An Assessment of the Viability of Low-Code Platforms for the Internal Creation of Applications and Replacement of Vendor-Dependent Proprietary Software
The thesis aims to ascertain the viability of the internal development of business applications on low-code platforms for a pharmaceutical company. The feasibility of such an endeavour is evaluated through the execution of a proof of concept using a business relevant and vendor dependent application
Jarik Geyer, 2023
Bachelor Thesis, Bachem AG
Betreuende Dozierende: Stephan Jüngling
Keywords: Power Automate, Low-code, Pharmaceutical, application development, requirements engineering
The company's reliance on external application vendors has brought about challenges, such as a lack autonomy, and continuous service quality issues. The thesis examines the practicality of in-house development to replace vendor reliant applications and regain autonomy, and overcome various challenges. The proof of concept focuses on the replacement of an external solution–used to displace material safety data sheets–, which was selected due to its manageable-scope and minimal dependencies. Allowing for the internal development of a replacement solution within the thesis' limited timeframe.
The thesis employs a traditional requirements engineering phase to identify stakeholders and elicit their requirements for the application. Once gathered the requirements were reviewed and verified by stakeholders to determine their validity and ability to satisfy expectations. Existing processes are also assessed and modelled in BPMN to allow for a extensive comparision of the AS-IS and TO-BE solutions. The TO-BE solution was then developed according to the elicited requirements and in adherence to stakeholder expectations on the Power Automate low-code platform.
End-to-end automated processes were created to replace the cumbersome manual processes which are partially executed by external employees with each displacement of a file incurring costs. The solution architecture used for the POC allowed for the affirmation of the feasibility of the internal development of applications using the Power Platform. Limitations of the architecture used by the POC became apparent during its development, however, the necessary architectural adjustments required for a productive deployment have been thoroughly documented and explained. A premium license was required for the implementation to enable the triggering of desktop flows from the cloud, despite this the solution is immensely cost-effective. The application and its processes were developed with only minimal prior knowledge of platform capabilities and was achieved solely using out-of-the-box components. Applications with larger scopes and increased dependencies would require additional effort to implement and depending on the complexity, necessitating the temporary acquisition of outside resources to provide best practice approaches, guidance, and support with customisation efforts.
Studiengang: Business Information Technology (Bachelor)
Fachbereich der Arbeit: