Throughout the history of humankind, we have been striving to facilitate the processes we need for our survival and well-being. People made all kinds of tools to gather resources, catch prey, and improve their households and leisure. Then, after some time of use and trying, upgraded them to accomplish the same tasks faster and more efficiently.
In the modern world, this part of human nature continues to drive innovation in science, technology, and other domains. Let’s take a look at the evolution of programming languages. It’s fascinating to see how building software was becoming easier and faster over two decades. Starting from the long lines of code that demanded a broad understanding of software engineering, programming language, and mathematics and moving towards the simplification of the software development process. And now, the evolution of software development is approaching its apotheosis - low-code/no-code development.
What are low-code and no-code development paradigms?
Low-code & no-code platforms are the SaaS solutions that allow facilitate the software development process. Both types of platforms can also help at the creation or complement the existing solution or some part of a system. It can be either front-end/backend parts of the software or just request-handling tools. The software you create depends on the approach you choose and the platform too. The major differences between them lie in the audience they serve well, and the complexity of the development process
Low-code development platforms require some coding knowledge from their users. Usually, low-code software builders’ graphical user interface has a component-based structure with a certain number of ready-made templates. At the same time, low-code provides you with more flexibility and customization capacity.
Low-code development platforms will require a solid budget not only to pay for the plan but also to hire some developers to build the app. Moreover, you will probably need a CTO to help you pick up the right framework, to begin with. If the framework wouldn’t able to provide you with the functions and integrations for your business needs, there’s no point to waste your time and money.
Pros of low-code platforms:
- Wider integration capacity;
- Ability to create unique functionalities;
- Serves middle and large enterprises;
- Unique styling options and white-labelling.
Cons of low-code platforms:
- Require CTO to choose the right platform along with at least Junior/Middle developers to build the app itself;
- May require more time and money to develop the app.
No-code development platforms are accessible for non-tech savvy user types. Such platforms are like software constructors where you simply take the needed components and connect them to the no-code platform UI (canvas). The canvases of the no-code platforms usually have a strictly predetermined structure and allow stacking of the app components on top of each other, at times. The typical no-code platform user is a business manager who neither has any technical skills to create apps using low-code platforms nor the budget to hire developers and tech experts. Apps built with no-code platforms
Pros of no-code platforms:
- No coding skills required;
- Fast to build apps;
- Suits small business owners.
Cons of no-code platforms:
- Extremely limited integrations;
- No room for app customization;
- Fewer app features available.
Types of low-code/no-code tools
There are several distinctive types of low-code and no-code platforms that differ by the use cases they serve. Since low-code frameworks offer wider flexibility and customization capacity, the area of application of these platforms is wider than in no-code. But still, their application fields have pretty much in common. Here are the most widespread use cases of low-code/no-code development frameworks as of 2022.
General purpose frameworks
You can guess the use cases of this type of low-code platform by its name. General purpose frameworks allow you to develop almost any type of application be it mobile/web applications, workflow tools, etc. There are general-purpose low-code tools for both backend and frontend development.
Internal tools builders
Such low-code tools to focus on helping business owners to build process optimization software. With the internal tools builders, you can create workflows, and forms and integrate those with other elements of the system a business uses. Usually, business owners leverage low-code development to create a more convenient representation of the info they had in the form of excel tables.
Database management consoles
Platforms for creating apps that represent the data stored in the database and allow users to interact with it. These are the simple tools to manage the database information, get access to the internal business materials, and add new data to the storage. You can make such applications with the help of the front-end oriented low-code and no-code platforms.
Mobile app development platforms
Low-code and no-code platforms for creating native and cross-platform mobile apps for various devices. The logic of the app creation process is the same but the components are mobile-specific. Most often, businesses opt for the low-code frameworks for the wider customization capabilities so much needed for the branded mobile application.
Web app development
The same story as for the low-code/no-code mobile app builders except that there is slightly less need for unique components.
Benefits of the low-code/no-code development for businesses
The low-code and no-code development platforms share their primary purpose. Thus they bring very similar benefits but to different groups of users. That’s
Low-code and no-code platforms are the go-to choice of businesses that seek to digitize their business at short notice. Internal tools builders accelerate the development process in many ways. Firstly, they free you from the necessity to spend time searching for developers.
The subscription for a low-code platform costs much less than a software development team. By building your app with low-code tools, you can get the same result for the 50-100 bucks subscription instead of thousands of dollars of salary. Let alone all the related expenses on the law procedures, bonuses, and insurance.
As long as the low-code app building is a fast process, you can also scale up your system easily. Depending on the low-code tool, you can add on new functionalities, app pages, and other elements. Of course, it may bring additional costs for the platform subscription. But anyway, scaling with low-code development platforms would be a faster process than the full custom development.
Using low-code platforms, you can easily adjust your app’s functionalities to comply with various market changes and regulations. In the world of rapidly evolving technologies, it’s an extremely valuable asset to have. Outsourcing developers or, even, keeping them on salary just to make all the code changes definitely won’t be cheap.
How to choose the right low-code/no-code development platform.
Clarify your business needs
Make a list of features you’ll need to have in your app. It’s crucial the selection of the right development platform. If you don’t need a complex app then a no-code platform would be enough. On the contrary, to cover the need in the more complex app, custom branding, and unique integrations you will need some kind of a low-code platform. Clearly define your goals, plans, and budgets to make the first step towards your new application.
Get professional assistance
Once you have the proper perspective of your business needs, you should decide whether to look for professional help or not. As you can understand, no-code platforms can be used easily by a non-tech person. At the same time, you may need a brief consultation with a pro to choose the platform to create all the necessary functionalities for your app.
With the low-code platforms, things get much more complex. You will need professional advice if you don’t have any understanding of the low-code platforms or a CTO in your team. Moreover, low-code development process There are many options to get professional support for various budgets and project scales:
Outsource low-code development companies
Low-code development is a rare service at the moment but a rapidly developing one. At the moment, the market in the initial stage of its expanding, so you can find only some low-code development companies opposing the incrisingly rising demand. As the demand for custom low-code development rises, the value of the specialists that have a broad outlook on low-code tools and can produce software using them does too. Thus, this is the option for SMBs as well as large enterprices with a solid budgets. But for the price of professional low-code development come the same benefits like custom components, integrations, fast development, and a bug-free application or tool.
In-house low-code development team
Alternatively, you can hire a CTO and developers to become a part of your team. This option is for you if you’ll need developers for a relatively long period to support and customize your low-code app. However, recruiting and hiring take time, especially when it comes to a good developer or a software engineer. Thus, we recommend making sure you have enough time to hire low-code developers and onboard them.
Freelancer low-code developers
You can hire only CTO and freelance developers from any trusted freelancer platform like Upwork. It can be the most cheap way to get low-code development done if you have no coding skills. Hiring freelance developers can cost much less if they are based in Eastern Europe or other countries where the low-code development services have the lower rates as in USA. Anyway, it demands some time for finding the developers.
P.S. If you decided to call for the assistance of professional low-code developers, you can start here. Akveo has much experience helping companies use the potential of low-code for creating unique and branded applications and tools using the top low-code development platforms like Retool, Appsmith, UI Bakery, etc. Meet our CTO watching the video below and contact us if you are ready to start your low-code app development.
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