Coined by Forrester and popularized by Gartner, low-code development is an approach adopted by many to ensure rapid delivery of applications.
Roots to low-code can be traced back to the early 2000s and even the 1990s. However, the term ‘low-code’ was first introduced to the world in 2014. And the pandemic and subsequent digital revolution of 2020 made low-code development an extremely popular approach.
And there has been no looking back since.
Today, Gartner predicts that by 2024, 65% of all app development would be powered by low-code platforms. And if that wasn’t enough, it even stated that 66% of bigger enterprises will be using as many as four low-code platforms.
No wonder people are calling low-code the engine powering digital transformation.
Be it rapid application development, lowering the development cost, or getting cross-platform mobility, low-code development promises it all. And don’t even get us started on the ease of application development using the graphical user interface. The pre-built templates and modules with drag-and-drop functionality are making development more visual than manual coding.
It’s right to say that low-code isn’t the future anymore. It’s the current state of the development world. Businesses are using it to reap countless benefits offered by low-code like:
We can list many more benefits that you can also reap based on your business profile, requirements, and other factors.
Right now, our low-code development guide would be focusing on the concept, challenges it can solve, use cases, how to get started, and answering various other questions that you might have.
So, let’s get started with answering the first question.
The term low-code development has been thrown around in the digital ecosystem for quite some time, with different definitions going around for the term.
Some think it is about no coding.
Some think low-code means development by non-coders.
Some say low-code is perfect for building simple applications.
While much of this is true and false at the same time, it is imperative that we throw light on the actual definition of low-code development.
So, what is low-code development?
In layman's terms, low-code development is developing applications and digital products with minimal coding. By adopting the low-code approach, you do not need to code software from scratch.
There are different platforms that make software development fast and easy. These platforms come with drag and drop functionality that makes it super easy to create a product. You can simply pick out the design and drag and drop it wherever you want in the template.
This reminds us to talk a bit about the templates as well.
Low-code development platforms come with multiple ready-to-use templates that you can choose from. These templates are completely coded and reusable. And the low code in this type of development means you can customize the template through coding.
Here, you are not replacing the job of a software developer. Rather, you are helping them speed up the entire development process. They have pre-built templates and their coding skills to tailor them for the custom experience your business is eyeing for.
Low-code development does not require the developers to write the codes from scratch. But they can quickly choose from the coded templates and make changes to them. This not just makes the development extremely fast but also enables you to get a template with which you can experiment and design new things.
Up until now, we discussed that low-code development is simple, fast, and even possible by citizen developers. Anyone can select templates, drag and drop the components, and launch the application in days. But where does one find all those functionalities, templates, etc., to build the app?
This is where low-code development platforms come in.
We did mention in passing terms the low-code platforms in the introduction. But a passing reference to low-code platforms is not enough when we are talking extensively about the software development approach isn’t fair.
One needs to know about low-code development platforms, their working, and the different options available in the market.
The simple definition of low-code platforms is a collection of tools, templates, and features for application development. These are platforms where you pay a fee to build an application visually, with minimal coding requirements.
You can call it WordPress for app development. Like WordPress has various themes, templates, and plugins to build websites in hours, low-code platforms have a visual interface that makes it easy to create applications.
Companies, developers, and even non-programmers can now build custom mobile applications using low-code development platforms. Each platform comes with its own unique offering. Some focus on the functionality aspect of the applications. Some are on the visual part of the platform. However, despite the varying unique propositions and features, there are some basic components that you can find in every low-code platform.
Let’s have a look at those.
Low-code development is all about the platforms that enable the development. These platforms make it easy for businesses, citizen developers, and even laymen to build applications in days without any hand-coding. But don’t you want to know what enables these low-code platforms to speed up the application development process?
It is possible because of the unique components that these platforms have. And that’s what we will discuss in this section.
There are three main components of a low-code development platform.
At the core of any low-code development platform lies a visual IDE. And this is what makes low-code platforms so easy to use. It provides a drag-and-drop interface for developers to declare logic in the app. They can simply drag the component and drop it within the template to create workflows that would work as per the logic or responses intended within the app.
Lifecycle management is a crucial aspect of application development. There are different tools and functionalities that one requires to test, integrate, and maintain the app through different stages of development - testing, production, launch, and more. Having an application lifecycle manager enables low-code development platforms to provide all the required functionalities for debugging, testing, deploying, etc., without custom requirements.
