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Low-Code Development Platforms
July 2022
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Sameer Verma - PeerSpot reviewer
Consulting Manager at Deloitte
Real User
Top 20
Low-code, helpful support, and great native mobile capability
Pros and Cons
  • "They are leading in the smart manufacturing, and connectivity space."
  • "There is always a layer of custom code required."

What is our primary use case?

We build various products or solutions for clients. It's mainly smart manufacturing use cases.

How has it helped my organization?

The ability to reduce the code, and the development, has been a very drastic improvement over custom code. The ability to have these vast amounts of connectors, which Mendix provides, especially in the manufacturing space, is great. For example, with OPC UA protocols, I have not seen any other low-code provider. That's very niche to pull machine data. That shows how much R&D investment they have done to build some complex connectors to simplify the user need.

What is most valuable?

Their native mobile capability is very good. In general, the way they launch the product has been great. Their product launching strategy is far better than any other platform. I work in OutSystems and Mendix. They tend to be more on the legacy side, OutSystems. With this solution, the product launching strategy is very, very agile. I really like when they roll out their updates, which are very, very frequent. 

They are leading in the smart manufacturing, and connectivity space. The integration they have built-in is great. No one else has gone that far.

What needs improvement?

There is always a layer of custom code required. There is a misconception of low-code, or Mendix, or the industry in general. They are perceived as more of a dashboarding tool, and as a visualization platform only, rather than building a complete enterprise solution. That's more of an awareness marketing challenge they have, or the industry has.

In general, AI needs to be better. The team and the company is running ahead with this a bit more. AI area is something which companies have started to pick up on, low-code wise, and they should invest in it more.

I would like to see their data hub module become a little bit more mature.

They need to expand their base as the concept is amazing. We just need to see more use cases and learn more capabilities there, and then definitely they need to fill in the AI piece of it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last 12 months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As a platform, in terms of stability, I like it. It is a very well-architected platform. After the Siemens acquisition, Siemens actually put a lot of money into it, the UI, to improve the solution and filled a lot of gaps. 

Right now, if any company or client asks me for a low-code solution in Industry 4.0 space, I would just say, "You don't have to spend money on doing an assessment. Mendix is your go-to." If a client wants to do financial services, this and that, yeah, we can do assessments. We'll figure it out, whatever they need, however, in the manufacturing space, Mendix has found a niche and no one is beating them in that area yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With platforms, you really need to figure out what all the platforms are capable of. They cannot do, for example, in the manufacturing space, machine data. They can show the machine data, however, they cannot store it.

In general, they have capabilities where they limit themselves, intentionally. 

We have internal and external users. On the manufacturing side, Manufacturing companies usually have use cases that will have more internal users versus external, which means they are dealing with factory workers. Per factory, in that case, you may have 50 to 100 people. We've built apps for an average of 100 to 200 users per factory.

We are going full-scale on Mendix right now. The way I've seen the other products, anywhere where we have manufacturing and SAP side of the product coming in, we are proposing Mendix. We are pushing Mendix 100%.

How are customer service and support?

We've dealt with technical support. We have someone in the UK that helps us. We have a US team, too, who works with us, however, they work as one team. They have a global team and we get support anytime we want in terms of troubleshooting, client issues, setup, very complex on-prem IT, OT problems, et cetera. They were able to help us out.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have done projects both on Mendix and OutSystems.

It's debatable, however, Mendix is my first choice, as, if you have asked me the same question that you asked me for OutSystems, I would have given a little bit of a lower rating in terms of how they operate. I have less trust due to my dealing or interaction with their customer support, their leadership, and all those things. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. There is nothing to do. The setup in development environment capabilities, which they provide, is a very niche capability, which I have not seen anywhere - not even in OutSystems, for example. They don't have it. The business users are more involved here.

I'd rate the ease of setup five out of five. However, if you're trying to install this in an on-prem environment, it is a hassle on its own for integration. We are not talking about integration. We are talking about just the initial setup.

The length of deployment depends on the problem the company is solving, the use case, and a bunch of different things around it. It varies.

For one company we work with, we can build our own connectors, private connectors. We did that in hardly three to four weeks, which that company itself could not do on its own. A lot of things are available in the background, however, if we decide we want to do something a certain way, we'll just build it that way.

With a low-code environment, traditionally, you need fewer people to maintain everything. You only need one person to do the external integration, for example. You need one person who can do custom UI development for sure, as for any project you hit, you will have 30% custom development, for sure. 

IF you have a team of five, where three are purely Mendix developers and two are full-stack developers, they can deliver anything. It's not like SAP where you need specifically SAP people to handle everything. 

What about the implementation team?

We are able to handle the implementation process ourselves. We have a consulting in-house development team.

What was our ROI?

We can show an ROI. We are able to, on the factory floor, go and understand what all the needs of the clients are. We can see the manual operations they do, and try to very quickly convert them into a mobile app or an iPad or some application and give it to them. With the turnaround time very quick here, it helps save costs.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution can get expensive. A single simple application can start at $50,000. That's approximately the total cost of ownership. If you just quote on a single app without any support, they can even go as low as $30,000 to $40,000, however, you need a minimum amount of detail including minimum support and packages. This is an annual cost. While the app is free, you end up paying for more resources.

