The Low Code & No Code Question
For many business owners, software application development can seem like a complex topic to maneuver through. However, while it’s true that traditional software development has relied on the extensive use of some complex programming languages and coding, this is not always the case nowadays. In recent years, a relatively new approach to app development has been gaining popularity – This is the low code and no code development ripple for developers and business owners.
In this article we’ll expand on two app development options; Low Code Development and No Code Development. Here’s what we’ll be discussing:
What is no code and low code development?
As we stated, app development has historically been carried out only by those with knowledge and skills at coding, in various software programming languages. Simplified, coding refers to the keystrokes required to produce lines of instructions, which are ultimately deciphered by a computer or other processing technology.
The instruction lines are generally not what most people would find easily readable, in terms of understanding their full meaning. In most programming languages, lines of code tend to look cryptic, at best.
Difficult as code may be to understand one line at a time, harder still is the job of fully grasping the impact of a line of code. In the context of its overall function within a program, the matter becomes even more complicated. Because of this complexity in coding, No Code Development and Low Code Development have become widely used in mainstream software creation.
No Code Development and Low Code Development can both be defined as programming processes meant to make it faster and easier for people to create software apps.
As its name suggests, Low Code Development relies on a minimum degree of coding skill. No Code Development, on the other hand, requires absolutely no programming code to use. Both of these types of platforms tend to employ visually simple interfaces for creating programs. Think of the drag and drop method for a similar description.
This allows the user to develop an application using basic graphical elements, instead of writing code line by line. No Code App Development and Low Code Development platforms are, themselves, software applications of a special type. They’re essentially tools, designed to shortcut the development process. And who doesn’t like less code, right?
Because Low Code Development platforms still require some use of programming code, they have become less popular than No Code App Development. With the latter, a company can see an app idea through to completion without the help of an IT staff.
In bypassing the need for IT skills, No Code Development also bypasses several constraints associated with IT. These can include time constraints, due to scheduling within an IT company’s process, cost constraints and others.
These systems use an interface or dashboard composed of menus and various tools. The tools are used in generating logical operations, generally by using flowchart type graphics to illustrate the software’s functional priorities. By combining the available tools in a No Code Development platform, a user is able to produce unique creations of software from their design concepts.
Examples of Leading Platforms
- SalesforceFounded in 1999, Salesforce is a leading provider of cloud based No Code App Development and other business solutions. Their main platform is Force.com, and is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering.
- AirTableOffering cloud based collaboration services, AirTable enables users to create apps that precisely reflect their business needs. Founded in 2012, the company is based in San Francisco.
- PegaPega is an example of a Low Code Development Platform. Their software offers a drag and drop environment which is geared toward connecting customer interfaces with back end process automation. Pega was founded in 1983 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Advantages of Low Code / No Code Development:
Less Effort Required
While these types of platforms can’t provide all of the attributes of professionally engineered software, they do offer some tantalizing advantages of their own to consider.
The first of these would surely be that less effort is needed, for integration of your new software into your business process. Admittedly, our firm adheres to strict procedures when creating custom software, which certainly translates to a greater level of effort going into the development process.
No Code platforms eliminate the need for this IT layer in developing your new application. With the tools provided in the average system of this type, a user can select from simple blocks of process instructions, dropping them into a visual flowchart on their screen.
By keeping the layout simple and readable, the task of deciphering priorities and instructions within the app is reduced to following a logical flow diagram. Clearly, this sort of development process also lends itself to requiring less effort in thinking through the design of an app.
Developing an app using No Code platforms reduces much of the burden associated with the process. This is due to not needing the expertise of an IT firm or other specialists, in developing your software.
The burden of cost is reduced, naturally, as a byproduct of not hiring outside help to develop the new idea. Other reductions follow suit, such as overall time investment, as well as reducing the burden of stress on yourself, while developing the new app. While the burden of responsibility does in fact remain your own, it also is reduced because development tends to be speedier when using No Code platforms.
Updates are easier
With no IT firm consulting on your project, updates are a simple matter of routine. Working from the same interface portal as was originally used, one only needs to see to the appropriate changes and updates, then save those changes as live updates, and presto, updates are completed!
We’re not going to sugar coat this. The costs involved hiring a professional firm to develop your custom software are truly substantial, and for good reason. That said, once your decision is made to go it alone with a No Code solution, the initial cost reduction will likely be significant.
Disadvantages of Low Code / No Code Development
- Sorting data is more difficult
- Poor Scalability
- Functionality is limited in app
- Optimization is limited
While the advantages of No Code platforms are many, it’s also fair to say that the eventual outcome of using them can be more hindering than helpful. With professionally developed custom software, you’re paying for a higher level of expertise and planning ability, than would otherwise be the case.
Big data requires tracking and sorting technology that won’t likely be included in No Code platforms. As your application scales upward, the beauty of No Code’s initial simplicity tends to work against itself, in a sense.
True also is that No Code platforms lack some of the functions available through custom software development. As a result, the apps produced will also lack some higher functionality. Any optimization of this functionality is, of course, very limited in scope.
Lastly, as a program scales up to greater complexity, the ability to troubleshoot problems within the app will suffer. While the flowchart layout works terrific in the beginning, for fixing smaller errors, it again loses much of its luster as an app scales in complexity. The more moving parts (systems) that are being connected, the more chances there are for areas to malfunction.
No Code and Low Code platforms have helped a great many organizations with their early stage app development. While they are not to be considered an optimal development structure for large scale applications, they can certainly lend a welcome hand in getting a software idea off the ground initially.
Reliability, Scalability and Consistency
In the case of larger scale applications, it’s wise to consider the important elements, right from the beginning. The reliability, scalability and consistency of structure will be on a superior level with a custom application that’s been professionally developed.
With a custom engineered software solution comes the sustainability of its growth. Because of this sustainability, the reliability of custom engineered software is greatly increased. Conversely, with No Code solutions, sustainable growth and reliability are realistically limited.
In our discussion of Low Code and No Code Development platforms, we’ve highlighted what they are, and we’ve explained several advantages to be gained with these types of solutions.
These platforms are tools. They are interfaces, designed to expedite the development of less complex software applications.
- They rely on a visually simplistic, flowing representation of an application’s logic.
- Their easily readable layout has enabled the creation of many software apps.
- They are of particular use in cases where financial barriers or other constraints prevent the opportunity for the development of software. In such cases, No Code App Development opens the door for new opportunities that otherwise would not exist.
At the same time, we’ve offered insights about some of the shortcomings of using this type of development.
- No Code development lacks proficient scalability in most cases.
- Big data is much more cumbersome to sort and handle than with custom software.
- Functionality is diminished in No Code apps. Optimization and troubleshooting also tend to suffer in these systems.
In summary, if your software is eventually going to need enhanced scalability, organization and engineering, then a customized solution is ultimately the best route. While No Code solutions offer some short term opportunities, perhaps best suited for newcomers, they are not equipped to handle large scale software needs. Therefore, where finances permit, a professional development firm is sure to be more suited to delivering the custom software you’re looking for.
Contact our firm at any time for more information on this and other relevant topics. Should you decide to engage the services of a development firm, Endertech offers professional custom software engineering to suit any business need.