Yida Plus, Alibaba’s Solution for Low-Code Development

Relive the best moments of the Apsara Conference 2019 at https://www.alibabacloud.com/apsara-conference-2019.

By Zhao Yuanling.

On September 26, during this year’s Apsara Conference, Alibaba Cloud launched Yida Plus, a low-code development platform, which serves as the technology layer of Alibaba Cloud’s SaaS Accelerator. The operations required for developing complex enterprise business systems, including that for building field-related data models, performing logic and service orchestration, or designing professional UIs can all be implemented on the integrated low-code development platform provided by Yida Plus.

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Pictured above is Ye Jianhui, senior staff engineer of Alibaba Group, who was responsible for announcing Yida Plus at Apsara Conference 2019.

Yida is a zero-code development platform that comes fully featured with a graphical interface for you to create application software. You can edit and configure webpages, forms, and processes by dragging and dropping components, and release applications to your computer or phone in just one click. So far, the Yida platform has been used to develop applications for over 1,000 enterprises spanning the new retail, hospitality, manufacturing, medical care, energy, and education industries.

After providing services for many enterprises and partners, engineers at Alibaba discovered that, instead of directly developing and customizing features during the construction of the enterprise information, an increasing number of enterprises choose to extend and upgrade existing features for their applications and configure and then modify features as needed. To address this trend, Alibaba launched Yida Plus.

Yida Plus is a low-code development platform designed for independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers. Yida Plus provides a set of professional and advanced features that allow you to extend and customize features for applications to the utmost extent.

Yida Plus transforms tasks that originally required a large amount of technical skills into simple drag-and-drop operations. In this way, you can deliver high-quality and scalable multi-tenant applications for enterprises quickly and easily.

Just consider this, it can often take up to three months for a team of ten or more people to develop a medium-sized contract management system, which would typically contain a large number of forms and processes, using the traditional full-code development mode. Adding to this, a long-term maintenance investment would also be an inevitable part of this. However, it only takes a team of five or so people one month to implement the same case with Yida Plus.

With Yida Plus, all data models, business processes, and logic are aggregated and visualized on one platform. All of this can significantly reduce the cost for handover of such projects as well as overall maintenance. The optimization and stability of your applications can also be improved with the amount of code-and human error-lowering significantly.

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As shown in the picture above, a team of frontend developers can use Yida Plus to develop complex webpages.

Yida Plus provides both the zero-code application develop service and developer-oriented low-code development service. By integrating professional hierarchical architecture development operations into one platform, Yida Plus provides users with a complete interactive experience and end-to-end solution. This is what sets Yida Plus apart from other low-code development platforms.

In addition, features at different logical levels, such as processes design, service orchestration, and page building, can be independently developed. Next, features of SaaS applications built on Yida Plus can be extended and upgraded at any point down the line.

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Above is the advanced process designer of Yida Plus.

During the 2019 Hangzhou Apsara Conference, Ye Jianhui, senior staff engineer of Alibaba Group enterprise intelligence division, said that Yida Plus not only allows developers to write code by themselves on the platform, but also provides ready-made components for application development. This way, developers can quickly develop and deliver professional enterprise solutions without having to write loads of code.

Forms, processes, reports, and other features provided by Yida can be integrated on the intelligent development platform SmartStudio of Yida Plus with a single click. The data model builder enables users to define forms and build business data models. Following this, the graphical user interface designer enables professional frontend personnel to develop forms providing more complex interactions. In addition, the professional BPM process designer conforming to the BPMN 2.0 standard, as well as the open-logic orchestration service, and online analytical processing (OLAP) service provided by Yida Plus make it easier for you to develop and upgrade features for applications, associate forms, and process offline data from data sources.

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Above is the data model of Yida Plus.

As of now, Yida Plus has been used by the core business units of Alibaba Group, including legal affairs, procurement, cost management, and HR. It is a necessary component of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions for over 40 enterprise applications. For example, the bidding module of Alibaba Group’s procurement division was developed and constructed using the business process orchestration feature of Yida Plus, which enables enterprises in the Alibaba economy to customize their own business processes (without approval) and empowers the business personnel to configure processes. As a result, business processes can be modified without investing large amounts of time and development resources. Business personnel can use Yida Plus to customize procurement processes through configurations.

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