The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Platforms For Business Developers, Q2 2019 report reviewed companies that are enabling citizen developers to build custom solutions on low-code platforms designed to meet their specific needs. In Forrester’s evaluation, FileMaker, Inc., earned the highest scores possible in the training, support, community and marketplace; vision and strategy; partners; customer base; and revenue from low-code platform sales criteria.
FileMaker, AppSheet, Caspio, And Quick Base Lead The Pack Forrester's research uncovered a market in which FileMaker, AppSheet, Caspio, and Quick Base are Leaders; Kintone, Betty Blocks, TrackVia, and Kissflow are Strong Performers; and Zudy, TIBCO Software, Scopeland Technology, and Airtable are Contenders.
FileMaker, an Apple subsidiary, continues its journey from tool to platform. FileMaker declined to participate in our assessment but is a Leader in our analysis. The 30-year-old vendor avoids association with low-code, positioning itself instead as a “workplace innovation platform.”
Labels aside, FileMaker provides strong low-code tooling for database development, reporting, application change management, security and identity management, and content. The vendor also provides many features to help AD&D pros support and participate in software projects. These strengths reflect a mature product with a massive customer base and an effective strategy.
The Forrester Wave™ evaluation highlights Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders, and Challengers. It's an assessment of the top vendors in the market and does not represent the entire vendor landscape.
After decades in the shadows, software built by businesspeople is emerging into the light. A small group of AD&D leaders is supporting citizen developers on low-code platforms designed for their needs. Respect/fear have replaced love/hate. That's progress. Why now? Digital businesses' demand for ever more automation, ever more quickly, requires more minds and hands producing applications. (see endnote 1) AD&D (Application Development & Delivery) support and governance are also crucial for allowing business developers to contribute meaningfully to their firms' software strategies. (see endnote 2) Low-code platforms for business developers balance empowerment and governance.
Business experts to reliably develop full applications. Businesspeople can create full applications with these platforms much more than they're able to with personal productivity applications. How? By using development tools designed for business experts, not AD&D pros — including wizards; drag-and-drop design; Excel-like interfaces; and application templates that define data, forms, integrations, and logic. Behind the scenes, the platforms generate code, metadata, and sometimes forms and data relationships; prevent mistakes; and validate that apps will run.
The leading platforms solve the puzzle of how to make database design simple while opening more powerful database tools as business developers learn. Workflow and process designers remain the exception rather than the rule among these vendors. And features to organize and govern development processes are highly variable among the platforms.