Tag Archives: Open Source

An overview of low-code and no-code

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There’s a lot of buzz around the no-code/low-code.
What is it actually? And can you use it for free?

The Rise of No-Code Development Platforms - Zvolv
Source: zvolv.com

No-code is a way of making software, that doesn’t require any code and technically, any engineering knowledge. It generally provides a drag and drop interface, with pre-defined components. Its shortcomings are customizability and a limited number of standard functions. Usually, it’s made for one domain like database, automation, or graphical web development.
It’s associated with the wet dream of citizen development – everyone being empowered to ship software for the corporation.

Pixabay

Low-code is meant for people with engineering knowledge. It is not “citizen development” It’s supposed to make people “code and deploy very fast”[1]
A low-code platform reduces the complexity of development (e.g. takes care of hosting), therefore time to market. Its shortcomings are again, customizability, and types of structures it’s not designed to handle. As Veselin Pizurica described in his blog post on waylay.io – if the platform is designed vertically – for one use case, not horizontally, any deviation will require extensive work, or even re-write.

Charlie has a meltdown – FX, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode “Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack”

Because of these issues, most devs ignore low code/no code. There’s yet another snake oil that’s supposed to fix everything and make everything run 10x smoother. Yet once you start using it, most of your work is work around some constraints – the most known example would be probably WordPress, the content management system that can be described as no-code. It’s certainly not a great experience for developers and the most productive one.

Case Study
appsmith.io

Having that in mind, it does have its merits. Take it as an example – no-code is great for making small, non-critical internal tools. You probably don’t want a tool, being used by your organization all the time, to be suboptimal. It doesn’t matter if it costs 1k or 50k to develop. Costs won’t matter here. However let’s say there’s a tool, that you’d want one department in one branch to have, maybe it’s an MVP, no-code platforms can enable you to have that, at 0.01 or 0.1 times the cost. As an example of citizen development – my friend, a non-programmer, just the other way made a tool at his workplace for dumping information about clients in a table, into an MS Teams chat, specifically into a OneNote document that’s pinned, using PowerAutomate. Certainly not the optimal solution, but it works.

Bubble.io Review – UPDATED 2021 – Tutorials, Templates & More! | Quko Studio
Source: https://www.quko.com.au/blog/bubble-io-review

Bubble – a platform that has a mission to make technical co-founders obsolete. The drag-and-drop platform claims to be able to build almost anything – even sites like Facebook or Airbnb. Of course, it will be not greatly engineered and could be difficult, as a non-developer to think in an algorithmic and system design way. But it works! (ish)

When it comes to no-code platforms you should know, as they also could prove quite useful:

  • Bubble.io – web development
  • Zapier, IFTTT, n8n, Integromat – automation
  • Airtable – “spreadsheet and a database in one”
  • PowerApps, PowerAutomate from Microsoft
  • Google Sheets, Excel; AppSheet – turns spreadsheet into an app
  • Waylay.io – enterprise automation
  • Notion – reportedly people consider it as a no-code tool
NocoDB : The Open Source Airtable Alternative - DEV Community
NocoDB

When it comes to Free and Open Source Software, here’s a list, you can use:

  • Databases – NocoDB – like Airtable, but FOSS and more focused on the database
  • Internal tools: AppSmith, ToolJet, BudiBase
  • Web apps: BudiBase, WordPress (if you call it no-code)
  • Automation: n8n, Huginn, Pipedream
Check new n8n major releases - Workflow - n8n.io
n8n

Sources:
[1] https://www.waylay.io/articles/low-code-vs-no-code
https://monday.com/blog/builders/low-code-no-code-platforms
https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/27/no-code-bubble-series-a/
https://github.com/taowen/awesome-lowcode

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Transition to open source, Poland government is open-source now, what ?

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The Secrets of Successful Open Source Business Models

© Image inserted from Medium – medium.com

 

It’s not just a click bait, maybe Poland not yet, but now a day we see more companies, as well as governments, choose open source.

 

A month ago Google, open-sourced its pre-trained models and fine-tuning code for Big Transfer (BiT), And Microsoft last weeks Akri project, NSA Ghidra from a tool that kept from the public to open source, the examples piling up weekly, and we hear daily companies in big bold title Announcing new projects and introducing with a big welcoming applause as OPEN SOURCE.

 

Back in the late ’90s, when the Open Source Initiative was born, the idea of releasing source code would have been considered a bad strategy for technology companies because proprietary software was the standard and companies were doing everything they could to protect their software, in 2020 The concept of open source has changed dramatically and is now mainstream.

 

Not only high-profile acquisitions and investments in open source projects but also tech giants like Google and Facebook have placed importance on open source to attract new product innovations and build a huge developer community. Flutter vs React Native, PyTorch vs Tensorflow, Kubernetes, etc. are the best examples.

 

Ghidra, it’s not every day we see Government bureaus making their projects open source, and it was far away from my imagination to see and use the spy agencies program on my personal computer. NSA started back in 2014 to make a tool called “Niagarafiles (Nifi),” first open-source not only that but they were very proudly put “NSA Releases First in Series of Software Products to Open Source Community” as the title. And after that in the 2019 tool for cracking software or some call it reverse engineering tools were open to the public.

 

“NSA views on releasing Ghidra as a kind of recruiting strategy, making it easier for new hires to enter the NSA at a higher level or for cleared contractors to lend their expertise without needing to first come up to speed on the tool.” Said NSA cybersecurity adviser Rob Joyce

 

“The significance is that the product can be improved by the community instead of being solely funded by the NSA. The development of such a product is costly, and even the NSA doesn’t have unlimited funds. It’ll be a great demonstration of the value of open-sourcing internally developed projects.” Rob Graham, consultant, and owner at Errata Security. told Business Insider in a Twitter DM.

 

community of contributors from all over the world who share an interest in meeting a common need, ranging from minor projects to huge developments, which they carry out using a high-performance collaborative development environment (CDE).

© Image inserted from Nexumoja – www.nexumoja.org

 

Companies and governments use open source because they understand even with big pockets are still highly costly, another aspect of Catalyst For Continuous Innovation, as the number of employees from a wide range of companies and backgrounds increases, the scope of technology innovation coverage will expand exponentially. Other than that Helps Build A Rich Developer Community, If a company doesn’t have open source in its DNA, it will be a big challenge to build a good relationship with the developer community. If you’re a big company like Microsoft, IBM, or Google, there are always a lot of people watching you. Everyone can read and criticize your code. Also, being open source means being open and transparent about release cycles and roadmaps, which takes a lot of effort and initiative.

 

And finally operating in open source requires companies to be leading members in how technology is built and how it evolves. This is achieved through collaboration and contribution to open-source software. Companies whose teams lead open source projects gain greater insight into how the technology is being built, where it is going, and why.

 

Throughout my personal opinion and experience, even companies and some Government bureaus chose open source but still some other business or academic institution, they are behind to take advantage of open source, live example during pandemic many universities rush their IT teams to build a fully online experience for the students. Most universities used 3rd party and hiring more developers. The greatest solution comes to mind what if a big community gathers to make an open-source CMS and LMS especially for an academic institution, wouldn’t be a great and powerful idea?

 

 

Resource:

Open Source: Advantages of Open Source Software

Microsoft’s turns over new ‘leaf’ with open source Akri

The NSA publicly released a tool for cracking software

NSA releases Ghidra, a free software reverse engineering toolkit

Why Do Large Companies Open Source Their Tech?

Announcing Akri, an open source project for building a connected edge with Kubernetes

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