It’s been a while now since low-code platforms took the world by storm. When they first
arrived, these platforms came armed with visual editors that we’re able to reduce coding time manifold. As a result, productivity improved by a mammoth amount. Low-code platforms really seemed like the best thing after sliced bread.
Until… the no-code revolution came along. No-code platforms are (paradoxically) a step up
from the low-code ones in the sense that these platforms made the process of coding even
simpler – by making it virtually non-existent.
Both low-code and no-code platforms have completely transformed the software development space. This is why you might be forgiven for thinking that the two of them are quite similar to each other. Going by the names of the platforms (“low-code” and “no-code”), they do seem like siblings in the coding space.
However, there are certain key differences between the two that make them entirely different.
What are they, and how do they affect the development of software in this modern world of
ours? Let’s take a look!
1. Target Audience
The most important difference between low-code and no-code platforms is the target
an audience that the two are aimed at. Low-code platforms are aimed towards software
developers and IT engineers who already possess the technical know-how of coding.
No-code platforms, on the other hand, are aimed towards citizen users who are complete
newbies when it comes to coding. These users come from all sorts of backgrounds, and they
typically do not hold any sort of technical expertise when it comes to software development.
Since low-code platforms and no-code platforms have been developed for different target
audiences, they also serve very different purposes. Low-code platforms, for instance, allow
developers to do what they have been doing all their lives, albeit in a much more efficient
manner. In other words, low-code platforms only exist to speed up the process of technical
development. Increasing the productivity of the developers by saving precious time and
the effort, therefore, is the main purpose that low-code platforms serve.
On the contrary, no-code platforms exist solely to improve the user experience of users who
wish to develop an application. Since no-code platforms are aimed at newbies, they entirely
abstract the technical details of software development to the back-end. This leaves users of
no-code with a clean and easy-to-understand user interface.
Low-code and no-code platforms differ in the amount of openness that they afford to their
users. Low-code platforms are better in this regard because developers can use such
platforms to make customizable codes for their applications. Users can either tweak existing
codes or add and delete certain codes to make crucial changes to the application that they are
No-code platforms, as you might have guessed, are entirely closed off to the user. This means
that users cannot write in any customizable codes whatsoever. In other words, the old adage,
“what you see is what you get” holds true in this regard. This is what makes no-code
platforms so ideal for a beginner.
4. Use Cases
The openness that a low-code system offers to the user makes low-code platforms applicable
to a wide variety of use cases. Low-code platforms can be used for developing extremely
demanding business applications as well as most kinds of heavy-use consumer applications.
The apps that are developed by low-code can thereby be used in support major business
operations and processes.
No-code applications, on the other hand, are not great for developing demanding
applications. This is why the number of use-cases that are applicable to no-code platforms are
significantly less when compared to low-code platforms. In other words, no-code platforms
cannot really be used to create anything other than stand-alone mobile apps or front-end apps
that are not required for critical business operations.
System integration is another area in which low-code platforms and no-code platforms differ
vastly. Since low-code apps can be edited by the developer, they are more compatible with
system integrations. Apps that have been developed by low-code, therefore, allow users to
use data from all kinds of systems.
Predictably, the case is reversed when it comes to no-code apps. Integration with other
systems are not possible or extremely difficult with apps that have been developed through no-
Low-code platforms allow developers to create more complex applications and more
demanding solutions that can cater to the growing needs of a business. This is the reason low-
code platforms require users to shell out a higher budget.
On the other hand, no-code apps are quite inexpensive in comparison, since they are for the
development of extremely simple and basic apps that do not require customization.
Because of the amount of customization that low-code platforms give to the user, low-code
platforms suffer from limited backward compatibility customization. This means that
upgrades that developers release for low-code apps can turn out to be a bit of a pain.
Upgrades to a low-code app inevitably make changes to the manner in which the app works.
This ultimately affects the way in which customers can use a particular functionality.
No-code apps, however, do not suffer from this problem. This is mainly because, as we have
As already discussed, no-code apps are developed in a closed system. This means that apps that have been developed on no-code platforms will only have one version at any given time.
Upgrades, therefore, do not cause breaks in the system or changes in the functionality.
Low-code platforms offer customizable options and are slightly more complex, which means
that they are accessible to experienced programmers only. It is required, therefore, for users
of low-code platforms to have undergone some kind of technical training.
No-code platforms, on the other hand, can be used by pretty much anyone and everyone out there. No prior training in software development is required for no-code apps.
9. Simplicity of Use
Both low-code platforms and no-code platforms exist to make our lives easier. However, the
two platforms differ significantly in the amount of simplicity they afford to the users. For
instance, since low-code platforms require some amount of technical expertise for the
development of apps, they are definitely more complex to use.
No-code platforms, on the other hand, exist solely to cater to the layman and are therefore
known specifically for their simplicity of use.
10. Data Governance
Data structures and levels of data quality differences when it comes to low-code apps and no-code
apps. Data structures are much easier to manage when apps have been built with some
amount of code., which means that low-code apps are easier to manage in terms of large
amounts of data.
On the other hand, stand-alone apps that have been built with no-code are prone to several
versions of the truth littered across varying structures and levels of data. This is why aspects
such as customer records management and general data protection regulation can become
quite challenging on no-code apps.
Low-code or no-code? Which is better for you?
As you can see, both low-code and no-code are like two sides of the same coin. On the one
side, they both exist to increase productivity and reduce the amount of time and effort you
would otherwise be spending on high-end coding solutions. On the other hand, the way they go about providing this to the user is entirely different.
Now, before you decide whether you should choose low-code or no-code for your own app, it would be a good idea for you to first examine the kind of solution you require at this moment.
Do you wish for an app that can be integrated into various aspects of your business ecosystem? Then go low-code. On the other hand, do you wish to build an app to solve an
an immediate business problem without calling your IT professionals away from critical
projects? Then go no-code. As you can see, which platform you choose really does depend on
what end solution you require for your business.
You can rest assured that no matter which platform you choose, you will be improving on
speed and productivity to a great extent. There is no denying that both low-code and no-code have changed the face of software development in recent years. It is likely, therefore, that they are going to do the same for your business as well.