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It is not a code, but a rule

Traditionally, software products were programmed with business logic using multiple programming languages. There was an underlying business which was converted into logic using different software programmes/languages and the same was maintained over a period. The type of programming language evolved from early 1950s like the Fortran developed by IBM to C++ in the 1980s to Java in the 1990s to the new languages like Swift which was coined in the last decade. There were multiple lines of code written by different people to execute and implement the programmes in multiple industries across the globe. The software industry thrived with the need for automation request from multiple industries coinciding with lack of skilled and unskilled manpower to execute menial tasks. This coupled with Application programming interfaces (API’s) which integrates with different systems paved the way for new generation and modernized software. The success also depends on the openness of the software for ecosytem players to make changes and interface with external world.

Though multiple business workflow management system has been developed in the industry to chain the various tasks with workflows/approvals as required, and few have gained prominence, software programmes without coding /technical support is slowly evolving.  Considering the impact of Covid and acceleration of digitization, the concept has again reignited passion in the software community. 

Towards the last decade, low code/no code development platforms emerged which allowed developers to drag and drop application components, connect them together. While low code requires a technical knowledge and development effort, a no/zero code typically targets the business users. If the platform provides support in defining the flows and connecting the different needs with the ability to perform the tasks by the business user/manager without a coding effort, it will provide a revolution in the software industry.

A platform wherein business users can configure rules and underlying logic/scripts will execute the programs is the desirable option in the software industry.  The definition of rules using Microsoft excel and loading the excels into a repository which will interface with the software will help in reducing the dependency of the technical experts. Converting the software logic into tasks/business rules in a granular way and defining rules for each of the tasks is desirable. This also depends on the capability of the platform and the flexibility provided to the business user to configure rule, attach the rules, convert the rule into programme, allow modification of the rules, conditions allowed within the rules etc.  While many platforms claim low code/no code concept, it is still to evolve to a stage where dependency on technical experts /software developers can be minimized/reduced.

To conclude, the next set of software revolution will evolve with the development of platforms which allows rules to be defined and the flexibility to make the modifications and the applicability in multiple industries. While the concept of industry specific software /programmes are the order of the day considering the challenges in unifying the same codes for  multiple industries, a platform which allows rules to be integrated and are  non -industry specific, which can be configured by the business users, will be the way forward.  This will also ensure a shift from traditional software development method to platform development method which can serve multiple industries in one go. Depending on the applicability in the industries, the business users will be able to configure the rules with splitting of tasks as applicable. Re-engineering such a platform development will provide new avenues for the developers and for the software industry but also reimagine the way the software is designed.  A new rule developer domain will emerge which can be a combination of domain and analyst community industry specific or otherwise. With the demand for automation and digitization accelerated by Covid, this can potentially provide the much -needed disruption. This could augur a new era in developing software with a balanced relationship between code developers and rule builders ushering a new customer experience.




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Reghunathan Sukumara Pillai



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26 Oct 2012



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