Low Code No Code Development and Platforms Explained
The technology department across all industries faces tremendous challenges in creating software applications rapidly as per end-user expectations. The need for more skilled resources and a backlog of operations makes their work even harder. To tackle these challenges, no code and low code platforms were created. These approaches enable non-technical users to create applications and workflows without requiring the extensive coding knowledge traditionally needed for application development.
This movement has gained popularity due to several reasons, including the high demand for digital transformation, a shortage of skilled developers, and the increasing need for agility and speed in software development. According to a study by Forrester Research, the LCNC market will reach $21.2 billion by 2022. Gartner estimates that enterprise low-code application platforms will be 65% of all app creation in the next 5 years.
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Differences Between Low-Code and No-Code Development
LCNC platforms have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the user’s needs. While low-code platforms offer more flexibility and control, they require more programming language knowledge and may take longer to learn. No-code platforms are more accessible and easier to use but may have limited customization options and be less suitable for complex applications. Here are five factors that differentiate low-code from no-code platforms, along with examples:
|Factor||Low-Code (LC)||No-Code (NC)|
|Customization||LC platforms offer some degree of customization and require some level of coding to create more complex functionality.||NC platforms offer limited customization, as they are designed to be used by people without coding skills.|
|Control over user interface||They provide more control over the user interface (UI) and require some level of coding skills to customize it.||They usually have limited control over the UI, and users can only choose from pre-built templates.|
|Integration with other systems||These platforms are designed to work with existing systems and often require some level of coding to integrate with external systems.||These platforms offer integrations with limited external systems through pre-built connectors.|
|Complexity of applications||LC platforms are designed to handle complex applications and can be used to build custom business applications that require coding skills.||NC platforms are limited in their ability to handle complex applications and are better suited for simpler applications.|
|Examples||Best LC development software are Microsoft PowerApps, Salesforce Lightning, Zapier, OutSystems, and Mendix.||Best NC development software are Bubble, Carrd, Integromat, Airtable, and Glide.|
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Advent and Adaptation of Low-Code No-Code Development
Low-code no-code development platforms have been around for a while, but they have gained popularity in recent years due to several factors. Here are the main reasons contributing to the same:
- There is a need for more skilled developers in the market, and many companies need help finding qualified developers for their software projects. Low-code no-code platforms allow businesses to create software applications without relying solely on the expertise of skilled developers.
- The rise of LCNC platforms is the increasing demand for digital transformation. As businesses look to modernize their processes and adopt new technologies, they need software applications to keep up with the pace of change. These platforms allow businesses to quickly build and deploy new applications, enabling them to stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace.
- They enable businesses to develop applications more quickly than traditional development methods. These platforms allow users to create applications using visual drag-and-drop interfaces, eliminating the need for manual coding.
- They allow businesses to create custom applications that meet their specific needs. This is particularly useful for small and medium-sized businesses needing more resources to develop custom software from scratch. With low-code and no-code platforms, businesses can create applications tailored to their unique requirements without extensive coding knowledge.
- They have enabled businesses to democratize software development. These platforms allow individuals from different departments within a company to contribute to the development process, even if they have little to no coding experience. This has led to increased collaboration and faster development times, as different teams can work together to create software applications.
How has LCNC Evolved Over the Years?
The concept of LCNC is tracked back to the early 2000s when vendors began offering visual development tools like MS Excel that allowed users to drag and drop pre-built components to create applications. These tools made it easier for non-technical users to develop applications, reducing the need for traditional coding skills.
Today, LCNC platforms offer a range of features and capabilities, including visual development interfaces, pre-built templates and components, and integration with third-party services and APIs.
The rise of low code no code is driven by several factors, including the growing demand for digital transformation and the need for organizations to quickly and easily develop applications to meet changing business requirements. As technology has matured, it has become an increasingly popular approach to software development, enabling organizations to build applications more quickly and efficiently while reducing the reliance on development teams.
Top 10 Ways LCNC has Impacted the Development Industry
- Increased Collaboration: Low-code no-code tools allow for easier collaboration between developers, designers, and business users. Business users can provide feedback and make changes to applications without requiring technical skills.
- Empowered Citizen Developers: Citizen developers can build applications without the need for extensive technical skills, which democratizes the development process.
