Diving into DevOps

OutSystems Marries DevOps with Low-Code

The low-code development specialists at OutSystems aren't going to be left out of the DevOps revolution. The Atlanta-based company has added a new set of DevOps features to its namesake development platform specifically designed to help enterprise IT shops adopt low-code practices that accelerate app delivery.

Low-code development, which is about using visual modeling to create solutions much faster than is possible when coding by hand, has been getting a lot of attention lately. OutSystems has been something of a pioneer in this space.

"A lot of people have been jumping on the low-code bandwagon lately," Mike Hughes, OutSystems' director of product marketing, told me, "because a lot of customers are looking at [digital transformation] of their businesses." Low-code application development platforms, such as OutSystems, provide an easy solution for enterprises to map out their strategies and marry DevOps with low-code, he said.

"Basically, we're opening up our APIs and playing nicely with the DevOps toolchains an organization might have in place," Hughes said.

The list of new features and enhancements includes:

  • A new Enhanced LifeTime Deployment API, which allows for the management of applications, modules, environments and deployments of an OutSystems infrastructure. This API makes it possible for DevOps teams to use their existing orchestration platforms to manage the lifecycle of apps built on, and running within OutSystems.
  • The new OutSystems VSTS Extension integrates the platform with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services. Available in the Microsoft Visual Studio Marketplace, the extension allows organizations to manage builds and releases of OutSystems apps through VSTS.
  • New integration with the Jenkins CI/CD Server enables the management of OutSystems app lifecycles with the popular open source Jenkins continuous integration and continuous delivery tooling in a DevOps operation.
  • New functional enhancements that allow for more flexibility when planning deployments, and an improved user interface for searching and selecting apps to be deployed. Aimed at DevOps teams managing large environments with hundreds or thousands of applications deployed.
  • A new Automated Visual Text Merge feature, which makes it possible to compare JavaScript and CSS scripts during conflict resolution, merge the code of scripts, and resolve conflicts.
  • A new Test Framework, which is a test management tool that allows automation and orchestration of Unit Testing using BDD Framework Tests, UI Tests, API Testing, and Mobile Testing. This feature aims to enhance collaboration between development, QA, and, operations departments.

The company also just unveiled a new low-code, visual debugger for mobile apps. The company is billing it as the "first-ever low-code debugger."

"To provide organizations with a low-code approach for building rich mobile experiences, but then expect them to resort to complex developer tools when it is time to debug them, completely defeats the purpose of a low-code platform, said Gonçalo Borrêga, OutSystems' Head of Product, in a statement. "We see developers modeling complex interactions and logic that runs on the device, taking advantage of native capabilities. By providing a seamless and visual debugging experience, whether the code is running on an iPhone, Android, or server-side, we ensure teams get the benefits of low-code throughout the entire development lifecycle."

About the Author

John has been covering the high-tech beat from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Application Development Trends (www.ADTMag.com) and contributes regularly to Redmond Magazine, The Technology Horizons in Education Journal, and Campus Technology. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Everything Guide to Social Media; The Everything Computer Book; Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design; John Chambers and the Cisco Way; and Diablo: The Official Strategy Guide.

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