“Agility” is commonly used in the digital landscape to signify an organization’s speed to adapt and respond to externalities.
Most organizations still rely on manual processes, siloed data points, and large DevOps teams to program code-heavy mobile applications. If you are one of these entities, staying abreast with the digital era would require a massive enterprise shift, which calls for a hefty investment of time and resources.
And, all of this, with no guarantee of desired results.
Scary, isn’t it?
To top it all off, the aftermath of the 2020 pandemic can further compound these challenges.
So, how can you keep up?
Many would say low code application development is the answer to your worry. Although, it does make the process of application development more streamlined and easy, but is it worth taking the risk?
Let’s find out.
What is low code application development?
Low code is an application development approach that requires little to negligible coding knowledge to build applications and processes. It is a type of development that enables the developer to develop more applications (of any complexity) in less time by using low code development platforms’ drag and drop capabilities.
Users with limited coding knowledge can use these techniques to build software for various purposes, like mobile and business applications.
Low code development helps businesses be more prompt and responsive and meet evolving needs of the market. For example, instead of traditional manually-coded computer programming, it offers a programming environment that uses a graphical user interface (GUI).
What are the features of low code application development platforms?
> GUI-based structural tools
Users can build more applications in less time using visual templates than developing apps using manual codes. For example, these platforms come packaged with graphical models or templates that make them easy to understand by everyone, from non-technical users to advanced software developers.
> Drag and drop interface
The drag and drop feature is available on any and every low code platform. It adds to the convenience of application development and supports both technical and non-technical users.
Security is the first aspect to be evaluated before choosing any application development framework. Therefore, you need to ensure that it has enough protection to secure the applications you’re creating, no matter how user-friendly the platform might seem.
Scalability is the core premise on which low code application development stands. The applications should accommodate more users as the businesses expand, from 20 to 20,000.
What are the benefits of low code application platforms?
A low code application development approach would yield evident results for businesses in very little time. Some of these benefits include:
1. Saves Time
Creating a custom application can take considerable time. But, low code application development platforms can considerably shorten the production time.
2. Restricted Access
Users can easily grant access to the code using a low code platform and monitor the same on broad and micro-level.
3. Less Cost
Low code development platforms are considerably cheap instead of manually coding each part of the application.
4. Easy Maintenance
Traditional applications maintenance and upgrading can take eons. For example, developers have to fix bugs manually and add new features. But, the low code application development approach has very few bugs to deal with because the modules on these platforms are pre-tested. Furthermore, developers can also add new features without any compatibility issues.
What are the limitations of low code application development platforms?
Having learned all the benefits of low code application development, why wouldn’t companies choose it?
Here are a few good reasons:
> Lock-in risk
Most low code application development platforms are designed to run in a particular cloud-based environment. For example, you can’t take the application created using Google App Maker, a Google’s offering, and move it to PowerApps, the Microsoft equivalent. However, technically it is possible but requires the whole application to be re-written. This is the lock-in that low code development puts you in.
It is not a limitation for some companies to use one cloud platform forever. But, if you are an organization that places priority on flexibility, lock-in can prove to be a major disadvantage of this approach.
> Relatively steel technical know-how
While it is true that these platforms make it possible for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to create an application, but that doesn’t mean that they can also write an application without any technical skill.
Users need basic technical knowledge to understand how to operate low code tools and some coding. Thus, before adopting any low code platform, ensure your employees have basic knowledge or can acquire them.
> Limited efficiency
Although low code application development platforms take lesser time to build applications, the results are rarely efficient. For example, if you want applications to run fast and consume minimal resources, you will have to write them yourself.
> Restricted functionality
In most cases of low code application development, the range of functionality that can be implemented is limited to the tool. Infact, there is no easy way to add custom code to an app built on the low code platform.
To sum up:
There’s a strong reason that contemporary SaaS vendors are all offering low code application development services in their solution offerings. It is undoubtedly a useful tool and goes just beyond an approach to building apps.
Having said this, low code development can still not completely replace the conventional application development methods because there are several areas where full control of the technology stack will help create efficient applications.
Moreover, the drawbacks of this approach should not be ignored. However, testing here plays a major role as low code application development can sometimes become challenging to navigate. It may also lack the capability to meet the needs of larger, much complex projects.
As someone being over the fence for choosing low code development as their approach to building applications, understanding both sides of this coin is paramount.
You can contact our experts to help you choose what is ideal for your business requirements and know more about the application development process.