OutSystems Throws a Spotlight on AI/ML Capabilities in its Low-Code Platform

OutSystems, provider of the leading low-code application development platform, threw a spotlight on its AI-based products during its online NextStep 2020 user conference this week. The company says it has fused artificial intelligence (AI) into its platform to "enable organizations of all sizes to build enterprise-grade apps quickly, build them right, and build them for the future."

OutSystems announced a major AI initiative back in 2018 called Project Turing, the purpose of which was to "bring the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to software development." The project involved building a new AI Center of Excellence in Lisbon, Portugal, where the company is headquartered; committing 20 percent of its overall R&D resources to adding AI/ML capabilities to its products; and partnering with industry experts, technology leaders, and universities to drive original research and innovation in the field of AI/ML.

Last year the company announced that the project had succeeded, and AI/ML tech had been embedded in the platform.

"For OutSystems and the R&D group, a future with no limits is one where intelligent tools augment the work of developers and business users," said António Alegria, OutSystems head of artificial intelligence, in a statement published at the time. "We are striving to make app delivery 100x faster so anyone can deliver robust, high-quality apps of all complexities. By leveraging state-of-the-art AI and machine learning research done in-house and in collaboration with top research institutions, we succeeded in creating an artificial expert that allows them to be more productive and effective. And, we're just getting started. Look for more to come in 2020."

2020 is here, and the company showcased the AI/ML capabilities in its products during the online event, including:

AI Assist: With the goal of making application developers one hundred times faster, OutSystems has fused artificial intelligence (AI) into its platform to automate, guide, and validate development throughout the application lifecycle, the company said. Designed to aid all skill levels, from professional developers to business analysts, and in every step of the process, AI Assist enables faster delivery of robust, high-quality applications. 

TrueChange: Using AI to help developers address the complexities created by ever-changing software requirements, TrueChange checks for bugs and architecture errors, analyzes the impact of changes on component and application dependencies, provides team and architectural governance, and even monitors performance in real-time. "As a result, developers can build, manage, and change enterprise-critical applications or services, with zero friction, zero errors, zero lead time, and zero technical debt," the company said.

Machine Learning Builder: Outsystems' development environment, called Service Studio, provides users best-of-breed, visual toolsets called "builders" that are optimized for particular aspects of the development cycle. With the new Machine Learning Builder, developers can create custom AI applications with rich personalized experiences. One example the company cites: ML can be used to analyze the behavior of customers to improve a chatbot experience by eliminating options they don't like or automatically routing their questions to the right department.

Architecture Dashboard: Using AI technology, the Architecture Dashboard helps IT visualize and enforce complex cross-portfolio architectures built with OutSystems and identify issues early in the development lifecycle. Architecture Dashboard ensures that applications are secure, performant, and resilient ,and that teams are able to avoid costly design errors as well as duplication of effort, the company said. 

"Building and changing applications at speed and scale continues to be a painfully complex process for most organizations," said OutSystems CEO and founder, Paulo Rosado, in a statement. "Traditional technology stacks are getting more complex, atomized, and challenging to implement while traditional development remains overly manual, disconnected, and rigid. We learned over the last 20 years that there is a better approach and built a platform that solves precisely these challenges. OutSystems helps our customers build applications fast, build them right, and most importantly, build them for the future."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at