Debunking myths around low-code,no-code platforms of application development.

Debunking myths around low-code,no-code platforms of application development.

As the businessess continue to grow their demands and aspirations are also getting diverse. Low-code, no-code platforms for application development are able to cater to the diverse interests of the businessess of today. However, being relatively a new concept the low-code, no-code functionality is surrounded by some confusion and myths. In this blog, we try to debunk some of the most common low-code, no-code myths and explain why are they false.

What are the low-code, no-code platforms of development and why are they significant?

The term low-code was first coined by Forrester in 2014. Ever since these platforms have made a mark for themselves in the industry. As per the predictions by VentureBeat by 2024 about 80% of the software will be developed on the low-code platform. The market for low-code, no-code tools is growing & at a rapid pace. Why is it so?

Organizations across are leveraging the opportunities of digital transformation. To keep up with the pace of the digital markets, progressive companies are leveraging tools and technologies that accelerate their digital dreams.Low-code/ no-code tools to development top the list of such progressive technologies. The digitally connected world is now outpacing the conventional methods of conducting business.

Low-code, no-code platforms are known to expedite the process of application and software development providing businesses with a competitive advantage. These platforms support the development of pieces of technology by using minimal manual coding. The newly created product can be developed by the existing functionality of the platform. So the product may not be built from very scratch in the low-code/no-code platforms. Today we have thousands of software tools claiming to be no-code/low-code.

What is all the confusion about low-code/ no-code platforms?

When low-code, no-code was first introduced, it was intended to be an evolving format of RAD tools. These are software tools that can develop web applications by the use of minimum hand-coding.  Today we use low-code, no-code for any of the software that has certain visual programming features.

These tools have been bundled into a wide category. They began as web-apps development tools nevertheless. Low-code, no-code has since been regarded with a wide category of tools many of which are quite unrelated. There also could be major differences between similar software classes. For example, the low-code development tools vary greatly from one another. Some of them are simple with basic functionalities while others come with a complex set of functions.

All of this couples together to create more confusion. Despite their popularity, the low-code, no-code platform is yet subjected to certain myths and false claims. Organizations are not able to make sense of them while others may buy the myths and refrain from availing the myriad benefits of these platforms. In this blog, let's try to decipher some of the myths and get to know what the realities are.

What are the myths and what are the facts?

  1. Myth: Low-code & no-code platforms are the same

Many a time people get confused between the terminology low-code & no-code. Most of us think that these two technologies are the same. With Gartner and Forrester exacerbating the difference even more. Gartner calls all the application development platforms service platforms. On the other hand, Forrester distinguishes the application development platforms in two categories: low-code development & low-code development for mobile apps.

Fact: The terms low-code & no-code are misleading. The difference doesn't necessarily lie in the need to code or not to code but in the people who use these platforms to develop software and applications.

Low-code platforms allow the citizen developers to create applications without the need to code while it also lets the professional developers create applications with a minimal amount of manual coding. The no-code platforms allow the citizen developers to build basic apps, they may not be as handy for professional developers.

2. Myth: Low-code platforms are for citizen developers only

There are generally 3 types of application builders

  • Citizen developers: They refer to individuals who have no formal education in programming & are working on the front end of the business processes such as Finance, Human resources, Operations, Customer servicing, Marketing etc.
  • Strengths: They are the individuals working with IT teams of the businesses. They support operations or business units. They do not necessarily come with programming knowledge but understand basic scripting languages like Python, JavaScript, VBScript etc.
  • Professionals: These individuals come with formal expertise in coding languages and know hard-core programming. they necessarily have a formal education background and acquired technical skills.

So who amongst them can work on the low-code platforms?

Fact: All of them. They are all eligible to avail the opportunities that low-code platforms come with however the difference may lie in the complexity and the functionality of the software developed by each one of them. The citizen developers may be able to develop basic applications with limited functionality. Individuals belonging to the strengths category may develop more complex applications than citizen developers. While professional developers are able to develop complex applications with complicated processes and automation. A low-code platform supports the professional developer to rapidly create an application by reducing the requirement for manual coding.

Low-code platforms are empowering for all developers.

3. Myth: All low-code tools are similar

The term low-code may be applicable to a wide range of tools and applications. Even when we look at just the web applications in the low-code category there are so many options to look at. Most of the time businessess and individuals make assumptions about all the low-code tools based on their experience with certain tools. If they have had bad experiences with some they may develop a negative perspective about all of them.

People also make assumptions about the low-code tools based on the prior experience they've had with the development tools like RAD or 4GL. They may wrongly conclude that all low-code tools remain the same.

