Most of the companies (startups/enterprises) already have many reusable artifacts (e.g. design system, CSS library, UI component libraries etc) which these companies would like to leverage for developing their websites/apps.
The disadvantage of the existing no/low code tool is that you can't load your reusable artifacts on these tools to develop the website in a way that developers prefer and are comfortable with. So companies end up in a situation where developers and other people from a company are using two different approaches for developing the websites/apps.
Piston is a low-code tool that lets you load your existing reusable artifacts into it and develop websites with these reusable assets. This approach has the following advantages -
It offers flexibility to switch between browser-based development and coding as and when required. E.g. you can create simple pages of a website/app from the browser and switch to coding for developing complex pages/features when it can't be achieved using a browser-based approach.
This also eliminates those situations where you are looking for a critical feature in a low/no-code tool that is either not on the roadmap or is on the roadmap but will be available after a long time.
This allows developers and non-developers to collaborate around a tool to develop websites/apps which is not possible in the case of other low/no-code tools.
Reusable assets help develop websites faster that are aligned with your development best practices and branding of your company.
You don't end up building the equivalent of these reusable assets across many low/no-code platforms. Most of the low/no-code platforms don't even support creating reusable assets.
You can access the preview/beta version here.
Single Sign On (Social as well as Enterprise)
Dedicated tenant for enterprises and partners
Support for custom domains
Support for shared as well as non-shared teams
Support for managed teams
A platform for selling premium frames ( roughly equivalent of wordpress themes ), layouts, UI components libraries etc
Subscriptions and Payment collection for non-enterprise UI components library authors
Role based access control
Advanced page designer
Advantages for the UI Components library authors (teams/enterprises/solopreneurs)
Host your components at a central location making your distribution very easy.
Roll out your no-code platform by exposing the various versions of your components library at the tenant/team/site level where the users of such tenants/teams will be able to build their websites with your components by consuming these from a central location.
With Piston, your vue components library becomes a general-purpose components library that can be used by any user to build their websites instead of being limited to vue developers only. This also eliminates the need to write a separate version of your components library for every client-side framework (e.g. angular, react etc) out there.
Define subscriptions to control who can use what. E.g.
One subscription to use the major and all associated minor versions of your components library.
Another subscription to use any major/minor version of your components library.
Updates will be pushed to all the consuming sites as soon as components are updated in the central location. No need for developers to build their projects and subsequent deployment every time a new major/minor version of the components library is released.
Protect your IP by not running into situations where people download premium versions of your components library by paying for it but then resell it at a lower rate or share it and license cost with other people in violation of the end user agreement.
Collect payment from a single platform instead of using multiple platforms (e.g. gumroad etc) for the same.
Advantages for the developers
It is a developer first low-code tool that embraces a hybrid approach as described in the introduction section.
As developers, we need to understand that building all parts of a website is not rocket science. A developer can focus on building complex (UI) components and pages that can't be implemented using a no-code tool while non-technical people (e.g. pre-sales, customer success teams etc) can add new pages to your website by adjusting the configuration of some reusable components on these pages. For example, if I have to add 5 pages where all these pages have only a table component with different values of two props defined by the table component then this is something that can be done by non-technical people as well.
Many times engineering teams are not able to accommodate requests for some critical features because the product roadmap is over-committed for the next few months. If those features can be implemented in a self-service manner by non-technical people, who don't have any knowledge of the underlying tech stack, then a team consisting of developers and other folks playing different roles can deliver many more features than developers in the team can code in a given time. This will result in maximizing feature implementations, output of the team and satisfaction across all the customers.
Website - mechcloud.io
Documentation - https://docs.mechcloud.io/piston
Creating a simple website with two levels of page hierarchy
Sample custom components - https://github.com/mechcloud/mechcloud-custom-components
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