What Is Low-Code and No-Code Development?

Low-code and no-code development enables businesses and individuals to create software through modular processes that require little to no coding. 

Of course, the implications of software development without writing code are quite scary. This notion completely disrupts contemporary ideas of what software development is in the first place. 

But for obvious reasons, low-code/no-code development has been becoming more and more commonplace.  

As someone comfortably situated within the ever-growing tech industry, you should know what this new means of development is all about. 

Continue reading to learn more about what low-code and no-code development is and how it can impact the future of software development. 

What Is Low-Code and No-Code Development?

Low-code and no-code development facilitates the creation of applications or entire software products via platforms that allow citizen developers to design programs without having to write code and/or use a traditional programming language. 

Citizen developers categorize those with minimal experience in software development who take to low-code and no-code development platforms to complete a software task. 

Essentially, the understanding is that one does not have to be a professional or expert to build software. The result is that software development is overall more accessible. 

Platforms for low-code and no-code development tend to use visual elements to guide the software development process.

 

Platforms for low-code and no-code development tend to use visual elements to guide the software development process.

Often, the most notable and common feature of a low-code or no-code development platform is a drag-and-drop editor. 

Drag-and-drop editors allow non-coders to stimulate the act of picking up the aforementioned visual elements, then drag them to their intended location — likely after the last visual element — and drop them in place. 

This all happens via your mouse and the user interface (UI) of the platform. Visual elements typically take a block form thus a program is composed using modules, so to speak. 

You’ve probably used a version of a low-code or no-code development platform without even realizing it. 

Wix, for example, is a well-known website builder for people who want to get their brand or content out there but don’t have the resources to purchase their own domain or hire a web developer

Instead, Wix users rely on templates to set the basic foundation for the website and other similar aesthetic desires are fairly easy to implement without coding. There are limitations, naturally, but ultimately the job gets done. 

Though a Wix website can be set up in a matter of hours, a typical website consists of a combination of complex back-end and front-end development structures that takes weeks or even months to put together. 

How Do Low-Code and No-Code Development Platforms Work?

Low-code or no-code development works by extracting the more intuitive components of coding, representing them visually on the graphical UI of the development platform, while internally juxtaposing them to actual code. 

To elaborate, the typical role of a software developer or software engineer largely involves being seated behind a screen typing lines of code. 

Eventually, with the right code and enough of it, software developers are able to execute a program or application. 

Code is written in programming languages that can communicate with digital machines, giving them a set of instructions on how to perform tasks. 

One popular example of coding is the “Hello World” program. Its origins are from an educational text on the C programming language but multiple versions of this example can be found in almost any introductory computer science course. 

A basic “Hello World” program in C would look like this:

main( ) {

        printf("hello, world\n");

}

When a coder writes and executes this program, the words “hello world” should appear on the monitor screen.

So how would something like this work in a low-code or no-code development platform? Well, a user would first pick up a block or some other modular piece that illustrates some type of function, like the print function, for example.  

They’d likely be able to edit the text for the print function. However, this is the extent of the mechanical work they will have to do. 

Rather than writing the function itself they’d simply drag and drop the module where it belongs — which should be fairly obvious given the platform.

Running the code would produce the same effect as the aforementioned program. This is because each module represents real code that is encapsulated within the visual elements of a low-code or no-code development platform

What Are the Advantages of Low-Code and No-Code Development?

The basic advantages of low-code and no-code development are probably pretty easy to figure out. But in reality, this industry disrupter could be more invaluable than you might think. 

Easy

No doubt, working in low-code or no-code development platforms is easier than learning how to code and immensely easier than becoming a professional software developer. 

While people are taught to look down on those who aren’t committed to hard work, it’s pretty clear that working smart over working hard makes all the difference. 

Low-code/no-code development gives virtually everyone the means to further innovative ideas, jumpstarting a digital transformation of enormous potential. 

Whether a business or individual is short on developers or intel, those are no longer prerequisites for technical innovation. 

One simply needs a low-code or no-code development platform to get started, and they’ll soon have a fully-fledged software product on their hands. 

Productive

Even if you have the resources to code an entire software project, if you can create virtually the same thing with less effort, then that definitely seems like the better option. 

Development speed has a big impact on your business’s overall success. While maintaining software quality is always paramount, information technology (IT) and software development markets are becoming increasingly competitive. 

As a result, speed is a critical factor in your product’s time-to-market (TTM). When your business moves too slow, this can have a negative effect on your company’s credibility and even your return on investment (ROI). 

Technology will never fail to be the driver of groundbreaking discoveries. But this just makes end-users incessantly demanding. If you wish to please the market, you have to accommodate them. 

Low-code and no-code development platforms will effectively eliminate the coding process; and with the help of pre-made templates, these platforms remove the need for testing as well. 

Given that quality isn’t lost with these adjustments, low-code and no-code development can be a productive solution for ensuring speed and efficiency.

Cheap

Both the ease and productivity that low-code and no-code development platforms can often translate to overall lower development costs. 

The costs of hiring an external party to build your website or something or other can sometimes be disheartening. 

Many people who do not consider themselves to be tech-savvy cannot envision the idea of ever building software on their own. They are more inclined to hold out their wallet to anyone who says they can do it for them. 