Fact: The fact is that the low-code tools have evolved tremendously

“Not all low-code platforms are the same,” as per Rosaria Silipo, Ph.D., data scientist at KNIME. “There are good and bad platforms, as in everything. So, depending on how they are designed, they can be secure, flexible, exhaustive, and have a large coverage of functionality. But most of all, not all low-code platforms promise more than they actually deliver. Some are honest platforms that clearly set the expectations.”

Every low-code tool is different from the other. Do not let the opinions of the past of others cloud your judgement.

4. Myth: With low-code platforms, developers may become obsolete

Developers have widely differing opinions about low-code/ no-code platforms of development. Some are fond of it, others may not hold it in high regard. Why is it so? This is because of certain misconceptions:

  • Low-code may threaten the careers of developers. Developers may see low-code platforms as their competitors which is why they carry such insecurities. If organizations adopt the low-code/ no-code technologies, the developers may be replaced.

Fact: However in reality low-code platforms can never replace the developers. Rather it is here to make their lives easier. Low-code/ no-code platforms take care of many repetitive coding tasks and let the developers focus on innovating and delivering solutions quickly.

  • Low-code platforms may limit the abilities of the developers. Developers often see low-code/ no-code platforms as black boxes which may not be customized and in the process limit their ability.

Fact: In reality, this could be true for some of the platforms however many others come with the complete freedom of customization.

These misunderstandings may off-track the developers from availing the benefits of something that can make their lives a whole lot easier. Developers are gradually coming to terms with the fact and are embracing the low-code/ no-code platforms.

“One common myth is that low-code tools put developers out of jobs (and so developers should avoid them!),” as per Nisha Talagala, Founder of AIClub.World. “This is simply not true. Low code tools, when used correctly, increase developer productivity, freeing up the developer to focus on critical higher-level topics like usability, feature design, etc. One way to think about this – there was a time when developers wrote code in hexadecimal or machine instructions. Most of us don’t do that anymore – we use high-level languages that are compiled to machine instructions. Has it made our jobs any less critical? No – if anything it has expanded the number of developer jobs. This is an important myth to debunk since it causes fear of low-code tools and prevents developers from trying them.”

5. Myth: Low-code platforms support only basic development initiatives

There are a lot of myths surrounding the applicability of low-code platforms. 'Low-code may not build mission-critical softwares' or 'Low-code is only for building basic applications'.These are the common myths that we may hear from someone who may not understand the applicability of low-code platforms completely.

Fact: Low-code tools have the ability to go beyond the basic, internal apps. Low-code platforms support organizations in creating complex mission-critical applications.

“A common myth about low-code development is that it can only build a simplistic, non-complex solution,” according to Tim Smith, COO & Managing Principal of Catalyst Consulting Group. “Although low-code development may be less “rigorous” and quicker to develop than code-heavy solutions, it is still possible to build elegantly complex solutions that leverage, say, automated workflows.”

6. Myth:  Low-code developers may not be as trained

With the advent of mobile applications, the perception of software training is undergoing a transformation. People expect their software to be as intuitive as the mob apps. People should be able to grasp it quickly and start using them in no time.

When people start having similar expectations from low-code platforms, there are certain clarifications that need to be made.

Fact: Low-code platforms demand a certain level of training. But this in no way means that the platforms are non-intuitive. Low-code platforms are able to reduce a great number of complexities. They allow workflow automation, web apps development and so much more. Learning these aspects may take years for some of us. While with low-code platforms to development one is able to grasp these concepts within days, with some amount of training and practice.

“There seems to be a misconception in the marketplace,” as per Spencer-Davenport, Marketing Director at |BIS |Grooper. “People think that a low code / no code platform means the technology is easy to master. Or some think that low / no-code means low or no training and that’s just not the case. Complex tools solve complex problems and therefore require a requisite amount of training and experience".

7. Myth: Software developed on low-cost platforms may not be as powerful:

We may hear this common question being asked; Should we go for a low-code platform or buy an off-the-shelf solution? With low code, we may be able to build custom solutions that may just fit the requirements and may not do anything beyond that. Whereas off-the-shelf solutions are perceived to be more power-packed & feature-rich.

But this is not true

Fact: Applications and software built on low-code platforms can be as powerful and feature-rich as we want. There is no limit to customization. We'll get what we want. Along with creating powerful apps these platforms provide agility and flexibility. We'd be able to replace a number of software packages we are currently paying for. We'll exactly get the kind of apps that help us scale up.

