The IT sector employs numerous tools to harness the benefits of technology more effectively. Among these tools are low-code and no-code platforms. Thanks to these platforms, you can expedite the development and design of websites and web applications without the need for programming language expertise. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to acquaint yourself with these tools, understand their functionalities, and recognize their role in supporting designers and developers. In the following blog text, we aim to elucidate these aspects, and we invite you to read on.
What Threatens Programmers?
Any tool that minimizes the use of code is generally termed “low-code,” while activities that predominantly exclude coding are referred to as “no-code.” The popularity of no-code and low-code platforms for application development, often with only minimal input from programmers, is on the rise. Predictions are clear: platforms of this nature represent the future of software development. In 2017, they accounted for a market share of $4.32 billion, which surged to an impressive $27.23 billion by 2022. The market is projected to grow at a dynamic Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 44.49%. This raises the question: should developers have any reason to worry? Why do no-code and low-code platforms continue to gain traction? It is estimated that by the end of the current year (2023), more than 500 million applications will be created. This figure encompasses not only the next TikTok but also simpler applications such as calendars or task organization tools. There is no denying that this is an impressive result.
No-Code and Low-Code: What Do You Need to Know About Them?
The demand for applications is driven by various factors, including global trends. The global situation has compelled many companies to accelerate their digital transformation significantly. Tasks and projects originally planned for several years or more had to be completed much earlier. Furthermore, globalization is advancing, causing companies entering the digital realm to compete not only with local or national competitors but also to face challenges in employee recruitment. When a company already has a team of programmers, there is often insufficient capacity to create useful yet seemingly less significant applications for staff. This is where so-called low-code solutions come into play.
No-Code: What Should You Know?
No-code platforms utilize wizards and appropriate software solutions to simplify the creation of functional and valuable applications. Creating a solution from an editing template is much easier. Often, projects can be created through a simple drag-and-drop process. Typically, no-code solutions do not necessitate knowledge of any programming language. No-code enables teams without programming expertise to create software, usually for internal use. It encompasses a range of tangible benefits that are characteristic of low-code solutions.
Low-Code: What’s Worth Knowing Here?
Low-code platforms primarily employ a modular approach to software development. Here, blocks of code are used to construct applications, websites, or specific functionalities. This approach can significantly streamline and expedite software development. Low-code typically requires only basic knowledge of a programming language, making it accessible to junior developers or technology enthusiasts who have created websites in their spare time. Examples of low-code platforms include Microsoft Power Apps, Mendix.com, Kissflow.com, Zoho Creator, and Appian.com.
The Main Limitations of Developing Software Without a Programmer
While the aforementioned platforms offer significant advantages, they also have limitations. These limitations are what concern developers and clients alike.
Shortcomings of Low-Code and No-Code Tools:
- Limited Number of Integrations: It’s appealing to connect other third-party tools to your application. However, this becomes problematic when there are no corresponding plug-ins in the integration library. In such cases, you may find yourself having to create the integration on your own, which is unlikely to be accomplished by someone from Human Resources or Public Relations. Thus, the involvement of a programmer becomes necessary once again.
- Limited Personalization: Low-code platforms tend to impose specific action patterns and workflows. If you desire something different or find that these foundational structures do not align with your needs, it’s essential to temper your expectations. Some features may not be available, and the level of customization may fall short of your preferences.
- Potential Security Risks: This primarily pertains to application control. While you can manipulate the frontend and often adjust the user interface, controlling the data or backend is a different matter. Most platforms operate on a SaaS model with subscription fees. This implies that you may not gain access to all data and tools, as providing unfettered access could jeopardize the subscription model. It’s analogous to a streaming platform where you can watch videos but won’t find a “Download and Save to Drive” button. In summary, if you don’t have control over something, you can’t assert complete authority over security. In this regard, you must rely on the provider, which can present challenges and dissuade many business owners from collaboration. It’s regrettable.
Authoring applications isn’t solely about programming; platforms simplify and expedite the creation process. However, it’s crucial to remember that application development involves not only coding but also extensive planning, testing, implementing UI/UX elements, and more. If you value creating a unique application and ensuring that your competitors won’t have a similar solution, no-code/low-code platforms may not be the most appealing option for you. Keep this in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises or disappointments.
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