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Low-Code Application Platform


Video: Low Code for Telecoms (ECT Telco Tech Episode #02)
In this second episode of our Telco Tech series, Hans Huber, CTO and cofounder of ECT, discusses the advantages that low code for telecoms brings to value-added telecoms services.

E-book: Bringing Low Code to Telecoms
This is the first of a series of ECT e-books on low code and its significance for CSPs. It discusses the motivation behind low code, how it is revolutionizing IT and what is required to bring low code to the telecoms network.

Low Code: It’s Not Just for IT

Low code allows business people without programming skills, so-called citizen developers, to convert customer needs into new applications quickly, in high quality and often on their own, i.e., employing IT specialists as little as possible. By reducing line coding significantly and focusing on a visual automated approach, low code makes enterprises much more responsive to the needs of their customers.

As many verticals have their own business-specific systems, structures and processes, there are now low-code platforms for specific verticals. We all know that telecoms networks utilize many technologies not generally found in IT networks and, of course, CSPs have their own stringent non-functional requirements. We have taken this all into account in our Telecoms Low-Code Application Platform (T-LCAP) which is specifically designed for and wholly dedicated to the telecoms industry.

telecoms service creation environment, service delivery platform

This e-book will change the way you see telecoms service creation.

What is low code in telecoms?

Unlike other low-code application platforms, the T-LCAP is seamlessly integrated into the telecoms network, rather than being positioned in the IT realm. The underlying technology is based on tried-and-true telecoms components, with a service execution engine and model-based, automated tools that have been used by leading CSPs for decades as part of our former service-delivery platform. Thus, the T-LCAP reliably supports virtually all the special requirements of the telecoms industry, allowing CSPs to easily leverage its assets to rapidly achieve value.

For further information, visit the Special Telecoms Requirements page.

Is low code the future of telecoms?

Many observers believe that is the case, due largely to the need for agility in business. By 2023, 60% of mainstream organizations will have the “composable enterprise”—which takes a modular approach to the business to facilitate change—as a strategic objective. Market analysts note that 25% of CSPs will operate as composable service providers by 2025, making their edge and 5G services more valuable to enterprises seeking agility. This will is likely to be done with low code or no code, because it allows not only engineers, but also business stakeholders without programming skills, to compose and recompose applications whenever and however needed. With this approach, traditional capabilities can be transformed into reusable commodities, which means that more time and development power can be focused on innovation and value delivery.

For further information, visit the Composable Applications page.

Will low code replace developers?

Low code doesn’t make professional programmers obsolete; instead, it provides a new way for professional developers to collaborate with business people to compose and maintain products. Toward this end, the T-LCAP includes two interconnected tools for each of these two groups: the CitizenTool, which empowers product professionals to build their own interfaces with no-code visual builders and packaged business capabilities; and the ExpertTool, a low-code software that enhances developers’ ability to model data, expose APIs and rapidly create services.

For further information, visit the Citizen and Professional Developers page.

Why low code platforms are essential for CSPs?

With the platform’s tight integration into the CSPs’ infrastructure, CSPs can use the T-LCAP to build network services such as number portability, carrier routing, NTS and fixed-mobile unification. They can also offer individualized enterprise services to their customer base. And the T-LCAP includes a set of ready-to-use enterprise services such as UCC, workstream collaboration, video capabilities, and chatbots—the services that will play a major role in the future.

For further information, watch Telco Tech Episode 2: Low Code in Telecoms or read the transcript of the video on this blog post.

Why CSPs should choose T-LCAP over a traditional SDP?

T-LCAP is the natural evolution of ECT’s Service Delivery Platform. Its underlying technology is based on tried-and-true telecoms components of SDP, including the service execution engine and model-based, automated tools that have been used by CSPs for decades.

Does Telecom Low Code Platform supports market-standard IT technologies?