No app is complete without APIs and other back-end or database integrations. You need to connect the application with external things to add new functionalities and features. This is where connectors come into play. With the help of connectors, developers can integrate the applications built on low-code platforms with different APIs, backends, and databases. Without connectors, developers would require to write several codes in order to add external integrations.
Now that we know the basic components of low-code development platforms, this is the only thing that every platform shares in common. Other than that, each platform is different in its own way. There are platforms that solely focus on the development aspect, while others have limited offerings. Some focus on a visual database, while others are more inclined on the aspect of case management and other business needs.
We can see so many low-code development platforms competing to gain the top spot today. Let’s quickly list down some of the popular ones first and will discuss them in detail in the latter part of the guide.
These are some of the popular low-code development platforms that one can use to build low-code applications.
But how do these platforms help businesses? Or how does low-code development as an approach help businesses?
This is what we are going to cover in the upcoming section.
Building an application takes up months, sometimes even years.
However, in times like the present ones, no business has the luxury of time. Speed and agility are all that matter.
There are new digital products coming out each day to solve the varying challenges faced by employees, stakeholders, and customers. A delay in a single day could be the reason why another business shot to success while yours remained in low-light.
And that’s exactly what low-code platforms promised to offer. Promising development and launch within days, low-code platforms offered the solution that businesses have been searching for for years.
But this isn't the only challenge low-code development helps to resolve. There are many more. Let’s get started with the very common challenge solved by low-code development.
As discussed above, the long time taken to build and launch a product is one of the biggest challenges faced by enterprises and other businesses. Businesses need speed to market, which cannot be promised by deploying a team of developers to write down a thousand lines of code.
How does low-code development help?
One of the biggest unique selling propositions of low-code development is the speed it offers. Every low-code platform vendor is selling the solution by talking about the faster time to launch. And why wouldn’t it be? You practically don’t need a team of developers to manually write down codes. You have templates and can drag and drop to create applications.
You can create simple products in days and even building complex applications require minimal code customizations with low-code. This makes everything super fast. No need for coding from scratch. Just pick the template, make customizations, and voila! Your app can be up and running in days.
Technical debt is the debt that enterprises and companies accumulate over time because they haven’t updated to the latest technology or versions of tech. Many businesses do not have the resources or the tech expertise to keep their application up-to-date. This leads to security issues, slower applications, and other vulnerabilities.
The technologies or software development frameworks might become obsolete or unsupported, market dynamics & customer expectations might change or any other reason. The thing is - not just old, legacy products face technical debt. Any product might have technical debt from day one. And this leads to businesses having piled-up updates for technology, framework versions, product, security, and much more. Technical co-founders and company CTOs have been looking for ways to get rid of this technical debt fast.
How does low-code development help?
Low-code development platforms provide complete automation for updates. When you build your application on a low-code platform, you get complete assistance for automated updates. These platforms are managed by experts who keep a tab on everything and ensure there is no backlog for developers to handle.
Businesses do not have to choose speed over quality when working with low-code platforms. They get the best of both worlds. They can build their products faster while also ensuring the products are up-to-date with the latest technological advancements.
Technology is changing and incorporating the latest advancements in the product has been a challenge for most businesses. No wonder there will be a talent shortage of about 85 million people by 2030, costing around $8.5 trillion in unrealized revenues. Hiring remote developers from India to curb the talent would be a necessity for businesses as the country would rise as a technology superpower.
With regular product development, IT is required through each step. From research to development to launch to monitoring, an IT skillset is required throughout the app lifecycle. This created a greater demand, which major organizations are unable to fulfill.
How does low-code development help?
One of the basic components of low-code development platforms is the application lifecycle manager. This ensures that each step of the development lifecycle from testing to debugging to monitoring to launch to integration and more is managed by the platform itself. One does not need a special IT team dedicatedly managing the application all the time.
That’s not even all.
One of the main USPs of low-code development platforms is that they can be used by citizen developers as well to build mobile apps. So, you need not look for IT skilled talent for each step. You can have your citizen developers build the application and manage it with very little involvement of skilled IT professionals or developers.
Data within large enterprises are in siloed form. With several departments, teams, and processes, data or information can stay locked within a particular system or app, preventing others from accessing it. Members of other teams aren’t able to fetch or use insights provided by certain apps, or face delays in accessing it. This causes wastage of time, mismanagement, and even wastage of high-quality data.
How does low-code development help?
