The demand for the software has been exceeding the supply of developers and coders in this era, and more applications and websites are being requested and that being demanded instantly leaving less time for development from scratch. This has led the no-code development platform to make enough room in the industry helping an increasing number of the organizations seeking software solutions without getting into the developers’ den. Here is where the No-Code Development Platform (NCDP) stepped in and gradually took the IT industry like a dark storm and today we see a number of people who seek tools and other ready-to-implement solutions instead of developing the applications and websites.
The No-code development provides the path for building the mobile and web applications without writing the code in any programming language.
In simple language, NCDP is the development platform using the visual development environment that allows the non-technical people to create their applications by using the methods like drag and drop, adding components and more such simple steps. These simple steps are known as the user interface or sometimes the front-end configuration that does not require any coding and development knowledge. It is related to low-code development since it is used for the purpose of expediting the process of application development.
The CEO of Github, Chris Wanstrath stated “The future of coding is no code at all”.
Does that sound good? For non-technical business users, it does, but may not ignore the fact that there are a number of programmers writing long codes for designing such no-code platforms. The no-code platforms use the technique of re-usable codes for each selection of the user from drag and drop menu or other configuration menu.
In a layman’s language it is like you want to develop an application or build your website and you do not know how to code, you seek some options on web that offer you to build your website or app by using their platform where you just have to choose the features from the menu and deploy it on the same platform. Take an example of designing a form you just have to choose the fields from options available like name, address, email address and occupation and later after completing and publishing you remember you also needed the mobile number and you get back to it choose the option and publish.
If you are running a small business and don't own a fully equipped IT department in it including developers or you don’t have enough capital to afford a team of professional developers and service providers, NCDP is the best and most cost-efficient option available for you. It authorizes the innovatively use of the power of software and controls your business operation from your own chosen perspective.
The software solutions are reducing the chances of human error, keeping data safe and data entry way easier. The data is stored on cloud servers keeping them secure and retrieval of data is also easy as it is stored smartly through an intelligent system. The data entry has been more convenient and efficient with the software solutions.
The traditional business solutions have changed and the role of the IT managers shifted from development to configuration. The major benefit of using a no-code solution is the cost, although you see the monthly charges the service providers are asking for but you are saving the cost of hiring the developers and hosting. The other benefits may include;
- The Accessibility of the solution providers has become very easy and the numbers have been increasing really fast. The potential application creators have increased as many of the business analysts of the enterprises are using codeless solutions and guiding the businesses therein in getting a suitable solution tailor-made as per the requirement.
- The Agile nature of the software being developed over a no-code development platform helps the organizations in accepting the new technology as their mode of completing the tasks. The application creation process is based on the user-interface so the user experiences a flexible environment that is implemented in parts and not all at once.
- The Richly Featured solutions are fully equipped with multiple options, reports, designs formats and all based on the type of business and industry.
The no-code platforms have big teams for development, designing and deployment and they are working on the drag and drop solution for the users and that matches their exact business requirements.
The developed solutions involve lengthy hiring processes and long meetings to decide the structure, but unfortunately the business officials on the first stage do not know how the software will look like as they don’t have any interface. All they can do is trust the developers on what they are understanding from the description being provided to them.
The difference in opinion and understanding on both ends may sometimes lead to unacceptance of the software that has been developed for them. Since the developers mostly don't have the exact interface for the business users as what they will ultimately get is only a general template that has multiple options that are not even required by the industry.
|Developed Solution||No-Code Solution|
|Expensive developer||All-in-one Annual or Monthly cost for NCDP|
|No prior user interface||Complete user interface|
|Maintenance and modification cost||Complete configuration and modification through UI|
|Higher Enhancement cost||Minimal cost for new modules or package changes|
|Deployment expense||Deployment included|
|Overhead cost||No over and above expenses|
|Security and backup cost||Data security and backup expense included|
On the other hand, the no-code solutions are convenient and easy as the real-time code building technique is used using the user interface where the user knows how it is going to look like. Each field and tool are hand-picked considering the fact that this is exactly what they need. The NCDPs have helped the organizations in building mobile and web applications without hiring software solutions providing vendors or a bunch of expensive developers. Sometimes implementing change in organization is very difficult and the end-user is reluctant to change in the working environment.
The NCDPs provide internal and external tools for integration and linking without any fail-over issues and you have a convenient software that can get data from the excel sheet or self-designed templates. As a developer I have to write long codes and APIs to integrate two systems or even if the client desire to upload an Excel sheet to get data in the system there is a list of dependencies and tasks that have to be performed and if any single cell of the excel sheet contain an information that is not predefined in the code that is left blank and the ID is generated by the system although data doesn’t exist. However, the no-code solutions have a list of fail-over libraries already defined since hundreds of developers are working on a single solution. Even if there is a bug in the system and leaves any issue behind or any stone unturned the updates provided by the platforms are fixed for such discrepancies.
Some people are unable to differentiate between no-code and low-code as they sound the same and also have some similarities. The no-code solution might have some limitations and may restrict users at some point of time as that is based on declarative programming that means it understands “what you want” and not “how you want”. The no-code in such a way works opposite of a traditional system where the front-end is communicating with the back-end as for what is required.
In contrast to it, the low-code solution is a bridge between the gap that is created because of the limitation in the no-code solutions. Take an example of building all the applications with the no-code solution and only creating the remaining part through programming. This is the description for low-code as it is a combination of both. Low-code approach is also suitable for the non-technical people but maybe sometime a developer may require it. Some of the low code platforms have the pre-built functionalities enabling the users to build software applications. Partially developed and partially un-developed low-code platforms are limitless in terms of modules and requirements.
The No-code development technology is a process of building the application from front-end. It does not mean that the programming language, code and logic is not written behind the front-end. It is pre-written code and pre-defined logic that are waiting for a call from the front-end. By choosing a certain field or formula you activate the code written behind it and the remaining code is still available on the back-end you just trigger it by requesting it over your screen.
The traditional development structure is where you write a code of how the front end should look like and how it should interact. Although the no-code also includes some extra code writers for the behavior of the front end so you must understand that apparently no-code does not mean there is no programming, it means it might involve more coding than traditional apps.
The NCDP is the user interface builder that can rapidly show results on the user screen through the drag and drop or menu option available for the user. One can instantly view the screen on desktop, mobile or tab. Such visual models have greatly replaced the programming complexity allowing the business managers to organize and manage their data easily.
There are a number of options available for no-code development of web or mobile applications and websites. Thake example of WordPress which is one of the finest Content management software in the industry and it is a simplest example of no-code solution. You don’t have to write a programming language although the HTML, CSS and Php code is already written in it once you build your website through a plugin by choosing a certain theme.
On the other hand, the static site generators like Gatsby that are also a good example of no-code solutions. There is the user interface available where you choose the front-end of the website and work on it through a simple menu. You have not written a single programming code for any of the options; instead you don’t know what’s going on behind the scene.
Similarly, there are other platforms that help in building applications and software solutions like Shopify who are providing software solutions and you just have to drag and drop the field, choose the reports you need, the fields required for a form and all other features. The system asks your industry and offers some themes and once you select as per your requirement you have an interface where you have your products section to be defined, the reports, graphs you need and hundreds of choices.
You cannot do all the things on your own, you must get relaxation from any side where possible and also the fact is not everyone can do everything although you can try but you cannot. Like being a developer, I can develop web applications in a certain language but I can’t be a project manager who is managing business or I cannot be a salesperson who is making marketing campaigns. Every person has a specialty and this is the best they can do. The NCDPs are such specialties in the business world where they have business as well as IT teams. However, there are certain benefits as well as limitations of the platform as mentioned below;
The cost of managing an IT team is expensive as the developers are expensive and there you have to take care of front-end developers, back-end developers, designers, DB managers and business analysts. While using a no-code solution when you purchase a solution you may or may not require a business analyst to manage the application as per your requirement.
Agile Nature of Solution:
The feature of using drag and drop facility and having a real-time view the application becomes agile as you can make users for it and start for one single form and gradually add more features to it since you have your remote-control and at any stage you realize that your end user is not accepting it you can make minor changes or in worst scenario you can stop the contract.
Since the no-code is developed and implemented instantly and no extra staff is occupied, they can focus on their respective role making the organization more productive and efficient with the solution. It does not add extra workload on the staff that may affect their performance.
When you realize that a certain form is not meeting your exact requirement or is lacking something you can add or remove any such field or column from it. By choosing the basic option at the initial stage if you think it is benefiting you and now you can move to an advanced version, you can easily change your plan without disturbing any data or production environment.
The templates that are available are rigid in terms of their selections and schema. If you choose one form you can not change the industry or other ad-on however some platforms offer multiple view options like light, dark, bright but not all.
In-accessible Source Code:
The user does not have any access to the source code and production server on no-code development platform. While when you are developing software by your team you have all the source code and DB access.
Security concerns for lesser control:
Some businesses have greater security concerns for their data as you have lesser control over the back-end, database and the server of the software. Although the disclaimer is signed between the organization and the NCDP.
If you choose to go for a software solution you are clearing up your workload efficiently and resolving complaints and delays you have been facing since long. Sometimes it takes months to complete the software application as desired over the NDCP also but it is subject to your own availability.
Some of the finest no-code development platforms are noted below
|Airtable||Hybrid database applied over simple spreadsheet|
|Nintex||Business process manager with automation tools|
|Salesforce||Enterprise service for deploying solutions|
|Bubble||A web application development platform|
|BP Logix||Digital transformation solution based on AI|
|Nutshell||CRM for sales automation|
The no-code development approach is based on the simple design with standardized UIs and re-usable components for the application. The beauty of the code is that it can be plugged in and ejected as and when required. You can do all the services on one single platform from front-end to back-end and also can get scheduled backup, free and automatic SSL and many more ad-on features making the application fully equipped.