The disruptive use case of low-code development platforms is a testament to the shift in software development toward a business-led IT approach. Low-code development platforms feature easy and accessible building of applications that businesses take advantage of to stay ahead of their competitors.
In this article, we will discuss the origins of low-code development platforms and their differences from no-code technology. We’ll also take a closer look at the reasons why businesses favor low-code development platforms over no-code ones.
What is a low-code development platform?
A low-code development platform adopts a graphical user interface where users can drag and drop elements to build an application. Low-code development platforms are an innovative approach to software development, eliminating the need for coding experience to build and develop applications.
Low-code/no-code technology is enjoying a newfound surge of popularity recently, especially within the business and enterprise IT sectors. It’s unclear who developed the world’s first low-code programming strategy or when.
The inception of FORTRAN in the 1950s is considered low-code programming, as it helped programmers back then reduce their workload. But software developers today wouldn’t consider FORTRAN as low-code programming.
In 1987, Apple introduced HyperCard, a development platform designed to enable users to build applications despite their lack of experience in coding. HyperCard has long been discontinued in 1998. In 2014, Forrester coined low-code to define development platforms that offered ease and accessibility to building software. Since then, low-code development began its ascent to popularity, paving the way for the democratization of technology.
Low-code vs. No-code: What are the differences?
Low-code technology requires little to no coding experience for a user to navigate its features and build applications. Low-code development platforms often adopt drag-and-drop features and basic logic on a visual interface. Software developers and non-programmers alike rely on low-code technology for quick and efficient development, saving time and effort in writing long lines of code.
No-code technology sounds similar to low-code. However, this software development approach mostly targets users with zero formal coding knowledge. No-code technology also adopts a visual interface with drag-and-drop capabilities. Businesses and individuals who wish to equip themselves with custom-fit technology rely on no-code development platforms. Both low-code and no-code technologies offer users the benefit of speed in building applications.
How can low-code development platforms help users build applications?
In a fast-paced industry, coding can be among the most arduous tasks, even for a software developer. Low-code development platforms come in handy in developing and modifying applications. Here are some of the benefits of using low-code development platforms to build applications that an organization may need:
- Fast and agile IT integrations
Low-code development platforms offer quick integrations into a business’s IT system. This allows businesses to create applications whenever necessary, and then modify and adapt these apps into their workflow to optimize services and meet the market’s demands.
- Low dependence on shadow IT
Shadow IT poses security threats to an organization if left unchecked. Low-code development platforms offer an organization an easy way to build an application tailored to their needs, without fear of risking security or data loss.
- Enhanced productivity
Low-code development platforms eliminate the need for locating seasoned software developers to build an application that your business needs. Low-code technology is user-friendly to both programmers and non-programmers. Hence, anyone can build applications and deliver custom-fit IT solutions for their department or organization.
- Cost-effective IT solution
The rise of low-code development platforms entails an increase in user-generated applications and services. Instead of businesses seeking out software developers, they get to save up on resources by building their own applications with low-code technology.
Why are more businesses adopting low-code/no-code technology?
Low-code/no-code technology is a game-changer for businesses and organizations with specific needs and requirements that most IT solutions out on the market fail to address. Not to mention, these solutions are often costly and take some time to be integrated into the workflow.
Businesses find low-code development platforms appealing because they deliver fast and efficient results for a fraction of the price of most available technologies. With low-code, software developers worry less about chunks of code. Software development in low-code/no-code is easy to grasp with the visual interface and accessible for users with no prior coding knowledge.
Low-code technology also serves to address the looming threat of shadow IT. A corporate IT department gets to understand and approve a technological solution developed within the environment. Businesses can be certain it complies with the necessary standards and protocol for cybersecurity. With the versatility of low-code/no-code technology, the software development industry is witnessing a change of tides in the democratization of technology. User-generated technology empowers business owners and companies to come up with their own solutions, adopt new process flows, and diversify employee skills.