Towards a Polyglot Data Access Layer for a Low-Code Application Development Platform

Ana Nunes Alonso, João Abreu, David Nunes, André Vieira, Luiz Santos, Tércio Soares, José Pereira

Low-code application development as proposed by the OutSystems Platform enables fast mobile and desktop application development and deployment. It hinges on visual development of the interface and business logic but also on easy integration with data stores and services while delivering robust applications that scale. Data integration increasingly means accessing a variety of NoSQL stores. Unfortunately, the diversity of data and processing models, that make them useful in the first place, is difficult to reconcile with the simplification of abstractions exposed to developers in a low-code platform. Moreover, NoSQL data stores also rely on a variety of general purpose and custom scripting languages as their main interfaces. In this paper we propose a polyglot data access layer for the OutSystems Platform that uses SQL with optional embedded script snippets to bridge the gap between low-code and full access to NoSQL stores. In detail, we characterize the challenges for integrating a variety of NoSQL data stores; we describe the architecture and proof-of-concept implementation; and evaluate it with a sample application.

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