With the evolution of no-code and low-code development platforms, this is hardly the case anymore. Most of the software that can be built on these platforms requires only a short tutorial. 

Low-code and no-code development empowers the non-technical but business-savvy to meet their needs within the confines of a small budget. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Low-Code and No-Code Development?

Low-code and no-code development probably sounds too good to be true. And in a way, it is. There are many disadvantages to this particular model of development, and it’s up to the businesses interested in low-code/no-code development to decide what’s best for them, 

Inflexible

Customizability is, by far, the biggest con of low-code and no-code development. Low-code and no-code development platforms are designed to make things easy, but there is such a thing as too easy. 

Though low-code development platforms extend a bit more leeway when it comes to customizability, in general, both low-code and no-code development platforms operate based on a finite amount of templates and functionalities available to use.

For simple applications that can be built with solely drag-and-drop features, limitations of this kind likely present as a convenience. 

However, the complexity that warrants customization is integral to giving consumers a truly memorable user experience (UX). 

Traditional software development has an advantage in this regard, as professional software developers can code all the intricacies you need into your project. 

Restrictive

Other than being inflexible in terms of customizability, low-code and no-code development platforms can also be restrictive in terms of ownership. 

Using a low-code or no-code development platform rather than one of the many open-source tools software developers classically utilize to build software means that the platform ultimately owns your source code. 

The lack of control in this scenario can be frustrating. It can also cause long-term issues. 

Switching platforms can be difficult. And even if you do gain access to the code, the formatting will likely be unrecognizable. 

Likewise, if you decide low-code and no-code development is not for you, you will have to begin from scratch, since you cannot use the source code from your last low-code/no-code project as a starting point. 

Risky

For the same reason, low-code and no-code development can lead to security risks. When you don’t own your source code, you cannot modify it to address certain vulnerabilities and security concerns. 

Although you can hope the platform you’re working with has this covered, it’s definitely not unheard of for major tech enterprises to get hacked and lose or compromise important data. 

What Is the Difference Between Low-Code vs. No-Code Development Platforms?

The difference between low-code vs. no-code development should be pretty self-explanatory. 

Low-code development platforms allow users to code, but this is not the primary reason a user would use a platform of this kind.

Low-code development platforms take advantage of a visual approach to software development. 

However, users of the platform who are capable have the ability to add in lines of code for additional customization. 

In this way, low-code development somewhat mitigates the inflexibility of a block coding or modular development approach

No-code development platforms look and function very much the same as low-code development platforms. Except they serve those who plainly don’t know how to code or for some reason just don’t want to. 

Both low-code and no-code development still empower non-developers to build wholly functional and ideally aesthetic applications. 

40 Low-Code and No-Code Development Platforms

There are several low-code and no-code development platforms to choose from. Here are 40 low-code and no-code development platforms to look into if you’re considering low-code or no-code development for you’re next project:

  1. Airtable
  2. AppGyver
  3. Appian
  4. AppSheet
  5. Appy Pie
  6. AWS Honeycode
  7. Betty Blocks
  8. Bubble
  9. Carrd
  10. Claris FileMaker
  11. DWkit
  12. Glide
  13. Google AppSheet
  14. Gumroad
  15. Kissflow
  16. Looker 7
  17. Memberstack
  18. Mendix
  19. Microsoft PowerApps
  20. Nintex
  21. Notion
  22. Outgrow
  23. OutSystems
  24. Payhere
  25. Quickbase
  26. Robocoder Rintagi
  27. Salesforce Lightning
  28. Shopify
  29. Sisense
  30. Skyve Foundry
  31. Stripe
  32. Temenos 
  33. Umso
  34. VisionX - SIB Visions
  35. Voiceflow
  36. Wix Editor X
  37. Yellowfin 9
  38. Zapier
  39. Zoho Creator
  40. Zudy Vinyl

When To Use Low-Code and No-Code Development?

You should use low-code and no-code development if you have a relatively simple idea for a software application. 

Of course, low-code and no-code development platforms can only do so much. Therefore, low-code and no-code development is not suitable for software projects with complex programming requirements. 

For applications of mid-tier complexity, low-code development platforms can be a better fit than no-code development platforms. 

Some software projects you can create with a low-code or no-code development platform include:

  • customer engagement apps
  • non-complex websites
  • automating business processes
You should use low-code and no-code development if you have a relatively simple idea for a software application. 

Conclusion

Low-code and no-code development has a drastic impact on the future of software development. 

With the tools that low-code and no-code development platforms deploy, businesses can save money and boost productivity. Unfortunately this may come at the cost of a uniquely immersive UX. 

If you want professional developers to build your software project and lend their coding expertise so that you can get the best results possible, you’ve come to the right place. Trio developers are immensely qualified and up to the task. 

Contact Trio now to get started. 

 

Cordenne Brewster

Content Writer

About

A tech enthusiast whose ardor is best expressed through the written word.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Low-code and no-code development facilitates the creation of applications or entire software products via platforms that allow citizen developers to design programs without having to write code and/or use a traditional programming language.

Low-code and no-code development works by using modules representing real code that is encapsulated within the visual elements of a low-code or no-code development platform.

The primary difference between low-code and no-code development platforms is that the former allows for a bit more flexibility by allowing users to add in lines of code to what is a chiefly visual platform.