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Outsystems NextStep 2022 – what you need to know

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This week Outsystems held its annual conference, NextStep. It’s that moment that new features are revealed and best practices are showcased. I have attended the hybrid viewing party in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In the case you missed it, I’m happy to give you a recap of the highlights.

Project Neo starts to become reality

Last year, Outsystems announced Project Neo, which was said to “redefine developer productivity”. However, the details remained scarce. This year Outsystems finally shared more. First of all, Project Neo will now be called Outsystems Developer Cloud (ODC). It will be build on an AWS cloud infrastructure. Apps will run in their own container, which is based on Kubernetes. This enables scalability. If demand increases, Kubernetes is able to spin up new instances. It makes it also faster for instances to deployed. It’s hard to draw conclusions from the demo’s on NextStep, but deployments seemed faster. One-Click Publish however seemed to take longer. But then again, Outsystems may still be optimizing this part. Containerisation also helps to improve the security. It helps to isolate parts of the infrastructure, as apps run in their own sandbox.

ODC – familiar, but different

The new ODC takes most of the concepts of Outsystems 11. Outsystems showed the new IDE, ODC Portal, which looked very familiar. As they stated, Outsystems wanted to make it easy for developers to make the jump. But there is something to look forward to. Outsystems added functionality from Service Center. For example deployments, monitoring and user access management can now be done from the ODC Portal.

Improved AI

Like last year, Outsystems is improving its AI which helps building and validating apps. Formerly known as Architecture dashboard, it will now be called by the AI Mentor Systems. As we’ve seen in the last year, Outsystems is including more and more types of validation in this tool. It makes sense to change it’s name since the scope is much larger now.

More platform extensibility

Following on the trend of more platform extensibility, Outsystems will now be exposing monitoring and logs through the OpenTelemetry API. This enables the use of third-party monitoring tools such as Datadog, New Relic, and Dynatrace. Besides logging, Outsystems promises that ODC will be API-first. That will enabling customers and suppliers to build tools that will enhance productivity. I welcome this open approach for tinkering with the platform. It shows that Outsystems is not aiming to be the magic black box, but rather part of a larger infrastructure.