Application development, digital transformation, web design, and development, or cloud computing – the spotlight is on the IT team. The IT team is expected to deliver complex, innovative solutions faster with smaller budgets.
Low-code and No-code platforms are changing it all. High-productivity application platform as a service (hpaPaaS) platforms speed up and simplify application development by letting professional developers, as well as business experts, build applications by writing very little or no code.
When IT solutions are expected to be delivered without increasing budgets, a low-code or no-code application platform as a service (aPaaS) is the go-to solution for the organization.
Businesses must consider high productivity aPaaS tools to increase the productivity of professional developers and enable self-service. This blog helps understand what hpaPaaS is, the capabilities of these platforms, and the benefits of using these high-productivity platforms.
What is hpaPaaS?
The acronym hpaPaas is expanded as a high-productivity application platform as a service. Gartner has coined 2 terms for cloud-based application development – high-productivity application platform as a service, and high-control application platform as a service (HCaPaaS).
Gartner defines an application platform as a service (aPaaS) as a cloud service that offers the development and deployment of environments for application services. Then, what is HPaP? When the aPaaS is enhanced with tools for rapid development and delivery it becomes a high-productivity application platform or HPaP.
Businesses are constantly working under the pressure of meeting customer demands and keeping up with the pace of the business market. They almost always have to do more with less.
High-productivity application platforms as a service happened as a result of businesses looking for efficient and quicker ways of developing applications, without relying solely on IT. Blocks of code being the foundation of software applications, enterprises developed low-code platforms that simplify coding and are less time-consuming.
Moreover, the reliance on IT personnel for developing code is also significantly reduced with these low-code platforms. hpaPaaS can be considered the next generation of low-code automation platforms that address the demand for rapid development of software applications.
hpaPaaS streamline app development by offering DevOps teams and professional developers the full transparency, control, and visibility that they need for speedy and efficient app development.
Other cloud platforms include
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS), and
- Platform as a Service (PaaS).
hpaPaaS enables enterprises to quickly create, test, deploy, and manage applications with minimum support from IT. Owing to the increasing demand for faster time to market on the cloud and rapid development and deployment, more businesses are opting for cloud platforms for developing their products and services.
hpaPaaS is a cloud platform that speeds up and simplifies application delivery by solving several types of issues, ranging from experimenting and prototyping to modernizing legacy applications.
Why are enterprises going for hpaPaaS?
The main reason for the increased adoption of hpaPaaS is to improve productivity.
The second reason was to minimize time to market, followed by improving end-user experience. It is not enough if the right platform is adopted to speed up digital transformation, it is important to change the way applications are written as well.
Complete adoption of hpaPaaS is possible only when old solution development practices are replaced with solution experimentation and creation as part of inflow business innovation. Deeper adoption of high productivity aPaaS allows organizations to explore and adapt based on informed improvisation.
Low Code, No Code and hpaPaaS
Gartner has coined the term hpaPaaS to refer to cloud service that enables rapid development and delivery of application services.
How does low code relate to hpaPaaS?
Low code and hpaPaaS have overlapping capabilities that can be interchangeably used from a neutral point of view. hpaPaaS adopts a visual, model-driven approach that enables even people with non-IT backgrounds to build and deploy apps. This approach reduces the time to value and lower development costs while offloading the overburdened IT department.
No code on the other hand is not the same as low code, the main difference is more about whether the target application creator was a professional or a citizen developer. No-code platforms are more powerful and versatile, while low-code platforms are seamless and easy to use. Most of the low-code/no-code platforms in the market empower users to run applications and create them as well. The distinction between these two is also based on the architectural approach that vendors follow to support apps in the production environment.
Both low code and high-productivity aPaaS platforms are designed to help developers create and deploy high-productivity applications more quickly. Low code platforms can be used along with hpaPaaS to further speed up application development.
Business users without any programming knowledge can create applications using visual interfaces and pre-built components in a low-code platform. Combining this with hpaPaaS results in even faster application development times.
The low code platform can be used to create the basic structure of the app and also add more complex functionality later. However, low code platforms do not provide users the capability to control app resources and scalability. High productivity and control within a single application platform are possible with low code.
Capabilities of hpaPaaS
If you are looking to adopt the hpaPaaS platform, then it is necessary to understand the capabilities it brings to app development.
Platform as a Service
This one is the most obvious capability. This platform is provided on a subscription basis with support for resource sharing and multi-occupation (tenancy). Some examples of PaaS platforms are Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Platform.
