It's best to use a metaphor. For example, prefabricated furniture (like IKEA's) eliminates the need for the tools and knowledge required to create furniture from scratch. Instead, the buyer uses pre-prepared parts. They are designed so that any person without the proper skills can assemble the furniture himself with simple tools according to the instructions. Low-code does the same for software development. Is an approach to creating, configuring and modifying systems and applications that require virtually no code writing. These platforms use drag-and-drop and simple logic functions with visual interfaces instead of programming languages.
These intuitive tools allow users who don’t have knowledge of programming or software development processes to create their own applications for different purposes. The new approach is becoming increasingly popular as a faster and easier alternative to traditional web development and mobile development. Both analysts and professional developers or citizen developers (business users) choose low-code/no-code technologies to create systems and apps of varying complexity to meet the company's needs for new solutions, business process automation and accelerating digital transformation.
Low-code vs Zero-code, what's the difference?
We have already figured out that no-code and low-code are a way to web development and mobile development without using code. Instead, the product is assembled as a LEGO from existing tools. This helps not only to create a project much faster, but also to reduce web development/mobile development costs. In situations where there are not enough no-code tools for some functions, the missing options are added by hand coding. This way of creating mobile apps and websites is called “low-code”, it makes sense, right? The ability to quickly change products based on user feedback helps businesses find and scale better solutions faster. These two types of development are perfect for starting an MVP because with these platforms you can cut your mobile development and web development costs by several times!
Why is low-code good?
Low-code platforms are indeed attractive since they require less development time, and they provide more flexibility in setting up processes. There is no need to plan the architecture, create prototypes, analyze and develop the UI since it is assumed that this is all implemented in the low-code platform itself. Such platforms should be able to integrate with a wide range of systems, as well as allow new features to be added to any application. In addition, manufacturers of low-code platforms talk about their greater security for other applications and stability compared to self-written elements. Both low-code and no-code are tied to work mainly with integrations and the visual component, and the code is about writing the entire product from scratch, and not just individual functions, like low-code.
So here it makes sense to say about a smaller chance of errors and bugs, especially at the start. Since the company's IT specialists in this case no longer have to write a lot of code, the need for these competencies is reduced, and, in turn, the ability of staff to build solutions from ready-made components is prioritized. This can also be a disadvantage, since when emergency situations arise, the specialist will spend a lot of time solving them, or he will not be able to solve the problem at all. The next paragraph will just be about the disadvantages of such systems.
Disadvantages of low-code/no-code
Low-code/no-code is definitely convenient and efficient, but high-code is here to stay, because not everything can be done thanks to low-code. The operation of these platforms, especially in complex end-to-end processes, and the abandonment of mobile development and web development can cause significant difficulties. Effective business software, in addition to writing code, requires high-quality architecture, information security, routine UX improvement - a large number of skills that are unlikely to be found in "simple" business users. There is another side to not programming. Passion for ready-made forms and templates of low-code/no-code platforms is fraught with the loss of competencies by IT specialists necessary to resolve emergency situations where quick response and manual correction are required. So far, these platforms can be perceived as a way to test something and launch an MVP, but the situation may change dramatically in the near future.
What can you create with low-code/no-code?
With visual designers with drag-and-drop features, low-code platforms help users create and customize applications for a variety of business tasks, from automating client processes and organizing teamwork to managing data and integrating with third-party systems. With the help of these systems, it becomes possible to automate many business processes, save time and resources. Answering the question “what can be created using these platforms?” - Many things. The scope covers both web development and mobile development, so zero-code(no-code) & low-code can be very useful and efficient. In addition to using a graphical interface, low-code solutions also eliminate the need to create link databases, frameworks, and perform other tasks, mainly related to hand coding. If you or your employees have ideas for a program or software – with low-code you can create flexible programs to perform specific business tasks with much less effort, faster, even without special technical experience.
Who needs low-code/no-code?
Low-code can be applied to large businesses and small companies that use technology to improve their customer relationship management processes or automate certain areas of work. Any employee of the company, from HR managers to professional developers can use low-code. Just imagine, your company needs a simple app to track employee activity. Instead of paying a large amount of money to develop an internal application, you can use a no-code platform. This will save you money, time and nerves. The simplicity of these tools and their scalability allow any user to create the necessary functionality. Business process management systems are one of the main applications of low-code technologies in business. Flexible business process management systems help non-professionals model their organization's business processes and quickly automate them using simple custom tools. The scope of low-code/zero-code is very wide and can be used by anyone because they are intuitive and visually understandable. Technologies in the IT-sphere are actively developing every day, such platforms open the door to web development and mobile development for a simple user who knows nothing about hand-coding or programming languages.
If you need a more comprehensive approach to web and mobile development, Owlab has a high-quality custom solution for your start-up!