For a few years now, software development has become something not exclusive to software developers. The revolution of the no-code movement allows people of all demographics to develop whatever they imagine without writing a single line of code.
This is a logical revolution because even children nowadays learn to use WordPress, Excel spreadsheets, and some other software programming in school.
Moreover, learning to use these software programs is valued and sometimes highly demanded by organizations worldwide.
No-code is a software approach requiring only a few programming skills (if any) to develop an application quickly. It is a form of software design that enables software developers and non-technical users to build software without composing a single line of code.
Usually, it has a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop elements that software developers and non-technical users can use to envision the development process and describe the overall business logic with ease.
You don’t need any experience in coding before you can build apps using no-code.
No-code platforms can move the power of innovation into the hands of your company.
What is No-code Development?
A no-code is a tool that focuses on building software applications without using any code. It is a promising tool for traditional software development for non-technical users hoping to develop their software applications.
It’s a better way to start creating and working on your ideas with no experience in coding.
For example, suppose you run a small business with no or low budget. No-code platforms can move the power of innovation into the hands of your company.
Using a no-code tool, you can equip your employees with the required tools they need to become experts in developing software applications.
Business developers and non-technical users’ roles can step into meeting the demands of timely applications delivery, and creating software applications on their own.
Let’s use the digital transformation of your business data entry process as an example. When it comes to data entry, it may be problematic for any business.
Human beings are prone to errors. After all, we are human beings, and programs like Excel, Microsoft Word, or web browsers can require technical skills and quickly become a problem, causing further errors in your business.
However, you can quickly create a new cloud-based software application to store and use your data in no time using a no-code platform once your data and requirements are in line and fit within the capabilities of the no-code platform you choose.
A no-code solution platform is a better way of relieving human and legacy system errors by speeding up your data process through automation and enhancing your team’s overall efficiency and productivity.
Advantages of a No-code Platform
No code development platform is appealing. It is simple to use and enables both software developers and non-technical users to pump out application software or workflows in no time.
It can be used by software developers and business users and is great for organizations with backlogged development teams and that need to utilize business users as developers.
Applications can now be built using no-code at a much faster pace. Software developers are now reduced with requests from other departments, and few people now wait for work to be done. Thus, a project that takes weeks or months to be executed can now be completed in few days.
The issue with traditional hand-coding is that it’s not easy for users to change the functionality or feature at the drop of a hat, especially when coding in a language foreign to them. But with no code, you can change the functionality or feature.
However, if you need to change anything, you have to implement new logic and have your change ready within a short period.
Most software development is done through a drag-and-drop interface which is visually built with pre-built modules. This means that developing software applications with no code is much faster. In addition, testing is often automated, which cuts the development time down further.
No-code, allows you to build applications faster and cheaper in the long run. However, as we’ll see later, if you want more robust functionality and an MVP without bugs, you may still want to consider hiring a software developer.
Disadvantages of a No-code Platform
It is simple to see why non-technical users and business owners are drawn to the positives of no-code platforms. Nonetheless, it is essential to know the other side and risks of using no-code development platforms.
Therefore, putting the total cost of ownership into consideration at any software development project is also essential.
First, you need to determine whether a users requirements fit within the constraint of a particular tool. Even at that, their requirements will naturally change over time. However, the risk involves in diverging from the evolving capabilities of the platform is consistently high.
Rigid Templates Limit What You Can Develop
When it comes to developing different software applications, no-code development platforms can provide their users’ various templates and components that can be configured to meet a set of use cases.
Nonetheless, once you face the inevitable edge case required by your application, all of a sudden, you do not have the building blocks to implement that particular piece of business logic required.
As a result, not only can your focus quickly shift from the major application you wanted to build to what you can build, but you will likely be forced to resort to a costly and challenging workaround.
Increased Security Risk and Lack of Control
There are no-coding applications that are best suitable for businesses that don’t deal with sensitive data. With no-code platforms, you only have limited control over your data. For example, you don’t know what is happening at the back-end of the platform you are using, unlike when you build an app from scratch by writing its code.
However, suppose security and dependability is your major concern. In that case, you would have to weigh out your options as security and dependability are the list part of no-code development platforms.
No Source Code Ownership and Inadequate Integration
The fact is most non-technical users and business owners operate under an outdated IT infrastructure. In contrast, some of them use third-party software or custom-built in-house solutions. Therefore, integrating no-code developed software applications with them is often tricky, and the probability of a no-code solution to change such applications is compromised.
However, with a no-code solution, you don’t have the right to the ownership of the source code, which may not be a good idea for your business. Thus, a no-code solution is not beneficial when the business requirements change.
Do Drag And Drop Really Work?
Yes, drag-and-drop works a lot. Drag and drop is the process of selecting an object or section of text and moving the object and placing it to another part.
Dragging and dropping a logo, symbol, object, or file moves it to a new location, and doesn’t make a duplicate. Drag and drop are common graphical user interfaces, but they can’t be found in all software.
