April 11, 2023 Read 5 Min

Understanding Low-code vs No-code Development

Are you ready for a world where you can build applications without writing a single line of code? Low-code and no-code development platforms are changing the way we think about software development. While these technologies are often used to create business applications, they offer benefits that extend far beyond the scope of traditional IT projects.

illustration of low code and no code developer

With the explosive expansion of online businesses, the demand for software development has grown tremendously. However, traditional app development can oftentimes be slow and costly. So, what solution are people turning to these days? Well, we have just the answer for you. Let us now enter the realm of low-code and no-code solutions!

Low-code and no-code development are more than buzzwords. They’re significant advancements in the software development landscape that can help firms implement new technologies more quickly and efficiently. But how do they work? What are the differences between them, and which is best for your company? Here’s all you need to know:

The definition of low-code

In contrast to more conventional methodologies like Waterfall and Agile (which require extensive programming knowledge), low-code development platforms (LCDP) allows even people with minimal coding experiences to rapidly create sophisticated applications. There is something you should keep in mind, though. 

While it may not seem like it at first, low-code is somewhat equivalent to traditional approaches. The key difference is that low-code provides shortcuts to mundane issues. Therefore, developers can skip over tedious tasks like establishing a user management system from scratch, mastering a new programming framework, or drafting multiple tests before coding even a single line of their product.

Since low-code platforms facilitate the rapid prototyping of business processes, enable modification of pre-existing applications, and are adaptable, they can be used to build apps for a wide variety of purposes. Additionally, developers benefit from fast iteration cycles that provide continuous feedback loops between stakeholders to focus on higher level details.

The definition of no-code

With the help of no-code development platforms (NCDP), users are allowed to rapidly create simple apps regardless of their coding knowledge. Non-programmers can use its drag-and-drop visual features to make functional apps easily that provide a pleasant user experience.

The goal of no-code platforms is to empower non-technical individuals to create their own apps, typically for a specific but important purpose, such as a tool to streamline the productivity of daily tasks. This way, users can obtain the app they need sooner, and IT can focus on more important tasks.

How does low-code differ from no-code?

The terms “low-code” and “no-code” refer to two distinct approaches for creating apps. Although no-code platforms aim to automate every step of the process, low-code platforms focus on streamlining only the most repetitive parts of running a business. 

The main distinction is that while both utilize visual tools, no-code requires you to start with a template and then fill in the blanks and make any necessary adjustments before launching. Yet, with low-code, you can begin with a blank slate and add layers of functionality using modular, pre-built UI components.

Low-code platforms take an already established business process as its starting point, then use a visual, drag-and-drop interface to define and automate it. If the process requires special functionality, the developers can add their own custom code to fit their needs. They can also rapidly create apps by reusing modules from a library and further modify it. Nevertheless, using a low-code platform does require some familiarity with coding (though not as much as traditional programming). But this also means that developers can have more say over the final output while still having access to efficient tools that don’t require them to master difficult languages like Java or Objective C++. 

In the no-code environment, the entire process is analyzed and rules are generated for how each step should be carried out based on the data from the previous steps. The great part is, no coding is required — simply drag, drop, and run! No-code development is similar to low-code development in that it also facilitates rapid application development. The platform handles the heavy lifting for you, all you need is a fundamental knowledge of how softwares function.

Their Use Cases

Low-code development use cases

Given that low-code is more adaptable than no-code and was designed for experienced developers, it works well in a professional business setting.  

More recent low-code platforms make it possible for developers to utilise already-existing components like pre-built screens, widgets, app templates and more. The upside is, like we mentioned, users can further modify these components with their custom code, or even build them from scratch if they like.  

Additionally, the latest low-code platforms—what we refer to as high-performance low-code—offer superior safety measures and enterprise-level scalability. These frameworks are excellent choices for any business scenario that calls for traditional code but doesn’t require as much overhead. 

Here are some examples of low-code use cases: 

  • An electronic ordering and payment platform for restaurants
  • A virtual travel agency that allows online payment for accommodation
  • Automation of business procedures 
  • Optimization for obsolete softwares

No-code development use cases:

If you are looking to improve staff productivity by switching from a cumbersome spreadsheet to a user-friendly dashboard, look no further than no-code development. It is also a wonderful option for low-cost, fast-turnaround, and user-input heavy app development projects. 

It isn’t, however, the best choice for apps that need to perform heavy UI manipulation or sophisticated operations. 

Here are some examples of no-code use cases: 

  • Expense checker and approval 
  • Onboarding and recruitment 
  • Time management and planning 
  • Handling of orders 
  • Consumer feedback studies (surveys)

Low-code and no-code development pros and cons

Pros of low-code/no-code:

  1. Cheaper. Nowadays, businesses increasingly seek out custom applications from expert software developers. However, their tracks stop as they get intimidated by the cost of creating an app from scratch, and wonder why must it be that expensive. Truth is, if you’re only looking to build amateur apps, low-code and no-code can already satisfy your demand.
  2. Quick development process. Instead of having your developers build everything from scratch, low-code and no-code has some built-in integral features that already serve that purpose.  
  3. Easy for non-developers. There has been a recent uptick in the number of businesses embracing digital transformation. That’s why they’re trying to find the most efficient and inexpensive technological options out there. In this case, low-code and no-code can allow even the ‘citizen developers’ (non-technical users) to craft sophisticated apps thanks to its simplicity. 
  4. Eliminates maintenance. Majority of low-code/no-code apps are provided as software as a service (SaaS). It removes the burden of server selection from the shoulders of the app’s creator and its resources are shared with multiple tenants.

Cons of low-code/no-code: 

  1. Development limitations. Over time, if you want to modify your app and add new features to match your business goals, you may realize that these platforms do not provide the flexibility you need.
  2. Lack of customization. Ultimately, these easy-to-use platforms do not offer more advanced features which could be detrimental to your app’s future development.
  3. Platform complexity. Ever heard of roles like WordPress Developer or Shopify Developer? Although we are aware that these platforms are incredibly user-friendly, there is still the possibility that apps will evolve in the same way as low-code apps like WordPress and Shopify, giving rise to the aforementioned positions.
  4. Lack of security. As they are developed by a 3rd party, neither the users or the admin would have access to the source code. Users have also stressed over the lack of transparency on how these platforms manage their data. 
  5. Shadow IT. It is a circumstance where apps are developed without the approval of the IT department. This has happened to several companies where managers want to create low-cost apps quickly, and ultimately ignored the fundamental procedure of informing the IT staff. This resulted in a leak of customer’s data, and we need not explain what comes next. 

Low-Code/No-Code Development vs Traditional Software Development

Traditional software development is a complex process of creating a new application or system from scratch. It involves writing code, testing it, and then deploying it to production. This can be time-consuming and expensive due to some factors including: 

  • Every change requires an update to all versions of an application
  • Inaccurate time estimation
  • Infrastructure delays 
  • Layers of testing 

Low-code/no-code platforms, though, allows you to build new applications by dragging and dropping visual elements onto a canvas rather than writing code. The advantage here is that you don’t need technical expertise in order to create applications; anyone who has used Microsoft Office will have no trouble using these tools! The downside is that not all functionalities are available through this method (for example: if you want multiple databases or complex logic).

We’re Here to Help

Low-code and no-code development are two very different approaches to software development. Low-code allows non-coders to create applications through the use of drag-and-drop tools and wizards, while no-code takes this one step further by removing even those minimal coding requirements. 

If you are looking to embark on a seamless app creating journey, you can always drop us a message! Our pool of talented developers who are experienced in any development methodologies you can think of will be raving to tackle your projects. So what are you waiting for?