Low-Code/No-Code Development

Low-Code_No-Code Development

Low-Code/No-Code Development: What are They? How do They Work? Use Cases? 

Low-code/no-code might be where web development is headed. 

It used to be, when you want to design a great website, you had to either learn how to code or consider hiring a Silicon Valley whizz-kid. 

But thanks to no and low codes technologies such as Mulesoft, you can now design just about any web product you put your mind to it even with a smattering understanding of basic programming languages.

In other words, modern web development isn’t restricted to those who hardcode in JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, .NET or HTML/CSS. Nor are web developers expected to deal with all the heavy lifting that comes with hard-coding everything from scratch. 

What’s Low-code?

Low code is a development tool for designing applications quickly and with minimal hardcoding on your part. Instead of coding everything from scratch, you can design your applications by dragging and dropping different visual blocks into your workflow.

Building an application using low-code isn’t very much different from hard coding it, only that you’ll be provided with shortcuts you can use. 

That should save you from reinventing the wheel or doing the same thing over and over again on different projects.  

What’s No-Code

A no-code platform is a development tool for building software applications without hard coding anything. 

If you’re a business owner with zero coding skills or no budget to hire a software developer or outsource the services of a software development agency, a no-code platform could help you move the power of innovation into your own hands or that of your organization. 

What’s the Difference Between Low-Code and No-Code?

While no-code platforms permit one to create mobile or web application without laying down a single line of code, low code is exactly as it’s written on the tin – it cuts down the hand-coding so you don’t have to design an application line-by-line. 

Instead, they have a simple drag-and-drop feature that operates like shortcuts for some of the things you’ll be designing during the app creation process. 

Low-code Vs. No Code: When to Use What

Both no-code and low-code technologies are designed with one thing in minds — and that’s to speed up the app creation process. 

So, how can you tell when to use which? 

While low-code platforms work better with standalone mobile and web applications requiring to be integrated with several data sources and other systems, no-code tools work best with front-end use cases. 

A low-code platform can be used to create just about anything, save for the highly sophisticated, mission-critical systems integrated with multiple external data sources and backends. 

Low Code Vs. No Code Low Code No Code
Coding There’s a little bit of coding involved No coding at all
Ease of Use Has a steep learning curve. Need to possess some coding skills to work around them.  Super-easy to learn. Anyone in your organization can build an app on no-code
Software Installation  Might require you to install a software solution Everything is in the cloud. You don’t necessarily need to install a software solution
Hand Coding Errors Prone to hand-coding errors Not prone to hand-coding errors
Sever deployments Requires server deployment Doesn’t require server deployment

Low-code and no-code platforms might be so similar at the UI level, but they have minor differences in both design and functionalities that completely set them apart. 

Advantage of Low-codes

There are so many advantages of designing your application on a low code platform. Here’s our top-level scoop of some of the biggest perks we associate with low-code development:

Speed: Low codes speeds up the whole development process by allowing you to build multiple platforms simultaneously and even come up with working examples to show to stakeholders in hours or days. 

More Resources: You can juggle multiple projects all at once. If you’re working on a bigger project, you don’t have to wait for developers to finish up another project before they can jump on your new project. A low-code platform allows them to get things done more quickly, and at a reduced cost. 

High ROI/Low Risk: The beauty of low code development is that it comes with robust security processes, cross-platform support, and data integration already built into the system. That means, all that’s left for you to do is customize them and you’re good to go. This leaves you with more time to focus on other more important things, such as managing your business.

One-click Deployments: With low code, you can send your application to deployment with just a single click of a button. The launching process doesn’t have to be that complicated and nerve-wracking. 

The Challenges of Low-code

Don’t get too enchanting with the advantages and forget that low codes also come with their share of flaws. 

For one, if you only have a smattering understanding of web development processes, low code platforms can be difficult for you to master. 

Also, while you can create a fully functional application using a low code development tool, most of them tend to stop shy of enabling the development of enterprise applications. 

Moreover, high performance, high quality, scalability, and other non-functional requirements are quite hard to meet with low-code development. 