That said, it is pretty competitive. I'd rate it 4.5 out of five. 

What other advice do I have?

We have a cloud version, hosted on AWS, and an on-prem solution as well.

I would advise others to not buy it blindly. Figure out the use case first. Do the cost-benefit analysis as the running cost of a low-code platform is a little bit higher, too.

They support startups, too, however, it might become expensive for them.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Alliance Partner - Please do not include any negative comments about the people of OutSystems in question 18
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Senior Product Manager Data Science at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Great UI and an easy initial setup, however, users are limited to 2,000 records
Pros and Cons
  • "There's a lot of online knowledge on the solution, to the point where new users can basically teach themselves how to use the solution."
  • "One of the major problems with it is what PowerApps calls the delegation warning. Regardless of what platform, data source, et cetera, that you're using, you can't retrieve more than 2000 records."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a general business process improvement. We use it as more of a digital transformation to eliminate some archaic manual processes that the business has built up over time. We're working to make everything more streamlined.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has allowed us to remove a lot of manual redundancies and to update and streamline our processes.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to use due to expert UI. It is great.

The initial setup is easy.

There's a lot of online knowledge on the solution, to the point where new users can basically teach themselves how to use the solution.

What needs improvement?

The solution is limited in a very specific way. One of the major problems with it is what PowerApps calls the delegation warning. Regardless of what platform, data source, et cetera, that you're using, you can't retrieve more than 2000 records.

I connect to an Oracle server that has well over 150,000 records that business users want to see or could use at any given time. The only thing that I could surface in the app is a portion of up to 2000 records at one data call.

Due to this limitation, I have to build in options for the user to refine the search, to go back out to the server, and then pull back records that match that search as opposed to offering all 150,000+ records. You need to filter quite extensively. Microsoft refers to is as a "delegation issue".

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for about a year. It hasn't been too long as of yet.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been very good. We've been pretty satisfied with it. It's not buggy. It doesn't crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You cannot scale with PowerApps. PowerApps is still very much a point solution. The size is the size.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support in the past. Everybody that we've worked with at Microsoft is phenomenal. They are always willing to help troubleshoot and get to the bottom of issues. That said, with PowerApps and even Power Automate, sometimes the teams at Microsoft still don't know why some issues occur or how to work around them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I joined the company a year ago in September. I don't think they used anything prior to that beyond the citizen developer level. There might have been a solution that the actual coders used, however, I can't recall the product's name. It was a pretty standard Microsoft application in any case. It may have been Visual Studio.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's quite straightforward.

For me, just using it on my own, I just used Google searches or YouTube to figure out how do this or fix and tie items together. After about a month of learning and experimenting, I had a pretty good handle on how PowerApps works.

What about the implementation team?

The company as a whole used Microsoft consultants to set up a center of excellence. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is free if you have a Teams account, or Office 365. 

If you start to use any premium connectors that are not stored in a SharePoint list or on an Excel workbook, then it costs $4 per user per month. If you want unlimited, it's about $16 per month for unlimited apps and unlimited connectors.

There might potentially be a few other extra fees, however, I'm not sure what they are. Microsoft is one of those organizations that manage to nickel and dime its customers on everything.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with Microsoft.

We are most likely using the most recent or updated version of the solution, however, I'm unsure of the exact version number.

While Microsoft is an option, I'd recommend users check out OutSystems first and see if it makes sense for them to use that before looking into Microsoft.

Overall, I'd rate the solution six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Managing Partner at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
A good integration layer and responsive support
Pros and Cons
    • "I would like to see full integration with AI."
    • "In many cases, they make choices where flexibility is a little bit degraded, but if you leave everything open and the flexibility is great then the usability is a little bit less."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are implementors. We advise our clients on building applications and doing innovation.

    We have a strong belief that no-coding is the future. Betty Blocks is a Dutch no-code platform provider, with a similar background to Mendix, and OutSystems. 

    In our view, they are very promising because they really go to the no-coding promise, which basically means that a business user could use the platform to build its own applications.

    Betty Blocks is taking this concept one step further than Mendix and OutSystems. 

    What is most valuable?

    All these platforms have different areas, you have an integration layer, you have the forms and you have the back-up. 

    I think the sense of Betty is that they perform, having all of those elements pretty well, and I think that the most crucial one is the front apps. 

    To have an application look good with something that more or less comes out of a box, that is quite complicated.

    If you look at Pega, they are very strong in integrating new technologies such as AI in-depth.

    Betty Blocks is sitting within the Microsoft Azure environment.

    All these components are separately tuneable, which makes it a very strong platform, and we believe that this should be considered in the enterprise market.

    What needs improvement?

    In my opinion with all platforms, you will have to make a consensus, because not every functionality will work for every client perfectly well. 

