What is no-code development?
No code is software that allows users to develop an app without programming skills. It works with a graphical user interface rather than traditional source code. The downside is that it’s less flexible than handwritten code.
- What’s the definition of no code?
- What’s the difference between no code and low code?
- What are the advantages of no code?
- What are the disadvantages of no code?
- What are some recommended no-code platforms?
What’s the definition of no code?¶
Normally, most of the software development process happens using code. That is, specialized developers program what’s needed for the application and then pass it on. No code follows a different approach: A graphical interface is used for developing the app, and writing code is no longer necessary. These changes are meant to simplify and speed up the process.
No code also lets laypeople develop software themselves without needing to learn a programming language. No-code platforms provide graphic user interfaces that work much like website builders. Users select the pieces they need for their task and then put them together using drag and drop.
There are a number of different no-code platforms that differ in terms of their features, possible uses and sometimes also specializations. While some tools merely serve to simplify processes within a company and make it possible for untrained employees to take on IT tasks, other platforms do much more. For example, more extensive platforms might enable you to create more complex apps, which you otherwise would have needed a specialist (and a lot of time and money) for. The functionality of a project that’s made with no code can be checked and tested at any time, making the risk of an error-ridden app relatively low.
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What’s the difference between no code and low code?¶
The idea of no -code platforms is closely related to low-code platforms. There are some things that the two platforms have in common. Low code also provides visual tools that make for a more user-friendly experience than pure coding. But there are also some very clear differences between low code and no code. Three of the major differences between the two platforms are their target groups, their design and their interfaces. Let’s look at these more closely.
Low code and no code are targeted at different users, which becomes clear when you look at the tools provided. Low code simplifies the work of developers and is mostly aimed at that group. You need to be proficient in a programming language in order to benefit from a low-code platform. In contrast, no code is accessible for end users. It’s not necessary to have knowledge of programming paradigms or have your own code editor.
Design and structure¶
The core designs of low-code and no-code platforms are significantly different. In the case of no code, you’ll use a visual app builder to put together the different building blocks of your app. Low code, on the other hand, requires extensive knowledge of programming and just simplifies certain steps in the programming process using visual tools. The architecture still has to be created using manual code.
The user interface of a no-code platform is usually preset and not customizable. In contrast, users that opt for low-code solutions have more freedom and can customize their UI using manual code.
What are the advantages of no code?¶
If you’re considering whether no code is the right solution for you, you should take a look at the advantages of no-code development. Here are just a few examples:
No-code development is extremely user friendly. Even laypeople can use no-code platforms, with a very low learning curve. This enables you to intuitively create a website or simple app without a lot of background knowledge. You also don’t have to worry about principles like clean code and legacy code. This means that development doesn’t take very long, and your app will be available sooner.
Which brings us to the second benefit of no code: savings. No-code projects require significantly less time and resources. Without a lot of training, you can achieve satisfying results in a very short time. Additionally, in using a no-code platform, you can opt not to work with developers, who would otherwise charge you rates that reflect their experience and expertise. No-code platforms sometimes offer free demos as well.
Thanks to their preset architecture, no code is less susceptible to errors. The individual building blocks that you add to your app using drag and drop interact with each other very smoothly. And because the prototypes have already been extensively tested, you can avoid any nasty surprises down the line.
Flexibility within the system¶
Apps created with no code can also be changed and expanded on later, without having to change the entire structure of the app. So your project can safely grow in its needs.
What are the disadvantages of no code?¶
Of course, nothing is perfect, and no-code development also comes with some disadvantages. Below are some examples:
As explained above, you can usually make changes to your app in no code. However, these changes can only be made in the same platform that you used to make the app. If that platform doesn’t offer a certain feature, you’ll usually have to do without it.
Integrating no-code projects with more complex systems is not always possible either. There’s a very particular set of circumstances in which no code can be useful—that is, when you really just need the basics. If you need to individualize your software at all, you’ll quickly come up against the limits of no-code development.
Hard to move¶
Your no-code software will also be closely bound to the platform you used to create it. Most platforms don’t allow you access to the source code, meaning that it’s hard to separate your project from the platform and integrate it into another system. If you’ve created an app with a no-code solution, expect it to be complicated and even disadvantageous to switch platforms.
What are some recommended no-code platforms?¶
There are a number of different no-code platforms out there. Some of the most well-known ones include:
- AppSheet: AppSheet enables you to create apps for automation and uses Google AI and geolocation.
- Bubble: A cloud-based, no-code platform for websites and web apps.
- Caspio: A no-code platform for database apps and other apps.
- Kissflow: A platform for project and process management that’s used by companies worldwide to optimize workflows.
- Landbot: A no-code builder for creating your own chatbot.