OneBlink’s Low-code Suite on AWS Powers Low-Effort Digital Transformation
Rapid App Development to Improve Customer Satisfaction
The new era of application development is low-code. Many organizations are seeking increased agility to expand and extend their apps in response to customer demand but lack dedicated resources to write code for new apps. Low-code development platforms enable faster project delivery with drag-and-drop builders for non-programmers and prebuilt application programming interfaces (APIs) that connect to existing installed systems. Gartner predicts that by 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65 percent of development activity.
OneBlink is an independent software vendor (ISV) whose flagship Low-code Suite (LcS) provides the building blocks to create transformative digital solutions. Born on the AWS Cloud, its first customers comprised local and state government organizations across Australia. LcS is now used by businesses in many different industries including construction, utilities, and healthcare. These customers seek to rapidly design and deploy apps that improve their employee efficiencies as well as the customer experience. For fellow ISVs looking to provide such capabilities to their customers, OneBlink now offers LcS as a white-label solution.
AWS offers a variety of managed services that meet all the needs of our platform while allowing us to control operations expenditures.”
Director and CTO, OneBlink
Enabling Teams with Little to No Development Experience
In 2020, OneBlink developed the first white-label version of its solution for CivicPlus, an ISV in the US that provides citizen engagement software and services to local governments. OneBlink worked with CivicPlus to create a low-code development environment for its downstream customers to innovate mobile reporting tools and citizen-facing apps. The bespoke solution, branded CivicOptimize Productivity, launched in May 2020.
By May 2021, CivicPlus had onboarded more than 100 local government customers to CivicOptimize Productivity and another subscription-based solution from OneBlink. CivicOptimize Productivity has the same code base as OneBlink’s LcS, but with CivicPlus branding and a global interface. All updates to OneBlink’s LcS are also replicated in CivicOptimize Productivity. OneBlink use AWS CloudFormation for creating new instances, so new services can be rapidly propagated.
LcS, and by extension, CivicOptimize Productivity, rely on Amazon CloudFront as a secure content delivery network and AWS Lambda for code-based execution. In the past 3 years, OneBlink has increasingly adopted modern architecture practices such as serverless computing and containers. It runs Lambda@Edge to reduce application latency and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) with AWS Fargate to manage and deploy containerized APIs. “AWS offers a variety of managed services that meet all the needs of our platform while allowing us to control operations expenditures. We’re able to execute a complete CI/CD [continuous integration/continuous deployment] environment on AWS for our low-code customers,” says Alan Williams, director and CTO of OneBlink.
Integration with Legacy Systems Builds Loyalty
Integration, whether via APIs or Microsoft Power Automate connectors, is a key aspect of OneBlink’s commitment to white-labelled versions of LcS. OneBlink customized CivicOptimize Productivity to integrate with CivicPlus’s existing and future products. This allows customers to continuously adapt their CivicPlus investments to changing market demands. “By offering their customers a way to create customized solutions that ‘talk’ to their main products, CivicPlus retains a core brand position in the customer’s mind as they move to the next level of digital transformation,” says Paul Rusk, vice president of North America at OneBlink.
Sandy City, Utah, was the first end customer CivicPlus onboarded onto CivicOptimize Productivity. Within a few weeks, Sandy City employees—most of whom had zero development experience—created more than 40 apps from 100 digital forms. The apps enable citizens to perform a variety of tasks online, such as setting up direct billing for utilities and applying for permits. Teako Warfield-Graham, software architect engineer at Sandy City, says, “Anyone could use CivicOptimize Productivity as a stand-alone tool or integrated with their content management system. It’s an ideal solution for any entity that needs to connect existing systems without requiring a developer to make those connections.”
Modern Architecture Design Improves Reliability
The time-to-market for white-labelled versions of LcS is a compelling draw for customers looking to rapidly iterate a high volume of custom applications. CivicOptimize Productivity went live in less than 2 months, with most of that time spent building and testing integrations with existing CivicPlus products. Other white-label customers can expect a similar time-to-market for its teams or its end customers to independently build and launch custom apps that improve business processes and customer satisfaction.
To provide its white-label partners the confidence and security of their own environment, OneBlink sets up dedicated Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and other AWS infrastructure for each partner. This enables the white-label partner and OneBlink to provide a greater level of control that they wouldn’t get in a multi-tenant framework.
OneBlink used the AWS Well-Architected Framework to build the LcS code base according to best design and security practices, which also helps address any concerns from customers who are new to the cloud. It relies on Multi-Availability Zone (AZ) architecture from AWS for a high degree of fault tolerance. The team at OneBlink cannot recall a time when its platform has gone down and reports an average uptime exceeding 99.9 percent. “Reliability has only increased over the years, and as we’ve adopted more containerized and serverless features on AWS, our architecture has become incredibly robust,” Williams says.
Taking Low-code Suite to More Markets
OneBlink continues to enhance its LcS white-label offering and is currently expanding to another market and AWS Availability Zone. “We can launch and scale new environments in different Availability Zones on AWS seamlessly, with predictable pricing,” Williams says. CivicPlus has engaged OneBlink to roll out a localized version of CivicOptimize Productivity in Canada. OneBlink is also eyeing other vertical market opportunities in the US, Europe, and Asia. “We continue to look for what’s new on AWS and evaluate services that can add value to the overall platform offering so our downstream customers can benefit,” concludes Williams
To Learn More
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/modern-apps.
OneBlink is an Australian software company. Its flagship Low-code Suite, also available as a white-label product for independent software vendors, enables non-developers to quickly design and deploy apps that improve business processes and customer satisfaction.
Benefits of AWS
- Enables rapid creation of apps without the need for dedicated developers
- Integrates with legacy products to increase value of existing estate
- Promotes loyalty among customers via simple digital transformation tools
- Develops bespoke white-label solution in less than 2 months
- Scales to new global markets with Multi-AZ architecture and shared code base
AWS Services Used
AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes.
Lambda@Edge is a feature of Amazon CloudFront that lets you run code closer to users of your application, which improves performance and reduces latency.
AWS Fargate is a serverless compute engine for containers that works with both Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).
Amazon Elastic Container Service
Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that helps you easily deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications.
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