Several significant enhancements to the OutSystems platform were announced this October. The improvements include advanced AI tools and changes to the technology that continue to speed up development, and deliver world class applications across multiple channels that cement OutSystems as the global leader in enterprise low-code development.
These releases were teased at NextStep Denver, which was attended by several of the Experieco team. The highlight of the conference was, without a doubt, the three hour long keynote from Paulo Rosado, the founder and C.E.O. of OutSystems. Wedged between enterprise grade case studies and a bit of humour was wall to wall demonstrations of exciting new features and benefits that are either released now, or due for release by the first quarter of 2020.
We will be sure to cover these topics in detail as beta versions and more content are released by OutSystems in November, however here's a snapshot of what we're most excited about:
1. AI-assisted development
With this feature you have an AI co-developer available in any flow throughout Service Studio. The AI-assisted development also attempts to automatically fill in the properties for the newly created nodes (for example, parameters in a Server Action). When that happens, you'll see the star-popping animation.
The number of provided suggestions varies from one to six, depending on the certainty level. When the certainty level about the next element in the flow is high, you see only one suggestion in the list, and you can press the Enter key to insert it immediately.
AI-assisted development increases your productivity by helping you create logic flows faster and with more confidence, even for complex tasks. Use this feature to create better logic, that is less error-prone and aligned with development best practices.
The AI-assisted development is now in beta. To find out more, visit here.
2. Reactive Web Apps
Built to take advantage of modern web features, reactive web applications are a powerful new way of developing web apps. Unlike server-side rendered apps that need expensive round-trips, reactive web quickly reacts to any user interaction. The pressure on the backend servers is also decreased, making these apps scale much better under heavy loads, all leading to a smoother user experience.
OutSystems has now announced it has the capability to create reactive web apps! To make the most of it, update to the latest version of OutSystems 11. Easy as that.
3. Strong AI and Cognitive Services Integration
OutSystems is leveraging the now maturing market of AI and cognitive services based technologies available from companies like Microsoft by building streamlined connectors in the forge. These include:
1. Experience Builder for native-feel mobile applications
The new Experience Builder abstracts away the complexities of assembling the multiple pieces of the interfaces that make for an engaging, pixel-perfect mobile experience, allowing developers to focus on what matters most: delivering great user experiences. An easy-to-use web interface, coupled with development accelerators, such as fully customizable application flows and screen templates with built-in native behaviors, ensures teams can deliver experiences faster with the quality standards customers expect.
2. Workflow Builder
Similar to the Experience Builder, but for process and worflow automation, OutSystems has signaled it's desire to continue to simplify the technology and make it easier to use. We're personally looking forward to sitting down with our customers and designing production ready outputs in workshops, instead of ideating and planning, before the heavy lifting. Bring it on!
3. Progressive Web Application (PWA) support for increased customer adoption and retention rates
Engage customers and employees through a new channel - easily discoverable applications that don’t need to be deployed and downloaded through the app stores, reducing obstacles to adoption. These apps are automatically packaged by the OutSystems platform and deliver high-performing, native-like experiences that take advantage of device integration, and work offline – all using the same codebase as their browser or native counterparts, and without compromising on experience quality.
4. Conversational experiences everywhere
Meet customers in the chat and voice platforms they interact with most. Whether using Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger for chat, or Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana for voice, by providing development teams with building blocks and a framework to create the most common chatbot and voice interaction patterns, OutSystems removes the complexity and uncertainty of building these kinds of interfaces. Businesses can easily adopt, experiment, and scale first-line of support automation, internal support bots, and other conversational use cases, faster and without needing specialized AI developers.
So as you can see it was a pretty full on keynote that set the tone for the rest of the conference. In fact, the Experieco team took the opportunity to unwind after the event by attending a Colorado Avalanche NHL game. The US sure does know how to entertain!