Low Code & No Code - The new buzzwords in application development

Application development will soon be simple and accessible to all thanks to Low Code No-Code platforms

What is the definition of low-code?

Businesses have long relied on two routes to application development: purchasing pre-made applications from external vendors or building and customizing them from scratch using skilled developers and code. However, we're now witnessing the rise and growing sophistication of Low Code No-Code development options that put application development powers in the hands of users across the enterprise.

These alternative app development methods leverage an intuitive and graphical interface to give users the power and freedom to create applications and automate business processes without having to write code line by line. Low Code/No-Code tools come with the promise of greater user accessibility, which in turn spurs more innovation and reduces IT department strain. Application development will soon be simple and accessible to all thanks to Low Code No-Code platforms.

Low Code

Using intuitive graphical tools and built-in features, low-code development reduces the amount of traditional code writing required to create applications. While pro-code writing is still a part of the development process, low-code development reduces the complexity and simplifies the user experience, allowing users to get started quickly.

No Code

Non-technical business users can build applications using no-code, which provides a similar user experience to low-code but goes beyond by avoiding the need to write even a single line of code.

Low-code vs. no-code

Users of low-code development platforms (LCDPs) must have at least some coding knowledge in order to build and integrate advanced applications, while users of no-code development platforms (NCDPs) do not require any coding knowledge at all. Because most organisations have a diverse range of skills, many platforms offer both low-code and no-code tools.

It can be difficult for subject-matter specialists to effectively relay their unique knowledge and insights to IT organisations. By enabling “citizen developers,” organisations ensure that the most knowledgeable personnel can be involved in application development. Department leaders and IT professionals can collaborate more effectively with LCNC programmes to ensure that the right technologies, processes, and workflows are in place. The increase in citizen developers allows for the creation of new applications, addresses the lack of skilled workers, reduces the burden on IT teams, and responds to consumer and market demands more rapidly.

The process of building new applications or updating existing ones using conventional application development requires the expertise of code-writing specialists and frequently requires getting in line at the IT department.

A model-driven design approach using visual programming and automatic code generation lies at the heart of low-code and no-code development platforms. Using these platforms, non-technical users can build applications to automate processes and workflows within their business department, regardless of their coding experience. Again, by matching non-technical users with experienced developers, these platforms empower them and match them with experienced developers.

Low-code and no-code: Similarities and benefits

There are many similarities and advantages between low-code and no-code development.

Low-code and no-code development platforms both abstract coding complexities using visual interfaces and preconfigured templates. They are both Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions that use workflow-based design to define data logic. Because they adopt a common approach, they offer many benefits:

  • Democratization of technology: Both low-code and no-code solutions are built with the objective of empowering different kinds of users. This reduces dependency on hard-to-hire, expensive specialists and technologists.
  • Productivity enablers: Low-code/no-code increases the velocity of development, clearing IT backlogs, reducing project timelines from months to days and facilitating faster product rollouts.
  • Quick customer feedback at less risk: Prior to investing significant resources in a project, low-code/no-code allows developers to get feedback from customers by showcasing easy-to-build prototypes. This shifts the go/no-go decision earlier in the project schedule, minimising risk and cost.
  • More build than buy: While commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products can be expensive and have a one-size-fits-all approach, low-code and no-code incentivize in-house customization, shifting the needle towards “build” in the buy vs. build dilemma.
  • Architectural consistency: For crosscutting modules like logging and audit, a centralized low-code/no-code platform ensures design and code consistency. This uniformity is beneficial while debugging applications, too, as developers can spend their time troubleshooting issues rather than understanding frameworks.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Low-code/no-code is more cost-effective than from-scratch manual development due to smaller teams, fewer resources, lower infrastructure costs and lower maintenance costs. It also results in better ROI with faster agile releases.
  • Collaboration between business and IT: Business and development teams have traditionally shared a push-pull relationship. However, with more business users participating in development through the low-code/no-code movement, there is better balance and understanding between the two seemingly different worlds.

When to use low-code vs. when to use no-code

Both low-code and no-code have their individual strengths. The similarities between the two don’t make this an easy decision either. The best way forward is to assess the current requirements and make a choice accordingly.

Here are a few questions to determine user needs:

  • What are the goals of using the low-code or no-code software?
  • Who are the users? What’s their programming expertise?
  • What is the scope and scale of the problem to be solved?
  • Does the build require custom integrations with external and internal applications?
  • What is the turnaround time needed?
  • How much control do users want to retain over code?
  • Does the application need to deal with confidential data or factor in security considerations?

The two key questions here are: What is the application for, and who is going to build it? While both these are important questions, it’s better to use a goal-centric approach than a user-centric approach — that is, the what is more important than the who.

If the use cases are complex, require integrations with other on-premises or cloud apps, have customer-facing or business-critical requirements or need to be deployed across the enterprise, low-code is the preferred option. In this case, even if users do not have the requisite expertise in programming languages, partnerships with IT teams or training programs can resolve the challenges.

Zorp as a Low Code development platform

Zorp is a low code platform with a set of robust features to help you build all the internal apps that your team needs. Know More