Should a company use a low code solution or an MDE tool?

When researching low-code and MDE software, I realized that the former is marketing itself as a solution; while the latter as as a tool. Solutions are aimed at business people, who have problem to solve. Tools are marketed to engineers/developers who have a solution to build. The users of a solution, usually do not care about how it works or is implemented, as long as it solves the problem.

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When is cookie cutter good?

One of the complaints I read the most about low-code tools or code generators in general is that they are too “cookie cutter”. I just made a google search to find the advantages and disadvantages of actual cookie cutters and I think they share some with low-code tools. Let us look at some desirable characteristics of cookie cutters:

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What is MDE?

In a previous post I presented what low-code is, and also pointed to a paper explaning the difference between low-code and MDE (Model-Driven Engineering). However, I have not presented what is MDE. In this post I want to correct that. MDE is a well-studied subject, and there are definitions in academia.

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Low-code development vs. MDE

Today I want to share with you this excellent article about MDE (Model-Driven Engineering) and low-code platforms that I found through Twitter. The article is titled Low-code development and model-driven engineering: Two sides of the same coin?. The paper explores the commonalities and differences of the two approaches and throws very good insights on the different concepts.

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The main problem you will face when choosing a low-code platform

Today I found thread on reddit about a programmer being put on a no-code project and having a very bad time with it. The complaint from the OP was that PMs/managers promised things that are not deliverable with the low-code tools. The comments were very interesting and there was some discussion that not all low-code platform are made equal, some are very extensible while other are useful only for a set of use cases.

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