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General Understanding of Low Code and No Code

no code

No code and low code development platforms allow employees from various industries to create tools for the companies they work for.

These platforms help companies make better use of their data, streamline workflow and save time and money. No-code and low-code platforms are becoming more and more common and accessible to everyone, which is a huge step forward.

→ Find out why no-code and low-code development platforms are becoming more widely adopted and how businesses can benefit!

So, what is No Code?

No Code uses intuitive drag and drop functionality to help you create basic but functional applications!

Just so you understand better, it's not about revamping existing systems and it's unlikely that you'll be able to scale on ultra-sophisticated tools due to limited integration capabilities.

No, the value of no-code applications lies in the simplicity of implementation, allowing them to be used by novices to help groups of employees with specific needs in a limited setting. Applications created in this way can be created by people with no software development skills, but who do have expertise and a need in a very specific field: civil engineering, medicine, energy, logistics, flow management, etc.

Know the limitations of no-code platforms before validating your choice

Before diving headlong into no code and to confirm that it's something that fits you, be warned that the framework and form of a no code application is largely defined by the people who develop it in the first place (namely the developers of the platform itself), which makes the possibilities for customization more limited than a traditionally coded application. Think of no-code applications as pre-built bricks that you can move around in a predefined way. This represents a huge gain in time and accessibility, but you should expect more limited possibilities than an application that would have been developed entirely in traditional code.

Obviously, this can lead to potential security and compliance vulnerabilities, and the ability to integrate applications into larger enterprise architectures is limited, if not non-existent.

However, if their capabilities are limited, why are no-code platforms becoming so popular?

The answer is that they are easy to use by people with no coding knowledge or experience, especially those who don't want to (or can't) wait for their internal IT department to create something for them.

Code-free platforms can also be a great way for non-technical people to test what they need before submitting their ideas to IT or a third-party company for full development.

Deployment

Despite the inherent simplicity of no-code development, scaling an enterprise presents challenges like architecture.

That's why you'll need to know that most no-code platforms require deployment in the public cloud because they lack the flexibility to deploy on a private cloud or on-premises infrastructure. So find out well beforehand what your company's IT security requirements are.

Scalability

Because no-code applications are not source-codable, they cannot focus on the user experience and cannot connect to legacy systems.

On the other hand, no-code platforms will do well on all use cases related to practicality and speed of implementation.

Note: Always consider that the platform provider does not support the creation of custom integrations for third-party solutions or internal systems. So choose no-code applications for direct use.

Governance

Due to the autonomous nature of applications built with no-code tools, data governance is a common challenge.

There are often multiple versions within an enterprise, as well as different or unmanaged data structures and data quality levels. Think about customer record management and GDPR for example.

What about low code?

Low code platforms, on the other hand, are more malleable: they are a form of compromise between no code and full code.

Like their no-code counterparts, low-code platforms can be visually based, with drag-and-drop elements. However, unlike their no-code counterparts, they are also open, extensible, and allow for hand coding or scripting, giving developers the best of both worlds: development speed can indeed be increased without the need to continually replicate the code base.

Scalable Architecture

In addition, low-code platforms enable scalable architectures, as well as open APIs for reuse and flexibility with deployment in the cloud or on-premises. Developers are also able to exercise control over application testing and quality and performance tools.

Beyond these capabilities, low code has another advantage: developers have the ability to extend the platform's capabilities with their own code, allowing them to build or modify sophisticated and complex applications that would otherwise require additional team members or specialized knowledge.

Versatile nature

This opens the door to a wide variety of exciting use cases, including those involving next-generation technologies.

Low-code platforms often come with a comprehensive component library built by technology leaders and allow you to leverage third-party intelligent cloud services like AI, blockchain, machine learning, voice and facial recognition, in addition to open-source community tools.

Pre-built UI templates help organizations leverage applications focused on a range of needs from mobile customer service to legacy modernization to productivity and efficiency.

