No code platforms and the oversimplification that follows

Air India issues public notice for Builder.ai's ad campaign

This has been churning inside my brain since yesterday – since I saw the prototype “no code” app ad on times of India recommending Air India to use it to revamp that app.

Just a fancy UI isn’t a better Airline app. By the way, the app looks so much similar to the slick app that travenues platform powers for SG today.

Leave that aside, UI isn’t the hard thing while creating airline apps. Do you know how hard it is to hit the old school airline inventory systems like Navitaire, Amadeus etc. That’s the hard part.

The SSR infra (that powers the addins /ancillaries such as seats, baggage etc) is complex as hell. The revenue team of the airline will drive you up the wall everyday getting new combos of SSRs. The govt will drive you crazy with restrictions. You need an engine to power that.

Try creating the web check-in infra backend to performantly call multiple APIs and get your pax on the kerb side happy.

Try optimising on the routes that the backend inventory platform throws at you to show the most relevant routes with minimal hops, in a few efficient calls coupled with cacheing.

I love the concept of no code / low code apps. But please for heaven sake don’t trivialise complex apps by showing pretty UI prototypes.

Update: AirIndia and builder.ai are locked in confrontational conversation and even contemplating a notice.

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