Low-code development breaks down the organizational silos and encourages the teams to work collaboratively. It brings teams together and ensures everyone is on the same page. Moreover, low-code development platforms do not require any specialists to work on them. And even the data can be accessed by anyone working on the platform to build applications.
While there are different challenges that low-code development helps to solve, businesses also need to know the various use cases where low-code has proven to work best.
Over the years, there have been several enterprises inclining towards low-code platforms to build their applications, especially those used for internal processes. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to streamline and automate their processes. And that’s where low-code shines.
There are several use cases of low-code, and we have highlighted the major ones in this section.
Digital transformation has been the most common buzzword since the pandemic. Businesses rapidly moved towards a digital ecosystem either because of their customers or to ensure business continuity when the physical world was shutting down.
And this is where low-code development shines. It enables businesses to launch their applications faster and with a better customer experience. This is, in fact, one of the most common use cases of low-code development today.
Businesses taking the digital transformation journey are eyeing low-code platforms to build their modern applications. With businesses undergoing two years worth of transformation in less than two months, speed and agility are of the utmost importance.
With low-code development, businesses can experiment with new technology in their applications while also testing faster.
Another common application of the low-code development approach is to gain process visibility and transparency within the systems. Most enterprises are now looking to digitize their workflows and gain end-to-end process visibility. This visibility would enable the leaders to get more time for transformational activities rather than focusing on operational activities.
Low-code development platforms offer real-time insights into processes, whether you are building a SAP workflow management system, ERP system, or any other application for your enterprise. With low-code, process owners can have real-time visibility and deeper digital insights into each point within the process, making it easier to make improvements and make decisions.
Low-code platforms are heavily focused on automation. It allows automatic code generation for the rapid development of applications. Developers do not have to write the codes manually. Even the highly technical tasks and codes are pre-written in such platforms, making it easier to build apps. This means developers have time to accomplish important tasks and develop better.
With low-code development, businesses can build unique apps that support operational efficiency and increase productivity. These apps can help businesses reduce manual tasks while building operational efficiency apps.
Another common use case for low-code development is in updating legacy applications and systems. Most enterprises that entered the digital world early on are currently looking to update their systems with the latest tech. They want to upgrade their tech versions, migrate to newer platforms, or simply update the existing systems. However, considering the large size, multiple processes, and the data collected, it seems quite cumbersome to upgrade their systems.
Whether you want to update and modernize the entire legacy system’s IT architecture or a few processes within it, low-code development can be a great approach to move ahead. Low-code can be used to build extensible and open applications that can be integrated into existing systems to extend their capabilities. You can build completely new and modernized legacy applications in days but in a very controlled and incremental manner using low-code development. You can even use low-code development to gradually build new process workflows and replace the existing components with modern tech.
With low-code development, you can accomplish the updates of your enterprise legacy systems within days while also using the existing functionalities and modules.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the most exciting use cases of low-code development. Low-code platforms are built to allow logic into workflows and automate them as and how required. By simply dragging and dropping the steps into the application and adding logic into it, one can design automated workflows that can easily reach and connect with multiple information centers.
With low-code platforms, one can build internal as well as consumer-grade applications that can automate complete processes while ensuring data integration.
We know the use cases of low-code platforms. It can assist in digital transformation, automating working, and improving customer experiences.
But what are the type of applications that you can build with it?
And more importantly, are there any real-life examples of low-code applications in use?
These are the two questions that we’ll be answering in this section of our low-code development guide.
Now that we know the popular use cases of low-code development, there are different types of apps that have been commonly built using low-code. The use cases were more about the main processes or where in the enterprise one can use low-code. Now, in this section, we’ll be talking about the different types of applications that you can build using low-code.
Software-as-a-service applications are a great way for businesses to yield returns and gain more commercial profits. These can open new revenue streams for your business and ensure you are able to capture a new market faster.
However, the process of SaaS application development can be a lengthy and exhausting process. This can intimidate several businesses.
Low-code platforms make it super easy and super quick to build a SaaS application that can be used to create a new stream of revenue. The platforms also ensure to collect feedback from end-users
Enterprises have various unique requirements within their processes. It could be internal processes or consumer-facing applications, low-code can help build enterprise-grade applications in a matter of days.
Building applications for enterprise-level users, security, and scalability would require, if not years, at least 8-10 months to build, if done through manual coding. And this would also mean hundreds and thousands of dollars for simple internal applications like ERP systems, CRM, etc. Low-code can enable the same in days, a few weeks tops with slight customization. No matter how large, low-code can help address enterprise-wide challenges by building enterprise-grade applications.