- Improved Agility: These tools enable organizations to respond quickly to changes in the market or business requirements, making them more agile and adaptable.
- Increased Innovation: With low-code no-code tools, developers can focus on innovation rather than spending time writing repetitive code. This allows for more creative solutions to problems.
- Improved Quality: They often include automated testing and quality assurance features, which can help ensure the quality of the software.
- Greater Accessibility: Low-code no-code tools enable organizations to build accessible software that is compliant with accessibility guidelines and regulations.
- Increased Scalability: They can handle large-scale applications, which allows organizations to scale their software without worrying about performance issues.
- Increased Productivity: These tools reduce the amount of time and effort required to build applications, which increases productivity and allows developers to focus on more important tasks.
- Increased Speed of Development: With LCNC tools, developers can build applications faster than traditional coding methods. The drag-and-drop interface and pre-built modules reduce the time needed to write code.
- Reduced Development Costs: LCNC tools allow businesses to save money on development costs since they don’t require a large team of developers to build custom software.
Top 7 LCNC Platforms for Development
Here are seven of the top low-code/no-code platforms for development:
1. Microsoft Power Apps
Microsoft Power Apps allows users to create custom business applications without extensive programming knowledge. It is user-friendly and accessible to non-technical users, making it an excellent option for creating no-code solutions.
Power Apps offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create custom forms, workflows, and reports using pre-built templates and components. Users can also create custom logic and scripting using Power Apps’ built-in scripting language, Power Fx, designed to be easy to learn and use.
It offers connector support to Microsoft Excel, Dynamics 365, and Salesforce, which allow users to import and export data easily. It also includes a range of pre-built controls and components, such as calendars and charts, that users can customize and add to their applications.
AppSheet allows users to create custom mobile and web applications without extensive programming knowledge.
It offers a visual interface that allows users to create custom forms, workflows, and reports using pre-built templates and components. Users can also create custom logic and scripting using AppSheet’s built-in expression language, which is easy to learn and use.
It has some unique features for non-technical users, such as a range of pre-built connectors with popular third-party services like Google Drive, Salesforce, and Microsoft Excel, allowing users to import and export data easily. It also includes a range of pre-built controls and components, such as maps and charts, that users can customize and add to their applications.
Mendix helps create low-code solutions by allowing users to create custom business applications without extensive programming knowledge.
It offers a visual interface that allows users to create custom forms, workflows, and reports using pre-built templates and components. Users can also create custom logic and scripting using Mendix’s built-in visual modeling language.
The best feature of this LCNC tool includes a range of pre-built connectors with popular third-party services, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP, which allow users to import and export data easily. It also includes a range of pre-built widgets and components, such as calendars and charts, that users can customize and add to their applications.
OutSystems is a low-code platform that enables businesses to develop, deploy, and manage web and mobile applications with minimal coding. It offers a visual development environment that allows users to drag and drop components and create logic workflows without writing extensive code. This approach enables developers to build applications faster and with fewer resources than traditional coding methods.
It provides a range of features and tools, such as pre-built templates, reusable modules, and a vast library of widgets, that further simplify the application development process. It also has built-in security, scalability, and performance monitoring capabilities to ensure the applications are robust, secure, and performant.
5. Zoho Creator
Zoho Creator is a low-code development platform that allows users to create custom applications without extensive programming knowledge.
It offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create custom forms, workflows, and reports using pre-built templates and components. Users can also create custom logic and scripting using Zoho Creator’s built-in scripting language, Deluge, designed to be easy to learn and use.
It includes a range of pre-built integrations with popular third-party services, such as Google Sheets, Dropbox, and Zapier, which allow users to import and export data easily. It also includes a range of pre-built widgets and components, such as calendars and charts, that users can customize and add to their applications.
Source: Zoho Cares
Orange is a data visualization and analysis platform offering low-code and no-code development capabilities. It provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for users to drag and drop various data analysis components, such as data input, data manipulation, and data visualization tools, without coding.
Orange is primarily designed for data scientists and researchers who need to perform complex data analysis tasks but may need a programming background. However, developers can also use it as a rapid prototyping tool for building data-driven applications.
Some of the key features of Orange include:
- Orange provides various tools, including scatterplots, box plots, histograms, and heat maps. Users can easily create visualizations by dragging and dropping data onto the canvas.
