No-Code Development Platform denoted by the acronym NCDP is a software solution that allows programmers to develop applications using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) instead of writing code. These GUIs are usually What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) drag and drop application designers. Simply put, NCDPs are rapid application development tools. They are based on principles of automatic code generation, model-driven design, and visual programming.
The advent of computers and programming has led to the rapid growth of computer applications for automating and digitizing business processes. The demand for software developers who can design and customize software applications to address the specific needs of organization has surged. Traditional programming methods (Software Development Life Cycle – or SDLC) requires months of design, documentation, development, and testing by domain experts to achieve the required levels of customization. Scalability and deployment are additional challenges. Followed closely by maintaining heterogenous code and ageing technology platforms.
Low-code and No-code platforms are development tools that have arisen to overcome these challenges in recent times. They cut all the steps of hard coding and allow for the creation of applications using drag-drop technology of features with minimal coding effort. NCPDs reduce the time taken to launch an application from months to minutes.
Low-Code Development Platforms (LCPD) vs. No-code development platforms
Though both these terms are used synonymously, there is a thin line that differentiates low-code
from a no-code.
No-code application development platforms need no expertise and can be accessed by any end-user. Low-code platforms need professionally trained developers to work with the platform and achieve the development process.
No-code platforms are model-driven that allows the application designer to drag and drop the desired features. Low-code also works on a similar model, but with greater dependency on the hard code to implement the features.
No-code platforms rely on preset User Experience (UX) layers to design the application, whereas low-code platforms provide flexible UX options that can be implemented by additional coding by developers.
No-Code Platforms do not require any testing to be performed before going live, whereas low-code platforms must undergo the build-test-deploy cycle.
Why go No-Code?
A no-code solution enables business analysts to quickly design applications, with no coding. Here are other reasons why developers should consider no-code platforms:
1. Bridging the skill gap
No-code platforms do not demand rigorous training. So, even people without formal programming skills can develop and launch applications easily.
2. Low risk and high ROI
In a no-code platform, every feature is in-built. From feature development to security and integration, all cross-functions come as a package with the tool. So, there is no risk of bugs, project delays or scope creep. Skilled programming resources are hard to find and their time and efforts are precious. No-code aids quick development, saving time and money spent by and on these resources. The efficiency ensures that the Return on Investment (ROI) is high. The low cost of installation, training resources and deployment makes it feasible for all sizes of application development ventures.
3. Quick delivery
No-code platforms are built using code generators and remove the concept of human error from the equation. Freedom from coding, testing and deployment saves vast amounts of time and makes way for accelerated delivery of the product. NCPDs allow you to make changes to existing apps at the same rate, thus enabling uber accelerated prototyping to reach the final goal.
4. Multi-App capabilities
No-code platforms are suitable for developing all types of process & data-driven applications such as business processes, task tracking, approval workflows, etc. Applications developed using a no-code platform improve agility, decrease operational costs, enhance productivity, enable quick transformation and result in better customer experience and satisfied customers.
5. Instant Mobile Access
Is a No-Code platform suitable for your needs? What can you build with a No-Code platform?
While practically any application can be developed in a no-code environment, there are some business segments that can be identified as ideal candidates for this platform. Client portals, operations management, employee engagement, human resources and legacy application modernization are some of them. We don’t recommend the use of a no-code platform to build financial accounting systems such as ERPs. NCPDs work best alongside solutions like SAP, Microsoft Dynamics and other types of ERP solutions.
Creating user-friendly and User Interface (UI) rich applications for your business were never this easy. Low-code platforms provide templates with intuitive visual designs. These make employee and customer engagement applications sound exciting and interesting. The platforms promote automation of tasks and thus improve the efficiency of business processes across the enterprise.
Digital and field applications
Web and mobile applications are the inevitable consequences of the digital media boom. UX is the go-to word for front-end developers. Low-code platforms offer all the features required to develop these applications, including responsive design, accessibility, security, and usability. The platform also makes testing, iterations, and integration a lot easier. The built-in features allow a web application to easily transform into a mobile app.
Low-code platforms extend capabilities to modernize legacy systems of an enterprise, such as ERP, CRM and HRMS such that it does not disrupt the everyday operations of the organization.
How to get started?
Now that you are convinced of the benefits of low-code platforms, it is time to ascertain if no-code is really the way to go for you. If the list below is a part of the criteria for your application, then no-code is definitely for you:
- You are required to build and manage multiple apps to meet business needs
- Your applications needs to be built and delivered as quickly as possible
- The applications are to be made available on multiple device types, including mobile platforms
Once you are clear that no-code is the way ahead to develop your application, follow the steps to start building one:
- Firstly, define objects, properties and the relationships between them.
- Use the visual interface to create the application with the established definitions.
- Use the built-in themes and templates to create and design the UI and UX of the application.
- Without any hard coding, integration with the front end features happens at the click of a button.
- The built-in security architecture leaves designing, implementing and testing your security model to the platform.
- Your low-code platform seamlessly integrates the security features with the front-end development done so far.
- Security features include everything from authentication, auditing and workflow control, just like in a hard coding environment. The only difference is that you only import these codes with the tool.
- For cloud-based applications, services such as multi-tenancy and distribution facility.
- Built-in services also include services that help you run, deploy, scale-up and manage the application developed.
- If you are wondering about back-up and recovery, even that comes in-built.
To summarize, building applications with low-code platforms is easier, faster and reliable. They help you accelerate delivery without having to hire domain experts and, spend time and money on training resources to develop, test, deploy and support software products.