A comprehensive guide to OutSystems Developer Cloud

A comprehensive guide to OutSystems Developer Cloud

With all the innovations in the technology industry, the challenge of building secure and scalable applications continues to grow. The shift from a traditional approach to modern cloud-native applications has helped businesses cope with rising customer expectations. While other platforms leave companies writing thousands of code, OutSystems low-code platform has always strived forward with its exciting updates and laying a solid foundation to turn disruptive technologies into a strategic alliance. 

Following that vision, OutSystems introduced the OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) in late 2022, dramatically reducing the complexity of developing cloud-native applications and thus increasing productivity. 

In this blog, we will discuss the challenges of building cloud-native applications and how ODC is leveraging low-code capabilities to help enterprises build effective applications that run on-premises and on multiple clouds.

The pressing challenges to building cloud-native applications 

There is an urgency for companies to digitize their products and services. This means changing the experience you provide to users and improving your internal operational efficiency. Applications are reaching more users as their market grows. At the same time, companies are moving to the cloud to meet user expectations which are higher than ever, and also to be able to have a global distribution of their applications. Therefore, the last resort for enterprises seems to be investing in the cloud-native technology. Yet, even as a solution, enterprises today struggle with the many challenges of developing cloud-native applications, such as speed of development, security, performance, scalability, agility, and the availability of a talent pool for the same. 

Let’s discuss some of the major challenges organizations face while building a cloud-native application: 

#1. Non-functional requirements (NFRs)

NFRs show how applications work well regarding security, scalability, localization, maintainability, and drive complexity. Meeting NFRs is important to meet user expectations and compliance as it tells how applications would function in real-time. Moreover, they are essential in deciding the architecture of applications. 

#2. Tool proliferation

NFRs drive tool proliferation as several tools and systems are needed to develop cloud-native applications thus adding to high development costs, especially in cases of multi-cloud implementation. Developers are managing more code architectures, and companies are struggling to invest in new products and innovations as they have to maintain huge application and system portfolios. Depending on the cloud provider you would like to use, the complexity gets three times higher, and the costs that come with it could be tripled due to tool proliferation. 

#3. Talent shortage

To cope with the complexity of tool proliferation and NFRs, you need different skills for different areas in end-to-end app development. This naturally results in new roles emerging for which companies need to hire more people. This further adds huge costs in onboarding and training developers to build cloud-native applications. 

So, how are companies adopting cloud-native application development? Large enterprises hire top talent that handles complexity because they can absorb talent costs and handle proliferation costs. Also, the license and infrastructure costs come along with these. But still, a lot of companies struggle to find a platform. This is where OutSystems introduced OutSystems Developer Cloud, formerly known as OutSystems Project Neo. ODC helps you overcome the challenges of NFRs, tool proliferation, and talent shortage, abstracting the complexity of adopting cloud-native applications. Let us first understand what ODC is and why you should adopt it for cloud-native app development. 

What is ODC? 

OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) is a new high-performance, low-code platform providing a modular, scalable environment for developing cloud-native applications. ODC state-of-art architecture rapidly decreases the complexity of developing cloud-native applications with containers, Kubernetes clusters, serverless functions, and various other modern technologies. ODC pre-packages architecture, configures your cloud runtime, and integrates the cloud services into the platform so developers can focus on implementing application logic. ODC is built on three parameters: 

  1. Serious productivity: ODC enables you to adopt cloud-native applications development, abstracting the complexity, decreasing the talent requirements, exceptionally streamlining the automated application development process, and increasing productivity. ODC embraces modern CI/CD practices to provide unified experiences. 
  2. Serious applications: ODC allows you to build mission-critical applications with the state-of-the-art architecture. You can build serious web and mobile applications regardless of the use case and how complex business requirements could be. 
  3. Evergreen platform: ODC is always updated as the technology evolves without impacting any application. You will never have to go through strenuous platform or app updates or downtime. All the NFRs that users and enterprises expect are handled within the ODC platform without causing downtimes. 

The OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) architecture 

ODC is developed under the cutting-edge cloud native platform in which you are able to scale the entire platform and applications independently via platform development without any downtime. Platform and Runtime segregation separately ensures the scaling to any number of applications. 

The OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) architecture
  • ODC enables you to scale your apps to millions of users when needed, allowing you to create serious apps with ODC answering the most important NFRs like high availability, and reliability providing assurance for applications. 
  • As we discussed earlier, security is one of the most important aspects for NFRs. More services within cloud-native applications means harder to secure applications because you have a larger arcade of services. ODC provides security by design to implement authorization and authentication by default. It has CDNs (Content Delivery Network)  for DDoS (Distributed Denial of service) attacks with features like intrusion detection and intelligent threat detection. 
  • ODC encrypts data when communicating between microservices so it protects your applications’ security and compliance. 
  • ODC will allow generated code, app data, container configurations and pre-built templates that allows you to build an app in a matter of seconds just by exporting. 
  • ODC ensures no code lock-in to run and operate app-specific PaaS capabilities replacing customer owned services. 

OutSystems 11 and ODC: How do they coexist and what should you adopt?

OutSystems 11 is a flagship platform, and OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) is a new high-performance, low-code platform from OutSystems. OutSystems 11, which works on-premises, continues to be an industry-leading platform, and whatever you build can run on ODC. OutSystems 11 includes embedded CI/CD tools, integrated platform services, and an integration layer. 

With ODC, OutSystems has new solutions despite similarities to OutSystems 11 regarding development experience, sharing the same community and ecosystem. But you can expect a different journey while adopting ODC. For instance, if you have OS11 and ODC, your IT users and end-users must be managed separately. The same happens with Application Lifecycle management. So both solutions can coexist together. 

ODC benefits us while analyzing the pipeline of new applications, keeping in mind one of the most important features: scalability. ODC can develop applications robust and scalable while reducing unpredictable loads, maintaining performance and response time better even in unexpected loads. 

ODC allows you to scale your development independently with segregated computing capacity. So what are the major differences between OutSystems 11 and ODC: 

  1. Architecture: As a customer, if you already use OS11, you should expect some effort while adopting ODC. The major differences happen in architecture and application lifecycle management. From an architectural perspective, there is a different mindset to simplify development. OutSystems is shifting to an application development module where it ensures deployment and real-time scalability. Each application is isolated in its components, in its container, and communicates through services. 
  2. Application Lifecycle Management: For application lifecycle management, OutSystems has now simplified the application promotion workflow in ODC. You will have a clear view of new application version delivery over a pipeline of various stages. You can also feed your CI/CD automation tools through an API. 
  3. Training: Zero training is required to start building apps with the modern, future, and agile architecture of ODC. You will have access to training materials and guided paths to walk you through the ODC. 

Adopting OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) 

User applications have evolved through many disruptive technology shifts from client-server to the web, web to mobile, and self-managed to the cloud, and OutSystems has always strived to bring customers forward. 

  • In the long term, OutSystems will enable OS11 cloud customers to run their applications without additional development effort on ODC by moving your application portfolio so you can maintain and evolve your applications. In the case of scalability, ODC will provide you with a seamless experience regardless of the technology stack of your apps. 
  • OS11 customers will have the option to upgrade to ODC running in their private cloud within their data, intellectual property controlled by self-managed solutions based on modular architecture inside your domain. 
  • OS11 will continue to be there for the long term, and OutSystems will bring updates for the same. To adopt ODC, you can decide as per your convenience to use ODC in a coexistence strategy for short-term. Or, you can wait until all its capabilities are available so that you can migrate your applications. ODC will support both multiple cloud and hybrid cloud strategies to develop your applications. 

How building applications with ODC will benefit your business? 

With ODC, organizations can have applications with unified experiences across the whole platform where users can manage, evolve, and monitor their apps in a single place, all only a click away. Hence, ODC increases developer productivity by utilizing microservices and modern architecture, reducing dependency between elements. It promotes the use of libraries like OutSystems Forge and services, increasing agility and flexibility dramatically. Ultimately, ODC has many benefits that an enterprise can utilize, let’s discuss some of them: 

#1. Builds strategic applications faster

ODC low-code development enables the visual development of applications through modeling and graphical interface, delivering applications much faster, abstracting coding complexity while maintaining collaboration between the departments. ODC automates DevOps processes, manages an advanced cloud runtime, auto documents code, resolves code dependencies, performs regression testing, and continuously updates new features. 

#2. Integrating data with ODC

Large enterprises need to integrate data with backend systems, which is crucial to centralize data distributed across the different systems and extend the capabilities of these systems further. This could be an SAP system, Salesforce, or any other CRM. ODC automates business processes making integration with other systems easier and quick. 

#3. Develops mission-critical applications

ODC eliminates the cost by implementing Kubernetes that auto-scales cloud-native application development elements. With the help of the Outsystems Developer Cloud Portal , users can consolidate functionality that previously existed across Lifetime, Service Center, and the Users application. ODC, with its modular architecture, reusable components, and pre-packaged capabilities, enables large organizations to save time, cost, and effort to build composable applications. 

#4. High-performance applications

ODC builds high-performing applications with a single cloud-native platform using visual modeling, AI, automation, and more to unify development. ODC accelerates the entire app development lifecycle offering pixel-perfect, robust, and responsive AI-driven consumer applications. 

#5. Custom coding with ODC

ODC provides a no-limits experience through accessibility at all levels. Professional developers can extend visual models at every level of the development stack rather than traditional coding standards. While most of the use cases can still be achieved through accessibility and custom coding integration that ODC provides. 

#6. Elite-level DevOps

ODC enables developers to make critical application changes by updating automatically without impacting apps. ODC uses CI/CD pipeline processes, giving you high-quality codes and increasing overall productivity, allowing shorter development cycles. 

#7. Advanced security

ODC is embedded with enterprise-grade security and ensures that applications built are secure in design. ODC also fixes DDOS, newly identified code vulnerabilities, mobile threats, and other protections. ODC provides edge security which has CDN for DDOS attacks and gateway WAF scanning for IP reputation for malicious requests. ODC with Sentry capabilities has anti-virus scanning, intrusion detection, and data-loss prevention making you build secure applications. 

Leverage the power of ODC with trusted OutSystems partner

ODC is the technology stack that not only leverages low-code capabilities but goes beyond and incorporates cloud-native functionalities and automates DevOps practice. OutSystems has always provided businesses with advanced solutions to build applications combining the power of low-code platforms. At Ranosys, we have assisted several enterprises to build their cloud-native low-code applications and we can solve your business use cases too. Connect with our certified experts to know how OutSystems ODC can revolutionize your business. 

Build applications on ODC with our certified OutSystems experts.



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