Article contributed by Dr Nitin Deepak, Associate Professor, Amrapali Institute of Technology & Sciences
Organisations desires to improve their automation capability and are having to find new ways of developing software for applications and websites. No code and low code platforms are the current disruptive technology industry trends that are set to greatly enhance this ability.
The demand for software far exceeds the supply of coders. No code development platforms are empowering the citizen developer to take innovation, software development and app development into their own hands as every business becomes a software business.
“The future of coding is no coding at all.” – Chris Wanstrath, CEO at GitHub.
What is no code?
A nocode development platform is a tool for building software applications without coding; a popular and promising alternative to traditional software development for non-technical business users hoping to build their own full-fledged applications.
A small business that lacks the budget to leasing a software developer or subcontract to a software development house, no code platforms move the power of innovation into the hands of your entire organisation.
No code & low code are not same
Common misconception that low code and no code are interchangeable terms, but they’re not.
No code platforms are for business people who have no coding knowledge. No code uses declarative programming, and is about what not how – you tell the system what you want, and build it.
Low code platforms can also be used by non-technical people, however at some point, a developer will be required to finish things off. Low code platforms or rapid application tools (like Codebots, for example) have pre-built functionality that enable users to build their application to a certain point, before calling in a developer to then code or customise the remainder. Developers tell the platform how they want to use the components.
Pros and Cons of no code development
As far as the name “no code” is tempting enough for software development since it is easy to use and allows non-programmers to boost the apps or workflows automation. Let us delve deeper and ponder with few pros and cons of the same.
Drag-and-drop interfaces, visual and pre-built modules mean building apps a lot faster. Testing is generally automated which further cuts down on development time.
Rather choosing expensive development no code solutions is the best way to bypass the overheads, you can build apps faster and cheaper in the long run.
Since apps can be built at a much faster pace, IT staff aren’t overloaded with requests from every other department, and there are fewer people waiting for work to be done.
Manual coding needs a reasonable time to change a functionality. But with no code changing, you simply implement the new fresh logic and have your modifications is just the matter of hours.
As we know every coin as has two faces, so let’s flip the coin and see some cons of no code.
Clear understanding of their requirements is must:
As none of the two no code platforms and nor their respective limitations, are same, any user must first fix whether their requirements fit within the constraints of a particular tool. In-fact, these requirements will certainly change over time, and so the risk of these deviating from the evolving capabilities of the platform is always present.
Inflexible templates limit us:
Once it derives to building out theunlike features of an application, no code development platforms provide various templates and components that can be configured to meet a set of use cases.However, the moment you encounter about theunavoidable edge case required by your app, suddenlynoticing that you don’t have the building blocks out-of-the-box to implement that specific piece of business logic required. Then not only your focus quickly shift from the original case in these situations, but you’ll also be forced to resort to complex and often costly workarounds.
Security issues arise due to lack of control:
Contrasting custom development, control over your application is something that will always be sacrificed when boarding on the no code track. You do not have control or say over your technology stack is one thing, but not knowing your app inside and out can lead to a number of risks in itself around security and reliability.
Owning a source code:
Now when you want to move on to other technology or to change the platform then you are bound to quickly run into the issue of vendor lock-in.
What is no code development best suited for?
No code development platforms are best suited to trades that require simple, out-of-the-box solutions with nominal customisation. Often this spread on to internal systems rather than customer facing software.
Some no code development platforms
There is plethora of no code development platforms on the market, with new challenges and competitors entering the space in routine. Following are some of the top rated no code platforms currently available:
Airtable is a cloud collaboration service consisting of a spreadsheet-database hybrid, with the features of a database applied to a spreadsheet. It is a collaborative organisation tool, integrates with other apps and lets you plug in to your website.
Appsheet is a no code app building platform that allows you to quickly build apps to collect or connect to data. It is a no code development platform for application software which allows users to create mobile, tablet and web applications using data sources like Google Drive, Dropbox, Office365 and other cloud-based spreadsheet and database platforms.
Bubble is a popular visual programming language and application platform as a service that enables non-technical people to build web-applications without needing to code, through a point-and-click programming tool.
Adalo is a no-code platform for building powerful web and mobile apps, that can include payments, notifications, and more. Publish to the App Store, Google Play and the web!
Nintex Process Platform
Nintex is a workflow automation solution. You can visually plan, map and manage your business processes with tools that help you manage, automate and transform your business.
Microsoft Power Apps
Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platforms that provide a rapid application development environment for building custom apps.
Webflow is an excellent tool that combines powerful CMS features with those of the more classic website builders – offering a wide range of possibilities.
With all pros and cons with no code or low code, the no code is the future of software development. It is better to be in the trend for better understanding of grabbing technologies.