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The Value of Enterprise Microservices with Low Code

Low-code microservices increase business value by accelerating app build and deployment speeds, reducing coding time, and using business resources efficiently. Businesses will gain the most ROI by producing simple, secure applications with fewer integration points.

microservices and low code softwareProviding business value and staying ahead of the market are two main objectives for any business.

If you're a business that's still using traditional development methods, you're probably familiar with the long, difficult climb that looks like you will never be able to reach the summit. And, if you're wondering how to make digital transformation quicker and easier, there is a solution. Low-code can often give you that added boost to reach that summit.  

Low-code platforms help businesses build solutions to increase workflow efficiency and automate application deployment. Building microservices-based applications using traditional development techniques requires more expertise and time.


Monolithic Applications vs. Microservices Solutions

Microservices can break up a monolith app into various independent services. Microservices are also quicker to build and deploy than slow and heavy monolith architectures. This often results in an improved ability to scale and a quicker response to market changes. Microservices make apps quicker to build, test, update, and deploy. They also improve collaboration among teams and the ability to share data.

The Value of Enterprise Microservices

  • More failure proof: Unlike monolith apps, the failure of a single app module does not impact larger apps. Designed microservices also help manage failure in diverse services and operations.
  • Decentralized Data: Each microservice app uses a separate database which means more decentralized data management and governance.
  • Several Components: You can separate microservice architecture into various component services, then deploy, update, and redeploy each service independently.
  • Simple routing: Microservices have an easier routing process starting from getting API requests, processing them, and then creating a response.


What is Low-Code Development?

Low-code platforms enable employees who have minimal coding knowledge to build small to large applications. Many low-code platforms have a user-friendly graphical interface, which reduces development time and increases deployment speed.

low code development and microservicesParts of a Typical Low-Code Platform Include:

  • A point-and-click or drag-and-drop interface helps developers define application data models and workflows with more speed.
  • Integration Mechanisms securely connect front-end components with backend services.
  • The Application Lifecycle component manages ideation, development, testing, operations, and deployment.

The graphics-based interface automates much of the app design. This reduces the dependence on front-end tools. These interfaces help developers tailor an app’s user interface (UI) for different users more rapidly.

Microservices Complexities

Microservices are not the first approach for breaking up large complex software into individual services.

In 1967, Ivar Jacobson proposed the idea of building software from pre-built blocks of code instead of building everything from scratch. The problem, then and now, is that these components introduce added complexity.

Take microservices, for example. For each microservice app, additional code must be written to ensure uptime, reliability, and observability. The goal may be to create simple building blocks, but you end up writing more code.

How Low-Code and Microservices Work Together

Low-code development resolves some microservices complexity. In some ways, both solve similar problems. Like microservices, low-code is a way to create solutions with standardized, out-of-the-box components.

Microservices communicate in TCP/IP and deliver data payloads in JSON, where components work together without dependencies, and where each small service performs one task well.

You may think of setting up a set of services for customer information, another for orders, a third for product lookup, and a fourth for delivery. Separating microservices into business functions results in more code to manage.

If something goes wrong your IT teams need tools that track the entire sequence of events for debugging. Microservices require logging and monitoring work outside of simple components.

Without suitable tools, it is almost impossible to identify the specific component that contributed to the issue.


The Value of Low-Code Microservices to Enterprise Architectures

Adopting microservices reduces the restrictions of old tech stacks and monolithic architectures. In the best case, low-code microservices amplify speed, agility, production, and deployment benefits. Businesses will gain the most when apps are simple, secure, and have a few main integration points.

manufacturing data value chainOther advantages include:

  • Added Reusability. Functional libraries and drop-down lists of key application features provide increased component reusability.
  • Increased Productivity: Low-code increases development productivity leading to fast build and release cycles.
  • Reduces Costs. Low-code provides a resource-efficient way to design modular applications and data workflows, as well as automate processes. There is a reduced need for large teams of developers with specialized expertise.
  • Improved Customer Experience. Rapid development makes it easier to tailor solutions to customer needs by adding new features and customizations to multiple microservices, as needed.
  • Applications in the Cloud: You can also build cloud-native applications with low-code tools, increasing accessibility to employees working remotely.
  • Democratizes Development: Low-code needs minimal coding expertise, allowing a range of skilled users to experiment and create microservices applications.


The Limitations of Low-Code Microservices

For large-scale microservices-based systems with complex processes involving many development teams, low-code is not the best.

  • Low-code pre-built modules make development faster but may not be as effective for complex customizations.
  • AlphaAnywhere2022Trans2Integrating low-code tools with complex business applications and large volumes of data can at times be challenging unless you choose a product like Alpha Anywhere that specializes in integration.
  • When using some low-code solutions, developers give their control to third-party services, which may increase the exposure to sensitive business data.


Use Cases Where Low-Code Microservices Value Increases

Here are some of the best use cases for low-code microservices.

  • Proof of Concept (POC). Rapid application development means businesses can build POCs quicker. Developers can show how reformatting an existing monolithic application into microservices will improve a specific process or reduce costs.
  • Easier API Management. Developers avoid writing dedicated API code for each service, enabling several microservices to work with a single API simultaneously.
  • Smaller development budgets. If an organization needs to reduce its IT budget, low-code platforms enable developers to produce small sets of microservices without the high costs of full-scale development.


Bottom Line

Low-code microservices reduce unnecessary coding, increase production and deployment rates, and enable business users without coding skills to build solutions. Enterprises gain the most value when applications are simple, more secure, and have fewer integration points. Low-code microservices are ideal for smaller IT budgets, for demonstrating a Proof of Concept, and also ensure easier API management.

The Alpha Anywhere low code development platform offers a robust API that excels at integration, making low-code microservices a reality for organizations. The software also offers secure hosting with Alpha Cloud.

 Learn more and build apps for free with Alpha Anywhere.  

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.