Advantages of Low Codes

Here are some of the advantages of low codes: 

    • Requires Zero Coding Skills: Low codes cater to businesses or organizations with zero programming skills, or those that neither have the time nor budget to wait for 3 to 6 months for an IT firm or web developer to deliver their project. 
    • No Training Required: No code platforms require little to no training. Meaning, anyone in your organization is more than capable to build an app using a low code platform. 
  • Great for Building a Simple App: Low codes work great where you’re looking to set up a simple app to solve a small business or departmental problem
  • Freedom to Address an Immediate Need: With no code, businesses can address an immediate need without the need to involve their IT department. 
    • Reduced Cost: Hiring a developer isn’t cheap. No code platforms come as a cheaper alternative or a way to bypass the overhead costs of hiring a developer. It’s a great way to build apps faster and more cheaply in the long run. 
  • Increased Productivity: With no codes, your application will be built much faster. That means, your IT department won’t be overloaded with work. What used to take them months to build can now be built in a matter of days if not hours. That leaves them with more time on their hands to focus on more productive stuff. 

Challenges of No Code

Shadow IT: No code can result in shadow IT, where people just develop apps without proper consideration and supervision. This might trigger security concerns, integration problems, and compliance issues that the team is in no position to handle.  

You need the technical know-how, if not for creating your application, then it’s for managing it. 

It has its limit: There’s so much you can do with a no-code development platform, but there’s a limit. Before you rush to use any no-code development tool, you must first weigh your requirements and see if they fit within the constraints of the tool. Even so, these requirements are bound to change with time, and when they do you cannot wager that they’ll be within the evolving capabilities of the tool. 

Security Issues Arising from Lack of Control: While custom development gives you full control over your application, all that will be sacrificed when you decide to take a no-code path. 

It’s one thing to have control over your technology stack, but quite another to know your app inside-out. Often, these puts your app at risk of security and reliability issues. 

What may happen to your app in case the no-code platform you’re using gets liquidated or acquired by another entity? Worse yet, what if the company suffers a security breach that leaves your mission-critical system vulnerable? 

You Don’t Own the Source Code: Should you decide it’s time to host your own app or run independently, then the chances are good that you may not be able to transfer your site. Any chance to gain full control of your source code and run it independently rests in the hands of the original vendor. 

Even if the vendor made the code accessible, what you’ll have under the hood is unmaintainable computer garbage with no proper documentation. 

You may have a total understanding of what comes and goes in and out of your application, but what you’ll never get to understand is what happens under the hood.  

Are Low-code and No-code Technologies the Future of Web Development?

Low-code and no-code development tools are only set to become popular with time. Expect to see more people, including developers, embracing them fully in future.

And if recent studies are anything to go by, then more than half of medium-to-large sized organizations would have switched to no-code and low-code platforms by the end of the decade. 

These platforms might not entirely replace traditional coding. But they’ll account for the largest percentage of the applications developed in the future. 

Also, the more organizations move towards remote operations, the more no code and low code solutions grow. 

For one, companies are finding it more feasible to delegate their development processes within their organizations rather than hiring a team of IT experts, especially when handling multiple projects. 

In other words, low-code and no-code sources are arming companies to jump into development without necessarily requiring them to hire IT firms or developers. 

What low-code and no-code platforms are doing is equalizing the playing field, thus allowing smaller businesses or companies to compete on a levelled field with well-established companies with the financial muscles to hire highly qualified IT experts.

However, it’s erroneous to say they’re the future of web development or they’re the new normal.  

16 Best No Code Tools to Check Out

The No-code revolution is already here… and it’s only growing popular and better by day.

If there’s one thing that we can all agree on is that coding is hard. But thanks to no-code tools like the ones we’ve listed below, you can still build a great web application or product without necessarily learning how to code.

That being said, here’s a curated list of the top 16 no-code tools to check out if you’re a budding web developer or a seasoned one looking to speed up your work by shrinking repetitive tasks. 

1# Bubble 

If you can’t code to save your life, then this the app for you. 

It’s a simple, easy-to-use app that’s been specifically designed to make it easy for you to create awesome web applications hassle-free. You can design just about any web product you have in mind without laying down a single line of code. 

That’s how awesome this app is. 

