Low-Code/No-Code Software Development: A Comprehensive Guide
The innovations behind low-code/no-code platforms are driving more effective and cost-efficient software development practices
Software development expertise has been the driving force of contemporary innovation, yet Gartner predicts that by 2024, 80% of technology products and services will be built by people who are not traditional development professionals. How is this possible?
Because people can now create software using no-code and low-code platforms, quickly producing enterprise-grade applications at a fraction of the cost. These low-code/no-code solutions, including everything from prototyping to cloud infrastructure automation, can help businesses minimize time to market and overcome skill/demand gaps when developing new digital products.
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What Are No-Code Platforms?
No-code platforms allow users to create software applications and their requisite underlying infrastructure without writing code. They accomplish this task with simple graphical interfaces that don’t expect users to have pre-existing knowledge of programming languages or software development tools.
On a practical level, no-code software often features templates and simple menus that designers can customize for different applications, allowing citizen developers to build simple programs from scratch or aid larger development teams, who can then focus on server integration, database management, or other complicated and time-consuming work. This versatility lets the platforms support various applications, including interactive forms, online payment processing portals, websites, infrastructure for cloud-based development, and more.
For an in-depth history of no-code software development, check out “What Are No-Code Platforms?”
What Are Low-Code Platforms?
Low-code platforms produce applications using lean code that is either auto-generated or prefabricated. They include simple graphical interfaces that intelligently interpret code to fill in required details automatically and account for commonly used features. As a result, software products designed using low-code platforms are often of similar or higher quality than manually-designed applications at a fraction of the time and cost.
According to Gartner, enterprise-grade low-code application platforms include:
- UI capabilities through responsive web and mobile applications.
- Orchestration or choreography of pages, business processes, and decisions or business rules.
- A built-in database.
- “One button” deployment of applications.
By relying on a combination of lean code and prefabricated resources, low-code platforms reduce the chances of human error in the finished product. In doing so, applications are less likely to suffer security breaches while complying fully with specific compliance standards, such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and others.
For examples of low-code software development solutions, check out “What Are Low-Code Platforms?”
What Are the Benefits of Low-Code/No-Code Development?
Traditional software development can be both costly and time-consuming, especially when performed at scale. Completing a single application might require months or years of development with contributions from dozens of developers. These kinds of demands for creating any given piece of software are becoming increasingly unrealistic when there are 900,000 unfilled IT positions in the United States, and demand for IT professionals is projected to increase 13% by 2030.
Low-code/no-code development, on the other hand, supports lean development teams, which reduces annual costs and labor especially in the case of cloud automation platforms like DuploCloud. In addition, research suggests these platforms can speed up development pipelines by 10 times. These results can help large companies become more efficient by tearing down organizational silos and empowering citizen developers who can handle routine functions while dedicated development teams devote time and energy to more complex tasks. Meanwhile, small teams and startups can remain competitive while achieving otherwise impossible levels of productivity.
Read our white paper for more in-depth information on how no code/low-code applications can cut development time and streamline operations.
The potential benefits of no code/low-code development apply across industries, but are particularly notable when deploying cloud-based applications which otherwise require a massive organizational investment in traditional development environments. Platforms that are purpose-built for cloud technology and provide native support for services — such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform — shave entire months from development time.
For a more detailed comparison of no-code/low-code platforms, look at “Low-Code vs No-Code: What’s the Difference?”
3 Examples of No-Code Development Platforms
The principles driving low-code/no-code software aren’t new. In 2022, many kinds of development teams can find well-established enterprise platforms to serve their purposes, from CRM to video game creation and beyond. To better understand these features, it can be helpful to look at examples of these platforms in detail. Let’s start with cloud, web, and mobile app development.
Cloud Infrastructure Deployment: DuploCloud
DuploCloud is a cloud infrastructure automation platform designed to reduce configuration and deployment times from six months to just a few weeks. Under traditional development, DevOps teams must manually compile thousands of lines of code to handle configurations across the CI/CD pipeline, app provisioning tools, diagnostic and security controls, and cloud platform services. To address these issues, DuploCloud relies on an easy-to-use web application that provisions Infrastructure-as-Code to align with your application’s needs, allowing development teams to focus on the part that matters most: building world-class, cloud-native software at scale. It also continuously monitors security and compliance standards to stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and best practices.
Web Application Development: Betty Blocks
Betty Blocks is a web development tool that uses a drag-and-drop interface to arrange prefabricated code blocks intuitively. This approach gives users a solid foundation for building robust web software for enterprise use and is accessible to novice developers. Betty Blocks can generate NDAs for legal departments, manage risk assessment processes, or create knowledge bases for customer service teams. Just as important, Betty Blocks is a complete tool that doesn’t require additional software, limiting security concerns.
Mobile App Development: Adalo
Adalo streamlines the technical elements of app design — such as windows, videos, images, and buttons — into sequences of reusable components that users can arrange through a graphical interface. It’s also capable of generating internal databases that house inventory, collect user data inputs, and more. In addition, Adalo’s robust tools help developers manage user permissions, deliver push notifications, access camera functions, and seamlessly publish to Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
For more examples of no-code platforms, read “The 10 Best No-Code Platforms That Accelerate Development.”
3 Examples of Low-Code Development Platforms
Low-code solutions can be especially potent and flexible for users who have a baseline grasp of coding fundamentals. Here are some more examples of platforms that can serve as a force multiplier for development via low-code interfaces.
Cloud Infrastructure Deployment: DuploCloud
DuploCloud isn’t just a no-code platform — it also acts as a low-code development solution with its Terraform provider. DuploCloud includes a CI/CD framework to build, test, and deploy applications using GitHub commits and PRs. The platform lets developers quickly provision secure and compliant cloud infrastructures by writing a fraction of the Terraform Infrastructure-as-Code.
Web Development: OutSystems
OutSystems uses AI to assist in the creation of web applications at any scale. Its low-code tools help developers produce in-house operational software, massive consumer products, and everything in between while maintaining a high-quality and secure user experience. OutSystems also provides complete support to assist developers in back-end, front-end, process orchestration, integration, and data development.
Mobile App Development: Appery
Appery is a low-code development platform that simplifies the process of designing iOS and Android apps. Appery includes robust support and customization features tailored for experienced developers, along with a similar drag-and-drop interface to tools such as Betty Blocks. With these tools, tech teams can enhance existing workflows, add custom code, and access valuable resources at any step in the development process.
For more examples of low-code platforms, read “The 5 Best Low-Code Platforms for Shortening Development Timelines.”
Choose the Unified Low-Code/No-Code DevOps Solution
Despite all the advancements in software development, there is still a significant skill-demand gap between designing and building cloud-based applications. Low-code/no-code solutions are essential for DevOps teams to remain competitive in this environment.
DuploCloud’s DevOps-as-a-service platform accomplishes this goal by automating the provisioning of resources, integrating CI/CD pipelines, and maintaining strict security and compliance standards in your application. These low-code/no-code processes dramatically reduce configuration and deployment times while increasing your team’s effectiveness. Read our white paper to learn more about how the low-code/no-code movement will help you deploy cloud applications 10x faster.