At the very beginning of business software development, the created apps were heavy, difficult to maintain, and not always as efficient as the business owners expected them to be. Now, most companies are striving for simplicity, user-centric approaches, flexibility, routine processes automation, ease of maintenance, and cost-efficiency when creating their software solutions. While custom software development in most cases is both costly and risky, using low to no-code software development tools promises a better opportunity to create high-end applications, following the best principles of LEAN and Agile.
Let’s find out more about the benefits low to no code development can offer and uncover the possible limitations you should also be aware of.
What is Low Сode Development?
According to the Low-Code as Enabler of Digital Transformation research, “The term “low-code” was firstly coined by Forrester in 2014, which states that firms prefer to choose low-code alternatives for fast, continuous, and test-and-learn delivery. Low-code development platforms are ecosystems with which apps can be developed, minimizing hand-code definition manually because it is already built and prefigured.”
To put it simply, low-code development stands for the process of using dedicated low code app development software that comes with the set of pre-developed features, templates, UI and UX designs, and app architecture elements the developers can reuse, customize and tailor to the specific business need.
The process of rapid digitalization drives companies to create custom software solutions to support their internal and external business processes, while staying flexible, meeting changing market and business needs, and wisely managing and allocating their software development investments.
Low code and no-code development is an opportunity to solve these tasks at once, and that’s why it becomes largely adopted by companies from different industries. 69% of modern businesses surveyed by Outsystems choose low-code development to finish their digital transformation process.
What Are Low Code App Development Benefits?
According to the Characteristics and Challenges of Low-Code Development research, “Most of the developers remarked that low code development (LCD) allows for faster development, thus rapidly brings applications to market. They also commented that LCD’s ease of study and use with lower IT costs compared to employing developers to code the applications makes it great. Equipped with rich and ready-to-use units, some developers reviewed that LCD is newbie-friendly.
Still, these aren’t the only benefits low and no-code development can promise.
- The wide choice of no-code software platforms. There are a lot of no-code software development tools to choose from. Appollo Systems is one of them – it comes with a pre-developed business logic and app architecture that even citizen developers (non-professional ones) will be able to set up, customize and manage.
- Pre-build architecture and business logic. This is one more benefit of low-code development platforms – they allow you to avoid the time-consuming process of thinking through the future app architecture. Instead, you can customize it according to your business necessities and integrate it with already existing systems.
- Validated UI and UX design templates. UI and UX design validation can also be challenging. Pre-developed elements allow you to test the prototypes at less cost and get users’ feedback faster.
- Still wide customization opportunities. Low-code development takes the best of both words – it offers a lot of ready-made features but still leaves room for accurate customization.
- Faster time to market. Since there is no need to write a large codebase from scratch, low code development is the opportunity to sleep up the time to market, while staying agile and flexible since all the tweaks and changes are also easy to make, test, and deploy.
- Improved inter-team collaboration. Following a low-code approach, you don’t need to hire several separate teams of developers, designers, and testers. Instead, you can hire several narrow-profile specialists who will be able to collaborate more effectively and suggest better ideas faster.
- Transparent application lifecycle management. Low-code development platforms support a model-driven app creation approach, providing you with the opportunities to create, test, debug, integrate and deploy in a single low-code development environment.
- Less time and less cost with more efficiency achieved. This core benefit is the logical summary of all the benefits above. Avoiding the need to write a lot of code, hire large teams and use costly programming tools, you can significantly cut time and money waste while achieving an increased efficiency.
No and Low Сode Development Limitations and Challenges
Although most low code development platforms come with an extensive set of features that are enough to build powerful and robust apps perfectly tailored to the business use case, there are still some limitations and pitfalls you have to take into account before getting started with low-code development.
According to The Rise of No/Low Code Software Development research, “Without professional developers, apps made with drag-and-drop platforms may be difficult to update to satisfy new technical requirements. The runtime performance of the app may not be as efficient, and it may be harder to integrate it with an organization’s larger software systems. Some no-code tools that create mobile apps, called online application generators, can have security issues. And for a citizen developer who does not know code, debugging would be quite a challenge.”
This means that before proceeding with low code development tools, you have to, first of all, make sure the chosen platform is able to meet your business requirements and technical expectations. Next, it is still better to have a professional developer under the roof who will be able to customize the app in a traditional way and/or suggest better solutions for overcoming the existing limitations of the platforms. And nevertheless, this approach is still more flexible, agile, and cost-effective compared to custom software development.
Will Low-Code App Development Replace Professional Developers?
Because of the reason explained above, the low-code app development approach is unlikely to fully replace professional developers and the business demand for their services. Creating an app without professional help can only be an option when the solution itself is quite simple. In contrast, enterprise apps, especially those powered by artificial intelligence and robotic process automation (RPA) still need professional supervision to correctly set up data extraction, management, and analysis features.
Following a low code development path is the opportunity for modern companies to streamline the process of building custom software, without the need to hire a dedicated development vendor or gather a large team of development professionals under their roof. On the background of ultimate digitalization, using low-code development platforms is expected to become a dominating trend and promising business opportunity.
What’s more, this is an option to create as many apps as the business actually needs without the risk of running out of budget. Low code development is also a winning option to validate an idea and find out how it works in a real-life environment so consider using low-code platforms for your business needs as well.
What is low code application development?
Low code app development stands for the process of creating apps using a dedicated platform that comes with pre-build features and UI/UX elements that can be perfectly tailored to the use case and the business need. Creating an app in a low-code environment allows for avoiding using programming languages and frameworks and writing the codebase from scratch.
How does low code development work?
When following a low-code approach, the developers create all the necessary elements in the dedicated environment that comes with ready-made templates and skeletons that can easily be customized. Then, the app follows the standard lifecycle, passing through testing, debugging, deployment, CI/CD, and maintenance milestones.
What is a low-code example?
There are quite a lot of app examples you can create with low-code – starting with a simple task manager like Trello and engine with the enterprise-level apps powered by AI and RPA.