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What is low-code?

We recommend that all use of low-code platforms be overseen by a technical team with a development-minded, forward-thinking lead.
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What is low-code?

Low-code development (low-code) has become a commonplace term that each person tends to have a strong opinion about. Whether you love, hate or have no clue about low-code: This article is for you. By unpacking the difference between low, high and no code, we’re confident you will see that each type of development has its place.

Low-code definition

Low-code is a type of software development that typically begins visually by dragging and dropping components onto the user interface (UI) that you are building and requires less in-depth knowledge of programming languages like Javascript, html, etc.

Here at Adhesion Co., we see a divide in the two audiences that low-code serves. In the low-code environment, it is possible to develop applications for both internal and external audiences.

Low-code development for internal audiences

This use case of low-code includes platforms that exist to develop applications (web-based and mobile) with the sole intent/purpose to support and enable internal users/employees. Most low-code users fall into this category.

Low-code development for external audiences

The other use case includes platforms that allow users to develop, deploy and even manage consumer-facing applications. Creating a mobile app and deploying it to an app store is just one way low-code users fall into this category.

In both of these instances, it is important to acknowledge that the platform providers for both of these categories are typically targeting one audience over the other and will serve that audience best. Some companies may need different low-code platforms to serve internal audiences and external audiences.

Low-code capabilities, benefits and examples

Low-code development gives users the chance to start projects with more than a blank slate.

Most platforms have tools that allow you to:

  • Build visually
  • Create logically
  • Utilize built-in solutions for databases
  • Connect to external databases
  • Export code to apply in a traditional development environment

You’d want to choose low-code if you’re looking for:

  • Quick deployment
  • Changeability
  • Flexibility

Some low-code platforms that we love and use are:

  • Adalo - mobile app development
  • Bubble.io - website and web application development
  • Glide - progressive web app (mobile app) development
  • Softr - website and client portal development
  • Voiceflow - chat and voice assistant development
  • Xano - database and backend logic development

What does no code mean?

While low-code users are developing their own applications for internal and external end users with little emphasis on programming language, no-code development (no-code) is typically used by those who have no programming experience whatsoever. Typically, no-code platforms exist to empower users to create simple technical solutions regardless of their experience.

Check out these three no-code solutions we use and help clients with:

  • Airtable - database, web forms and reporting
  • Docparser - automated document data extraction
  • Formstack - web forms, document automation and electronic signatures

Still not sure low-code is for you?

The biggest complaints that we hear about low-code development are 1. It’s causing too many people to think they are developers or 2. Development will be inhibited by the limitations of each low code platform.

We understand these contentions; however, to the first, we say: It’s a huge advantage for an IT team to let go of some responsibility when they allow users with less experience to try out low-code solutions. Instead of allowing everyone to be a developer, low code simply equips them to be a part of the process. We recommend that all use of low-code platforms be overseen by a technical team with a development-minded, forward-thinking lead. This ensures that both overall vision and immediate needs of the business are met simultaneously.

If you don’t have a technical expert to help you in this process, let us know! Adhesion Co. Executive Services were designed for just that.

To the second: Despite limitations that a platform may have, we place the real weight in choosing the right platform from the start. Think about which solutions you’ll need to integrate with, the quantity of applications your business requires, and other needs of your organization. One platform will never solve all of your company’s technical needs, but choosing a low-code solution that plays well with other applications is a great start.

Do you need help identifying your needs and selecting the right low-code solution for you? We’ve got you covered. Schedule a call with our team today.