Their drag-and-drop feature makes it a snap for you to get started with your web projects and not just see instant results, but have the same feeling you have when working with some of the best drag-and-drop website-and-landing page builders.  

What You’ll Love About Bubble

  • They have one of the most intuitive interfaces you’ll ever find online
  • They have numerous customization options
  • They have an amazing template library
  • A low-cost option for building your web product

And did you know that you can even build a fully functional social media app such as Facebook, Twitter, or Quora using Bubble? 

2# Glide

With Glide, you can create a fully functional app from Google Spreadsheet in right under 5 minutes.

How? 

First, the app is primarily built using Google Spreadsheet. And the best part, it’s completely free. 

No prior coding experience is required.

What You’ll Love About Glide

  • It’s free. You only pay when you start getting a high volume or to access their advanced features
  • Easy app to use. You don’t need any technical experience to build your application
  • It will save you a lot of time and resources when building your app
  • They have amazing templates

3# Adalo

Adalo is another incredible no-code web building platform that’s worth checking out. 

It’s a simple tool that enables you to create fully functional web and mobile applications in no time, and without laying down a single line of code. 

Unlike other no-code web applications, Adalo is more focused on drag-and-drop user experiences. 

You also get to see what you’re building in real-time. 

With their monthly paid plan that starts from $50 per month, you can even publish your app of Apple Store and Google Play Stores if you wish. 

They also have some very good no-code tutorials that you might want to check out before using the app. 

What You’ll Love About Adalo:

  • Intuitive interface. Easy to figure it out at a first glance
  • Quick App Development. It should take you only a few minutes to design your app. 
  • They have awesome tutorials 
  • They have one of the most affordable pricing options

4# Voiceflow

Voiceflow is a great app for developing voice applications for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. 

No complex coding is required when working with this app. Instead, you get to develop your own voice application from scratch by simply dragging and dropping boxes. 

They have amazing video tutorials that you can use in case you get stuck on anything. 

What You’ll Love About Voiceflow:

  • Advanced and easy to use 
  • Intuitive interface
  • Great for first-time developers looking to build their own voice applications

5# Thunkable 

Building a mobile application requires a lot of planning and proper execution. Failure of which, a lot could go wrong.

We’re also told that to build a successful mobile application, you are required to learn at least one programming language.

Well, that used to be the case, but not any more since Thunkable stepped into the scene.

With this tool, creating a mobile application should feel as easy as ABC.

All you have to do is drag and drop the elements you want to in your mobile application, right where you want to see them, and in whatever style you prefer. 

You can even test your ideas with potential users right on the app before launching it up. 

The only downside is that the app is relatively new. Therefore, there aren’t enough tutorials out there to guide you on how to use it. It however got so much potential. 

What You’ll Love About the App

  • They have a simple drag and drop feature
  • They have one of the most user-friendly interfaces
  • They have powerful features to explore
  • Their premium features are very affordable

6# Carrd

You have absolutely no reason not to fall in love with this no-code web builder. 

It’s a simple app that enables you to create one-page web products systematically and with so much ease. 

They also have one of the most intuitive interfaces that allow you to customize your web page in no time. 

What’s more? They have hundreds of templates that you can easily customize to your liking. 

With Carrd, you’re allowed to design three websites for free, after which you’re to choose from their payment plans (starting at $19/year). 

What You’ll Love About this App

  • It’s cost-effective. They won’t charge you for the first three apps you create
  • Exciting templated to work with
  • Fast and easy way to build one-page websites

7# Webflow

Webflow is our absolute favourite on the list. 

You’d be surprised by the number of websites that are built using Webflow.

As you already know, building a high-quality website usually consumes a lot of time. 

Even when working with a CMS platform such as WordPress, you need to possess a certain level of technical skills to work around your website and customize it to your liking. 

However, with Webflow anyone with a pulse can create, launch, and test their website without touching any code. 

Not only that, there’s no limit to what you can do with this web builder. Whatever idea you have in mind, Webflow offers to help you bring it to life.

What You’ll Love About Webflow

  • Easy interface
  • Great tutorials
  • Cost-efficient
  • Easy to work with
  • A massive collection of templates to choose from

8# Umso

If you’re crammed with work and don’t have enough time to give web development, then Umso might be the perfect solution for you.