Can No-Code Replace Software Developers?
No, it can never replace software developers. To be a good developer, you need more than just the skills to write code. It would help if you also had the logic, techniques, and abilities to develop software applications that no-code platforms can provide for business owners. However, the experience of software developers can’t be replaced by no-code.
Can You Build an App Without Coding?
You may be wondering why people use no-code to build applications or how you can build an application without coding. When you use a no-code platform to build applications, it means you are already building with code, just that you don’t have to write any code.
No-code is a platform with drag-and-drop elements that have already been coded for users to reuse and scale.
It is a development platform where you can rapidly drag and drop every web page together and view how it looks on a mobile, tablet, or desktop. Using no-code changes the complexity of writing code and enables you to manage your data easily.
In addition, it utilizes a declarative user interface describing what the users should see instead of how it should be laid out. This enables no-code platform users to render the same application across multiple devices.
No-code is more than just drag-and-drop elements. However, a major misconception is that no-code applications are meant for simple applications, which is not the case.
But in a rapidly evolving technological age, no-code has been sophisticated significant support rich in functionality in all applications to meet business demands. Now, it is easy to develop many end-to-end software applications using no-code applications.
What kinds of applications can I build with no-code?
You can build three different kinds of apps with no-code platforms:
- Back-office applications
- Web applications
- Mobile applications
The back-office application enhances the company’s internal operations. It provides functionality to manage business data for internal use only because it is frequently seen or used only by the employees or software developers. It makes it simple to visually create grids, search, export, import, form, and logic without coding.
Companies use a no-code platform to develop advanced customer-facing applications. A web application fills the gap between your company’s back and front office applications designed to be used publicly.
This application uses both back-office and web applications because the web application can customize the user interface (UI). Also, the back office application can be used to manage your data and improve your company’s internal operations.
The mobile app customizes the front-end, especially for mobile devices like Smartphones or tablets rather than a large computer. In addition, it is web-based, and you have access to all the components of the web browser.
No-code is made possible and easy to use with the effect of drag and drop elements.
Examples of No-code Development Platforms
The no-code platform is still a new technology. As a result, providers have many approaches to it. One of these approaches focuses on apps users can build with no-code, from simple lists in online applications to complex native applications or even business applications.
This is a platform that enables a business to build applications on their data from different diverse sources. You don’t need to write code before your employees can get complex data analytics from Oracle, SAP, Microsoft SQL 2014, and many more.
Zoho is a multi-platform application builder that you can use to build your application. Also, you can as well generate a template from premade templates that fit your business needs. You can handle any administrative work with Zoho, including complicated process automation.
This platform helps users transform the way they build software applications with the help of easy-to-craft apps. Users can input their data in a spreadsheet and then control the application’s capabilities via the dashboard. In addition, it offers location logging, image capturing, notifications, and reports.
Defines itself as a “citizen development” for business. Betty-blocks enables the building of complex and business applications via the visual dashboard based on data modeling. Betty-blocks is integrated with Oracle database, SQL Server, and many more.
Offers a programming language with no code. With Bubble.io, you can create and host web apps that are simple to manage and control.
Features of No-code Platforms
Drag and drop elements are the primary reason why no-code platforms have gotten the space and recognition in technology and why it is expanding quickly. No-code is made possible and easy to use with the effect of drag and drop elements.
It is simple to drag and drop the function you develop for software applications using this interface. Moreover, it enables the users to complete the work efficiently.
A more significant percentage of no-code software development systems are well preconfigured with database and server-side applications and provide users with the basic user interface for connecting to preferred databases.
User Interface Builder
Most platforms provide a user interface designer that allows users to easily assemble preconfigured elements to develop a blog or software application. Thus, no scripting is required because everything has already been designed. All you have to do is to drag, drop, and assemble the elements.
What are the Best Uses of No-code development?
No-code platforms minimize mistakes and increase the speed of business operations while still mitigating routine and redundant tasks of the users. This is why a lot of software developers and business owners opt for no-code. However, the following are the most prominent uses of no-code platform development:
Business owners use no-code apps to increase the speed and ease a user’s work through automation and visual representation of complex data. Complicated Excel files can offer information in a format that is simple and presentable to digest.
In the manufacturing industry, software developers can use no-code apps to manage and handle stock control, supply chain management, reporting, logistics, and many more.
Marketing and Sales
With no-code applications, the marketing and sales team can use no-code apps for their marketing campaign creation and distribution of products. In addition, the creative campaign can run faster and easier with the help of no-code apps.
It can also be used to digest data for in-depth content, which may turn feeds into more valuable marketing and sales assets.
No-code development has contributed immensely to wide digitalization and utilization for many organizations, professional bodies, and software developers. However, before you decide to use no-code apps, it is essential to protect your business by practicing the best behavior to manage and reduce potential organizational risk.
Also, when working with software developers, ensure to confirm the built-in security capabilities and consider using a business-oriented tool because you will always be responsible for your company and customers’ data and ensure the appropriate security measure is implemented.