It is undeniable that the world is constantly evolving, and we have made significant progress in keeping pace with these changes.
Today, low-code platforms have revolutionized the way businesses build and deploy software.
These platforms provide a visual, drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create custom applications without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
This insider's guide to low-code platforms is a comprehensive resource that provides tips and tricks for using these platforms to their full potential.
This guide covers everything from selecting the right platform for your needs, creating and deploying custom applications, and optimizing your workflow for maximum efficiency.
Whether you're a seasoned developer, a recruiter, or someone who is just getting started with low code, this guide will help you become an expert in no time.
Keep reading to learn all about low-code platforms!
Low-code platforms: A glimpse
A low-code development platform (LCDP) is a software tool that allows users to create application programs through a graphical user interface.
These platforms can generate fully functional applications or may require additional coding for specific requirements.
The main advantage of LCDPs is that they can significantly reduce the time and cost of developing business applications.
Low-code platforms enable a more comprehensive range of people to participate in the development process, not just those with coding skills, but also require proper governance to adhere to regulations.
The origins of low-code development platforms can be traced back to fourth-generation programming languages and rapid application development tools from the 1990s and early 2000s.
Like these predecessors, low-code platforms use model-driven design, automatic code generation, and visual programming.
The concept of end-user development existed before, but LCDPs have brought new approaches to this development.
The low-code development platform market was first introduced in 2011, and the term "low-code" was first used in 2014 by industry analyst Forrester Research.
Along with no-code development platforms, low-code is considered to be "extraordinarily disruptive" in the tech industry, as stated in Forbes magazine in 2017.
Why are low-code platforms becoming increasingly popular?
Due to the advancement of microcomputers, many businesses have integrated computer systems throughout their workplaces, which in turn—allows for automating various business processes using the software.
As a result, software developers are faced with the challenge of creating large numbers of custom-made applications that cater to each organization's specific requirements.
To tackle this problem, low-code development platforms have been created to provide an efficient means of developing and implementing working applications that—suit the organization's specific needs in terms of processes and data.
Low-code platforms allow IT teams to efficiently create new processes and develop applications without the need for extensive coding, research, or testing.
These platforms also eliminate the requirement for specialized knowledge in every technology or tool used in the processes, as the code is abstracted away.
By choosing the appropriate low-code tool, any IT team member can develop dependable, cross-platform business processes and speed up the delivery of applications.
Low-code platforms Vs. Traditional software development methods
Low-code platforms take a different approach to traditional software development by using visual development methods rather than coding.
This approach allows developers of all skill levels to create web and mobile applications using drag-and-drop components, model-driven logic, and a user-friendly interface.
Additionally, low-code platforms automate a significant portion of the software delivery process, allowing developers to focus on providing actual business value.
This includes pre-built continuous integration and delivery and one-click environments.
- Low-code development: Creating software with a visually appealing and user-friendly interface and the ability to drag and drop various components.
- Traditional software development: Creating highly personalized software solutions through the implementation of manual coding and various programming languages.
Low-code platforms offer advantages for both non-technical developers and professional programmers.
Non-technical developers can create apps quickly and easily without the need to write code.
In contrast, professional developers benefit from the platform's automated, cloud-hosted infrastructure and third-party management.
This allows for faster development and deployment of solutions for various use cases.
Additionally, low-code application development allows for creating any type of app for virtually any type of use case.
Low-code platforms Vs. No-code platforms
Low-code and no-code development platforms both offer the advantage of allowing users to quickly and easily create applications without needing extensive programming knowledge.
However, the key difference between the two lies in the level of coding required.
Low-code development platforms require some level of coding, while no-code platforms are designed for nontechnical users with little or no coding experience.
Professional developers and programmers often use low-code development to deliver applications quickly.
At the same time, non-IT professionals with some programming knowledge also use low-code tools to create simple apps or expanded functions within an app.
On the other hand, no-code development is typically used by nontechnical business users to easily and quickly build, test, and deploy business apps.
No-code platforms are usually used for creating tactical apps to handle simple functions.
In contrast, low-code platforms can create apps that run processes critical to a business or an organization's core systems, such as specific integrations and digital transformation initiatives.
Note: It's important to note that the line between no-code and low-code is not always clear, and many technology product analysts consider no-code to be a specialized type of low-code cloud platform.
Benefits of low-code platforms
Implementing low-code quickly yields observable results for the business.
