No-code and Low-code development

A photograph of the author: Ejaz Ahmad

By: Ejaz Ahmad

What is no-code/low-code development?

No-code development is a type of development approach that allows people to build software applications without writing code. This approach is often used by non-technical individuals or small businesses that want to create custom software. No-code development can be a useful tool for quickly prototyping ideas, creating MVPs (minimum viable products), or building simple applications without a lot of overhead.

The Evolution of low-code and no-code tools over time.

Low-code and no-code platforms have their roots in earlier rapid application development (RAD) tools like Microsoft Access, Lotus Notes and Excel which also gave non-IT professionals some development-like abilities. However, those tools required users to have a deep understanding of business apps and their development environments to build capabilities. In contrast, low-code and no-code options provide users with drag-and-drop features that require minimal or no knowledge of the tools or development in general. Additionally, while RAD tools typically produced capabilities that could only be used by the individual who created them or a small group of users associated with the creator, but Low-code and no-code platform-based apps are powerful enough to be used by multiple departments and throughout the entire enterprise, as well as by external users like customers and business partners.

Why not to ignore No-Code development?

No-code tools are designed to empower and liberate people with ideas who want to make them a reality. With no-code, they don’t need to rely on developers or IT teams to build prototypes for their ideas, websites, and more. This makes no-code a valuable resource for creators, makers, indie-hackers, entrepreneurs, and non-technical individuals who want to test their business ideas. The accessibility of no-code tools is what makes them so wonderful. Another aspect is the fast development as it mostly requires just the drag and drop. So time-to-market for apps and softwares built in no-code or low-code are usually less than the apps built in code

Low code vs No code: The difference.

Both No-code and Low-Code platforms serves the same purpose, i.e to build a software with very little to almost no previous knowledge of code or programming. But as the name suggests, No-code and Low-code are not same. No-code platforms does not require any expertise in any specific programming language. where as for low-code one would have some interaction with code at some point. so knowledge of related programming language is necessary for low-code.

Advantages of using low-code and no-code platforms

Low-code and no-code platforms are a key advantage in the digital age, allowing organizations to quickly develop and deliver applications that meet the needs of workers and customers. These platforms empower non-IT professionals to create business apps that help them do their jobs more efficiently, and they also give professional developers the freedom to focus on more complex and valuable tasks. Development teams can use low-code and no-code platforms to quickly build apps for commodity functions and then customize them to provide even more value, or spend more time developing custom apps or working on other initiatives that provide unique value to their organizations.

Obstacles with using low-code and no-code platforms

While low-code and no-code platforms offer many benefits, they can also create problems and challenges for organizations. For example, these platforms are easy to use and often have low upfront costs, which can lead to uncontrolled growth and development of business apps. This can result in a lack of visibility and oversight over the data generated and used by these apps, and it can also contribute to the growth of shadow IT. Additionally, organizations may face challenges in managing, maintaining, and scaling these apps, as well as potentially higher infrastructure and storage costs. Organizations may find that some tasks that were developed using low-code and no-code platforms were not well-suited to these methods and platforms, which can waste resources.

Potential of low-code/no-code platforms in the future

Industry experts predict that the future of low-code will involve continued adoption by enterprises, particularly for fast development and specific business needs. However, low-code is not expected to entirely replace traditional application development. Surveys estimates that the no-code/low-code market grew by 26% in 2021 to reach $12 billion, and it is expected to reach almost $33 billion by the end of 2025. Gartner predicts that low-code application development will make up 65% of all application development activity by 2024, mostly for small and medium-sized projects.

It is likely that low-code and no-code platforms will be used more frequently by line-of-business workers, while more professional developers will adopt them to help with more mundane programming tasks. The top areas for low-code use currently are business process or workflow applications, web and mobile front ends, and customer-facing applications. However, low-code has quickly become a standard practice for fast application development, as demonstrated by the use of low-code platforms to develop COVID-19-related apps such as employee contract tracing tools. Experts predict that low-code will eventually expand into broader areas such as re-engineering technology stacks and ecosystems.

Despite the growth of low-code, traditional application development will continue to be used for applications that require extensive functionality, data governance, and deployment to specific architectures or environments.

Popular No-code and Low-code platforms

  • Airtable
  • Nintex Platform
  • ServiceNow App Engine
  • Appy Pie
  • Glide
  • Softr
  • Quixy
  • Jotform Apps
  • Clappia
  • Salesforce Platform
  • AppSheet
  • SurveySparrow
  • Jotform Tables
  • AppMySite
  • Landbot
  • Quickbase
  • Microsoft Power Apps
  • Bubble
  • Caspio
  • Outgrow
  • Ninox
  • Kintone
  • Creatio
  • Kissflow
  • Fibery