation, and composability.
In terms of business performance, product and go-to-market strategy, Gartner’s latest report shows that Microsoft, Mendix, OutSystems, Salesforce and ServiceNow lead the LCAP market with Appian, Oracle and Pega close behind. The research company counts Creatio, Newgen, Kintone and Quickbase as niche players.
Enterprise LCAPs are part of the global market for low-code development technologies, which is expected to reach $29 billion in revenue by 2025 (with a CAGR, or compound annual growth rate, of more than 20% ), according to the research firm. Additionally, the LCAP segment is projected to grow from $4.45 billion to $14.38 billion between 2020 and 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 26.4%.