Data and process
The platform has the capability to manage data models, business processes, and documents. Processes, data, and documents are the basis of most enterprise applications. Native support for these 3 components is provided by the hpaPaaS platform.
Mobile and Multi-Channel Support
The applications that are built on hpaPaaS platforms must be seamlessly deployed on multiple devices without the need for additional code for different devices or operating systems.
The hpaPaaS platform must support integration with external and internal systems via integration mechanisms like API, EDA, and Microservices.
Traditional software development methods are replaced by hpaPaaS. Each step in the traditional SDLC, design, requirements, versioning, testing, integration, development, etc, must be automated by the platform.
In addition to IT team members, business developers can easily use hpaPaaS to build apps easily and rapidly. Application development requires collaboration between teams. Citizen developers must be able to collaborate and leverage pre-built apps, development accelerators, and the marketplace.
As business demands become more complex and application delivery timelines shrink, enterprises are looking for better ways to develop software applications. Low code platforms and hpaPaaS together provide businesses with the tools to go beyond digitization and transform their business. Inherent capabilities of modern-day low-code platforms include rapid prototyping, live testing, citizen development, and collaborative development.
Challenges in Adopting hpaPaaS
A high-productivity application platform as a service is undoubtedly a great way to accelerate application development. There are, however, certain inherent challenges in the adoption of this platform that dissuades businesses from adopting it.
Developing apps on a hpaPaaS platform requires proper expertise, policies, principles, and guidelines, that may not always be available in all organizations. The platform might exhibit unexpected errors when it encounters similar solutions or poor-quality applications. The hpaPaaS platform may not work as expected when presented with the unclear location of relevant data and the absence of access controls.
In order to implement apps using this platform, enterprises must have a robust infrastructure. Inadequate infrastructure for this platform may result in failed application development.
One of the biggest challenges in adopting hpaPaaS platforms is determining the right evaluation criteria for choosing the right platform. Not all platforms are the same, so a careful analysis of various aspects of each platform is critical.
The risk assessment for using the hpaPaaS platform is listed below:
Security must be the most important risk consideration while evaluating the platform. Cyber attackers are continuously becoming more sophisticated in getting through the security walls of large organizations. The onus of keeping the stack secure is a massive responsibility.
Modern-day cloud infrastructure is extremely complex and requires continuous monitoring. The risk of unplanned downtime is more when using such high-productivity platforms.
3. Stability and performance
An in-house technology stack runs a high risk of getting into performance bottlenecks.
4. Team bandwidth
Maintenance and upkeep requirements of an in-house tech stack are high. The likelihood of running into team bandwidth contention is high.
5. Technical limitations
Developing apps on a high productivity aPaaS requires highly skilled team members. These technical requirements could be a limiting factor in adopting such development platforms.
Before going in for a high productivity aPaaS and building your own technology stack, businesses must consider the above-mentioned risks, and make informed decisions. The choice of the hpaPaaS is also important. The evaluation criteria are discussed in detail in the section below.
Choosing the right hpaPaaS platform
With so many low-code hpaPaaS platforms available in the market, how do you choose the one that is right for your business? We have put together several evaluation criteria that will help you zero in on the right platform for application development for your business.
- Development experience – This is the most important aspect to consider while choosing the development platform. A platform should enable the development team to be more productive compared to the productivity achieved by using traditional development tools. Aspects like simplicity or complexity of development environment setup, data modeling methods, building the UI, creating custom logic, and app debugging, must be considered while choosing the development platform.
- The Learning Curve – You need to first understand who the platform is aimed at. Is it optimized for citizen developers or software developers? How easy or difficult would it be for developers to learn how to use the platform? Can the technologies be easily understood by developers? Choose development platforms that do not require the developers to undergo extensive training for understanding and use the platform.
- Developer’s comfort – Most platforms are based on proprietary technology or visual development in place of coding. Both these require a buy-in from developers and they should be happy to adopt the platform. The development platform must boost software development productivity and not hold developers from achieving their productivity.
- Scalability and infrastructure setup – The setup of the cloud infrastructure required to deploy an app into multiple environments must be a simple task that is not time-consuming. The best development platforms must allow environments to be positioned with just a few clicks and must support scalability. The platform must provide indexing for the database in the cloud and the database on user devices should be investigated.
- The complexity of development – Developers must consider whether deploying a new version of the app to end users is easy. User experience must be simple and efficient, where end users need not follow steps that are error-prone.
