The modern agile environment demands speedy application delivery and customized automation workflows. Traditionally, building a software solution or business application requires a lot of time, energy, and financial investment. The low code app development approach has been introduced to keep up with the changing business needs in software development. It helps elevate coding from textual to visual by altering and simplifying the development process.
With few to no programming skills, low code development approach allows one to build applications and processes with basic logic, leveraging drag-and-drop capabilities.
Emerging product owners are turning to low code development because it helps teams innovate quickly without spending too much time writing and testing new scripts. One of the biggest advantages of low-code development is that it also costs much less, helps overcome developer shortages, and creates apps faster to improve time to market.
This informative piece of content will discuss the concept of low code application development, its importance, key principles, how it works, its benefits, challenges, how to select the right low code platform, and more. So, let’s get started!
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Low code is a modern alternative to traditional software development. It is a visual approach using a friendly graphical UI and drag-and-drop functionality with little coding. Since specialized computer programming knowledge is not required, non-IT executives can use low-code platforms to build value-driven applications.
It speeds up app development while reducing the reliance on traditional development methods. Low code democratizes app development by empowering “citizen developers” (having limited to no coding experience but domain knowledge) to contribute to app development.
The terms ‘low code’ and ‘no code’ are often used together or interchangeably; however, they are different regarding the coding knowledge required. While the ‘low code’ method requires minimal coding, ‘no code’ targets users with little to no programming experience.
Low code development is a visual drag-and-drop software development approach that aims to simplify software development. While traditional software development was slow and time-consuming, Low code development seeks to simplify the software development process and speed up the delivery of applications.
This development approach benefits citizen developers and professional developers by eliminating complexity and reducing time in app development. So, if you don’t wish to build an app in-house and seek an external vendor, you can ask them to utilize low code platforms to create custom apps quickly and cost-effectively. It is a smart way to cope with the high development demand and shortages of skilled developers. Low code app development has multiple benefits for your business, such as boosting business efficiency, agility, and productivity.
Let’s examine some statistics to understand why low code development is important.
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Enterprise low code development platform offers many compelling reasons why businesses should adopt this approach. They include:
Businesses must automate workflows to enhance efficiencies and meet customers’ demands better. Low code development allows you to build custom applications faster than traditional development. You can drag and drop pre-configured modules, pre-written code, and templates to enable faster delivery of applications.
Low code software development thus eliminates the need for hiring professional developers and promotes higher business efficiency. For example, companies like Sprint and The Salvation Army use a low code development approach to automate internal processes.
Businesses are increasingly moving to the cloud to provide flexibility and greater connectivity to their employees and customers. Cloud technology eliminates the need for hardware and costly maintenance while simplifying data storage and management. Using low code to build cloud-based apps help businesses streamline and automate their workflows quickly.
In traditional development, developers were needed at every step. However, with low code development, companies do not have to depend on pro-coders to create affordable business solutions. Low code platforms reduce the involvement of experienced developers as citizen developers can complete the initial phases of app development. Skilled developers step in at a later stage to ensure the application built is scalable and secure.
As businesses grow and focus evolves, they must update apps to incorporate new processes or amend the existing ones. They can quickly complete these tasks in-house by utilizing enterprise low code development platforms to redesign the apps. Similarly, companies may want to replace legacy apps with advanced ones that meet customers’ demands. Low code development helps them build apps capable of running on cross-functional platforms.
Traditional application development methods tend to increase costs because they involve writing complex codes at every stage of the development process. It requires the involvement of a highly skilled and experienced development team. Contrarily, low code development decreases cost as it shortens the software development cycle and reduces the involvement of expert professionals at every stage.
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The traditional app development process requires a complex development environment, testing, and deployment protocols. It relies on a highly skilled team of programmers, developers, testers, etc.
On the other hand, low code application development platforms adopt the visual programming approach that facilitates automatic code generation. These platforms are specifically designed for citizen developers and have features to edit and iterate.
Here’s what your low code development journey will look like:
The above-mentioned development process is also referred to as simply click or even point-and-click development.
To leverage the benefits of low code for your application, you need to rethink and fine-tune your approach. You must follow sound technology and business principles to achieve the desired business outcomes. The important principles for low code software development include the following:
It is essential to choose the most-suited platform to leverage full benefits. The choice must be based on the desired level of development required and the in-house team’s technical capabilities. Thus, investing time exploring different low code platforms could benefit the business in the long run.