Also, if you feel like you don’t have enough time to customize your themes or design your website from scratch, Landen might be the tool for you. 

Designing your web application is simpler than you think. All you have to do is log into the site and answer a few questions about your business venture. 

After you’ve provided the answer to these questions, Landen will assess your business needs and point you in the right direction. 

What You’ll Love About this Tool

  • Easy Navigation. You don’t need any form of assistance to get around the app
  • Cost-effective
  • Quick website builder (works great if you’re in hurry to set up a website)
  • Good add-ons

9# Universe

Link: https://onuniverse.com/

Universe isn’t your ordinary website builder. 

If you’re in a hurry and need to set up something really quick, we suggest you look no further than Universe. 

The same website you can design in a matter of minutes on Universe will take you days or even weeks to design if you’re hand-coding it from scratch. 

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Better, the tool comes with a mobile app. Meaning, you can still use your mobile phone to design the website. 

It’s a great website building app for influencers, bloggers, and individual users that would like to create a platform for sharing their stories and products online. 

What You’ll Love About This App

  • Faster web development
  • No prior coding experience required
  • Simple to use
  • Works great for creators with an active social media presence 

10# Gumroad

One of the biggest hurdles ecommerce web builders have is setting up a payment system for their app. 

First, you need a flawless payment option to ensure credibility and a smooth experience among your customers and users.

Ecommerce site such as Squarespace and Shopify have perfected their payment systems. But what happens if you’re not using any of these platforms?

What happens if you’re creating your ecommerce store from scratch? 

Well, with Gumroad, you can build a simple payment option for your website without laying down a single line of code. 

The tool is simple enough to be understood by pretty much anyone. Moreover, they have one of the most affordable pricing options you’ll ever come across online. 

What You’ll Love About This Tool

  • Easy-to-implement payment solution
  • Perfect for creators
  • Available to absolutely anyone
  • Follow the founder for funny tweets

11# Betty Blocks

Betty Blocks bills itself as a citizen web development platform. Its focus is on empowering the new generation of developers to break technological boundaries for business innovation.

It’s a feature-rich no-code web solution that enables you to build enterprise-grade applications, from back-office management systems to customer portals, and mobile apps. 

What You’ll Love About Betty Blocks

  • Allows you to build complex web and mobile applications in no time
  • Pushes business technological innovation to new heights
  • Speeds up the development process

12# Outgrow

Outgrow is a no-code web building platform that focuses on boosting your marketing efforts. 

They have all kinds of interactive content you might need to integrate into your application (calculators, assessments, chatbots, surveys, forms, giveaways, and recommendations). 

It’s a great app for building an engaging user experience without writing down a single line of code. 

They have templates that you can work with and customize afterwards for a unique design. 

What You’ll Love About Outgrow

  • Easy to work with
  • Affordable pricing options
  • Comes with interactive content that you can easily integrate into your application
  • Intuitive interface

13# Appsheet

Appsheet is a great no-code app building platform that enables you to quickly design apps for collecting and connecting to data. 

This no-code development tool allows you to create both mobile and desktop applications using data sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, Office365, and any other cloud-based spreadsheet and database platform.
What You’ll Love About This No-code App Building Platform

  • Easy to work with. Anyone on your team will be able to build an app and automate it using this tool.
  • You can deploy multiple applications at one time
  • Robust features
  • Delivers rich user experiences 

14. Notion

Notion is a popular no-code app building tool, widely loved by developers. 

If you have trouble managing your projects and documents, then Notion offers to help you out. 

It’s a great tool for getting rid of all the extra tools around you. That should help to decongest your workspace and make it clutter-free. Typically, the app should also help you to manage your documents and tasks. 

It’s a great option for databases and spreadsheets, as well as building fully functional web applications. 

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What You’ll Love About This App

  • All in one web building platform
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used for databases and spreadsheet resource collection
  • You can build anything with it

15# Bug Reporting

Link: https://www.bugreporting.co/

Bug Reporting is a great tool if you’re planning to improve bug reporting, customer feedback, and the Q&A feedback loop. 

