Though classic programming does not exactly mirror the blobs of green you might have seen in The Matrix, it does tend to be a complex ritual. A basic software project requires the use of at least one well-suited programming language as well as the application of various software principles, from for-loops to object-oriented programming.
Frameworks, package repositories, and integrated development environments (IDEs) are also often integral pieces to a classic software project.
In contrast, the GUI of a low-code platform is often component-based with pre-defined templates. Instead of typing in a set of brackets, punctuation, and strings of words, you can simply plug in the modules that best fits your objective.
That said, low-code development, in particular, does allow for some coding. Minimal coding enables more skilled users on low-code platforms to customize their application a bit more than a no-code platform — where no coding can occur — would allow.
However, the most defining aspect of low-code development platforms (LCDPs) is their accessibility. Through low-code platforms, citizen developers — that is, business users with little to no coding experience — can build functional, fully-featured applications.
For consumer apps, this speeds up your time-to-market, increasing your return on investment via quicker feedback and faster decision-making.
If you decide to use low-code platforms to build business workflows and custom applications for internal use, you will likewise gain the advantage of agile development, but with far fewer iterations.
The extra time you save can go towards working on more critical tasks and projects to support your business.
LCDPs and digital transformation go hand-in-hand. Low-code platforms utilize reusable components with a visual approach to circumvent the needs of traditional coding.
Such a novel way of development is sure to make waves in the industry. In fact, it already has.
Other than empowering developers, low-code platforms can better respond to business and consumer needs. And since low-code tools are widely accessible — literally and figuratively — business information can be shared throughout the company.
On an organizational level, this capacity paves the way for cross-silo collaboration where teams can work horizontally across various business activities.
Low-Code Platforms Use Cases
There are a number of reasons to use low-code development. Here are some specific examples of what you can build using low-code and no-code platforms.
Businesses must accept the reality that they exist in a digital-first environment. Most, if not all consumers, are looking for software to meet their needs.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile apps can enhance customer experience and brand awareness across the board.
Using Mendix, a popular low-code platform, insurance provider VGZ Cooperative built a mobile app for its customers.
Sometimes the biggest problem businesses face isn’t reaching customers, but managing bottlenecks within their own organization.
LCDPs can be helpful when it comes to building internal workflows. The Tennesse Department of Health, for example, used Caspio’s low-code platform to build an IT asset management system.
Now the department manages roughly 20,000 state assets using their own custom application that took only two months to build!
Many monolithic applications are being phased out in favor of microservices. There is a strong case for microservices based on principles such as loose coupling and service orientation.
In 2017, 62% of companies said they were either using or planning to use microservices. But making the transition is hard.
Indeed, low-code platforms can speed up this process exponentially. Within low-code platforms, you can find enterprise features and high-impact functionalities to re-build the architecture of your application.
Data is a bigger part of day-to-day life than people care to admit. It’s the one thing separating a good hunch from highly qualified business intelligence.
Sometimes generic software isn’t flexible enough to account for whatever data-related operation you must undertake for the sake of your business. And this is where low-code platforms come in.
VisionX is a powerful low-code tool with data engineering capabilities. The LCDP has had some pretty niche applications from fleet management for ski area vehicles to the configuration and asset management of quantum computers.
9 Best Low-Code Platforms
Now, that you have a good background where low-code development is concerned, you might be thinking about investing in a low-code platform yourself.
The following platforms have high ratings amongst various software development circles.
Appian is a low-code platform equipped with native deployment tools and integration options with DevOps tools like Jenkins.
Designed for businesses of all sizes, Appian allows users to build business process management (BPM) applications.
Essentially, BPM applications help businesses organize and optimize business processes.
Mendix provides tooling for testing, building, and deploying applications through a low-code software platform.
Founded in 2005, there are over 4000 companies using Mendix. The platform relies on model-driven engineering (MDE), a mode of development that emphasizes abstract modeling.
OutSystems is an omnichannel low-code platform, meaning enterprises can build applications across a variety of mediums.
Real-time performance dashboards and strong security measured are some of the prized features of the platform, along with the capacity for rapid development.
Quickbase is an LCDP for creating workflows. It’s well-suited for helping teams find solutions to bottlenecks and reform operations.
No-code is also available through Quickbase. Not the mention, strong assets of the platform are its prebuilt marketplace and useful third-party integrations.
5. Zoho Creator
Zoho is an Indian multinational technology company that business marketers know well due to its customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
However, Zoho Creator is a minimalist platform with intuitive visual features for low-code/no-code development. It’s a veteran player in the industry.
Kissflow promotes itself as a ‘unified digital workplace’. Its primary purpose is for workflow and process management.
A rule-based model removes the need for custom coding, letting you add conditions to customize your workflow. This is a mainstay of low-code development which Kissflow thrives on.
7. Salesforce Lightning
Salesforce is another familiar title for marketers. Often HubSpot vs. Salesforce are compared as two competing CRM platforms.
Alternatively, Salesforce Lightning is a component-based application development framework. The components in this scenario act as low-code visual pieces for app building.
8. Microsoft Power Apps
Microsoft Power Apps is a service for building custom business apps, fast and without complexity.
The functionality of the service is impressive, namely for its inclusion of pre-built artificial intelligence components.
Low-code development is a software approach that eases development by offering users drag-and-drop functionality through an easily navigable graphical user interface (GUI).
What are low-code platfroms?
A low-code platform is a visual and interactive tool for component-based software development.
What are the benefits of low-code development?
The main benefits of low-code development are speed, scalability, and innovation.
Cordenne Brewster is a tech enthusiast whose ardor is best expressed through the written word. With contributions ranging from software development to scaling, Cordenne provides insights to keep the curious and inquisitive informed, well-read, and on-trend.