Insights into the world of app development and digital transformation

Karthick Viswanathan

Subscribe to Karthick Viswanathan: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Karthick Viswanathan via: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


2 Pass Development to Converge Bimodal IT & Low Code Platform

2 pass development is bridging the gap between business and IT teams

The concept of Bimodal IT is changing the face of Enterprise operations. As Gartner professes, "Bimodal IT is the practice of managing two separate  and coherent modes of IT delivery - one of them focus on stability and the other on agility. One supports the traditional , legacy systems that emphasises on security and the second mode that focuses on speed and is non-linear. Successful  enterprises are a good mix of both agility and robust security."

The world around us is galloping towards digital transformation. Organizations,big and small alike, are trying to adopt their IT needs and practices to align to the modern digital world.

Application development is a field of growing concern for most IT teams and managers today. It is still largely in the hands of technology people and engineers who rely mostly on traditional methodology of development, which focuses on coding and technology without delving their thoughts and focus much into the business aspects of things. The IT teams will never think over questions like - How will this application solve a business problem quickly? Can this app make us of less effort or build something at half the cost? Although process improvement methods like Agile and Scrum has attempted to solve many existing business problems, they have had only partial success. The real problem will be solved only when a new revolutionary way of app development evolves, where the business stakeholders drive the show with technology stakeholders playing second fiddle.  But it has to be supported by an equally effective development process and an able application development platform. The digital transformation journey is never complete

The emergence of Low Code Platforms

Low code development is a relatively new and more intuitive alternative to traditional application development. Off late, it has seen a good rate of adoption  across the globe and has, to a small extent, alleviated the challenges mentioned in the last section.  But it is yet to scale up to be universally appealing to everyone in an enterprise.  For instance, there is still a big dependency on the technology teams to get things done due to which business teams still use out-of-the-box SaaS services, which offer limited flexibility to get things done thereby, creating more silos inside the organization.

2-pass Development- Let's have a close look!

Low code application development largely takes into account the concept of Bimodal IT. If we have to explain it in simple terms as the well known  Rapid Application Development company Wavemaker proposes 2 Pass Development  as a new application development method. This can be clubbed with Low code platform to overcome many hurdles that enterprises face on a daily basis while building that one application that solves many of their business challenges.

2-pass development approach, as the name suggests comprises of 2 passes in application development-  there is a Business Pass and a Technical Pass.

Business Pass

Any time an application is to be developed, the requirements are passed on to the Business pass team comprising of business stakeholders like product managers and business analysts and we group them as "RAD Developers".  They gather the application requirements and start to build the application using a low-code platform like WaveMaker.  Application building is usually creation of the user interface with live/test data, using visual application building experience provided by the platform.  Visual application building involves simple drag and drop for UI building, connections to various systems like DB, LDAP and ERP and 1-click deployment into various environments like QA, staging and  production among a host of other rapid development features.

However, there will invariably be some application requirements that are not available out of the box and need to be customized for the specific application.  This  is where the Technical Pass will come into the picture..  For instance, a particular customized UI widget that is not available out of the box, would be requested to be built by the technical pass team.

Technical Pass

Technical team solves two purposes.  First, they create all the generic visual reusable components that are needed for the application building by the Business Pass team.  Secondly, they also create the specific application requirements that comes from the Business Pass team and they quickly get back to them.

Members of the technical pass team are professional developers who specialize in front-end, back-end and integration(API) development.

2-pass development and Bimodal IT

The best part of the 2-pass development philosophy is that it fits nicely into the popular IT philosophies.  One of the most popular one is the Bimodal IT.  Check out the synergistic relationship between 2-pass development and Bimodal IT.

Business-focused app development

One of the biggest benefits of 2-pass development is the business-focussed app development.  Since the Business-Pass team, comprising of business stakeholders,  is a part of the app development team, they are completely plugged in during the app development process.  This is completely different from the traditional development process, where business stakeholders are plugged in during the initial requirements gathering phase and then only in logical intervals of task completion.  Infact low code platforms like WaveMaker allows you 1-click preview, which allows you to view the project as a customer would see and offers you the exact stage at which the project is in.

Do away with a force-fitted integration cycle

Even when the Business Pass team reaches out to the technical pass team, it's driven by business imperatives rather than a technical overhang.  This change is important since it does away with an entirely important part of the traditional app delivery process - namely Integration cycle and testing.  In traditional process, Integration testing in some cases weeks to months together, since the technical modules got started to be done in silos and then they were integrated.

But in 2-pass development, we start with a single project, and reach out to the pass-2 team only when there is a need for customization.  Even the pass-1 team is expected to work directly within the aegis of the low-code platform and hence the integration testing cycle is completely eliminated.

2-pass development and Agile process

The best part of 2-pass development philosophy is that it fits nicely into the existing app delivery methodologies like Agile.  It can use the existing resources and in fact optimize their usage.  For instance, each of the passes can be independently handled as an agile process.  And the collaboration pass, where the business and technical passes need to collaborate, can also be done in an agile process.

A low code platform which is armed with all the features will make the use of 2 Pass Development easier. In the optimum scenario, the 2 teams - Business and Technical can work in congruence, discuss  project problems. Every phase of the application development process is transparent and visible to both teams. This eliminates silos. In this way, even during collaboration, the project is driven by business imperatives rather than technology dependencies. In a nutshell we can say that 2 Pass Development bridges the gap between business and IT teams and makes development process more effective.

More Stories By Karthick Viswanathan

Karthick heads the Products, Marketing and Evangelism efforts for WaveMaker. As one of the original product managers at WaveMaker, he led the technology and design for WaveMakerOnline, WaveMaker's PaaS offering. He also established the Customer Success practice for WaveMakerOnline. Prior to WaveMaker, Karthick occupied various roles in engineering and product management at PegaSystems, IBM and Oracle. He can discuss in-depth, code-level details and just as easily shift focus to business and go-to-market strategies. He was one of the seeders for the product management teams for PegaSystems in India and also a key technology contributor behind Oracle Warehouse Builder features. He writes and blogs about modern app development methodologies, including Rapid Application Development, digital transformation, and the API economy.