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Low-code platforms, the good and the bad
- Mohamed Krimi
A few years ago, the term "low-code" started to gain popularity in the software development community. At first, it was mostly used to describe tools that allow for rapid application development with minimal coding required. But now, the term is being used more broadly to refer to any platform that allows citizen developers (i.e. non-professional developers) to build applications without traditional coding. So what's driving this shift and why are low-code platforms becoming a popular option for organizations? In this post, we'll explore the benefits of low-code platforms and whether or not they are truly a game changer for software development teams.
What is "Low-code aplication platform" (LCAP)?
A low-code application platform is a software development tool that allows users to quickly and easily develop applications with a minimal amount of effort. It combines visual programming processes, such as drag and drop user interfaces, with pre-built components, enabling even novice developers to rapidly build and deploy applications in short spans of time.
According to Gartner an Enterprise Low-Code Application Platform (LCAP) as "an application platform that is used to rapidly develop and deploy custom applications by abstracting and minimizing or replacing the coding needed in development".
"The enterprise LCAP market is part of an overall low-code development technologies space, which is expected to reach $29 billion in revenue by 2025 (with a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of more than 20%)".
What are the benefits of low-coode application platforms?
By eliminating the need for manual coding, these platforms reduce hours of development time as well as reduce costs associated with hiring skilled developers. This makes it easier to create and manage applications, which can be extremely useful for businesses that want to quickly respond to customer needs or stay ahead of market trends.
Low-code application platforms also make development accessible to non-coders (Marketers, business users, thoughts leaders) who may not know how to write code but need the flexibility of a custom software application to run their business. The wide range of advantages offered by low-code application platforms allow companies and organizations of any size to rapidly build solutions and streamline processes in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Any disatvantages of using a low-code platform?
One of the main disadvantages of using a low-code platform is that they may not always provide the same level of customization as needed. This can become a problem when attempting to develop complex applications that require advanced coding skills.
Additionally, since low-code platforms do not always provide access to the full system architecture, it becomes difficult to make more advanced changes in order to meet certain business needs.
Finally, it is important to note that the interface for a low-code platform is often incompatible with some existing software or systems, creating further complications and potential delays. All in all, a low-code platform is an accessible solution for many but clearly has its limitations and can introduce unexpected difficulties further down the line.
How can your company use low-code application platforms?
Low-code application platforms are a great way for companies to bring new technology solutions to the market quickly and easily. The development process can be greatly shortened, allowing teams to get experimental Proof of concepts and proof of value running much faster than ever before. This speed helps with concept validation and creating low-risk prototypes in order to add new features or applications.
With low-code application platforms, companies have the opportunity to create powerful solutions without writing any code; an agile approach that eliminates time consuming steps such as debugging pure code (including complex algorithms). Hence, businesses can focus on expected outcomes more than on "how-to" implementation, which means that sophisticated solutions with improved scalability are achievable in a shorter time frame.
While there are some disadvantages to using a low-code platform, such as the potential for vendor lock-in, the advantages far outweigh any negatives. With a low-code platform, businesses can create custom applications without needing extensive coding knowledge, which saves time and money.
If you're looking to create custom but simple software for your business, a low-code platform is definitely worth considering.