Low-Code VS No-Code: When to Use What and How it Affects your App Development

Businesses need apps. More functional, cross-platform, and immensely powerful applications. 

You could follow a step by step mobile app guide for that. 

But developing such apps would require a lot of coding. Which, in turn, takes a lot of time and several experts. 

However, the need of the hour is agility and a quick app development process. 

This is when low-code no-code platforms come into the picture. Such platforms help businesses get apps built with little or no use of code. (Pretty much evident from the name itself, right?)

This saves time and opens up the world of app development to those with limited coding know-how. 

While low-code and no-code platforms sound almost similar, they are different. The way

they can be used, and the extent of their usability varies significantly. 

Businesses should pick between these two platforms depending on their specific needs and situations. 

To make the choice easier for you, I have discussed both these concepts separately and compared them. Further, you can find the ideal use cases for low-code and no-code solutions.

Let’s get going…

What is Low-Code Development?

Imagine you have to build a house. Now, how easy would it have been if you could select different fully furnished rooms and drag and drop where you want them. And then make customizations if you feel the need.

Such a situation is not possible in the construction industry (yet!). But in the IT sector, low-code platforms help you do just that. You have a set of code blocks, and you can drag and drop them to create a fully-functional app in no time. 

Low-code development platforms eliminate the need for researching, writing, and testing new code strips. And this is done by offering code blocks for specific functionalities. 

The only code that you will ever have to write yourself is if you want to add functionalities specific to your business needs. Or for customization of existing code blocks. 

And these platforms can be used for things other than application development too. Like for example, IT process development. 

Some of the common features of low-code platforms include –

  • Direct integration;
  • Low-code API accessibility;
  • Testing or prototyping facilities;
  • Drag-and-drop option. 
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Some platforms also offer monitoring and streamlining tools and resource management. 

Advantages of Low-Code Development

If you choose to go the low-code development way, you will get the following advantages –

  • Quick mover advantage 

Businesses can make use of market opportunities by launching apps quickly. There is no need to spend months in the app development cycle. This is important to bank on market trends at the right time, before competitors.

  • Reduced Costs

Hiring too many specialists and experts for application development costs businesses a lot of money. And longer app development timelines also mean more resources have to be deployed towards it. With low-code solutions, timelines are cut short. And only a limited number of programmers and app developers (in some cases just one) suffice. 

  • Effective Risk Management

Changes in government regulations, fluctuation in market conditions, and even changes in the target audience temperaments require businesses to make quick changes to their apps. With regular app development cycles, such changes require a lot of time. Low-code platforms let businesses modify their applications in time and effectively mitigate risks.  

Bug fixes and performance enhancement updates can also be rolled out faster. And without app downtime.

  • Easier Customization

Low-code app development platforms offer scope for adding customizations. This is possible both by adding a few lines of code to the existing code blocks or by adding new code blocks. 

The Downside to Low-Code Development

Just like about everything else, low-code development is not sans shortcomings. The most prominent (probably the only) downside to using low-code development tools is that they are tough to master. 

These platforms have multiple features and functionalities that make for a steep learning curve. 

The only way to be able to make the best use of such platforms is to either spend time learning to use them. Or hire experts who have a hang of such platforms.

How is No-Code Development    Different?

Just like low-code app development, no-code development also aims to offer speed and cost efficiency in the app development process. 

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And they move one step ahead of low-code development platforms by eliminating any need for coding. However, this means that you have no scope for customization with no-code development

Thus, it can be used only for generic apps. And applications that are required for limited or internal use cases. 

Shadow IT – The Ultimate No-Code Disadvantage

The ultimate disadvantage of no-code platforms is that they let everyone build apps. And this results in the problem of shadow IT. Whereby applications are developed without supervision or consideration. 

In such cases, the resulting applications are laced with security, privacy, and even compliance concerns. Such apps are likely to face technical issues and integration hassles later. And will inevitably use more resources than necessary.

Thus, it is important that expert opinion be taken. And comprehensive analysis and planning be done before using no-code mobile application development platforms.

Low Code vs No Code – Which is Perfect for When?

There is no single answer to the low-code vs no-code battle. Both aim towards speed and cost reduction. And both have specific use cases. 

Low-code Vs no-code

Here is an example that can help you better understand the difference between the two platforms. 

Suppose you want to add specific functionality in your mobile application such that depending on the value that the user enters, a particular action occurs. 

With no-code development, you just have to add the relevant code block where it needs to be.

But, what if you wish to add three conditions instead of two? Or what if you want to change how the app reacts depending on the two conditions? 

No-code platforms offer no such option. However, with low-code platforms, you can customize how the code works. And you can also add more conditions. 

Now, it is clear the while no-code solutions are easier, they are also restrictive. They are an in-house alternative to off-the-shelf solutions. However, they also bring in tow their disadvantages like no scope for customization. And almost no scope for offering something other than a generic solution.

For non-IT professionals who need a simple app that performs a basic job, no-code platforms are perfect. It is suitable where the needs of a single department or business need to be met.

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However, if you are looking for customization options and something more than just the simplest app, low-code mobile app development is a better bet. 

With low-code tools and platforms, IT professionals can save themselves from having to write multiple lines of code. And yet, get the liberty to customize the application. 

Also, with low-code app development, there is still a need for experts and a little coding. This ensures higher application safety and stability. 

The only situation when low-code app development is not a suitable proposition is when you want to develop a highly sophisticated, mission-critical application. And that application requires integration with multiple backends or data sources. In such situations, it is best that you go pro code and hire a team of experts.

In all other cases, low-code is the best way to go. And it is often a more professional and result-oriented alternative to no-code app development.

The Future of Low-code vs. No-Code Debate

Predictions suggest that by 2025, the low-code market will reach the $45.5 billion mark. That’s with a compound annual growth rate of 28.1% between 2020 and 2025. But that doesn’t mean no-code solutions will be thrown out of the market. Both the solutions are evolving at a rapid pace. And if no-code can somehow get past its limitations, there is a possibility that it will become the market leader. 

Before You Go…

No matter what code development tools you deploy, having the right experts on board is important. At Sphinx Solution, we have a team of various experts who can build fun, functional, fast, and agile applications for your business. Whether you are looking for native apps for Android or iOS or a hybrid application, we can come to your aid. We can also develop applications for wearables. 

Whether your pick from low-code or no-code options or decide to go pro code with a traditional app development process, Sphinx has the most suitable solutions for you. 

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