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Low code vs. No code: Which is better for web and app development?
Are you an entrepreneur with plans to undertake a software development project for your
business? Alternatively, are you an IT leader in an enterprise planning to undertake such a
There might be situations where your software development team is heavily stretched and you
just don't have time to hire enough people to meet the project schedule. Businesses face this
situation often! How do you undertake your project in such circumstances? Low-code and/or
no-code development can help.
In this article, we talk about low code vs no code development for web and mobile apps. We
introduce both and discuss their pros and cons. Subsequently, we talk about their similarities
and differences. We discuss scenarios where you might want to use them.
Finally, we discuss scenarios where you should choose custom software development instead of
low-code/no-code. Read on.
3. Low Code Development - Introduction
"Low code development" or "Low-code development" as we often call it, is a trend or movement
in the software development landscape. It intends to expedite software development. Towards
this, it replaces hand-coding with automated code generation.
Low-code development platforms typically offer an "Integrated Development Environment"
(IDE) to developers. The IDE allows developers to incorporate code for common functionalities.
Programmers need to repeatedly hand-code several functionalities, which takes time.
Low-code platforms offer readily available and tested code for these. Developers can drag and
drop visual blocks of such pieces of code. This saves time.
4. Low Code Development - Overview
Let's clarify one aspect first. We are talking about web app development here. Developing
relatively static websites without much coding isn't entirely new. Popular open-source "Content
Management Systems" (CMSs) like WordPress already cater to this requirement, and you can
develop professional-looking websites without coding skills.
Web app development differs from developing such relatively static websites though. You
would offer several functionalities to your users via your web app, therefore, web apps are far
So far, you needed a development team to build, test, and deploy interactive web apps. Your
choice of technology would vary depending on your functional requirements. The non-
functional requirements (NFRs) would influence your choice of technology stack too, however,
there's significant coding irrespective of the technology stack you choose.
Low-code platforms intend to make a mark here. As we stated earlier, these platforms save time
by offering visual blocks of code for common functionalities. Programmers can save time. Since
they don't need to spend time on repetitive coding tasks, they can concentrate on the most
important parts of the development process.
5. Some popular "Low code web development" platforms
● Appian Low-Code Development: Offered by Appian, this platform can expedite
development, integration, testing, and deployment.
● Claris FileMaker: This low-code platform from Claris offers built-in templates, drag-and-
drop capabilities, an interactive IDE, and more to expedite development.
● GeneXus Enterprise Low-Code: This low-code platform combines low-code capabilities
with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to expedite development, testing, and deployment.
● Mendix Low-Code: Mendix offers low-code capabilities, scale, governance, multi-user
development, cloud capabilities, and more to expedite development.
6. What is Low Code Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is a vast space. You have the following alternatives:
● Native development: You might choose to develop a fully native mobile app for Android or
iOS. You will need to use Java or Kotlin for native Android development, whereas, you need
to use Swift or Objective-C for native iOS development. Developing such apps requires
using native development IDEs and "Software Development Kits" (SDKs). Native apps
deliver the best user experience, performance, and security.
● Hybrid or PWA development: You might choose to develop a hybrid app or a "Progressive
Web App" (PWA). These are essentially web apps. You can run them on different mobile
platforms. They can't deliver the user experience and performance that native apps offer.
However, developing such apps costs less. You spend less on maintenance due to one
● Near-native development: You can use a development framework like React Native to
develop an app that can run both on Android and iOS. You can deliver near-native user
experience and performance, and you can reuse the code to a large extent. This can't
match the native user experience fully.
7. Some popular "Low code mobile app development" platforms
As we have explained, low-code platforms typically target hybrid and PWA development. These
are web apps. Therefore, you can use any of the prominent low-code platforms for web app
development that we have talked about earlier.
Note that the Appian Low-Code development platform focuses significantly on mobile
development. The Mendix Low-Code development platform deserves a mention too. It supports
React Native, therefore, you can build mobile apps that offer a near-native user experience.
