With an increase of application usage, there is no doubt the demand for new software is accelerating. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), over 500 million applications will be deployed by 2023 – the same amount of software was developed over the last few decades. This fast-growing demand points out the need for software companies to rapidly build and deploy applications.
However, software development is a complex process: involving a complex host of key players and a lengthy period of criteria grooming, refinement, development, and verification. Low-code is a compelling tool that enables faster development by increasing the productivity of a developer’s environment to write software.
What is low-code development?
Low-Code development is a software development method that uses a graphical user interface to create applications. It allows users to build an application by dragging and dropping options and sections, rather than learning the complexity of programming to write code. The goal of Low-Code development is to provide an alternative to conventional programming languages like Java and C++, which are notoriously difficult for non-technical users to grasp in a reasonable amount of time.
Low-code platforms usually require little coding expertise to utilize. A junior developer or business user with little development experience can build a complex application using pre-built templates and other built-in features provided. Most importantly, low-code does not always require coding. Many applications or automated business processes can be integrated with data through low-code platforms without any coding.
“Low-code development is rapid application development or high-productivity development, with an option to use code or scripting. These tools can use a variety of approaches that both automate and abstract application development activities, such as drag-and-drop editors, code generation, component assembly, and model-driven and metadata-driven development” –Gartner
When to use low-code in your organization?
While low-code may appear to be an appealing solution to use in every development project, there are a few factors to consider when determining whether low-code development is a proper choice for your project. The first factor is the scope of the application. If it is a simple system that does not require integration with multiple external systems, or if an in-depth level of customization is not necessary, then low-code is a viable solution to utilize for the development process.
A popular example of a low-code platform for websites is WordPress, where an entire site can be designed via drag-and-drop components and each selected component contains the internal functionality for HTML and CSS code customization. However, if an enterprise solution requires advanced functionalities and complex integration capabilities that is not contained in the low-code platform components, then low-code will not be an appropriate approach. Many enterprise solutions require specific features that can only be achieved through coding languages therefore, using the low-code tools can hinder the development speed.
Low-code: The answer to everything?
Although low-code is a great way to build applications quickly, there are limits to how much one can do on these platforms. Low-code is not always a replacement for traditional software development and may not be the answer for every project. Low-code development offers benefits by reducing development time and cost through the uses of prebuilt tools and the simplicity of drags-and-drops to build an entire application with less focus on programming. Because of this, it does not provide the same level of complex customization and fine-grained control as traditional coding.
Low-code is a powerful development tool when used in the right circumstances. If your organization wants to improve agility, decrease costs, and increase productivity, low-code might be the answer for you. If you’re wondering if low-code may be appropriate for your needs in a given situation, contact Infinitive for advice.