Any organization with over ten employees is currently using an internal tool. There are several internal tools powering an enterprise or any other business. Even the state of internal tools in 2021 stated that developers spend over 30% of their time on developing internal tools.
However, reserving developers’ time in building internal applications is not the most feasible thing to do. This is where low-code development platforms can come into the picture. One can have the developers work on external tools or innovate the consumer-facing applications while low-code platforms help build internal tools.
One of the core promises of any low-code platform is to provide ease and automation in building workflows and processes as per the logic implemented. Building case management systems that store and access client information and take intended actions to ensure case resolution can be made seamlessly using a low-code platform.
User interface is one of the most important aspects of any application today. So much so that businesses invest higher sums on the UI design than the entire application development process. And the main issue arises when they have to get the same UI running across all devices and channels- mobiles, desktops, tablets, all varying across different screen sizes.
With low-code development platforms, businesses have the facility to build the same interface across all devices, delivering the same experience without any hassle. Low-code platforms have the feature to automatically create user interface codes for the devices you are aiming for.
Building an omnichannel solution is also a feasible option with a low-code development approach. It makes it easier to build applications for all interfaces including web, mobile, and other applications.
Businesses following the B2C or business-to-customer approach can also benefit largely by building an app on a low-code platform. However, there are different versions of operating systems, different mobile resolutions, and different mobile architectures. This forces businesses to set up a complete team to look after the development, testing, management, and launch of the app.
With low-code development, one can build applications for all types of mobile architectures using a single platform. Whether it is native applications for Android or iOS, you can build a B2C app quickly with low-code development.
Testing new apps is one of the many benefits that low-code platforms can offer. When you have invested months of effort and a large chunk of money in building a prototype, changing it altogether can be costly. You can build prototypes for your applications pretty quickly and cost-efficiently through low-code development. You can even make changes quickly as per the requirements or the customer feedback. You can test concepts without involving a full team of developers or experts.
Users are facing new challenges and desire digital solutions for the same. And the new technologies in the market are making it possible for businesses to meet those expectations. However, building such applications requires a lot of testing around innovative ideas with technology and models.
With low-code’s promise of building fast, businesses can now build innovation applications and test them on users. Whether you want to use Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, or any other new tech, you can test your new ideas without investing a whole lot of money, resources, or effort into it.
Ensuring a seamless onboarding impacts the overall retention rate of the customer or employees. Low-code vendors can help build customer/employee onboarding applications in a matter of days. You can have all the required integrations in the application to make the onboarding process more seamless and quick. Such applications, whether customer-facing or internal, can be built quickly without any difficulty on low-code platforms.
While most people feel that low-code applications are preferred for internal processes instead of customer-facing applications. However, that is not the case. Low-code applications are great for building all types of applications. One can easily build applications for customer engagement on low-code platforms.
We know the different applications that you can build on low-code platforms. But we’re sure that nothing would bring a greater assurance than reading about some successful applications built on low-code platforms.
And that is exactly what we’ll be covering in this section of the guide.
Here, we have analyzed some of the top names that are or have used low-code development platforms like Outsystems, Mendix, Appian, etc., to build their applications. Let’s have a quick look.
A leading university in North Carolina, NC State has to take care of over 500,000 registrations each year for its various courses offered. On top of that, it has an outreach program that targets over half-million students each year to join its courses. This is made possible by building stunning applications on a popular low-code platform called Mendix.
It has built two very useful applications using the low-code approach. One of them is a lab management solution that helps reduce the time taken for the administrative tasks by a third. The next app they’ve built is REPORTER, which handles all the non-credit registrations made into the university. Low code is also enabling the university to meet its grant reporting requirements.
A healthcare sales and software company, Optum is known for offering consulting services and even delivering packaged solutions to its clients. The company has over 100,000 employees working for it and was looking to apply automation into its processes to streamline business processes.
They partnered with a low-code platform to build claims applications. Moreover, they needed better collaboration between business and IT teams, and Pega, a low-code vendor, helped them achieve the same through rapid prototyping and ensuring transparency. By using the low-code approach for building their application, the enterprise seeks to save millions of dollars per year.
A consulting firm offering value to businesses, The Spur Group is a trusted partner for several businesses and has enabled them to succeed with its go-to-market capabilities. It promises to design innovation strategies, accelerate business growth, fuel execution excellence, magnify audience engagement, and increase partner effectiveness.