- It allows users to explore their data through interactive visualizations and filtering tools.
- It includes a range of machine learning algorithms that are used to build predictive models without writing code. Users can train models using data from various sources, including CSV files, SQL databases, and APIs.
- It can be integrated with other tools and platforms, including Jupyter notebooks, Python, and R.
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Tableau is a data visualization and BI tool that provides a user-friendly interface for creating interactive visualizations and dashboards. While Tableau requires some technical skills to use effectively, it can be an LCNC development tool because it allows users to create sophisticated data visualizations without requiring extensive programming knowledge.
It has a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for users to create visualizations using pre-built templates and data connectors. Users can also create custom calculations and logic using Tableau’s built-in scripting language, which is not required to complete basic visualizations.
It includes a range of data connectors that allow users to import data from various sources, such as spreadsheets, databases, and cloud services. It also has a range of pre-built charts, graphs, and other visualizations that users can customize to suit their needs.
Top 5 Disadvantages of LCNC
- Limited Customization: Low-code/no-code platforms offer pre-built templates, components, and modules that limit customization options. This can be a disadvantage for companies that require highly customized solutions.
- Limited Functionality: While low-code/no-code platforms offer pre-built components, they may not provide the full range of functionality needed for complex business processes. This could lead to a business having to use multiple platforms, which can increase complexity and reduce efficiency.
- Security Risks: Low-code/no-code platforms may have security risks, such as weak authentication and authorization mechanisms, that can lead to data breaches. This can be especially concerning for businesses that handle sensitive data.
- Vendor Lock-in: Low-code/no-code platforms are often proprietary, which means businesses may be locked into a specific vendor’s platform. This can limit their ability to switch to other platforms or integrate with other systems.
- Learning Curve: While low-code/no-code platforms are designed to be user-friendly, they still require some level of technical knowledge to use effectively. This can be a disadvantage for organizations that don’t have a dedicated IT team or the resources to train their employees
Top 3 Industries that LCNC is Suited for
1. Banking and Financial Services
The banking and financial services industry has complex processes and workflows that can benefit from low-code/no-code platforms. With these platforms, financial institutions can quickly build and deploy custom applications to automate and streamline their business processes.
The healthcare industry is known for its complex and diverse data sets, which can be challenging to manage without the help of technology. Low-code/no-code platforms can help healthcare organizations develop applications that streamline data management, patient tracking, and other healthcare-related workflows.
The manufacturing industry involves a variety of complex processes, such as supply chain management, inventory control, and production planning. Low-code/no-code platforms can help manufacturers develop custom applications to automate these processes, resulting in improved efficiency and cost savings.
Low-code and no-code platforms are becoming increasingly popular among businesses and developers, allowing them to build and deploy applications quickly without extensive programming language knowledge. LCNC platforms require zero coding skills, as users can create applications and workflows through visual interfaces and pre-built templates. They also offer faster application development, reduced costs, and increased agility. With so many changes happening around us, it is important to keep learning new skills and technologies. Analytics Vidhya offers a wide range of courses and blogs to help out working professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is low-code no-code?
A. LCNC development platforms are designed for people who do not know how to code. These platforms are built using coding languages like PHP, Python, and Java. They make data interpretation easier for non-tech professionals.
Q2. What is the difference between low-code and no-code?
A. A low-code platform is more suitable for IT teams and professionals as they create complex custom applications. While no-code platforms enable businesses to create solutions without any coding requirement for their business needs.
Q3. What is a low-code example?
A. There are several tools available in the market that offer drag-and-drop functionality. These allow developers to create better results in less time. Some of the best examples of low-code development are Wix, WordPress, Weebly, and Squarespace.
Q4. Is low-code no-code the future?
A. Yes, low-code no-code is the future as it opens up the possibilities for tech and non-tech professionals. According to a study by Forrester Research, the low-code and no-code market will reach $21.2 billion by 2022. Gartner estimates that enterprise low-code application platforms will be 65% of all app creation in the next 5 years.
Q5. What are the benefits of low-code no-code?
A. Low-code no-code simplifies the life of all working professionals, irrespective of their background. The active use of this technology results in increased agility, flexibility, lower costs, faster results, and productivity.