OutSystems Review

You can keep running your applications because it's on .NET and hosted centrally

What is most valuable?

One thing I like about OutSystems is that there's no lock-in. You can keep running your applications because it's on .NET and hosted centrally. That's one of the advantages I see there in terms of not having an IT strategy that has a dependency on a particular platform.

What needs improvement?

The integration points need to be increased. People have also started to adopt this solution for their regular needs. That means it's not only the big enterprises that are adopting this solution. There are also small and medium enterprises that are adopting it. 

I've read that where you have large deployments, OutSystems starts to crumble a bit. That is the idea that no customer would know at the beginning and would also not like to hit the wall there. When it is on the client, there are a lot of applications already on low-code, and then suddenly you realize that you want to do some big applications, and you face hurdles. This is the general feedback for all such platforms.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been there with OutSystems for two and a half years to three years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability could be from multiple perspectives. From an enterprise perspective, it is the stability of the company. For example, most of the enterprise ERPs are SAP, so I don't have to check twice if a product is okay. 

It's the IT strategy a company is taking, which is effectively what they're going to do for the next five years. They're going to onboard a lot of applications onto this platform. So stability-wise, of course, the scale of the company is not so big, whereas large enterprises could say that it's stable as an organization.

Coming to the other part of the stability which is at the platform-stability level, I think that the features and the support that they provide are quite good, and because it is horizontally scalable, so it doesn't matter there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has good scalability in terms of the target platforms, multi-tenancy, or hosting on multiple clouds.

How are customer service and technical support?

My team has been interacting with technical support and their feedback is good. Their training is good. I think OutSystems provides one of the best trainings out of all similar platforms.

How was the initial setup?

The development environment is quite easy. You install it out of the box, and it works. It's a one-click install there. I have not been involved with Enterprise setup, so I do not have any comments on that.

What about the implementation team?

We primarily suggest the IT and OutSystems work together for the setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If I talk about enterprise-level implementation, we work very closely with Siemens, which is where Mendix comes from. We are partners with Siemens, and that's where it helps us in developing applications on Mendix because we get good community support there. I'm not sure how things are otherwise. 

For OutSystems, it is more of community support and a kind of library they have, in terms of the reference implementation of libraries, which can be applied.

For the industrial and enterprise nature of work, that is, for B2B scenarios, Mendix fares well. OutSystems might have a slight advantage for B2C scenarios. I would say that they are equivalent in most of the aspects. There are certain features that Mendix provides which OutSystems does not provide. Similarly, there are areas where OutSystems fares good but Mendix does not. I would rate Mendix and OutSystems the same. 

The initial adoption of Microsoft PowerApps is a little bit of a hurdle. If that's overcome, then other things would be reliant. When we talk about PowerApps, we talk about the whole Microsoft ecosystem, that is, Microsoft Flow, Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Power Automate, which effectively brings a lot of power in terms of an ecosystem. 

If I have to go with applications related to Microsoft Office 365, I might go for PowerApps. If I need external integrations and things, where they provide premium APIs and things, it becomes a little bit of a challenge. 

Development-wise, PowerApps could provide a free version. They always have but it's quite restricted. If you download OutSystems or Mendix, you could do anything with the free version. That's where, in terms of acceptance, PowerApps gets a little restrictive because you need a license to evaluate it. If it is not restricted, there'll be more adoption. Of course, you can restrict deployment, the size, and all that, but development capabilities should not be restricted.

What other advice do I have?

The value proposition is not clearly visible out of these platforms as yet. Your penetration level will be decided based on if you are able to reach small and medium enterprises. If I compare something like Zoho with OutSystems, Zoho is getting good traction by purely focusing on the small and medium enterprises. These kinds of things could be game-changers in the future. 

That's where the licensing model becomes a little cryptic. Of course, for enterprise, it makes sense at certain times, and it does not at certain times. The licensing models are one of the things that could be improved there and changed in terms of adaptability.

OutSystems is quite a mature platform. OutSystems provides a lot of capabilities as such. However, it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. Based on the needs, the platform that would be the most suitable one should be decided. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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