Low code solutions such as Microsoft Flow and PowerApps offer faster development of some types of software solutions. These products allow non-developers to create solutions or apps for functions such as approvals, routing or even integrating data for multiple systems.
Writing successful solutions, even without coding, requires quite a bit of knowledge and experience. Here are some of the fundamental areas which are prerequisites:
- Understanding business processes. If you do not understand your business process, you cannot automate it. This means a solid grasp of the data, the steps in the process, and how exceptions and errors are handled. Normally this knowledge is in the domain of a business analyst.
- Understanding data modeling. Most solutions involve some data storage, so you must understand field types, relationships, and concepts such as normalization to come up with an efficient data model.
- Mastering the low code tool. You must thoroughly understand the product you are using to create the app. It may have several similar features to accomplish the same task, and you must know enough to choose the right approach. You can Google your way to learn the tool or go through a more structured training approach. Microsoft offers extensive free training resources for its products.
- Planning governance. You don't want to go from citizen developer who has the support of the IT department to a rogue shadow developer creating solutions which are not supported. Governance is the set of procedures to manage software solutions so that they are reliable, predicable and supportable.
- Do no harm. You must follow IT practices to test your solutions before they go into production, develop in a non-production environment, document your steps and avoid breaking things. These are second nature to software developers, but may be new concepts for the citizen developer.
Developing low code software solutions requires no less discipline than custom software development. Your IT department can provide vital support in order to make you low code solutions more successful.
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