The organization uses low-code to build applications to automate the process of onboarding new employees. By using low-code for building the application, it was able to save considerable time and efforts of its developers which could then be used in delivering value to clients.
With over 1.6 million customers, Bendigo Bank is one of the largest banks in Australia. However, it required reorganization to prioritize the customer experience. They also wanted to look at innovation and serve their customers in the best way possible. Andrew Watt, Bendigo’s CIO turned Executive for Customer Service Improvement (CSI), realized they need to act on this customer experience obsession through software. And that’s where they used low-code development.
They used the popular low-code platform Appian to launch over 25 enterprise applications in the course of the following 18 months. All these applications were customer-focused and are considered as Tier-I applications by the bank. These include applications for Fraud Management, ATM Management, Loans, Mortgages, Credit Card Management, Disputes, Merchant Services, and many more.
Building 25 customer-facing enterprises app in a matter of 1.5 years wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Low-code development enables speed and efficiency in the development.
Apex Imaging is a leading name that offers complete rebranding solutions to big names like Starbucks, Home Depot, and more. The company provides complete solutions to businesses, including process management.
The organization turned towards low-code to build and manage spreadsheets efficiently. They used the platform to eliminate a lot of confusion that could hamper their work. Moreover, using low-code enabled them to reduce time and effort put into doing the same work.
Now that we know almost everything about low-code development let’s come to the most crucial aspect of low-code development- selecting the platform. While many boardroom discussions have heard the term low-code application thrown around. Many have already approved the use of low-code platforms for app development, many are in the process of taking the low-code route.
However, one thing that’s making most of them skeptical is which platform to use.
Like any other new investigation gaining popularity, low-code is also having quite a number of names linked with it. One quick search on Google for ‘best low-code development platforms' and you will see tons of articles highlighting the top 5, top 10, and many more. The list, undoubtedly, is endless.
And considering the popularity and the scope of this approach, it is certain to say that there will be many more names to be added to the list.
So, how do you find the platform that is right for you and your business?
Let’s find out.
Considering the high number of low-code platforms in the market, choosing one can be a big task for organizations. There are some that are focused on rapid development. Some focus on data integration and data visualization. And some are best suited to build applications that have the latest tech functionalities like Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and many more.
Below, we have discussed some of the major factors that can help you evaluate the software platform and find the one best suited for you.
The first step while selecting a low-code platform is to define your requirements. You need to know what exactly you are looking to build with the low-code platform. Many are looking for an internal applicant for their workers, some look for customer-facing applications, and there are others who are looking for a specific kind of app that can solve a very unique problem.
Like any other purchase, you need to know the gap that you’re trying to fill. Same is the case with selecting a low-code development platform.
You need to define what you are looking for. And once you know your requirements, you can move to the next step.
Once you have defined your requirements or the type of application you are looking for, you can start with evaluating the use cases offered by the platforms.
You need to go through the different low-code development platforms in the market and check out their use cases.
While the majority of the platforms have similar use cases like enterprise-grade applications or consumer-grade applications, like any other technology, each of them also has something distinct to offer.
You need to make sure that your requirements align with what the platform promises to offer. This would also decide the extent of support you can get through the platform. Moreover, you also need to analyze the workflow capabilities, integration opportunities, and other things based on the use cases that it provides.
There are some platforms that provide fully automated coding along with catering to the development requirements. With such platforms, you can even have a non-IT person build an application all alone. And then there are other platforms that require developers to work on the application for any type of customization. There are also some platforms where you get both the functionalities.
This can be cleared by checking the developer profiles that they cater to.
Some specifically market themselves as platforms that allow subject matter experts or business analysts to build the application without any development knowledge. Others ask for devs and technologists with software development skills for building applications. Some platforms are also providing support for both developer personas and allow one to change or switch the developer profiles accordingly.
Based on the skill set available to you, you need to choose a platform that offers support, capabilities, and tools that would not hamper the development.
The most crucial aspect of any business decision is pricing. Different low-code platforms have different pricing models. Some platforms charge you based on the number of users, some on the number or types of applications you’re planning to test, some on assets provided like integrations, databases, workflows, and some on the extent of customization.
You can still get a look at the bigger picture of the pricing offered by different platforms.
However, most low-code vendors haven’t made their pricing very transparent. There are hushed discussions around making the pricing more transparent through a calculator for use cases or integrations.
