Low-code vs. No-code Platforms: Which One Is Better for You?
Jan 31, 2018
It often seems that new buzz words from emerging tech markets are popping up on a daily basis. So many, in fact, that making sense of them and figuring out which products or organizations fall into each category can be a challenge.
When it comes to mobile app development platforms, the terms "low-code" and "no-code" come to mind. But don't be confused - each approach offers pros and cons depending on your technical and coding expertise, job function, and more. So, what are they and which one is the best option for you?
Low-code and No-code Explained
Both low-code and no-code offer a visual approach, such as point-and-click or drag-and-drop, to build mobile business applications more efficiently. The underlying idea is to replace base level coding with a configuration approach. This means letting you specify what you want the application to do, without having to figure out how to do it.
Low-code platforms require you to have some database knowledge and code writing expertise. The level of coding required depends entirely on how the tool has evolved. Typically, you need developer skills for any functionality that goes beyond basic features, and to build connections to an existing data source. Low-code platforms have a steep learning curve, putting them out of reach of individuals who have no coding skills, and increasing the time and cost to implement any new system.
No-code platforms truly allow for no coding. Advanced software products in the market allow app builders to quickly create systems, without compromising on any functionality. These might include support for nested data, an automatically generated database, advanced workflow capabilities, offline use and more. Some no-code platforms allow the app builder to write extensions to handle more complex integration requirements, so that you are never totally boxed in.
Which Type of App Builder Are You?
Before deciding which approach works best for you, decide which type of app builder you are. As a general rule, there are 2 types:
1) Professional developers include application managers comfortable with coding, who are looking to speed up solution development and reduce maintenance costs. For example, by eliminating and streamlining the repetitive parts of application development.
2) Citizen developers include business analysts or line-of-business managers, with hands-on experience with the business processes, and have great ideas on how to optimize day-to-day operations. Citizen developers can build apps, despite not having a coding background.
How Do You Decide?
Start by looking at the coding aspect of each platform, regardless of your role and background. In most cases, the less code you have to write, the better. If you are a citizen developer, you want to create your own applications with no-code. If you are a professional developer, no-code lets you be responsive and efficient in building apps for every department. This can be done without giving up underlying database access and integration capabilities.
In the end, the real point is to select the tool that can meet all your specific business requirements. It should also allow virtually everyone in the organization to become app builders, helping to speed up app development and meet the demand for mobility in the workplace.
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