Working with a client can be really problematic when your feedback process is broken. Ever had a client report a bug that the developer forgot? Bug reporting is an innovative product that streamlines the whole debugging process. 

It’s a great software tool for collecting customer feedback. It’s designed to act as an asynchronous engine for collecting customer feedback for project managers to improve their products.

What’s more? You can even run session recordings or hot jars to track how customers are interacting with your web product. This should help you track conversions, bugs, and find out what hurdles your funnel customers are struggling with. 

What You’ll Love About this tool

  • Very affordable
  • Significantly improves QA processes
  • Streamlines the bug reporting process
  • Consists of a full suite of bug reporting tools, from session recording to heaps of integration

16# Scapic

Last on our list is Scapic, a no-code tool for ecommerce. 

One way ecommerce store owners can ensure success is by providing their customers with nicely shot, high-quality picture of their products 

If a potential customer doesn’t find your product photos convincing enough, the odds are pretty good that they’re not going to buy your products. 

To give your website a competitive edge and new experiences to your customers, we suggest you take a keen look at Scapic.

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With Scapic, you can take 360-degrees views of your products for enhanced customer experiences, all without changing anything at the code level. 

It’s a great platform for providing your customers with AR experiences of your products without hiring a professional for it.

What You’ll Love About this Tool

  • AR designs that grab your customers attention
  • No code at all
  • Creative templates
  • Better customer experiences, which goes on to ensure better conversions

5 Best Low Code App Development Tools to Check Out

The market is swarmed with all kinds of low-code web development tools that you might want to check out.

More and more vendors are entering the market, providing some of the most sophisticated and intuitive low code development platforms on the market.

We’ve curated a list of five of the very best low code development tools that the market has to offer:

1# OutSystems 

OutSystems is a cutting-edge low code app development platform – a game-changer to say the least.

The tool comes with a full suite of features, including a drag-and-drop app builder, WYSIWYG editor, workflow mapping, and an app marketplace where you can choose pre-built apps and templates. 

Developers must love this tool, considering it has everything they need to be uber-efficient at what they do. 

Who Should Use This App?

Enterprises with several programmers and who would like to enhance their productivity. 

Price

They have a free version. But if you’re serious about using the platform to build functional apps, we suggest you sign up for one of their paid plans (which starts at $5400 per month, and goes all the way to $12, 250).

What You’ll Love About this Tool

  • Access to source code (and which can be deployed anywhere you wish). 

2# Kissflow

Kissflow has been around since 2012 when it was first launched. It brought with it a new paradigm. 

Its focus was on companies that didn’t want to restrict the development process to programmers only.

It features a WYSIWYG editor and a powerful form builder that enable you to create your own forms and apps without handling anything at the code level. 

Who Should Use This App?

Enterprises and SMBs looking to transform their businesses digitally. 

Price

Their prices start at $390

What You’ll Love About this Tool

  • It’s easy to use. 

3# Appian 

Appian comes with the usual suite of features you can expect to find in a low code development tool of its kind (a drag and drop interface, third-party app integration, and ability to create mobile apps. 

They also have an extensive marketplace, where you can purchase ready-made applications and templates to use in your project. 

Who Should Use This Tool?

  • Enterprises with a team of developers 

Price 

They have a free trial, with a price range of $90 to $180/month per user. 

What You’ll Love About this Tool

  • It’s one of the oldest low code app development tools on the market. That means, their app development features are more mature. They also happen to have good mobile apps that you might want to check out. 

4# Zoho Creator

Zoho is a household name in this field. 

The tool comes with the usual low code app development features, including a visual app development interface, form builder, and mobile app development features. 

The only limitation is that it does not support third-party integrations. 

Who Should Use This App?

SMBs with a team of experienced developers. 

Price

$10/month/user for 3 apps, after which everything scales up to $35/month/user depending on the number of apps you’re building. 

5# Google App Builder

Google is the latest app builder to enter the market. They’re focused on creating mobile apps. 

So far, this app builder appears to be doing good, but there are a few areas that they might want to venture into to compete with the top dogs. 

Who Should Use This App?

Businesses looking to set up a simple app solution. 

Pricing 

Their pricing starts at $10/user

What You’ll Love

An incredibly easy-to-use interface

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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