Key differences between no-code and low-code development platforms

Sometimes, it gets really hard and confusing to distinguish no-code development platforms from low-codes. However, there are still some distinctive details that if explained thoroughly, can help to clear the confusion. Much of the confusion happens due to the fact that most of the differentiating characteristics are not apparent at the user interface level. This blog post intends to address this exact problem and discuss the main factors that differentiates low-codes from no-codes, and hopefully help you to know how you can best utilize each of them in your business. 

What is a low-code development platform? 

Low code development platforms are some kind of visual software development environments in which developers of all skill levels can design web or mobile apps by dragging and dropping blocks of existing code into a workflow. Below is a list of characteristics and capabilities that are mainly attributed to low-codes:

  • Low-code development platforms provide graphical user interfaces for programming; in doing so, developers can develop the code at very fast rates and eliminate the traditional programming efforts. 
  • Building a software with a low-code platform provides you with shortcuts, which is yet another key difference from building software in other ways. 
  • Low-code development platforms normally target professional developers and even though low-codes require developers to have some coding knowledge, it is not mandatory for them to be coding experts in order for them to use low-codes. Developers can create apps or automate business processes and integrate data without the use of any coding. Non-IT professionals with some programming skills can also use low-code development platforms to develop simple applications and be very productive. 
  • Low-code development platforms are mainly used by developers in order to create applications quickly, which saves much of their time and efforts and in turn enables them to use these resources on projects that require more time and are much more complicated. 
  • Low-codes can be used both to create applications to handle simple functions and to create applications that can run processes that are significant to a business’ core system such as certain integrations and digital transformation initiatives. 
  • The other difference is that in low-code platforms, users are able to come up with some alterations to how the system operates which is made possible by giving users the abilities to either change or add code, hence influencing the app’s operation. This implies that users must always keep an eye on the platform and check if it still functions every time there is an upgrade. 

What is a no-code development platform?

A no-code development platform on the other hand, uses a visual development interface to allow both programmers and non- programmers to create applications by dragging and dropping software apps to create a full application. Below is a list of characteristics and capabilities that are mainly attributed to no-codes:

  • Previous experience in coding is not required for users to be able to use no-code development platforms and applications can be built without having to write code. 
  • No-code development platforms are mainly marketed toward non-technical business users who have little or no experience with coding and programming skills who may not know the languages used in programming, but want to develop apps for a specific use case in a particular department.  
  • No-code development platforms allow non-technical users to easily create, test and deploy their business applications as long as these tools are capable of performing the desired actions. With a no-code development platform, businesses can be able to create the best and easiest user experiences for their customers, and the easier the UI is to understand, the better it is for the users. 
  • No-codes are mainly used to create applications to handle simple functions. 
  • No code platforms however, can only offer its users a single version at a given time. Unlike low-codes, there is no need for users to worry when the platform gets upgraded because it is a closed system. This therefore puts the users at ease as there is no need to start testing to check if the system still functions after an upgrade because upgrades are made available immediately.

Conclusion: Although the two development platforms can be confusing, the main difference is that low-code platforms somehow require developers to have some coding knowledge, as they are aimed at being able to create a very wide array of software solutions. To make sure the developer has the control they need, coding is still an important part of the development process. No-code platforms on the other hand, abstract away from all the technical details. While being applicable for only slightly fewer user-cases, this makes no-code platforms much easier and faster to use.

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