Microsoft Details Low-Code DevOps

The burgeoning low-code application development space should and can do DevOps too, says Microsoft, which has detailed new tooling for its Power Apps and Power Platform.

Low-code tools that use a variety of methods -- wizards, templates, drag-and-drop composability and so on -- have exploded in recent years due to a shortage of professional developers and increasing demand for enterprise apps. With both sides of the supply-and-demand equation under pressure, the do-it-yourself approach has penetrated business development.

Microsoft recently detailed the use of DevOps in low-code business application development for the new class of tools, including its Power Apps and Power Platform, which comprises Power Apps along with BI automation and other components.

The company sought to answer questions about the low-code scheme and its relation to DevOps, like:

  • How do we design the proper ALM governance for our low-code applications?
  • Should DevOps exist even if an application is built rapidly?
  • Monitoring, Testing, Automated Deployment, etc. -- Are these things still important for low-code platforms?

Answering "Yes" to the latter two questions, Microsoft's post last week detailed three components to its approach:

  • Build: Power Apps is previewing a set of build tools for Azure DevOps, described as a collection of Power Apps-specific Azure DevOps build tasks that obviate the need to manually download scripts for managing the application lifecycle and overall development of Power Apps.
  • Testing: The new Test Studio service provides build end-to-end test for Power Apps applications. Announced in January this tool helps low code developers add and manage test cases, organize test into suites and easily validate new functionality, Microsoft said. Also enhancing testing functionality is EasyRepro, for automated UI testing.
  • Monitoring: Unveiled last October, a new monitoring feature helps debug applications and improve performance. As part of the advanced tools inside of Canvas Studio, this monitoring feature helps coders examine network trace calls to see the data returned, along with related errors. Microsoft also noted that Canvas apps can integrate instrumentation data.

"We will continue to invest in DevOps and ALM support tools for low-code environments with the overarching goal of making ALM more approachable for all project sizes and types with deep consideration healthy DevOps processes," Microsoft concluded.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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