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Modelling in low-code development: a multi-vocal systematic review

Publication Type:

Journal article


Software and Systems Modeling




In 2014, a new software development approach started to get a foothold: low-code development. Already from its early days, practitioners in software engineering have been showing a rapidly growing interest in low-code development. In 2021 only, the revenue of low-code development technologies reached 13.8 billion USD. Moreover, the business success of low- code development has been sided by a growing interest from the software engineering research community. The model-driven engineering community has shown a particular interest in low-code development due to certain similarities between the two. In this article, we report on the planning, execution, and results of a multi-vocal systematic review on low-code development, with special focus to its relation to model-driven engineering. The review is intended to provide a structured and comprehensive snapshot of low-code development in its peak of inflated expectations technology adoption phase. From an initial set of potentially relevant 720 peer-reviewed publications and 199 grey literature sources, we selected 58 primary studies, which we analysed according to a meticulous data extraction, analysis, and synthesis process. Based on our results, we tend to frame low-code development as a set of methods and/or tools in the context of a broader methodology, often being identified as model-driven engineering.


author = {Alessio Bucaioni and Antonio Cicchetti and Federico Ciccozzi},
title = {Modelling in low-code development: a multi-vocal systematic review},
pages = {1--23},
month = {January},
year = {2022},
journal = {Software and Systems Modeling},
url = {}