“Aghhh! A no code platform, that’s not good, it will get me out of my job!!” this is a common reaction I find when I am talking to developers at events and conferences. As I utter that famous line ‘K2 is a platform that allows you to build business apps with no code or little code’. Then their faces turn grey as they see me build a purchase order form under 15 mins without even opening up Visual Studio. As I just drag views on to the form that are already connected to CRM or some other LOB system.
Is there any justification to their initial fear of what these No code platforms will do to their jobs? Are we in a middle of a No Code Revolution?
The No Code Revolution
So are we in a ‘No Code Revolution’? Yes we are and here is why.
We live in a world where the majority of people are becoming increasingly tech savvy. Where are every day lives are surrounded by hundreds of different Apps that entertain us, but also apps that help us with are daily lives whether it’s for work or at home. The result of this is simple we are no longer afraid to play with technology, it’s no longer left to a select few to play with. Now everyone is able to build automated home systems and even make games to sale on app stores with game salad.
This boom has a created a whole generation of people with an interest in technology and for businesses it has sparked people in wanting to build applications to help fill the gap and not only in making their lives easier but also to give them that competitive edge over their competitors. Apps is how customers engage with your business. To succeed, companies are transforming the way they think and act. When it comes to delivering for your customers today, it’s all about your apps.
These no code platforms are disruptive as they are changing the landscape in the way we work as no code platforms allow for rapid application development of these apps and these apps can span multiple different systems and be used on multiple different platforms.
Don’t get me wrong no code tools are not a new thing, Microsoft Access is an early example of this where you could build forms that interacted with tables without having to write any code. I used to work for a company back in early 2000s where majority of their business was run from these types of apps. They had their limitations, but it was an easy work around to get things done quickly and made daily business tasks manageable.
These platforms are good to have as not everyone is a developer and can write code and for a lot of businesses developers are very expensive and bespoke fully coded apps take a long time to build.
Is this the end of the developer in businesses?
The simple answer is ‘NO’ it won’t and instead it will open up more opportunities and here is why.
Today more than ever in the past, we live in a world where we want to consume and interact with data from anywhere and on any device (see this article for more info) . So most platforms come with a API that allow third parties to develop around and expand on that platform and K2 is no exception.
K2 has an extensive API that allows you to extend K2 so you can create custom controls for Smartforms, create custom functions and brokers so you can connect to other LOB of systems that are not supported out of the box. Not only can you extend K2 but you can build apps that interacts with K2 workflows and Smartobjects via K2’s web services.
You can also build custom web services for K2 to consume which allows K2 to run custom code indirectly. K2 provides a developer reference guide that is very useful in going through the API.
The benefit of this API allows for unlimited possibilities in what people can do with K2 and is limitless to how far K2 can be extended. See my last article for examples of this.
K2 has a community site where people in the K2 community can upload their own custom controls and functions for other people to use. In the same way Microsoft has code plex. This market place is always growing and is a great place to get ideas, but also you can take these projects and extend them even further to suit your needs.
The no code revolution is not a bad thing, it allows the business to build apps and take ownership of them and because it free’s the developer’s time to allow them add additional functionality to the platform in ways that will be different for every business and only their imagination is the only limitation and that’s why I love K2 as a developer and that’s why developers shouldn’t be afraid of no code platforms.