“A primer on no-code and low-code application development, pitted against traditional application development methodology.”
For a long time now, many reports have appeared on the internet, which presages the low-code and no-code development platforms to be the future of application development. All the big-tech companies have hugely invested in low-code development platforms, which to an extent, helps us understand the future we’re heading.
There is an abundance of numbers here, in favor of low-code development in the future. But what exactly are low-code and no-code development platforms, and how do they benefit building apps?
In this fast-evolving world, time to market is a paramount criterion for the prosperity of a business. Hence, for a product to be shipped as early as possible, the development time has to come down. No-code and Low-code application development platforms solve this issue by providing the ability to drag-and-drop the required components to build applications.
No-Code Development Platforms:
No-code application development platforms have subsisted for a long-time, just that their capabilities were restricted, and now that many pre-built modules are being developed, application development becomes easier. Tools like Dreamweaver and WordPress have enabled people to build their sites without writing a single line of code. The only drawback is that most of the sites built using these tools were static. With Microsoft Power Apps, Amazon Honeycode, and others, much more complex cloud-first client-server apps can be developed by merely using pre-existing modules that are required by culling them from a prodigious library.
However, there are limitations with the new-age no-code platforms as well. A major drawback is the constrained customizability of the application development to suit the business requirements of an organization. Simple apps can be built and deployed in app stores in just a matter of days, which is a strong positive for someone with no coding background to use these platforms. But building niche apps that have complex workflows integrated with multiple services, is not possible using these no-code platforms.
Low-code application development platforms solve the ability to write custom business logic.
Low-Code Development Platforms:
These platforms have pre-built modules with the ability to drag-and-drop the UI components for easy development of the front-end interface. On the back end development, they come with model-driven design architecture, where the applications are built by first constructing the data required and modeling the workflow. Low-code platforms help seamlessly connect the application to a database or an API or external service.
What differentiates these low-code platforms from no-code platforms is their ability to not only develop simple functionality without having to write a lot of code but also additionally giving them the ability to write custom logic to enhance the functionality. Low-code platforms are the middle ground between traditional application development and no-code application development.
A few typical use cases where low-code application development platforms help are in e-commerce platforms for integrating payment gateways or automating workflows, expeditiously shipping MVPs, custom-use cases for business users in large enterprises, and so on.
To conclude, low-code and no-code platforms are not the solutions for everyone. There will still be a lot of customized application development. For more straightforward applications where the wheel doesn’t need reinvention, these platforms could come to help.