No-code and Low-code platforms

In the present context of businesses and companies, which we already know is continuously and rapidly changing, it is necessary to be flexible and agile to adapt to change and not be left behind. Therefore, it is imperative to have the appropriate digital tools that facilitate this adaptation, as well as the right professionals for their implementation, so that our business remains competitive.   

Until recently, development of programs and applications was a task exclusively for professional and expert programmers; however, today there are multiple digital platforms that allow the development of apps of varying levels of complexity with little programming knowledge. For this reason, the appropriate type of skills that the staff must have for its development and implementation, has also changed.

These digital platforms have gained prominence especially during the pandemic, when businesses and organizations of all kinds have had to adopt digital transformation in an accelerated, and often even improvised way, with staff with little experience and knowledge in programming, at a time when going digital represents the difference between continuing to serve customers or closing.   

The versatility and possibilities offered by these platforms have made them grow rapidly, and they will continue to grow much more in the coming years. These platforms are known as No-code and Low-code. 

Both types of platforms refer to the development of applications for which advanced programming knowledge is not needed; both allow you to manage services, access permissions to users, control devices, digitize manual processes, automate, and convert data into indicators to measure performance. 

No-Code platforms offer a visual, step-by-step process that allows business users, without requiring a developer’s profile, to quickly create generic apps. For example, Wix or Zapier platforms.  

Low-Code platforms also use visual modeling tools, with little need for coding, to create more complex, enterprise-grade applications. For example, Quickbase or Outsystems platforms.  

As we can see, both No-code and Low-code digital platforms have a fundamentally visual development environment, based mostly on the “drag and drop” system, so they are very intuitive. Both offer security options for the application, such as permission assignment functions, and allow the creation of applications that can be adapted to all types of mobile devices, compatible with system updates, and capable of evolving in real time. 

However, as already mentioned, although they are tools meant to facilitate the implementation of business applications or business processes, Low-code still requires certain technical knowledge, and other types of skills to get the best out of it. By the contrary, No-code tools, due to their simplicity, are accessible to any technical or non-technical profile.

Typical cases for No-Code platform’s use are simple businesses, which basically need to replace their Excel sheets that complement their information systems, with short life time apps, and do not require connections to external systems. They are used to create very generic and non-personalized applicationss, which respond to quite specific actions.

Low-code platforms, on the other hand, allow greater control of the application, can be integrated into more complex third-party systems, and allow generating them with a longer life cycle. In short, they facilitate the creation of more complex, sophisticated and personalized apps, without spending on an entire hardware and software infrastructure. This lets them escalate as requirements increase or change, and not have to start over each time change is needed.

In general, we can say that the great advantage of Low-code platforms over No-code platforms is that they maximize the agility to respond to business processes in a short time, saving the need to worry about complex coding matters that consume a lot time when developing applications from scratch. Thus, focusing on customers’ needs rather than on development technology, and working closely with people from other departments well versed in company’s workflows, processes, and required results.

Low-code platforms have become a fundamental choice for business application development nowadays. They generate significant savings in time and resources, as well as scalability for continuous improvement, in addition to agility and flexibility to adapt quickly to change. With these platforms, although they require little code development, the more knowledgeable and experienced the staff developing the application are, the greater the efficiency and quality of what is built.