Low-Code vs. No-Code: What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages?
Low-code and no-code are very similar approaches to software development. Both methods use abstraction to hide the underlying programming code. In other words, they provide you with visual and textual elements that you manipulate to create your application. The main difference is that, while low-code still gives you some access to write and modify that underlying code, no-code development does not. Let’s compare low-code vs. no-code and discuss when and why you would choose one approach over the other.
What is Low-Code?
Low-code development platforms are targeted at users with at least a little bit of programming knowledge. They provide both a GUI (graphical user interface) and a code editor, which means low-code software is easy to use but still very customizable and extensible. Low-code platforms speed up the development process by giving developers an easy way to create, manipulate, and replicate the basic elements of their applications. Plus, developers can still extend the platform’s functionality with their own custom code. This empowers them to create complicated and sophisticated applications that may otherwise be beyond their coding capabilities.
Low-code platforms have many potential use cases. They’re often used by smaller development teams lacking the time, resources, or knowledge to create all their software from scratch. One of the biggest benefits of low-code platforms is that they often come with comprehensive libraries of tools and components built by experts in the field. That means you can use advanced technologies like AI, voice recognition, blockchain, and many other open-source and enterprise tools that your development team may not have the skills to create on their own.
Low-code development platforms also usually provide pre-built templates for different types of applications, which helps you create software that’s optimized for your specific use case. For example, the visual and functional elements of an enterprise application are often very different from a customer-facing mobile app. Low-code templates ensure that your developers create the right software for the right job.
Although low-code platforms allow non-developers to extend projects without having to learn a proper programming language, these platforms have limits. If something goes wrong, or you want to do something the platform designers didn’t anticipate, problems can become too difficult for non-developers to solve. Low-code generally speeds up the development process, but if you’re constantly creating convoluted custom workarounds and fighting with your platform’s interface, you might be better served by a pro-code solution.
What is No-Code?
No-code development platforms are targeted more at technically-savvy end users who have little to know programming experience. They create no-code software entirely through a GUI, using a methodology known as WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get. You don’t have any access to write or change the underlying code. That means you can create basic, functional applications very quickly and easily, but you’re limited to whatever features and capabilities the platform provides.
No-code development is ideal for helping business units create simple programs to handle very specific tasks or workflows. Individual departments can quickly gain the functionality they need without waiting for the development team to get around to their project. Non-technical users can use a no-code platform to flesh out their software ideas and even create simple prototypes, which can help developers and engineers plan and design a low-code or pro-code application.
Unfortunately, no-code’s simplicity is also its biggest disadvantage. Your no-code application will be limited to whichever features and capabilities are provided by the platform, and you won’t be able to extend or customize the code to suit your use case and requirements. No-code can also contribute to the prevalence of shadow IT – the practice of individual business units relying on software and systems that the IT department is unaware of and has no control over. If anyone can create their own basic software without any QA or security oversight, they could be introducing vulnerabilities to your enterprise network that you don’t even know about.
Comparing Low-Code vs. No-Code
There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, so you need to analyze your use cases, technical resources, and business requirements before choosing low-code vs. no-code. To summarize:
Copado Strategic Services can help your organization choose a development approach that addresses your unique requirements and challenges. Our team of DevOps experts will help you compare low-code vs. no-code and determine which methodology will empower you to achieve digital transformation.