    In many cases, they make choices where flexibility is a little bit degraded, but if you leave everything open and the flexibility is great then the usability is a little bit less. 

    It's a better trade-off from Betty Blocks. Also, it's clear the no-code promise will surely decrease the flexibility that you will have. There are some back doors to solve that system.

    I would like to see full integration with AI. 

    It can be integrated but it's not something that comes out of the box. You can't just switch on the machine learning in one of the components of the platform.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been acquainted with Betty Blocks for a year and a half.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have scaled this solution. We had a client with a large volume on a real-time basis that we fully scaled. It's definitely scalable.

    It is feasible because the application components are in Azure. From what I understand, you can tune the components instead of the total platform, which makes it very suitable to tune some of the elements of the platform while others are the default.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have contacted technical support and they are very responsive.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very straightforward.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Licensing is on a yearly basis.

    There are several pricing structures at the moment. The pricing structure that we have been working with was based on a number of blocks. (A number of blocks, is a translation of what you use in the platform).

    It's a calculation based on how much you put on the platform, and not depending on the number of users or the volume of data, although that is now also possible, especially for the larger clients, where they can have a user or data, based pricing.

    Pricing could always be better. 

    We are struggling sometimes a bit because if you look to a lot of the older shelf solutions, they provide a full solution where a platform or a toolbox is slightly different, but in most cases, it's just as expensive, and you still have to make your own applications.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have evaluated several solutions but Betty Blocks is our preference. They are a real challenger, and they go one step further and really go for this no-coding. We are strong believers in business users having a platform to make applications.

    What other advice do I have?

    I can recommend this solution to other users.

    I would rate Betty Blocks an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Somnath-Ghosh - PeerSpot reviewer
    Solution Architect and LowCode Practice Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Contains valuable features like Appian Process Mining, Appian Portals, and Appian RPA
    Pros and Cons
    • "Recently, we added Appian Process Mining, Appian Portals, and now Appian RPA."
    • "One room for improvement is the ease of UI UX development, like in OutSystems and Mendix."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our customers are medium and enterprise companies.

    What is most valuable?

    Recently, we added Appian Process Mining, Appian Portals, and now Appian RPA.

    What needs improvement?

    There have been a lot of improvements, and Appian is now claiming to be a low-code platform with other market leaders, like OutSystems and Mendix.

    One room for improvement is the ease of UI UX development, like in OutSystems and Mendix. I'd like to see Appian develop some kind of interface in their platform where the wireframes can be developed.

    If Appian could have a partnership with leading platforms like Salesforce or Oracle, I think that would be beneficial for them.

    I would also like to see Appian develop an interface to speed up development for business analysts. That sort of an interface is lagging in Appian right now.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I'm a solution architect and have been dealing with Appian for 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Appian is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scalable.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is very good. As a partner, we receive very good support from Appian.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have previously worked with IBM BPM, OutSystems, Mendix, Unqork, Quickbase, and Pega.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was fine. It was user friendly. Appian has the Appian Cloud, so development is fairly easy on the cloud platform.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The cost is a bit higher than other low-code competitors, OutSystems and Mendix. The price needs to be more competitive. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    With solutions like OutSystems and Mendix, you can implement headless commerce. For a B2C mobile app, Mendix is pretty good. For customers that have SAP, they have Mendix because it has been acquired by Siemens, and Siemens and SAP have a very good handshake. If they want to implement a low-code platform, they're going with Mendix.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution 8 out of 10.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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    Transformation Manager at a healthcare company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good price and easy to create different types of processes, but doesn't integrate with other solutions and not suitable for complex processes
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its cost is the most valuable. It is not as expensive. It is also easy to make different types of processes for the users."
    • "Bizagi doesn't have integrations with other solutions, such as ERP systems. In the industry and your company, you have a lot of systems with which you need to integrate, but Bizagi doesn't have such integrations, which makes it very difficult. Its scalability can also be improved. It is good for a startup, but when you need something more complex, it is not good."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for our processes. We have its latest version.

    What is most valuable?

    Its cost is the most valuable. It is not as expensive. It is also easy to make different types of processes for the users.

    What needs improvement?

    Bizagi doesn't have integrations with other solutions, such as ERP systems. In the industry and your company, you have a lot of systems with which you need to integrate, but Bizagi doesn't have such integrations, which makes it very difficult.

    Its scalability can also be improved. It is good for a startup, but when you need something more complex, it is not good.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable. We have a good impression of its stability and don't have any issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Its scalability is low. It is good for a startup, but when you need something more complex, this solution is not good. We have up to 50 users.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have two to five engineers for its deployment and maintenance.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It is not expensive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are evaluating Appian and OutSystems to replace Bizagi. Appian or OutSystems can be implemented locally. This technology is good for transformation.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is good for proof of concept. You can have a lot of issues if you don't know the features. It is a good solution, but when you have a complex problem, it is not enough.

    I would rate Bizagi a five out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Buyer's Guide
    Low-Code Development Platforms
    July 2022
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