Low Code vs No Code Development: Which is Best for You?

Low-Code vs. No-Code Development: Which One Should You Choose?

Summary: Low-code and no-code development play an increasingly important role in software development, empowering those with limited programming skills to create software and enabling development teams to use their time and resources more efficiently. This blog post explores the pros and cons of low-code vs. no-code development, and it will help you decide whether one (or either) solution might work for you.

Low-code and no-code development are two software development solutions that make it easy and efficient to create software products through drag-and-drop interfaces. Just as Apple and Windows changed how we used computer operating systems decades ago—trading written commands for images and clicks on a Graphical User Interface (GUI)—Low-code and No-code platforms make programming easier through their GUIs.

Low-code and No-code development platforms allow people with little-to-no programming skills to create fully functioning software applications. These platforms have empowered so-called citizen developers to do what once took years of training, but the benefits don’t stop there! Many development teams now use No-code and Low-code platforms to expedite the development process, leaving the more complicated, tailored components to seasoned developers.

A recent KPMG study found that 26% of executives consider no-code/low-code platforms their top automation investment, which doubled in the years following the Covid-19 pandemic. This is because of the current developer shortage. Gartner estimates that by 2025, organizations will build 70% of all new applications using some amount of no-code or low-code technology.

In a snapshot,

What is No-Code Application Development?

No-code application development is a software development solution that uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to allow someone to create fully functional software without writing a single line of code. No-code is a type of Rapid Application Development (RAD) that empowers citizen developers (i.e., non-programmers) and helps development teams expedite their work.

Advantages of No-Code Development

Here are some advantages of using a no-code development platform to create software applications.

  • No-code platforms can quickly create functional, albeit simple, software applications
  • People with zero programming experience can use no-code technology
  • End-users can design the apps they want rather than waiting for overworked IT teams to build them
  • Entrepreneurs can create prototypes of the apps they hope to build, and these prototypes can guide development teams

Low Code Vs No Code

Disadvantages of No-Code Development.

No-Code development has disadvantages compared to ordinary, high-code development and low-code options.

  • No-code development works well for simple applications that provide out-of-the-box solutions. Deep customization is not possible with no-code platforms.
  • Applications built with no-code platforms may be difficult to scale, and you might struggle to integrate them into your overall architecture, and with legacy systems
  • Shadow IT is a term used to describe information systems where those in charge of it lack the background knowledge to manage it properly. No-code software that IT professionals don’t manage can produce shadow IT problems, such as security issues, compatibility issues, and unnecessary costs.
  • No-code only produces stand-alone applications, which might make it challenging to manage customer records and other data structures that are key to legal compliance (such as GDPR).

What is Low-Code App Development?

Low-code development is a software solution combining the drag-and-drop interfaces used by no-code platforms. Still, it includes the option to code some aspects for greater flexibility manually. Many software development teams use this RAD platform to automate the more routine components of software development, saving the more complicated, nuanced tasks for seasoned developers.

Advantages of Low-Code App Development

Low-code development is a powerful, flexible solution. Here are some of the benefits companies experience by using low-code platforms.

  • Low-code platforms often allow you to produce more scalable software compared to no-code platforms. With open APIs, developers can make these products fit different architectures and legacy systems.
  • Low code is highly efficient compared to traditional programming, enabling faster deployments.
  • Data integration tends to be easier, and the final products tend to be more secure, thanks to the built-in security and data integration included in low-code platforms.
  • Low code makes it easier to adapt to different use cases and change the underlying code accordingly. This can be helpful once you see the product and decide to make changes based on user feedback.

Benefits of low code development

Disadvantages of Low-Code App Development

Low-code development has a few disadvantages compared to no-code and traditional, high-code development.

  • Low-code simply isn’t an option for citizen developers with absolutely no coding knowledge
  • Inexperienced teams using low-code platforms may be tempted to expedite their production and bypass standard checks and balances, which could result in severe bugs and security issues
  • Low-code programming is highly efficient, but seasoned developers should still dive into the code to ensure it’s clean. Otherwise, it may be costly to scale.
  • Software development teams that want to offload simple tasks to end-users within their organization will struggle if those end-users have no programming experience

Understanding Low-Code and No-Code Automation

The foundation behind low-code and no-code automation is the Graphic User Interface (GUI)—visual tools that create code automatically with mouse clicks and dragged and dropped elements. Any Low-code Application Platform (LCAP) will use a collection of these visual tools within an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), including APIs, reusable plug-in modules, code templates, and graphical connectors. These features automate most of the coding process, leaving a handful of elements (including any desired customization) to a developer.