But till then, you need to check out the pricing and get an estimate from the vendor before choosing one.
The next important thing to consider when evaluating low-code platforms is the integration support that they offer. Adding any external integration or API to the low-code application that you build would require support from the platform.
The majority of the platforms come with pre-built connectors and integration capabilities. So, you can start with evaluating the integrations supported by the various platforms and what they are incapable of supporting to shortlist the same.
Putting up a governance strategy means putting technology as well as policy constraints on the developers. However, putting the same on developers working on low-code platforms can be challenging.
That’s why it is imperative that you review the platform’s governance options before making a choice.
You can analyze what governance options the platform provides in order to keep a check on the security and compliance requirements. Moreover, you also need to ensure that the platform allows you to tune that particular governance option as per the IT expertise and experience of the developer profiles.
You can also choose tools that help in reducing risks associated with non-compliance as well as provide audits of the applications built on the platform.
While these were some of the common factors to consider while evaluating and selecting low-code platforms, there are some more questions that you can ask the vendor before making a final decision.
The next best advice that one can use while selecting a low-code development platform is to join hands with a low-code solutions partner. The majority of the businesses find platform selection as the hardest part of taking on low-code development. Finding someone who has expertise in the matter and can throw light on the pros and cons of the platforms while also weighing its offerings with your requirements can make it extremely simple and fast.
Your low-code solutions partner will be experts who have the required expertise to build low-code applications and can help you select the right platform as per your requirements. More so, make the most out of the low-code platform you finally select.
By now you know almost everything there is to know about low-code development. You understand the concept, know in what use cases you can implement it, the challenges it can help you solve, and the options you have as low-code development platforms to get started with it.
Now, let’s come to the next important section- starting with low-code development.
But before that, let’s quickly summarize the traditional application development process:
This is how a traditional application development looked before low-code entered the picture. Things are much faster now with low-code development. Many of the steps have been eliminated and what you need to do to get started with your low-code application development is:
This step is inevitable no matter what approach you take in building a digital product. You need to perform in-depth research on the idea that you have in mind and what problem it seeks to solve. You need to brainstorm around the competitiveness, advantages, and other things around to concept to innovate and give the product idea its finishing touches.
You can even work on deciding the workflows and creating a wireframe for the low-code application. This would ease the development process by a huge margin Once you know the logic and the workflow, dragging and dropping modules in the low-code platform would be a lot simpler.
Once the prototype gets a green signal, you can go ahead and get started with building the application, adding new integrations, and implementing within your enterprise ecosystem. You might need assistance from developers here in order to add custom codes in the application and make it more like your brand. If you have a solutions partner, they’d take care of this part too.
Just knowing how to get started wouldn’t be all. You’ll certainly be looking forward to some quick tips that will help you succeed. And we are here to provide you with an all-encompassing low-code development guide that covers everything. So you wouldn't have to look anywhere else.
That said, let’s throw light on some cool tips that can help you succeed with low-code.
It is important to know who’ll be working on the low-code project. This would help you a lot in determining the platform and the extent of support you’ll need. Many organizations reserve a developer or citizen developer to build the app on a low-code platform and make the custom coding changes. If you do not have the internal resources, you can even hire developers or join hands with a solutions partner for the same.
Today, the majority of the applications are built on the cloud to offer uninterrupted scaling. That is why it is imperative that you ensure whether the platform is deployed on the cloud or on-premise. You should also check if you’ll be needing any other platform to build and run the application that you build on a low-code platform.
The next important tip when using a low-code platform is to know the extent to which it can expand to handle the scaling of your application. You need to discuss with the vendor if they have the capabilities to integrate the applications for a growing user base.
The next thing to check is the extent of support that the low-code vendor is offering. If you are planning to employ citizen developers to build the application on the low-code platform. Low-code would always require a little bit of support from developers for custom coding. In case you are not planning to hire developers or join hands with a solutions partner, you should definitely ensure development support from the vendor before getting on.
You need to follow the agile software development approach to succeed with low-code application development. Low-code is known for enabling businesses to test and innovate. And that can only be achieved by building iteratively. You should always start small, launch a prototype. Once you receive feedback, you can implement it or even start another prototype without wasting much time or effort.
Building an application for internal use makes things very straightforward. However, when making applications for external use where customers are involved, understanding them is imperative. You should know the target audience and analyze their digital activities to build better on low-code platforms.
