August 16, 2021

Leveraging code reusability
If you have 15 apps in your development pipeline, that’s 15 new apps you have to start from scratch. But business users are under pressure to cover more market share. Back office users are being asked to process internal and external transactions faster. They simply cannot wait that long for their app requirements to be done. Canada-based biotechnology company STEMCELL Technologies had the same experience as most companies did when it comes to application development. Development was slow, maintaining applications by different developers was taking up a lot of bandwidth, and there was little room for innovation. In their mission to help scientists around the world through cell culture media and cell separation technologies, they found that they needed to be quicker on their feet and be more adaptable to the fast-paced nature of the industry.  If you are to lead in your industry, you need to spend less time coding, recoding, and maintaining — and more time bringing new ideas to life. This is where Code Reusability comes in.  

Why reuse code

Most apps would have common components: logins, integrations, maps, calendars, and more. When you reuse code, even if your developer is creating a new app, they can take building blocks from an app created by a colleague for another app. Assuming that the colleague developed a robust and secure component, this cuts down the development time of any app that will use that same module. Multiply that time by the number of modules available for reuse. When you reuse code, you open up your team for more possibilities:
  • Your apps will naturally follow a standard, having their basic components uniform, which means consistently good quality across apps, regardless of who developed them.
  • When you need to fix or update a component, you only need to do it once and all apps using that module will inherit the changes. Maintaining dozens of apps will be organized and a breeze.
  • You don’t need an army of developers working on the same app. With most of the components just waiting to be called, 1 or 2 developers can focus on designing and customizing features that will finally bring the innovation you need to make an impactful app.

How to incorporate code reuse into your development

In the case of STEMCELL, they chose OutSystems as a low-code platform as the foundation where they built reusable modules and templates for different use cases. They invested time and effort in making sure that these building blocks are developed correctly, securely, and to scale. Moving forward, every app they built took modules from their library, significantly reducing their development timeline. You can also incorporate components from OutSystems Forge, an open-source repository of reusable modules, connectors, UI components, and business solutions created by OutSystems users. The entire OutSystems community supports the concept of code reusability to be more efficient and to make space for innovation — hence, OutSystems Forge’s massive library of modules available for you to adopt into your own OutSystems apps.  

COVID app created overnight

It’s easy to appreciate the benefits of code reusability, especially when pressed for time. When COVID-19 forced STEMCELL’s workforce to work remotely, management needed to deploy a system to regularly check on each of their staff from all over the globe. It took a single developer all of one night to be able to produce an application that would monitor employee health, availability, location, equipment loan, and more. By morning, they were ready to bring it to production. The monitoring app reused pre-built components and application templates that were already available in the company’s library. Because of the agile nature of OutSystems, they are able to deploy daily updates and improvements even while the app is already being used by 1500 employees. In the true spirit of community, STEMCELL made the source code available in OutSystems Forge so that other companies can reuse it as a template.  

You can take the development fast lane too

Are you leveraging code reusability through OutSystems yet? Stratpoint can help! We are a certified OutSystems Sales and Development partner. We’ve created dozens of apps in OutSystems for both external and internal use of our clients. We even use it for our own Stratpoint team applications! To book a demo, fill out the form below.