8. No-code development: A brief overview
No-code development allows one to create software applications without programming
knowledge. You can use a "No-code platform" and its features and create an application quickly.
Even if you don't know anything about programming languages, the platform enables you to
create an app.
Conceptually, it's like creating a website with WordPress, the popular open-source CMS. You
might not know anything about website development. However, you have got a hosting
From that point, you can do the following:
● Install WordPress using a few clicks.
● Choose one of many WordPress themes. The theme will determine the look and feel of
● Choose WordPress plugins that deliver the functionality you want.
● Design graphics and content according to your brand guidelines.
9. No code website development: An introduction
As we have explained already, "No code" website or web app development has similarities with
"Low-code" development. You can create relatively simple websites and web apps using this.
A key point to note here is that the "No code" platforms cater to "citizen developers". "Citizen
developers" are end-users of software applications, and they don't have software development
skills. "No code" platforms allow even them to create websites or web apps.
10. Some popular "No code website development" platforms
● Airtable: This "No-code" platform provides useful templates. It offers useful integration
capabilities, and you can integrate with Gmail, Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft
● Appy Pie: Appy Pis a user-friendly "No-code" platform for both web and mobile app
development. The platform has useful templates and an intuitive workflow.
● Bubble: Bubble, a prominent "No code" website development platform offers useful
templates and integrations. You can create and launch apps quickly, furthermore, you can
● Kintone: Kintone is a user-friendly "No code" platform that offers useful templates for
functionalities like workflow management, project management, task management,
claims management, etc. You can build an application and launch it quickly.
11. What is "No code mobile app development"
"No code mobile app development" is similar to "Low code mobile app development". It targets
the space of hybrid mobile app development. The only difference is that "No code" platforms are
for end-users with no coding skills.
Some popular "No code mobile app development" platforms:
Appy Pie, the "No code" website development platform also offers "no-code mobile app
development" capabilities. You create hybrid apps using it. While this allows even end-users to
create mobile apps, the user experience isn't the same as that of native Android or iOS apps.
12. Low code vs no code: The similarities
By now, you can see the similarities between "No code" vs "Low code". To recap, the similarities
are as follows:
● Quick time-to-market: You can create applications, test, and deploy them quickly using
either of the two approaches.
● Reduced dependency on developers: Both approaches reduce dependencies on software
● Cost savings: You can get cost savings from both approaches.
● "Lock-in": Both "Low code" vs "No code" platforms lock you in with specific cloud
● Tooling support: Whether you use a "no-code" vs "low code" platform, you will have access
to interactive IDEs, deployment tools, templates, etc.
● Limitations: "No code" and "low code" approaches have limitations. These platforms don't
allow customization. You can't use them if you have complex and unique requirements.
13. No code vs low code: The differences
Having talked about the similarities between "No code" vs "Low code" platforms, we now talk
about their differences. These are as follows:
The extent of dependence on developers: "Low code" platforms have a low dependence on
software developers. You need developers, however, the platform does quite a bit. On the other
hand, "No code" platforms have no dependence on developers. Business users with no coding
skills can create applications using a "No code" platform.
The difference in objective: You will have different objectives of using "Low code" vs "no-code"
platforms. "Low code" platforms allow you to quickly launch an app with a limited development
effort. On the other hand, you use a "No code" platform to enable business users to create apps.
14. When you should consider low code vs no code
You should consider using a "Low code" or "No code" platform only if all of the following
You need to create a simple application.
The business requirements of your proposed applications are standard ones, and you don't need
You want to create, test, and launch an application quickly.
The application you plan to create isn't a strategic one, and you prioritize cost savings.
You should consider using a "No code" platform if you have no developer support at all. If you
have limited developer support, then you should use a "Low code" platform.
In this article, we talked about "Low code" and "No code" development approaches and
platforms. We discussed their pros and cons, furthermore, we reviewed their similarities and
differences. We reviewed scenarios where you should use such platforms.
Finally, we discussed scenarios where you should use custom software development
approaches offered by the likes of Devathon. Carefully analyze your requirements before
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