A no-code Development Platform (NCDP) also uses a graphical interface with similar automation tools. The difference between an LCAP and an NCDP is that the LCAP requires some coding, allowing for greater customization. The NCDP requires no coding and can be used by anyone.
Low Code Vs No Code

Low-Code vs. No-Code Vs. High-Code (i.e., Traditional Coding)

The following chart shows the differences between low-code, no-code, and high-code development. You’ll notice that traditional, high-code development costs more than no-code and low-code development and can take longer. Still, there are infinite possibilities regarding what you can create.

With this in mind, many development teams can save costs and expedite their time-to-market by using low-code development for certain elements of an application and high-code development for the more complicated aspects.

No-Code Development
Low-Code Development
High-Code Development
Complexity Very Low Low High
Customizability None Medium Infinite
Speed of Development Very Fast Fast Medium
Cost Very Low Low Medium-High

Low-Code vs. No-Code Platforms

There are many low-code and no-code platforms to choose from, so you may be having a hard time narrowing your options down. To make things easier, we’ve listed three no-code platforms and three low-code platforms that we consider some of the best on the market.

No-Code App development platforms

  • Bubble: Bubble is a leading no-code platform known for its helpful tutorials and a community marketplace with a wide selection of templates and plugins.
  • Adalo: Adalo is a no-code platform favorite among UX designers and those with a visual flair. Some users suggest that if you’re brand new to no-code, there may be a bit of a learning curve. That said, it’s a powerful, effective solution.
  • Glide: Glide is considered by many to be one of the easiest no-code platforms to use. It produces visually appealing apps and features straightforward drag-and-drop functionality.

Low-Code App Development Platforms

Low Code App Platform

  • PowerApps: PowerApps is Microsoft’s low-code platform, offering many features. Some users may find its many options overwhelming. However, for anyone seeking a robust low-code solution, PowerApps is a solid choice.
  • OutSystems: OutSystems is another powerful solution with a wide range of options and tailored tutorials that help users quickly master the platform. Its enterprise-level plans are pricier than other options, but its functionality is vast.
  • Appian: Appian is an excellent, enterprise-level, low-code solution with a highly intuitive interface. Its plans are expensive, but it’s a highly effective low-code platform.

When Should You Use Low-Code and When Should You Use No-Code?

Low-code and no-code development uses a drag-and-drop interface to automate various coding elements. No-code requires zero coding knowledge, as the name implies, and low-code requires minimal coding knowledge. Both enable users to create fully functioning software products, although low-code development offers a broader range of possibilities.

Low-code and no-code each have advantages and disadvantages, which we cover in greater detail above. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide which approach works best for you.

  • Evaluate your goals to determine the complexity and customization required for your app. No-code isn’t designed for high levels of complexity and customization.
  • Assess the level of programming experience of anyone who plans to create software within your organization. Low code only works for those with some programming skills.
  • How quickly do you need to deploy the product? No-code tends to have a quicker turnaround time, all things being equal.
  • How much control do you want over the code? Low code offers some control over the code, while no code provides none.
  • Consider security and integration needs. Low code is often easier to adapt to a given architecture and allows you to manage security risks more efficiently.
Target User
Professional developers or those leading mixed teams of varying coding abilities Citizen Developers; Knowledge workers in a department or business unit
User Interface
Graphical, typically drag and drop UI. Option for working directly in code base of app or automation being built Graphical, typically drag and drop UI. Some services use a menu selection process to designate each step of the process
Cloud based storage, email, web, databases, and other data sources Cloud based storage, email, web, databases, and other data sources
Opportunity to quickly build an initial solution and then use tradional developer knowledge and abilities to adjust the code to make it more effective More immediate solution development identified by individuals close to the workflow or process plus avoids long development cycles
Some services may restrict connections to competitors products and services for integration into solution Some services may restrict connections to competitors products and services for integration into solution

As you can see, no-code is better for some solutions, and low-code is better for others. Carefully analyze your current and future needs before choosing either approach.