Yes. The T-LCAP meets state-of-the-art software development standards. Its broad set of tools enable engineers to build full-featured applications more effectively than traditional integrated development environments, due to its simplicity and just-in-time ready components such as Data Modeller, API Builder, Workflow Builder and Unity Tester. Also, the T-LCAP has native compatibility with Oracle and Mongo databases, as well as JavaScript and TypeScript for developers who might need to insert hand-written back- and front-end code into their projects.

Why should CSPs invest in low code?

Low code’s main value proposition for CSPs is that enables them to reduce repetitive, costly tasks in software development. By transforming the CSP’s network assets in composable, packaged business capabilities, the low-code platform enables development teams to be more agile and responsive. This ultimately leads to faster time-to-market for innovations and a high ROI.

For further information, visit the Special Telecoms Requirements page.

How skilled must be a developer to use low code?

The ECT T-LCAP is suited for all corporate audiences in an engineering, design and procurement environment, with two tools focusing on specific skillsets: the Citizen Tool and the Pro Tool. The first is limited to no-code development around front-end design and packaged business capabilities management, and is designed for “citizen developers.” These are business professionals who have no formal training in programming, but who are both tech-savvy and knowledgeable about business processes and customer pain points and have an autonomous, DIY mindset. The Pro Tool is designed for technical developers, who can typically take full advantage of the tool in less than a week. Developers should have the ability to handle conceptual tasks that require data modelling and basic programming concepts, such as conditional statement, repetition loops, logical statements and so forth.

Why T-LCAP and not other Low Code platforms in the market?

The T-LCAP is specially designed for CSPs and seamlessly integrates with CSP’s networks assets, such as the call or SMS gateway, enabling CSPs to provide high-volume, low-latency services inside their environment. Also, the T-LCAP is compatible with most communication protocols, which typically go far beyond the usual representational state transfer (REST)/simple object access protocol (SOAP) standards of IT providers, such as SMTP, SMPP, UCP and others.

Can a CSP build composable applications with low code?

Yes. The ECT T-LCAP architecture is composable-oriented. This means that every piece of code developed within the platform can be reused in new packaged business capabilities (PBC), which can be assembled and reassembled into different products and services inside of the CSP network. Everything that is developed within the T-LCAP environment should be easily and dynamically integrable as a shared pool of resources between citizen and professional developers.

Which types of databases are supported on the T-LCAP?

ECT’s T-LCAP focuses on the major database players in the market, providing versatility in database design. Currently, it provides full support for relational and non-relational databases such as Oracle and Mongo, and this support is planned to go even further in the future.

Can a squad work together on the T-LCAP?

Yes. The T-LCAP is designed to support real-time collaboration among peers and with developers from different development environments. With our Admin Tool, configuring, installing and deploying a new environment is just a button-click away. We also support interfaces with GitHub to control code versioning.

Can our team run automated tests in the T-LCAP environment?

Yes. For each application built on the ECT telecoms low-code platform, professional developers can also outline automated unity tests using the Professional Tool. Those can be executed by testers, engineers or DevOps teams using automated pipelines prior to each deployment.

What communication protocols are supported in the T-LCAP?

The Telecoms Low Code Application Platform covers the vast majority of communication protocols available in the CSP market, including Telecoms Signaling, OSS/BSS, NFV and, of course, IT protocols. CSPs can speed up their product deliveries with seamless integrations over INAP, CAMEL, UCP, SMPP, RTP, SIP, SNMP, SMTP, HTML and many others.

Is T-LCAP compatible with 5G?

The T-LCAP is expected to be fully compatibility with 5G protocols by 2023—protocols such as Voice over New Radio, southbound APIs for SMS over NAS, location management function and many others.

Can a CSP install Low Code in their own network?

The T-LCAP has been designed to be CSP-first, which means that the platform itself is tailored to be deployed in the CSP Network, allowing CSPs to seamlessly integrate and leverage its assets. As for future releases, T-LCAP will also be available through containerization and on our public cloud.