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From Coding to Creation: How Low-Code is Transforming the Future of Media-Rich Applications

The march of the low-code/no-code revolution is unstoppable. 

Gartner estimates that by the end of this year, “citizen developers” – business technologists who can harness the power of low-code, no-code, and automation tools – will outnumber professional coders by 4:1. (Think of a savvy marketer designing and building a consumer app to drive customer loyalty – without formal IT support.)  

But it’s not just non-developers who benefit from these technologies. 

Research suggests that a large portion of software developers want a majority of app development to be built using low-code technologies. (Small wonder when 80% believe that low-code technologies can free up their time for more valuable projects.)

And while low-code platforms help any business domain by automating repetitive tasks and accelerating the development process, there are few areas where these benefits are more deeply felt than in visual media. 

That’s why earlier this year, Cloudinary announced the public beta launch of MediaFlows: our low-code environment designed to help developers build and scale media-rich applications effortlessly. 

So why – and how – is low-code development going to revolutionize the way we build media-rich applications? 

Let’s start with why low-code technology is a game-changer specifically for visual media.

First, visual media are unusually complex (compared to other data types) – involving specific and detailed logic for management, transformation, and optimization. This can make code particularly time-consuming to write, debug, QA, and maintain.

Second, the visual media ecosystem is fragmented. Assets reside across a dizzyingly complex landscape of systems (CMSs, PIMs, cloud storage environments). And user-generated content (UGC) and content produced by generative AI systems add to the kaleidoscopic landscape every day. Building pipelines for basic management and governance of visual media assets is a challenge for any team. 

Finally, given the rapid pace of innovation around image and video, there’s no development time or talent to waste on routine tasks. New formats, experiences, and channels crop up every day. The opportunity cost of using developer time on “table stake” tasks is cripplingly high. 

Low-code development for media-rich applications concretely benefits developers (and their companies) in three ways:

  1. Faster time-to-market. Our data suggest that MediaFlows users spend up to 70% less time on visual-media related coding tasks – meaning that they can get media-rich apps and experiences into the hands of their users, faster. 
  2. More innovation. Time freed up from repetitive development and maintenance tasks translates directly to exploration of new initiatives (like 3D modeling, AR/VR, and more). In particular, low-code environments are ideal for integrating with third parties and orchestrating third-party services – enabling teams to tap into innovative new technologies and connect assets and workflows from across their ecosystems.  
  3. Happier developers. As developers, we want to free up time to focus on building new things – not spending time reinventing the wheel.   

A MediaFlows success story highlights the transformative potential of low-code development for rapidly building and scaling media applications. 

A developer needed to create promotional videos for a popular recording artist. Using MediaFlows, he orchestrated a complex workflow involving visual media: uploading a few “starter” images, sending them to a third-party generative AI vendor to create related derivative visuals, routing the output to Cloudinary, and leveraging Cloudinary APIs to stitch them into video content – all with minimal code, and in a matter of minutes.

Low-code technologies are poised to revolutionize the way we build and scale media-rich applications. And environments that abstract underlying complexity (like MediaFlow’s drag-and-drop environment for building image and video workflows) promise to free up developer time to unleash creativity and innovation.

In other words: low-code technologies are the key to less coding – and more building. 

Want to learn more about how the low-code revolution can unlock innovation for you? Get started for free with MediaFlows.

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