These platforms require your input to provide results. So, the involvement of all the stakeholders from the start is important. Spending time and effort in understanding the low code platform’s capabilities, functionalities, features, limitations, etc., will help you create better applications.
A well-defined roadmap helps keep the project on track. It helps you avoid unnecessary iterations, which could cost you time and money.
All the stakeholders must form a stable, small, yet agile team and understand the needs and expectations of the proposed app. It helps collaborate better and make optimum use of resources. They should know the assumptions and proposed components within the low-code platform to be utilized. Also, they must have a clear picture of how the outcome will look. So they can contribute to the testing and deployment stages and ensure they get the desired result.
Low code development platforms provide predefined, reusable, drag-and-drop components that reduce time and effort in building applications. However, customizations require you to create new components or modify existing ones, defying the promise of the low code technology. So, avoiding customizations to meet your time and cost deadlines is better. However, if you must customize, design components with a long-term view that can be reused in other projects.
Low code development offers several advantages to businesses, leading to its increased popularity. They include:
Traditional software hasn’t aged so well to keep up pace with today’s market demand to scale at speed. The drag-and-drop feature of the low code platform quickens the development. Easy-to-implement APIs and connectors that integrate with third-party tools mean that there is no learning curve. Usually, releasing the application is lengthy, but with low code, one-click app deployment takes the pain out of release days.
Low code is an excellent development option for small applications with a limited user base. For instance, a company may not want to invest in a tool specific to a particular department, or they may allocate a minimal budget for it. Low code development is cost-effective, fast, and suits such business needs.
Low code platforms come with many built-in features and templates. It allows businesses to integrate the latest technologies, like Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence, into their application development process.
Low code platforms use AI and ML to offer recommendations and suggestions based on the data sets utilized. Setting fundamental rules for decision-making within the platform and automating workflow designs allows you to execute them in other information systems.
It is easier to ensure compliance and governance with low code platforms as they abide by the established guidelines and monitor your project. They have analytics and reporting functionalities that help gauge your project’s performance, plan updates, and troubleshoot accordingly.
The low code approach helps users collect, process, and store data for workflows by identifying the data source, quality, ownership, and validity. It allows them to make informed decisions, making data integration flexible and simple.
Customers today expect faster updates and more personalized experiences. Low code platforms offer real-time updates, faster go-to-market, enabling organizations to deliver insights rapidly to customers. Customer Experience (CX) professionals can utilize these platforms to create loyalty or customer service applications, custom customer surveys, etc. Since it makes app development faster and easier, low code platforms allow businesses to respond quickly to customer feedback. This increase customer experience and brand loyalty.
Businesses may want to build applications that use sensitive data. However, they may find it too risky to outsource such development to third-party companies. So, low code development helps them digitize private information to avoid the risk of data breaches.
Irrespective of several conveniences it provides, the low code development approach could pose some significant challenges to business owners, citizen developers, and even professional developers.
While low code reduces the requirement for coding, the users need knowledge of business practices and software development to optimally utilize this technology. When users with no programming knowledge build apps using low code platforms, professional developers often spend more time fixing the bad code. Without much coding experience and knowledge of IT security principles or framework, the ability to customize and adapt changes are limited. It is much easier and more cost-effective to avail low code development services and start with a good code.
Using reusable components from the low code platform to build apps create underlying code. Due to the generic nature of components, the code created is more than the requirements of the tasks on hand and is usually bloated. Not optimizing this code results in inefficient functioning, increasing the size of the software built and impairing its performance. It’s better to go for quality, handwritten code to improve the efficiency of your apps.
Low code is most effective if the underlying code of your developed app functions as expected. Citizen developers often run into roadblocks and find that even the best of their intentions and strategies do not result in the expected outcome. And if there’s no one on the team capable of detecting errors and resolving them or checking if the app is secure enough to carry out business tasks, the entire exercise of low code development could turn out to be extremely expensive for the business.
While the low code approach works best to resolve some business issues concerning programming, it cannot be used for all problems. It is better to utilize conventional software development approaches and tools for more complex tasks or ones requiring a good amount of customization.
The code created by low code platforms is often difficult to maintain outside of them. Either it can’t be exported from the tool or edited using other editor tools. So, when finalizing the low code platform, verifying the platform’s capability to export or edit using other software tools is important.
