Oracle is making its popular APEX low-code development platform available as a managed cloud service that developers can use to build data-driven enterprise applications quickly and easily.
In today's competitive business climate, organizations need to find new ways to get an edge on their competition. Many have invested heavily in e-commerce tools, apps and websites, making it easier for customers to research products, buy services and get support. To maintain a competitive edge in the digital era, organizations must embrace the concept of immersive communications experiences — real-time communications capabilities embedded directly into end-customer applications and internal workflows.
Fortunately, breakthroughs in communications platforms as a service (CPaaS) are making it increasingly easier to embed voice, messaging, chat and video into experiences than ever before through low-code or no-code options. These development platforms allow developers to embed application logic within the CPaaS to implement robust communications capabilities into business processes and applications — such as a voice interface or a chatbox — with just a few lines of code.
How Exactly Does Low Code Development Work?
A low-code development platform is a visual integrated development environment that allows developers — and non-developers — to drag and drop application components (or bits of pre-built, automated functionality) through easy-to-use graphical interfaces and connect them together to create a mobile or web app. These functionalities can be accessed natively within an integrated development or build environment or accessed via API from any source.
Ultimately, these visual builders allow even non-developers to define customer engagement applications or experiences in minutes.
The Benefits of Low-Code Development
By simplifying the coding process, developers can access massive compute and software application capabilities via a few APIs. In fact, 84% of enterprises have turned toward low-code and API-enabled platforms for their ability to reduce strain on IT resources, increase speed-to-market and innovate by creating new offerings (Forrester Consulting 2019). This in turn allows developers to focus on higher-level functions, such as concentrating more on the complex aspects of the applications they're developing.
But what does low-code development offer businesses? From a business perspective, organizations can enhance customer service functions, create new customer experiences or even create new revenue streams. For example, last year a major telecommunications provider launched an API marketplace to provide businesses with pre-packaged software code to embed in their websites and applications, enabling simpler, faster and more efficient ways to communicate with customers in real-time.
These APIs allow businesses to easily add or upgrade services to their websites, such as click-to-connect voice, video and text as well as two-factor authentication, conferencing, virtual directories and contact center. The turnkey or low-code applications are plug-and-play communications services that can easily be incorporated into business applications and websites. Enterprises and even healthcare organizations utilize these pre-packaged codes to quickly and easily create immersive customer and patient engagement applications with voice, text, video and monetary transaction capabilities.
Another great use case for low-code or no code applications is contact center operations. CPaaS-based applications can enable customers to get their questions answered from a specific webpage or social media page without having to wait for a live agent — allowing customers to choose their channel of choice while having their issues resolved in faster, friendlier ways.
But you don't have to be a fully functional contact center to benefit from low-code development. Web developers can add options to get answers automatically or from an expert without a presence of a full contact center. When communications channels are embedded into a business's website or mobile apps, that business can direct questions about specific products, orders or services to the right person in the company, who can receive inquiries via text messaging, email or voice, without any intermediaries.
These are just a few of the thousands of examples of how low-code or no-code development can improve productivity, drive new revenue and enhance the end-customer experience. By 2024, Gartner predicts that about two-thirds of application development activity will be done using low-code application development. While low-code application development is not new, businesses are feeling the pressure to develop applications with greater momentum as the app economy grows. Low-code application development allows organizations to develop rich apps using modern interface features with minimal effort, time or specialized skills.