“A common misperception is that low-code applications are inherently less powerful and function than custom or off-the-shelf software,” according to Steven Uecke, SE, PE, P.Eng, CEO of REX Engineering Group. “Many low-code applications are developed specifically for non-technical users to create robust and highly functional tools.”

8. Myth: No-code platforms are not for everyone

An individual may need certain training and skillsets to use no-code platforms hence anyone and everyone may not be able to make use of them.

Fact: In reality, using no-code platforms anybody is able to create applications and there is no need to know to code or have any other technical skills.  The only thing that's probably needed to build applications on the no-code platforms is a well-defined problem statement & expected outcomes. With clarity on the flow of the application, anybody is able to deploy the no-code platform to build software of their choice. These platforms come with easy drag and drop features, navigation panels, dropdown boxes etc.

9. Myth: No-code platform eliminates the usability of coding

There is a common perception that no-code platforms are code eliminators. This is true as far as we want to build apps that are basic and simple. With no-code platforms, one is able to create apps without coding. However to build software as per specific requirements and for customization, the users are also able to write minimal code and bolt them to the no-code platforms. No-code platforms let us drastically reduce the amount of manual coding efforts even when creating complicated CRMs and ERP systems. However this in no way means that no-code platforms have no space for writing code.

10. Myth: Apps developed on no-code platforms may not be as scalable

No-code platforms come with functionalities to build custom apps as per our requirements  We may be able to create, share and modify the application built on the no-code platforms. Businessess are able to create solutions as per their growth strategy. No-code platforms come with the options to scale up or scale-down apps as per their usability and customer insights.

Scalability was an issue with conventional methods of application development however with the advent of cloud-native and no-code friendly apps this problem may well be a thing of the past.

No-code platforms let users scale their projects to reach a wide variety of customers and support internet-wide deployment. The end-users need not worry about managing or provisions of the servers of the built software. The platform is able to take care of load-balancing.

11. Myth : No-code platform is not secure

As per some of the believers, the no-code platforms support a quick application deployment lifecycle hence they may be weakly placed when it comes to the security of the platform. Or these platforms may have a weak security policy and the application built here may leak

Fact: The no-code platforms come with enterprise-level security standards with all the certificates in place to support custom application development for professional organizations. These platforms are built keeping the interests of the users in mind. No-code enterprise-level platforms offer capabilities like performance metrics, scalability, security etc.

12 Myth: No-code apps have limited options for customization and flexibility

The no-code platform runs on the concept of proving ease and flexibility to the users who'd use it to develop custom apps.  Business users are able to quickly develop the apps by using the easy drag and drop feature etc. Along with they can pay for only what they are using. Here the developers save a lot of time in building and deploying the app, they can use the extra time to quickly test their application theories and iterate on top of it.

When we buy ready to use software technologies we may not use all the features that come with it and may have to pay for the overall package. With the no-code platform, the users are able to create custom software as per their needs and requirements. They can also add a number of customization to give their apps a personalized touch and also to their end users a personalized experience. No-code platforms support customization & flexibility to a great degree.

12. Myth: No-code platforms do not allow collaborations:

In reality, it is quite the opposite. No-code usability allows for a greater collab between the business key stakeholders, IT teams and end consumers. With the traditional approach to development, the developers take the idea and the brief from the businesses heads and then write line by line of code to come up with the solutions. The end product may not be as desired. With the advent of no-code platforms, the key business stakeholders can be a part of the application development lifecycle and are able to make changes to the apps anytime.

The Tooljet Advantage

Low-code/ no-code platforms have transformed the development scene around the world and Tooljet is more than elated to be a part of the history in making! Before the advent of these platforms, development was an exclusive domain requiring years of education and training. Low-code, no-code platforms have democratized & decentralized access to development. Tooljet allows you to quickly develop and deploy web and mobile apps that are customized as per your unique needs. With our pre-built templates, we make it a whole lot easier for you to bring about automation in your business landscape. We aim to provide you with personalized solutions within time and budget.

Ending Note:

Low-code/ no-code platforms have the ability to revolutionize the approach to development. They can simplify and automate the business processes as per suitability. With the right mix of citizen developers and programmers, enterprises may be able to build scalable and relevant apps quicker than ever before. These platforms are able to streamline the business processes to build applications that solve real problems. And the long wait from development deployment is just the thing of the past.

Don't believe everything that you hear. Look for facts and make up your mind.

"Just because you can build something doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Maybe you should reuse something that somebody already built or take something somebody already built and customize it a little bit to meet your needs."     -  John Rymer