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What origami and low code software have in common

Apeldoorn, 5 November 2019 – Origami is a centuries-old art form from Japan, which involves folding figures from paper. The pace of its development has been stable for years, but thanks to computers and mathematics, thousands of new and more complex figures were suddenly created during the last century. The creative possibilities seemed endless. Low-code software is about to bring about the same revolution in software development.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the possibilities for inventing new origami figures appeared to be exhausted. However, Akira Yoshizawa (1911-2005), now known as the master of origami, brought new life to the art.

He had been fascinated by origami and the mathematical concepts behind it since childhood. He used this knowledge to invent some 50,000 different new origami figures during his lifetime. However, this was only the beginning.

Mathematical principles

One of the core principles behind the versatility of origami are the so-called Huzita-Justin axioms. These are a total of seven lines based on mathematical principles, which describe all possible actions when folding a piece of paper. They were described by Jacques Justin in 1986, and then rediscovered by several others. The seven axioms cover all possible ways of creating a fold between possible combinations of points and lines. Using these mathematical principles, it was possible to make a huge leap forward in productivity. If you want to get to know this for yourself, don’t hesitate to download Treemaker by Robert J. Lang, an American physicist and also one of the most important origami artists and theoreticians in the world. His computer program can automatically generate folding instructions for all kinds of figures based on the seven axioms.

Traditional development

If we look at the history of software development, you see a clear resemblance to origami. Software development was also an extremely traditional craft for many decades, limiting productivity. Although we have achieved some great things with this method, the productivity limit is now becoming an issue. After all, there is an increasing need for software. Of course, countless new programming languages, development platforms and methods came and went, but programming is still basically a manual process. It takes specialized people to develop software that can contain millions of lines of code, the functionality of which is often deeply rooted in the technology used and in the minds of its creators. This makes it very difficult and time consuming to implement changes or switch to a new technology. As a result, an awful lot of time and money is wasted on this inefficient way of developing software. Because of this, an organization cannot keep up with the rapid technological changes or meet the demands of the market or the business.

Low-code is starting to change this on an increasingly larger scale. It offers a modern alternative by defining the functionality of software in graphical models. On top of that, Thinkwise has decoupled functionality from technology. The resulting software is independent of technology, and the development work is no longer focused on technology, but on developing functionality. In this way, low code can drastically accelerate both the development and modification of applications. Just as the Treemake program helps to develop new origami figures, a low-code development platform helps to speed up the realisation of new software.

Productivity Revolution

According to the latest forecasts, there is no doubt that the market for low code development is growing and that there is no end in sight yet. Gartner predicts that by 2024, low-code development will account for more than 65 percent of all application development. Furthermore, Forrester expects that the low code market will be worth no less than 21 billion dollars in 2022.

You could say that software development is on the eve of a major productivity revolution, similar to that in the origami world at the beginning of the last century. Enterprise low code platforms such as Thinkwise appear to have the best credentials to provide optimal support to organizations in this area. In the Forrester Wave: Low-Code Development Platforms For AD&D Pros (Q1 2019), Thinkwise is specifically mentioned for its unique development approach to modernizing applications for managing finance, inventory and production, and other core business systems.

So instead of continuing to develop software traditionally, choose the next generation of software development with an enterprise low-code platform. As with origami, you can then fold enterprise software into very unique ways, instead of sticking to the limitations of traditional software development.