Application development platforms that enable rapid application delivery with minimal hand-coding and quick setup and deployment.
–Forrester Research defining low-code development platforms
Low-code development enables the development of applications with less human effort by using pre-built codes set up with visual design tools—like drag-and-drop modelers and point-and-click interface creation. This enables rapid development, deployment, and agility in the case of business apps. Not just faster development, low-code development ensures fewer errors as opposed to traditional coding.
The Need for Low-Coding
Before Low-Coding, developers had to spend ardors hours creating reams and reams of codes. This made the software development process slower. In the wake of greater demand for software by companies, the need of the hour was quick app development.
This is how low-coding platforms came into existence in 2011, making development processes faster. These platforms developed codes in a way that made their re-usability a possibility and also modularized them in a visual way. This helped developers to cut down their development time and made code-reusability widely popular.
More importantly, reusing codes reduced the chances of human errors, which meant less effort required on the debugging end.
Until 2014, these platforms weren’t named or anything. In 2014, Forrester came up with the term ‘low-code’ going by the platform's taste to use the least amount of codes for software development.
Today, low-cost app development platforms are mushrooming.
Two Objectives of Low-Code Development
There are two basic objectives of Low-code development. One is faster development, and the second is to get more involved in development.
The use of low-code development, platforms were meant for experienced developers to speed up their development process. The use of visual syntaxes, drag-and-drop modules and other methods are used for the process. These shortcuts accelerate productivity and cut down human errors and debugging time.
Drawing Non-coders towards Development
With coding becoming easy-peasy, even non-coders are drawn towards development. Leveraging visual flow-charts and modules, people with little technical background, known as citizen developers, have started developing applications without little technical knowledge. Sure enough, for complex apps, you need experienced developers, but citizen developers could build basics apps independently.
So, think of the objective behind adopting low-code development? Is it for your developers to speed up their development work or for a broader base of employees, even the non-technical staff, who will be interested in using it to to develop simple apps.
Advantages of Low-code development for businesses
Wondering why businesses are so much interested in low-code development? Or is the trend just a flash in the pan, or are there some real benefits in using low-code?
Code changes could be quickly made throughout the development cycle.
You only need developers on call to make small fixes.
#3. Increased Productivity
The low-code platform doubles the productivity of a single developer
#7. Increased Safety
Being a tried and tested platform, users could trust the safety aspects of this platform.
#8. Focus on Strategic work
When users can make their business apps, businesses could focus on strategic work.
Most important Features Of low-code platform
#1. Drag & Drop Configuration
This feature is considered to be the ultimate feature of the low-code platform. The configuration comes in the form of visual modules with pre-coded components and modules, which is quite necessary for low-code platforms.
#2. Adequate Security and Compliance Certifications
When you are dealing with sensitive data, it’s important to keep it secure from hackers. So, the platform you use to build apps must be secure. The low-code platforms offer adequate security and compliance certifications, which makes it worthwhile.
You should build an app in a way that it could be accessible on every other device you are using. In other words, cross-functionality is an important component for an app as every user won’t be having the same device.
The company could grow in size and numbers in no time and the number of users. That’s why scalability is important for an app. Low-code platforms offer scalability according to specific needs and within the specified budget and without coercing you into buying a package that you don’t need.
Should your business opt for Low-cost Development?
Large enterprises and seasoned developers mainly use Low-code platforms because they help developers of such organizations accelerate their development processes.
And as compared to the benefits, it offers the cost is quite manageable.
Some enterprises use low-code to get more people on board in app creation. But such a thing seldom happens.
Some companies do leverage verified low-cost platforms to develop long-tail apps, which the IT team may take some time to get around for development.
Is a Low-Cost Development Ideal for SMEs?
It depends. Developing a custom app is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially for SMEs working on tight-budget. So investing in low-cost development may not make sense for SMEs until the app revolves around their core business.
Nevertheless, opting for a medium-priced development tool has its advantages. Let’s say a company with 50 people with just 1 or 2 IT guys. In case the company expands, and instead of hiring yet another developer, they could use low-cost development, which would result in the same amount or more productivity than roping in an additional developer.
Likewise, if the company is contemplating on making internal apps, even in that case, using Low code development by various department heads to make apps would be far more economical than making additions to the IT team.
Low-cost development is here. And it’s a sure-fire way to reduce app development cost for large enterprises flooded with development jobs. However, if you are still a startup that believes in cautious investment of money, with a self-sufficient IT department, then low-cost development may not be for you right now.