No-Code and Low-Code Use Cases

What do no-code and low-code applications look like in the real world? Here are some use cases for each software solution.

Common No-Code Use Cases

No-code applications often work well for front-end apps, including those that aggregate, import, and export business data from various sources to create reports and enable business analysis. No-code apps can automate many administrative tasks that would ordinarily require human labor. Having an end-user create these apps frees up time for IT staff, allowing them to work on more pressing projects.

No-code lends itself well to front-end apps that someone can quickly design through drag-and-drop interfaces. Good candidates are UI apps that pull data from various sources to create reports, analyze information, and import and export data.

Common Low-Code Use Cases

Low Code No Code Use Cases
Low-code development is excellent for automating the simpler aspects of software development while freeing up resources to allow development teams to focus on an app’s more complicated, highly customized elements. It also allows people with basic coding knowledge to create apps, but it won’t work for someone with zero programming skills.

Low code is ideal for more complicated, scalable applications. You can use low code to create apps that integrate with your current architecture and external APIs. With this in mind, there is a nearly endless number of use cases for low-code development, given its powerful customizability. Low-code development is increasingly more significant in application modernization efforts based on flexibility and efficiency.

Here’s a snapshot of the use case specifics:
Low Code Vs No Code

Are Low-Code and No-Code the Future of App Development?

No-code and low-code app development will never wholly replace traditional, high-code development. Still, they are poised to play a significant role in software development due to the current developer shortage and the drive to expedite and automate. According to Gartner, the market for no-code and low-code platforms is expected to reach $26.9 billion by the year’s end, more than 7 times the market value in 2017.

Net Solutions Can Help Guide Your Low-Code and No-Code Strategy

Low-code and no-code are robust automation solutions. They can cut down on a lot of work and save resources, but they come with risks! That’s why you’ll want to partner with expert developers who can help you avoid the pitfalls.

Net Solutions has been designing software applications for more than three decades, and we’ve helped many of our clients integrate no-code and low-code solutions when it serves their business needs.

We can help ensure that your no-code and low-code applications integrate with your architecture and work with any legacy systems you still contend with. We can also reduce data security risks and help you avoid other shadow IT issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 01

    What are the benefits of low code and no code development?

    Low-code and no-code development platforms provide plenty of benefits to the software industry. Although they will never replace traditional coding, since groundbreaking applications require a programmer’s expertise, they allow software teams to automate more mundane tasks. This reduces labor hours and frees up time for software developers to focus on more important things.

  • 02

    What are the challenges of low code no code development?

    Yet, there are challenges to using the two approaches. No-code development is limited in customizability, so it tends to be used for simpler applications. It can also run the risk of producing software with security issues, and it can be challenging to integrate into a business’s overall IT architecture. Low code has a broader range of applications, and seasoned IT professionals can customize it to reduce security risks and improve integration. In either case, it’s best to consult an expert to ensure your no-code and low-code software works with your system.

  • 03

    Is Python considered low-code?

    No, Python is not a low-code solution. It’s a full-fledged, high-level programming language used for general-purpose application development. Python focuses on code readability and relies heavily on indentation.

  • 04

    Is no-code better than low-code?

    No-code is not necessarily better than low-code development. It is a better solution for someone with no programming knowledge, but it’s limited in what it can accomplish. Low code offers a broader range of possibilities since seasoned programmers can customize the code.

Looking for Guidance with No-Code or Low-Code Software Development?

Our team of software development experts is always ready to help. Contact us!

Abhinav Sharma

About the Author

Designation: Business Analyst
Forte: Thorough Research in Requirements Analysis, Agile Methodologies, Mobile Apps and Software Development Life Cycle
Likes: Long walks by a lake and quality time with family
Dislikes: Poorly Researched Project Presentations and Notes
What is the Biggest Tech blunder committed: Offered Research-based solutions from a different Geo than the target market of the client
Claim to fame: Worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies
Wannabe: Ballet Dancer

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