Beginner’s Guide To Low Code Development

Traditional software developers write lines of code to define functions and modules. Then club them together to create the computer application. Next comes the process of deploying and testing them in the QA environment. The final step is pushing to production.

The team needs to know complex programming languages, business impacts, and in-depth knowledge of the deployment processes. Then they have to handle performance issues and post-production support.

Thus, traditional software development is time-consuming and has lots of dependencies. There are chances of misinterpretations leading to more delay.

Now we have low code solutions to simplify the software development process. They are similar to Microsoft Excel and Access in terms of ease of use. Below we explain the various features and use cases of low code development platforms.

What is low code development?

Low code development features enable you to think in terms of logic and functionality without the worry of performance aspects. The development process is akin to drafting a flow chart. These platforms provide reusable visual modeling components.

For example, there are readymade segments for data storage, customer service, push notifications, etc. One has to drag and drop the desired element at the appropriate stage of the program module. The low code systems are robust, and one can fit them in enterprise-based or customer-oriented applications. 

These make the development process transparent and agile. Yet the system remains safe as the entire development is hosted on the vendor’s cloud platform. Moreover, you can enable a check on every possible entry point and analyze the application behavior when it interacts with outside sources. As the team size reduces drastically, the security management is much simpler than the typical application systems.

Low code or no code:

The differences between the two terms are subtle, and people often use them interchangeably. Low code requires the users to know a little bit of coding. It helps programmers to program the modules quickly and concentrate on enhancing business logic. Low code platforms are suitable for many technical applications and provide integration facilities. 

With no code systems, users need not have any prior coding experience. These are easy to use and support simple app building. There is no manual edit option, and one incorporates the components directly. These are cheaper and provide a safe application creation method for business users like shopkeepers, artists, etc. They need not outsource their IT requirements and be self-reliant. The no-code systems have relatively lesser bugs as there is no tweaking of pre-built elements.

Benefits of low code systems:

These systems enhance the speed of application delivery. Even non-IT people can learn them quickly. There is no need to hire specialists, and the business experts can directly work on software development processes. It implies decreased production and hiring costs.

There is more scope for automation and enhancement of customer experience. Also, one design is sufficient for multiple devices. So, one need not repeat the process for various device types. Rapid iterations, transparent development, and easy monitoring facilities enhance application productivity.

Applications of low code platforms:

Today, enterprises use low code platforms to build powerful applications in minimal time. These are highly recommendable for developing web portals with consumer-friendly UI quickly. Small businesses can build native mobile apps in Android and iOS systems effortlessly.

There is no need to hire specialists or outsource the task. Low code platforms are suitable for legacy systems modernization and building microservice-based applications. Organizations are now using these platforms to develop core workspace applications. 

Few challenges:

Low code development is gaining momentum in the rapid deployment of business applications. At the same time, there are certain shortcomings too. Businesses often point to the lack of customizability. With ready-to-attach plugins, they fear different sources will end up developing the same or similar projects. Large organizations looking to provide unique solutions find low code platforms lacking creative independence.     

Moreover, there is an increased concern for vendor lock-in as the companies depend on the vendor firms for services and licenses. There is also the fear of data breaches and security threats. As the platforms are low-cost and straightforward to use, management becomes difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to mitigate the scaling and flexibility issues. 

Final Thoughts:

Low code platforms are highly suitable for the digitalized world due to their agility and robustness. Given the quick turnaround time, the cost is much less. And the simple development makes it an attractive option for non-developers. Moreover, hyper-automation tools using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies further push low code and no code systems. The industry is working to standardize the development process and address security issues. 

An indication of large-scale adoption of low code systems is a large number of vendor products available in the market. Some leading vendors and tools include Microsft Powerapps, Salesforce Lightning, and Zoho creator.

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