Another great tip to succeed with low-code is to adopt a hybrid strategy. This means you can use low-code for building your front-end and the middleware while the backend is hand-coded by expert developers. This could be great for those working with a much larger application with thousands of users.
Building a low-code application, make sure to give priority to data privacy. This means you need to check if security and compliance for the platform are in check or not. Moreover, you also need to know if they restrict any type of data so that you do not face any trouble later on.
We discussed in the last chapter as well how low-code development solutions partners can help in selecting the right platform. They can analyze the business requirements, identify the current development expertise, and help select the right platform that can offer maximum efficiency.
However, that’s not the only assistance that a solutions partner can provide. They can facilitate a complete journey through low-code development. Right from assessing the business use cases where one can use low-code for application development to analyzing and monitoring the entire app development lifecycle and helping it scale, a solutions partner can provide the expertise that many of the companies might find missing.
Here are the steps in which a solutions partner can assist you in making the most of low-code development:
Owing to the popularity of low-code development, many players have entered the market. You can now easily find a number of low-code development platforms with just a quick Google search. While some platforms are limited in the number of features or integrations or users they can accommodate on the applications built using them, there are others with endless features and functionalities.
So, without further ado, let’s throw light on some of the most popular low-code development platforms in the digital ecosystem today.
Appian is a common name in the low-code universe. This platform is one of the first of the most popular platforms that are used to build low-code applications. The platform promises to deliver powerful applications to businesses across all scales.
Its smart and intelligent automation capabilities make the platform one of its standing qualities. The platform has also launched its latest Appian 21.4 version that has more powerful low-code data reporting. The platform promises to provide 17 times faster development while also helping you save 50% of the development costs. Here are some of the common features of Appian:
Price: Free community trial, Standard $70/user/month, Infrequent at $9/user/month, input-only at $2/user/month, and platform and unlimited at custom quote
Building the right enterprise-grade applications faster is the promise that Outsystems makes to all its users. It helps businesses build modern workplaces with streamlined and automated processes in a matter of days. It provides a visual model-driven app development that is also powered by Artificial Intelligence. You do not need to worry about the application’s scalability as Outsystems provides cloud-native scalability for all types of critical applications.
The platform doesn’t limit its offerings to app development alone. Instead, it provides complete application lifecycle management from research to development to launch, monitoring, and improvement. The platform also comes with 400+ integrations that enable you to add new functionalities to your application quickly. Here are some of the features of Outsystems:
Price: Free plan, Basic for $4,000/month, Standard for $10,000/month, and custom quote for Enterprise plan
Claiming to revolutionize application development, Mendix is a very popular low-code development platform for building app types of applications, automating processes, digitizing customer experiences, and modernizing systems. It has an extremely simple platform to build applications. You need to pick the IDE based on your developer profile and expertise and can easily get started on Mendix.
It provides easy data integration and cloud deployment, infusing transparency into the app development while also ensuring unhindered scalability. There are multiple cases where businesses can use the low-code platform of Mendix to find the apt solution. Some of these include building multi-experience applications, AI-powered applications, intelligent automation, applications deployed on the cloud, and much more. Here are some of the features of Mendix:
Price: Free community version, basic starting at $58/5 user/month, Standard at $925/month, and custom quote for Premium
The next popular platform that we’ll be covering in this low-code development guide is Creatio. The platform promises to make everyone a developer especially when it comes to building a mobile application. It even compares app development to Lego; letting even non-IT persons move elements and build stunning apps.
Whether you have unstructured processes or want to modernize the existing ones, Creatio is a platform that can help manage all of them efficiently. Here are some of the features of Creatio:
Price: Enterprise Edition for $25/user/month
Classic Informatics has been in the application development business for almost 20 years now. We have over 250 techies on board and several low-code experts who can be your partner in building the low-code application of your dream.
We have expertise in building and handling software of all scales. From enterprise software with thousands of users to applications for startups and SMBs, we’ve built them all.
Whether you are looking to build an enterprise-grade application to streamline internal processes or are building consumer-facing applications, our low-code experts can help you select the right platform and rapidly build and launch applications without having to spend a lot on the development. We do the strategic planning and ensure your internal workflows and customer needs are aligned to support low-code development. With us as your lo-code solutions partner, you need not worry about the governance, transparency, deployment, flexibility, and extensibility of your application. We also assist with the implementation and management of your low-code application.
Join hands with us to have an expert by your side while you take on this new approach to application development.