What Are Low-Code & No-Code Platforms?


Sep 28, 2022 ·


What are low-code/no-code platforms? How are they changing the app development industry?

Thanks to the highly technology-driven world, the preferences and expectations of users change constantly. Businesses are expected to develop and deploy software apps at a faster pace to keep the users satisfied.

This puts most software development teams and businesses under tremendous stress, which often leads to delays, quality compromises, and missed opportunities.

With the demand to develop more apps within shorter deadlines, businesses have been on the lookout for solutions to get them out of this predicament. It is in this situation that low-code and no-code platforms came. And it just changed the way software solutions and applications are developed.

So what are low-code and no-code platforms? Are they the game-changer as everyone believes them to be?

Let’s find out.

What are low-code/no-code development platforms?

Low-code/no-code platforms are visual software development environments where entire applications are developed by dragging and dropping app components and connecting them for a unified app.

By their very nature, these platforms eliminate writing code line by line. This not only makes the development process superfast but also bug-free. These platforms are also developed to help small businesses and organizations, without any technical knowledge, build applications and test them.

How do low-code/no-code platforms work?

Before getting into the workings of most low-code/no-code platforms, let’s understand how software applications are developed.

A developer writes codes to develop features and functionalities as needed for a software program. However, it requires the developer to have extensive knowledge of the language used to write the program and its uses. It is pretty much like writing this blog post. Without knowing how to use the language, there would be mistakes and errors.

A low-code/no-code platform works similarly. However, writing codes are moved to the background. It is replaced with a visual interface, which allows the users to drag and drop reusable elements from the menu to create functionalities and features.

They are all linked together at the end to make a fully functional app.

Low-code development vs. no-code development

While low-code and no-code development platforms are used interchangeably, there is a clear distinction between the two.

Low-code platforms focus more on developers themselves to create applications and support app development through automating connections between the back-ends that help an app perform. Some degree of knowledge of coding is needed in low-code development.

On the other hand, no-code platforms do not require any knowledge of coding, and it is entirely carried out through visual components.

Here are a few fundamental differences between low-code and no-code development:

  1. Low-code is designed to primarily help software developers and coders, whereas no-code is developed to help businesses and entrepreneurs with no experience in coding.
  2. The primary goal of a low-code platform is to improve the speed of developing a software program or application, whereas the major aim of no-code is ease of use.
  3. As the name indicates, low-code does not get rid of writing codes entirely. It still uses a degree of coding, but extensively less when compared to traditional development. On the other hand, with no-code development, writing code is entirely removed.
  4. With low-code platforms, end-to-end software development is possible, while no-code platforms are limited in their functionalities.
  5. Using the capabilities of low-code platforms, developers can create robust, powerful, and complex software solutions. However, no-code platforms only allow the creation of simple applications.

Advantages of low-code/no-code platforms

The benefits of low-code and no-code platforms are numerous. And we discuss only the most important ones here:

They speed up app development

No matter how you look at low-code and no-code platforms, they speed up the development process to a great extent. With such capabilities as web-based drag-and-drop options, reusable app elements, and in-built libraries, they make the development cycle shorter, effectively cutting down cost and time.

They help scale development

The biggest challenge of developing an app the traditional way is that scalability is never an option. However, with low-code and no-code platforms, it is easier for businesses to scale their development processes to not only build more but also build complex applications.

Reduce time-to-market

In today’s world of instant gratification, an increased time-to-market can be challenging for businesses that want to take advantage of their position in the market. Traditional development falls victim to this. However, with low-code and no-code platforms, businesses can release their applications and solutions faster to the market.

Lower infrastructural needs

Low-code and no-code platforms can be deployed easily into cloud environments, which makes it easy for businesses to leverage them anywhere they want. Unlike traditional development environments, packed with infrastructural requirements, low-code and no-code platforms are not infrastructure-dependent. They are flexible and cloud-based.

Better efficiency

With low-code and no-code platforms come the efficiency of operations. Businesses can improve the efficiency of their development processes as they do not require extensive development effort as in traditional development.

Disadvantages of low-code/no-code platforms

Low-code and no-code platforms also have a few disadvantages to keep in mind. Some of the significant limitations of these platforms are:

Security compromises

The security concerns are the biggest when it comes to the limitations of low-code and no-code platforms. Most of these providers depend on third-party businesses for security, and businesses may not be happy with such arrangements.

Provider lock-in

Some platforms make it difficult for businesses to move from their platform to another. This lock-in makes businesses hesitant to embrace low-code and no-code platforms as other they have accepted other inventive, disruptive technologies.

Limited customization

Unlike traditional development, low-code and no-code platforms are low on the customization side. While customization is available, it is nowhere near the level offered by traditional app development.

Limited flexibility

The development process is highly rigid in low-code and no-code platforms with no room to go for extensive customization as needed. This can be a huge letdown for businesses that wish to have some degree of flexibility with their app development.

Summing up

We have seen the need for software programs and apps skyrocketing in the last few years. As businesses are migrating extensively to a technology-first business setting, they require apps and solutions to serve their customers better. This rapid technology adoption has prompted users to expect top-notch and high-performing apps to serve their needs. There is no doubt that such expectations have put development teams in a tough spot with mounting client goals and specifications and short timelines and deadlines. This is where low-code and no-code platforms can change the game. From quality, cost, and technology standpoints, they are here to stay. Adopting the same would help businesses serve their customers faster, and being the first to serve always has its perks.