Listed below are some of the most significant benefits of using a low-code development platform:
1. Quicker Time to Market
The process of building a custom app or a smartphone app is time-consuming and dynamic. On the other hand, low-code platforms greatly reduce production time.
2. Access Control
Business users can easily grant access to their programs by using a low-code platform. It is possible to monitor who has access to the application at both a broad and micro level.
By designating users as administrators, co-owners, or end-users, the application creator can control access to the application.
3. Less Cost
The traditional way of making software is to manually code every part of it, which is time-consuming, costly, and difficult.
Alternatively, low-code platforms enable developers to develop more applications in less time, lowering costs.
Democratization and power are the perfect combinations when it comes to low-code systems.
In order to grow your company's technological capabilities, you need to consider low-code platforms seriously.
4. API Integration
Using a low-code platform, users can quickly build applications using a graphical interface and drag-and-drop functionality.
In addition to accelerating application development processes and making it easier to add new features to applications, the low-code platform integrates seamlessly with different APIs.
Features of low-code platforms
Let us now look at some features of low-code platforms:
1. Visual Modeling Tools
Developing apps with visual approaches and templates takes less time than developing apps with code.
Using visual modeling features, low-code systems reflect the details in a way that anyone can understand—whether they are non-technical enterprise users or advanced developers.
2. Out-of-the-Box Functionality
Low-code platforms provide OOTB (out-of-the-box) software, eliminating the need to develop key components for applications from scratch.
Systems with low code, such as service management or sales process management, can provide data storage or customer-facing application components.
3. Drag-and-Drop Interface
There are many well-known low-code platforms that support drag-and-drop functionality.
In addition to facilitating the production process, it is also one of the most critical and valuable features.
It is convenient for both citizen developers and technical developers to use drag-and-drop tools while developing apps.
No matter how usable or user-friendly a low-code tool is, it isn't sufficient if it isn't safe.
To ensure your low-code development framework is secure, make sure it has enough security protection to protect the applications you create and the platform itself.
In order to achieve low-code systems, scalability is essential.
As your company grows, it should be able to create applications that can handle a rise in users.
Different types of low-code platforms
There are 5 main types of low-code development platforms:
1. Business Process Applications
Platforms such as these enable organizations to build enterprise-grade business apps for daily operations.
Automation of repetitive tasks, streamlining approval workflows, and enhancing operational efficiency are the main goals of these apps.
2. Customer Engagement Applications
By leveraging these platforms, companies can quickly address and manage a wide range of customer issues related to omnichannel service.
Customers can be acquired, retained, engaged, and managed using apps built for customer acquisition, retention, engagement, and management.
3. Legacy Modernization Applications
By utilizing these platforms, outdated legacy systems are modernized, digitized, or extensively revamped.
An organization's digital growth is slowed by the disadvantages of a legacy system. Using low-code platforms, businesses can build modern, flexible, and highly-customizable apps.
4. Collaboration and Communication Applications
Platforms such as these allow teams to collaborate seamlessly and communicate between themselves and with outside partners.
Using a single console, employees can share content, assign tasks, and accelerate approvals.
The applications enable easy data flow, boost team productivity, and build a collaborative culture.
5. Database Applications
Businesses can use these platforms to upload, retrieve, and manage large amounts of data.
Multi-departmental and multi-branch organizations are constantly dealing with fragmented data.
Database applications can be easily built with low-code platforms to centrally collect and streamline data without consuming a lot of time.
Key factors to consider when choosing a low-code platform
When choosing a low-code platform, there are several key factors to consider to ensure it meets your organization's specific needs and requirements:
Look for a platform that is intuitive and easy to use for both developers and non-developers, as it will make it easier for cross-functional teams to work together.
2. Flexibility and scalability
Choose a platform that can adapt to your organization's evolving needs and can scale up or down as required.
3. Integration capabilities
Consider a platform that can integrate with your existing tools and frameworks, to ensure seamless collaboration and streamlined workflows.
Look for a platform that offers robust security features to protect your data and applications.
5. Support and resources
Choose a platform that offers comprehensive support and resources to help you get started and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
Compare the costs of different platforms and consider if they fit your budget before making a decision.
Consider a platform that offers customization options, such as allowing you to create unique UIs and workflows, as this will enable your organization to create unique and tailored solutions.
8. Mobile and web-based capabilities
Look for a platform that offers mobile and web-based capabilities as it will allow you to create applications that can be accessed from any device, anywhere, and at any time.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that the low-code platform you choose will meet your organization's specific needs and requirements, and help you achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively.
