They fought their way through traditional software development until they sold AdminServer, their insurance focused software and services company to Oracle. After that, they set out to change traditional software development forever.
We were able to meet with Meredith McGrath, Director of Business Development at Graphite GTC, who shared the story of Graphite GTC’s founders. “They saw so much friction between business users and developers,” Meredith explained of the company’s founders, “they wanted to build a platform that would let anybody develop solutions visually, without ever having to write a single line of traditional code.”
It’s a twist on the story we’ve heard throughout this Executive Perspective series. Instead of a services organization pivoting to become a software company – we find founders who finished their journey as traditional software vendors in favor of a bigger vision to change how everybody develops software in the enterprise. We’ve noticed how Graphite GTC isn’t trying to pave a completely novel path. They are building upon technology trends supported by Microsoft and IBM with their Smart Apps solution that brings Watson and Microsoft Cognitive Services to the toolbox of no code developers as they build web apps inside of Graphite. Oh, and they haven’t forgotten their insurance-based roots. After their non-compete with Oracle expired, they ran into a new age no code approach to building software solutions in the insurance world.
How technical do you have to be to build a web app on Graphite’s platform? Meredith explained, “you do need to be process oriented, and detail oriented. Technically educated to a point where you can hand write code? No. One of our best no code developers doesn’t know how to write any code. In fact, one of our favorite stories is how one of our executive admins asked enough questions over a couple days to others in the office to build her own wardrobe management app.” That one caught my attention. So I asked how the admin got around the data modeling aspect of the app. “Graphite Studio lets you model entities instead of data. In the case of our admin, she cut a few corners with a less scalable entity model. In a real world enterprise application, the entity modeling should be done by an experienced user or at least overseen by whomever owns the data that is being used.”
Want to see Graphite in action? Watch the quick video below to get a taste of the experience. The default dark theme of the designer is very attractive in our opinion.
After some further research we found that Graphite takes an emphatic stance on being able to generate “perfect code”. Their self-proclaimed industry first code guarantee is a compelling artifact of their platforms ability to generate code that can be deployed after the business user is done modeling the process. To clarify, the business user doesn’t need to export and manage code to deploy an application on Graphite – but it is possible, and many developers appreciate. It does introduce some key decision making into the software development process of a company that adopts a platform like Graphite. It would be important to think through when code is generated and exported and how it is maintained. To put this in perspective, you can usually categorize low code and no code development platforms into two categories – code generators and proprietary platformers. Proprietary platformers don’t support the export of any code – they usually support bringing code in – but when you design an application its all housed in platform. Code generators on the other hand are typically promoting the idea of constant code generation and maintenance. Graphite has found an interesting balance between the two.
Meredith added, “we’ve seen exciting growth so far and we are at a point in our company’s growth where we need to develop more partnerships with system integrators and professional services groups who can help our customers implement solutions. In other words, we want to focus on being a software company to improve our platform for all customers and partner with the right organizations for project level support.”
Opportunities abound for consulting and other organizations who want to specialize in the new age of software development. Vendors like Graphite and many others are looking for local project support. If this is something you are interested in pursuing, the team here at NoCodeDev would be happy to help you get started.