With software development increasingly crucial to business success, coding has become one of the most in-demand skills of the century. Described by The Guardian as “ the language of the modern world”, coders allow businesses to design, program, test and maintain a variety of software tools that can be used for internal and external purposes.
But learning to code is no mean feat, and the cost of hiring developers continues to rise as the demand for programming skills grows. Thankfully, however, a couple of solutions now enable companies to develop software without having to rely so much on coding: low-code and no-code development platforms. The former alone is predicted to account for 65% of all app development by 2024, and your own company could almost certainly stand to benefit from this technology. But what exactly are low-code and no-code platforms, and how can you tell which option is right for your business?
What are low-code and no-code platforms?
Assembling and configuring applications using low-code software saves developers from having to write line-by-line programming instructions for each required function and capability. This is achieved through a visual approach, using blocks of existing code — more akin to drafting a flowchart — which lets developers spend less time on repetitive hand-coding, and more time building the app itself.
EASA is a low code development platform with the unique capability of creating Excel-based apps for entire enterprises. Instead of recreating the embedded logic which already exists in your company’s spreadsheets – which often contain critical business information – EASA continues to use the actual logic, with the Excel files acting as the engine of the web app. These web apps can be accessed via a browser, and the underlying Excel file remains secure within the corporate network or cloud, preventing users from directly accessing or altering anything but the input and output functions.
No-code solutions require no coding whatsoever, providing you with all the tools you need to build an application, often relying on a visual application system, such as drag and drop components. The most common examples of no-code programs are some of the most popular blogging or e-commerce platforms, which offer pre-built pages that enable you to launch your own website within minutes.
What is the difference between low-code and no-code platforms?
Different core designs and user interfaces
No-code platforms usually have a preset user interface (UI), which provide limited opportunities for customization. In contrast, low-code platforms are more reliant on hard code to create and customize the app’s core architecture, which in turn offers more flexibility in terms of UI and business processes that can be handled.
No-code solutions cater to citizen developers
Because no-code software doesn’t require coding, it is possible to use them to quickly create corporate applications. However, this can risk shadow IT scenarios, where apps are created without proper supervision or consideration, leading to security concerns, compliance problems, integration issues, and poorly designed apps.
Low-code software serves both business users and developers
Some experience in programming is needed to use low-code programs. For instance, businesses may need to alter the back-end code in an API so an app is compatible with other company software. As such, business users and developers can either work together to create apps, or the developer can go it alone. This allows business personnel to be involved without risking shadow IT situations, while also enabling developers to build apps simply and quickly.
Low-code vs no-code: Which solution is best?
Use low-code for mission-critical applications
The greater sophistication and customizable nature of low-code platforms makes them much more suitable for mission-critical applications. For example, EASA lets you design interfaces which are more elaborate and intuitive than your typical column-row format. It can also be integrated with other programs including databases and CRMs, and used in scenarios such as proposal generation and financial modelling. It also offers extra capabilities such as process automation and workflow management.
No-code is suitable for basic applications
No-code platforms are much better for creating smaller, more basic applications for reporting, tracking and analytics within a single department. Unfortunately, most no-code tools can’t build apps that scale well or integrate with other software, and they are also unsuitable for building apps for users outside of a business. As such, there’s little scope to make them appealing for consumers, and the potential for security and compliance issues is far greater than with low-code platforms.
Find out how low code platform EASA can help your organization with a free consultation.