Some low-code platform tips and tricks!
Are you wondering—how to get the most out of low-code platforms?
Well then, fret not!
By following these tips and tricks, you can maximize the potential of low-code platforms and achieve your goals more efficiently:
1. Start with a clear understanding of your business needs
Before diving into a low-code platform, you must clearly understand what you need to achieve and your specific requirements.
This will ensure that you choose the right platform and make the most of its capabilities.
2. Utilize pre-built templates and components
Many low-code platforms have pre-built templates and components that save you time and effort.
Utilize these to create and deploy applications quickly.
3. Learn the platform's language
Each low-code forum has its own set of terminology and language.
Take the time to learn this language, as it will make it easier to navigate the platform and make the most of its features.
4. Take advantage of community resources
Many low-code platforms have active communities where users can share knowledge, tips and tricks, and best practices.
Utilize these resources to learn from others and gain insights into making the most of the platform.
5. Test and iterate
Low-code platforms allow you to create and deploy applications quickly, but it's important to test them thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments.
Iterate on your application until it meets your requirements and provides the desired results.
6. Train your team
If you want to make the most of a low-code platform, it's essential to train your team on how to use it.
This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and can effectively collaborate to achieve your goals.
7. Automate repetitive tasks
Low-code platforms can automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and validation, to reduce errors and save time.
Identify such tasks and automate them to improve efficiency.
8. Consider the platform's capabilities for scalability
Look for a platform that offers scalability options that can adapt to your organization's growth in the future.
Common pitfalls to avoid while using low-code platforms
When considering a low-code platform for building full-stack applications, it is vital to look for features that facilitate external integration of data and services.
Look for out-of-the-box integrations and the ability to create custom integrations that can be reused across apps.
Additionally, choosing a platform that supports open-source technologies allows for an open and extensible approach to application delivery, avoiding vendor lock-in.
It is crucial for enterprises to thoroughly evaluate the features of a low-code platform to determine which ones will best meet their needs.
Features such as visual development with drag and drop, collaborative development, and support for APIs are essential considerations.
It is also important to choose a platform that allows for easy creation, publication, and discovery of APIs.
Furthermore, look for solutions that offer rapid and continuous provisioning, deployment, instant scalability, and efficient resource utilization without hidden costs.
When building applications that need to work on multiple mobile devices, it is important to choose a platform that offers cross-platform app development—which allows for creating applications using a single code base that can adapt to any native platform or operating system.
Maintenance, security, and support are crucial factors when investing in a low-code app development platform.
The platform should offer maintainability by following design patterns, being well-organized, using standard naming conventions, and generating documentation to aid in maintenance.
Moreover, the platform should provide flexible authentication and authorization mechanisms to secure users and tasks within the application and easy integration with popular identity management systems.
Adequate support and meeting SLAs are also essential before investing in a low-code platform.
Top 10 popular low-code platforms of 2023
Here is a list of the top 10 low-code development platforms:
- Zoho Creator
- Alpha Anywhere
- Microsoft PowerApps
Low-code platforms: What does the future hold?
To ensure success in the future—low-code platforms must facilitate seamless collaboration between professional developers and non-developers.
These tools should provide easy and secure ways for developers to access and modify code while also being able to integrate with existing frameworks and tools that developers already use in their workflow.
This is particularly important in today's fast-paced development and delivery environments, such as Agile and DevOps, which rely heavily on the collaboration and coordination of cross-functional teams.
Therefore, low-code platforms must be flexible and adaptable to these methodologies in order to avoid obstructions and limitations that could impede progress.
Low-code platforms may struggle to remain competitive in the market if they fail to meet these requirements.
Nevertheless, the future of low-code platforms looks promising as the need for more efficient and cost-effective software development continues to rise.
As businesses and organizations strive to meet the demands of digital transformation, low-code platforms offer a solution that allows for faster development and deployment of applications without the need for extensive programming knowledge.
In the future, we can expect low-code platforms to become even more user-friendly, intuitive, and versatile!
In conclusion, low-code platforms have revolutionized how businesses build and deploy software.
These platforms offer a wide range of benefits, including faster development times, reduced costs, and improved collaboration among team members.
However, it's important to remember that these platforms are not a one-size-fits-all solution and may not be suitable for all types of projects.
By following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, businesses can ensure that they are making the most of their low-code platform investment and delivering high-quality software to their customers.
We hope that you found this guide useful and informative!
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