While the primary application of low code is to develop software with little to no development background, it offers many other use cases: They include the following:
Pre-built modules, low code templates, and GUI tools help develop an MVP faster than traditional software processes. It enables you to build MVP at reduced costs and with less effort. Further, most low code platforms come with third-party integrations for various development scenarios. They also comply with multiple industry standards, which helps develop low code with less effort.
Low code platforms require minimal to no coding and have a large network of APIs that integrate with third-party tools. This translates into faster development and rapid innovation in latest technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), etc. Therefore, companies are utilizing low code development platforms as a preferred route for multi-experience application development (MXDPs). It thus helps businesses engage with customers better, enhance retention, and increase revenue.
An excellent use case for low code is building smart process apps or operational efficiency apps that automate manual processes. Building such apps aims to increase process efficiency quickly and at a low cost.
Modernize your legacy systems leveraging Low code platform to bridge the gap between legacy and modern apps. It requires no programming skills and thus enables faster delivery of legacy migration apps. These apps must-have new functionalities, but they must support old processes. Usually, the old apps not capable of supporting new processes or providing the expected user experience are modified using legacy migration apps.
Low code platforms help build bots using Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It helps automate time-consuming and mundane processes across departments and business lines.
Businesses can accelerate the development of the Application Programming Interface (API) using pre-built templates in low code platforms. APIs are software interfaces that help connect applications and allow them to exchange data.
Unlike traditional coding practices, low code platforms offer a visual model-driven approach to transform and maintain complex microservices. That is difficult to achieve with traditional coding practices. Low code platforms simplify microservices by auto-generating Kubernetes and Docker files and pipeline code for end-to-end automation.
Choosing the right low code development platform is imperative to ensure that your efforts lead to desired outcomes. As businesses have unique needs and expectations, the chosen platform must be able to meet them. Here are the key things to consider while selecting a low code platform for your business:
You must select the low code platform depending on the type of users in your company, citizen developers, fresh or experienced developers. It would help to choose a platform that can facilitate both experienced developers and non-tech employees to build software effectively.
Your chosen platform must allow the reuse of your app’s code with useful connectors like business components, templates, widgets, plugins, etc.
The low code app development platform must offer DevOps functionalities like CI/CD, agile development, and disaster recovery to provide hosting flexibility.
The right low code platform must provide the users/developers adequate control by offering external API endpoints, connectivity between applications, performance monitoring, etc.
Depending on your business needs, check if the low code platform will allow you to build web, mobile, and desktop apps.
It’s crucial to verify if the low code platform of your choice is capable of on-demand scalability to handle important business apps.
Your low code software development platform should leverage technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to simplify and automate complex processes.
The low code platform you intend to use to build important business apps must provide end-to-end and post-development support so that it can cater to your application development requirements.
Low code development offers organizations a faster and more convenient path to digital transformation. Businesses can quickly configure, build and deploy desired apps with minimal coding using drag-and-drop interfaces.
The low code approach is not just for citizen developers. Professional developers can use this approach to build mission-critical business apps faster. So, if you are looking for a helping hand to build apps quickly at a tight budget, connect with us to get guidance on our Microsoft Power Platform consulting services.
Rishabh software is known for offering end-to-end digital process automation services, including low code rapid application development leveraging leading platforms. We have successfully empowered organizations like yours to transform business faster and innovate at both speed and scale.
Backed by unparalleled industry knowledge, ability, and expertise, Rishabh Software’s low code development service can accelerate your digital innovation.
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A: Yes, low code and no code are the future of enterprise software development as they advance daily. Several studies suggest that they are likely to be used more by both citizen developers and professional developers.
A: No code development will neither replace highly skilled and experienced developers nor will citizen developers replace junior developers.
A: Low code app development platforms offer many features like:
A: You can use low code platforms to build a wide range of applications. They could include apps for operational efficiency, customer relationship management, process management, security systems, etc.
A: Enterprises are adopting low code as they help them develop better workflows, improve collaboration among different teams, manage risks effectively, and overcome business and industry challenges.
A: Low-code automation is a process that uses low-code tools to build, automate, deploy, and modify applications, workflows, and processes with little or no coding skills. It enables business users and developers to develop software solutions using a graphical user interface and drag-and-drop features. The major benefits of low code automation include improved agility, ease of use, and cost savings.