- Specialized functionality – The platform must support seamless syncing of data to user devices that are often offline. While several platforms claim that they support apps that work offline, you need to be wary of the limitations that come with the support. Rather than just going by the functional support, you should look at specifics like the ability to interface with hardware devices, read or write from or to RFID or NFC tags, ingest measurements from Bluetooth sensors and measurement devices, or accept input from a laser barcode scanner.
- Security and compliance – One of the most important considerations while choosing the hpaPaaS platform is security and compliance features. To evaluate the security and compliance features, you must consider whether the platform encrypts data at rest in the cloud. Does it encrypt data on user devices across all supported operating systems? Are all the network communications encrypted by default? Does the platform provide a SOC 2 Type 2 report to attest to its security measures? On the compliance side, the platform must provide data retention and management tools that are compliant with regulatory and data privacy compliance requirements like GDPR or the California Consumer Privacy Act.
- Integration – The development of custom integrations for apps must be relatively easy. Even bi-directional integrations must be easy on the platform. Event-based integration patterns such as Webhooks and pub/sub patterns must be supported by the platform for monitoring, logging, and auditing trails for integration events.
- Compatibility with the Operating system – A good development platform must allow the building of apps that run as true mobile apps on iOS and Android and as true desktop apps on Windows, Linux, and Mac, as well as web apps. In short, the platform must provide a “write once run anywhere” capability to app development that does not require any further configuration before an app can run on different operating systems.
- Disaster recovery and backups – The platform must have a built-in database and application server redundancy. Built-in automated backups also must be provided by the platform. All these must be automatically done, without requiring any manual setup.
- Extensibility – The development platform must allow you to custom-build UI components and create custom logic within apps. It should also allow you to build custom back-end functionality in the cloud.
- Vendor lock-in – The platform must enable retrieval of readable code for apps from the platform and to port code for your app from one platform to another. Extracting data when a new vendor is chosen must be easy and seamless.
- Support and diagnostics – The platform must provide functionality that allows users to debug issues occurring on user devices. Retrieval of diagnostic reports or logs from users also must be easy on the platform.
- Data analysis and maintenance – Accessing data on the platform must be easy via an SQL interface. The data must be easily pulled from the platform to the BI platform of your choice. The platform must enable bulk manipulation of data.
Companies looking to build a digital app development strategy can either choose to build their own technology stack or use a high-productivity app platform to build their digital apps. If they choose to build the app using hpaPaaS, then they must consider the above-mentioned criteria to zero in on the right platform.
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Benefits of the hpaPaaS platform
Improved operational efficiency – Developing apps on an hpaPaaS platform provides better efficiency in DevOps efforts. Several rote tasks can be effectively automated on this platform. If you are looking to automate your workflows, then high productivity aPaaS is your go-to development platform.
Improves team collaboration
Using the high productivity aPaaS platform you can connect easily and effectively within the team. It allows employees to share files and information more easily.
Better customer connection
Such high-productivity app development platforms help establish stronger customer relationships. The tools provided by these platforms foster seamless connections with the customer.
Faster time to market
hpaPaaS platform helps you achieve faster time to market for your products and services. The tools and capabilities provided by this platform allow you to develop and deploy your applications more quickly.
Saves time and costs
Combining no-code or low-code development platforms with high productivity aPaaS simplifies and accelerates app development significantly. When development time is reduced, associated costs are also significantly minimized.
Reduces IT infrastructure
The IT infrastructure required to develop software apps on code-centric platforms is more. In contrast, low-code or no-code platforms require much less IT infrastructure to develop products or services. hpaPaaS uses a cloud delivery model, which helps save hardware and software costs significantly. When IT is freed from developing blocks of code, they accomplish more with less time and resources.
Lesser IT dependency
A no-code app development platform brings down the dependency on IT for developing the app. Even business developers can create apps using visual interfaces provided in no-code platforms.
hpaPaaS is a high-productivity application platform that enables businesses to develop and deploy software applications quickly and effectively. Not just quick app development, it provides several other benefits like employee collaboration, reduced IT infrastructure costs, and improved customer relationships. It is a powerful tool that helps businesses improve their efficiency and competitiveness.
Beyond Application Development
As per a 2019 Gartner report, by 2024 three quarters of large enterprises will be using at least 4 low-code application development, and low-code development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity. Evaluating app development platforms can be a complex and time-consuming process. Armed with the knowledge of the capabilities of hpaPaaS and the evaluation criteria elaborated in this blog, you can choose the best platform for your business.
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