In a recent low-code vendor landscape report, Forrester analysts Clay Richardson and John Rhymer identified five distinct categories of low-code platforms:
• General Purpose
• Request Handling
• Mobile First
The Purpose of Low Code
According to Forrester, the point of low code is to speed the development of new apps, an objective that these platforms accomplish by changing two dimensions of traditional development platforms:
First, low code platforms change the way apps are developed and delivered:
Low-code platforms rely on declarative development tools, including domain languages, WYSIWYG user experience (UX) definition, flow diagramming, and visual data modeling, instead of programming languages.
And second, low-code platforms are acquired and consumed differently than traditional platforms, given that low-code licensing models “reflect business value delivered rather than business value promised.” The point, here, is that a core premise behind low-code—that such platforms require little upfront expense or long-term commitment—tend to provide freemium models of very low cost entry points.
General Purpose Platforms
From Forrester’s perspective, General Purpose platforms are the most robust of the five types, targeting a wide range of web and mobile applications with extensive collections of declarative tools that address application creation, integration, deployment, life-cycle management, and distribution (through marketplaces).
And according to Forrester, General Purpose platforms actually “seek to displace Java, .NET, or other low-level coding platforms. Among the vendors listed by Forrester as General Purpose Low-Code vendors are Intalio, Mendix, MIOsoft, OutSystems, Progress Software, Salesforce, Simplicité Software, ViziApps, WhoGloo, and Zudy.
In addition to the capabilities listed above, General Purpose platforms will have some limited workflow capability but will lack the more advanced BPM feature sets available in the process-focused Low-Code platforms.
Process-Focused Low-Code Platforms
According to Forrester’s Vendor Landscape, process-focused platforms “target applications that require coordination and collaboration across different employee and customer roles.” To this end, process platforms provide a mix of process automation, case management, and social interaction features that can be configured to manage structured and unstructured business processes. Process platforms allow the visual configuration of process flow-logic that spans line-of-business systems, systems of record, and disparate groups throughout enterprises, surfacing data and content when and where it’s needed and enabling novel work patterns that add significant business value, improving efficiency while increasing governance, mitigating risk, and enforcing compliance with internal rules and external regulations.
AgilePoint NX, a General Purpose Platform with Strong BPM Credentials
Included in Forrester’s list of process-focused vendors are AgilePoint, Appian, Bizagi, BP Logix, K2, ManyWho, MatsSoft, MicroPact, Mobideo Technologies, Nintex, PNMsoft, Software AG, and Ultimus; which brings me to my point:
AgilePoint is not so much a process-focused low-code platform as it is a general purpose low-code platform that happens to have advanced process-centric capability. In fact, so robust is AgilePoint’s process capability that it was included in Gartner’s iBPMS Magic Quadrant for 2015.
To learn more about General Purpose process platforms, check out the following free ebook:
To learn more about AgilePoint’s credentials as a General Purpose platform and as a Process platform, check out the following ebook, also free: