Open Source in Low Code/No Code platforms : A real added value ?

Low Code / No Code platforms are nowadays a real alternative for application development, as the constant rise of application needs contrasts with the lack of developers, which creates some production issues. 2023 incoming, whether large scale or small scale enterprises are facing the need of creating more and more digital applications, while production deadlines are increasingly tight. Production must be the fastest and cheapest, while remaining as qualitative as possible.

However, these technologies can have an issue : Vendor Lock-in. Vendor lock-in refers to the situation where an organization becomes dependent on a particular vendor or supplier for a product or service, and switching to a different vendor would be difficult, costly, or impractical. It can bring several issues such as security risks, higher costs or even a lack of competition in the market.

You can actually avoid this Vendor Lock-in by choosing products and services that use open standards, which allow you to easily switch to another vendor if necessary. That means that you are not stuck with the current platform you’re using if this one occurs a major issue. As we might say, marriage is marvelous, but divorce is a nightmare...

This is where the Open-Source vision of a platform can be a game changer : Open Source software refers to a type of software that is available to the public to use and distribute freely. In the context of Low Code platforms, Open Source software can provide several benefits :

One of the main benefits of using Open Source software in Low Code/No Code platforms is that it can lead to lower costs. Because the software is freely available and can be modified and distributed freely, organizations can save on licensing fees and other costs associated with proprietary software. 

Open Source is also a guarantee of technology perennity independent of the company that created it. 

In addition to cost savings, open source software can also provide greater security and reliability. Because the source code is available for anyone to review, it can be more thoroughly tested and reviewed than proprietary software. This can help identify and fix potential security vulnerabilities or bugs more quickly, which can improve the overall reliability of the software.

Of course, if we find a lot of benefits, there can also be some challenges with Open Source : One of the main fears could be the lack of support, that enterprises or organizations would be abandoned to themselves...That is true : Generally, there is no central support center that can be contacted. This means you have to wait and wait for someone to respond to your help message or you have to fix the problem on your own. If you add to this point the fact that the documentation is usually poor, it quickly can become complicated for the user to fully understand and take advantage of the platform(s).

Fortunately, Enterprise grade Open Source software vendors do have a dedicated support team to answer issues. They provide support on their open source platforms in exchange of paid license fees for a given SLA (service Level Agreement). 

As a conclusion, Open Source for Low Code platforms is a real driver of innovation and growth. It brings together essential factors for innovation, namely: modularity, a dynamic ecosystem, ease of access, great adaptability and very low costs. Moreover, Open Source illustrates very well values ​​such as sharing and exchange, and this can only be beneficial to your company in different types of structures. Go for it !