Applications

Low-code platforms enable more sophisticated applications and handle a wider range of use cases due to their versatile nature, including:

  1. Innovative use cases with next-generation technologies. Many low-code platforms not only come with a comprehensive component library built by technology leaders, but also enable the use of third-party intelligent services offered in the cloud, such as AI, machine learning, blockchain, and voice and facial recognition services, as well as tools available through the open-source community.
  2. Mobile customer experience applications that leverage pre-built user interface models designed to help you maximize usability and user adoption, while serving to ensure enterprise brand consistency.
  3. Productivity and operational efficiency applications spanning multiple departments and domains.
  4. Modernizations of existing systems that leverage current architectures with microservices, component-based development using containers, and continuous deployment capabilities for existing mission-critical applications.

Usability

The workflow of a no-code platform will be a familiar world for developers and development professionals, although there may be a learning curve for the latter group.

However, even a very curious, enthusiastic, non-development oriented business person can learn to use most no code platforms.

The fact that this type of platform is attractive enough to both developers and business people actually opens the door to cross-departmental collaboration.

One of the most innovative aspects of no code platforms is the ability for two groups that have traditionally struggled to communicate with each other to come together in the same space and build an application that will meet both IT requirements for security, compliance, and business goals and needs.

No Code / Low Code: The Similarities

No code and low code development platforms enable software applications to be created with little or no code writing.

Instead of requiring a developer to have knowledge of traditional programming languages, they both offer a visual approach to application development. This makes application development accessible to a wider range of people, especially tech-savvy individuals who work in the business sector.

Both code-reduced and code-free development platforms promise to help both professional and non-professional developers create applications with greater efficiency, thus increasing productivity.

In addition, they remove the overhead of setting up environments and maintaining infrastructure, as they are almost always offered as a platform-as-a-service.

→ This is pretty much where the similarity between the two ends!

Making the right choice between Low Code and No Code

The ongoing challenge in deciding which way to go is that no-code development platforms are considered too simple to support complex use cases while low-code development platforms are considered too complex to be used by non-professional developers.

If you implement a no-code solution: you will be considered an IT department working in tandem with the general IT company that provides the service. You can benefit from ease of implementation or use no code as a pre-test of your business needs before creating a full application.

With low code, you make a hybrid and malleable choice at the crossroads between classic code and no code. This can be a great solution for most cases, but your team will need to be trained in low-level programming beforehand.

When your applications go beyond supporting professional developers, what do you do?

All the efficiency and cost savings will go away because your choices are limited. You have over-booked IT developers so you have to hire outsourcers or consultants...

If you implement a low-code or no-code solution: your developers can code faster, but does the accuracy of the delivered solution against the business needs improve? Does the time to value really decrease when your developers have to redo and fix solutions because the business is outside the application development cycle? What is the cost to the business of getting applications out faster but not doing what they need to do?

On the other hand, the reactivity of low and no code can be a great asset for small and medium-sized companies without a dedicated development department or with needs that perfectly match the advantages of low and no code.

So think carefully about the pros and cons.

Deciding which way to go

→ Technology is not the only factor to consider!

Like any app development strategy, you need to think about how you align your strategies with what users really want, need and will enthusiastically accept.

This is achieved by pairing IT developers with different skill sets with key business professionals in a way that facilitates collaboration and skill synthesis.

Only by working closely together on application development can larger, more complex applications be created efficiently, accurately and optimized for business results!


The ball is in your court!

When it comes to choosing between low code and no code, be sure to include these questions in your evaluation to ensure that business and IT interests align:

  1. What does the solution do to promote and facilitate communication and collaboration between the business and IT?
  2. Is collaboration integrated or complementary to the solution?
  3. How does the solution help enterprise and professional developers build applications?
  4. Are specialized developers able to enhance the solution to provide a custom design language and responsive code in a reusable format for professional developers?

This is the end of this article, we hope to have helped and enlightened you in your research!

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