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    Can Low-code Platforms Replace Traditional Development?

    In today's dynamic and fast-paced business ecosystem, a traditional development approach is often time-consuming and requires a lot of investment. You need highly-skilled and seasoned professionals to carry out the coding. Finding skilled developers is become increasingly difficult because of the talent shortage in the IT industry.

    On the flip side of the coin, many digital trends have boomed recently as of COVID-19, including the simplified interfaces that can help users quickly build and launch custom apps with minimal hand-coding. These factors and the fact that every company strives to streamline and automate its processes allowed low-code and no-code platforms to flourish.

    The popularity of low-code application development has gained decent traction these days — according to Gartner, low-code is forecast to comprise over 65% of application development by 2024.

    Nevertheless, low-code solutions aren't as great as you might think. In this short guide, we want to highlight this methodology's key features and pitfalls.

    What is Low-code development?

    As the name implies, low-code development is a software development methodology where you can create apps with little coding. Low-code automation tools are visual-driven Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) designed for rapid application development. The need for an inclusive approach arose in response to ever-augmenting business requirements and the shortage of skilled experts.

    Unlike traditional development, which requires highly-skilled experts to handle all the code, low-code methodologies allow users to create apps with less manual coding through a graphical user interface (GUI) and its built-in drag-and-drop tooling. Drag-and-drop technology will enable you to seamlessly add and move various elements, such as buttons, images, icons, text, maps, videos, etc.

    At the same time, low-code is different from no-code — while low-code still requires knowledge of technologies and frameworks, no-code enables users to build apps with almost no hand-coding. But let’s keep the no-code approach for later.

    Usually (even based on modern agile techniques), it takes a while before you can end up with a fully-functioning product.

    On the other hand, low-code tools allow users to skip a few development cycles and get right to testing an MVP with real users. That said, low-code platforms help businesses to acquire early adopters, validate an idea, and ensure faster development and delivery.

    How Does Low-code Simplify the Development Process?

    Beyond the basics, no two low-code tools are the same. So, let’s take a specific example: how does low-code simplify the development lifecycle for a website? A popular low-code website builder is Zoho. Unlike traditional web development, there is no need for developers to write the code from scratch. Users can choose from 190+ pre-designed layout templates, which Zoho calls “sections.” While the platform doesn’t require the knowledge of HTML or CSS, those skilled in either can use a code editor and customize existing themes by adding custom codes. So, low-code platforms provide building blocks that specialists can assemble into finished workflows and applications. They are in no direct competition with developers.

    Leading platforms

    There are several leading low-code application platforms (LCAP) on the market, like Mendix low-code software, OutSystems or Appian.

    The best low-code development platforms should provide comprehensive tooling to support testing, building, and deploying applications. For instance, Mendix provides services for everything from conception and development to deployment and operation. According to them, it allows users to create ten times faster with 70% fewer resources.

    Pros of Low-code Development

    Citizen developers and non-tech-savvy users can utilize low-code/no-code platforms to build custom-designed products while avoiding some hand-coding tasks. Seasoned experts and software providers can also use low-code solutions as supplementary tools in addition to their traditional toolset.

    Low-code tools can enhance the entire workflow and propel your IT teams' productivity by equipping them with powerful tools for quick and smooth app creation. Now, let's look at this development technique's major benefits.

    Improved speed

    You can create solutions for several platforms in one go and demonstrate to investors or stakeholders a fully-functioning MVP within the shortest time possible.

    Resources saving

    If you are about to start a new big project, you don’t have to wait for your experts to finish their projects. With low-code tools, you can save time and the company’s resources by getting things done more quickly and at a lower cost than a traditional approach.

    Low risk and high ROI

    Low-code platforms are backed by the best industry standards and security practices: cross-platform support, data integration and up-to-date security algorithms are built-in features. Hence, you can focus on more important business tasks while ensuring your workflow is highly protected and customized.

    Easy deployment

    Most often than not, the launch day is about unexpected problems and new emergency bugs. With low-code tools, you can roll all changes back to a stable version with just a single click and fix the issues early on.

    Lifecycle support and seamless integration

    Low-code platforms support the entire application development lifecycle from idea to exit, including DevOps and CI/CD. Besides, the low-code platform APIs allow for external integration with tools to support project management, DevOps, testing and CICD pipelines.

    Cons of Low-code Development

    At first glance, low-code software is a perfect solution for app development, but there are also multiple drawbacks.

    Business logic complication

    Low-code tools like Mendix are excellent for automating processes or prototyping. Once the prototyping stage is passed, you'll need an expert team to develop a project. Today's low-code platforms are not perfect, so relying on them is not good.

    Limited functionality

    The number of functions you can implement in a low-code development tool is limited. It is a quick way to build applications, but you do not have many options if you want to try something different.

    Drag & drop functionality features can be helpful under certain circumstances. But when you need a unique feature unavailable, you will need some custom code. Integrating this custom code can cost much more than a completely customized solution built from scratch.

    No technical background myth

    Despite the name, you still need a robust technical background to use low-code tools. Furthermore, you first need to examine basic low-code development requirements and technologies, which take time to learn and adapt.

    Security limitations

    Low-code solutions have in-build security protocols but still can't provide the same security level as standalone development technologies. With an application based on low-code platforms, you have neither complete control over data security nor access to source code. Hence, you can’t define all the possible vulnerabilities out there.

    How is Using Low-code Different from Traditional Development?

    In stark contrast to low-code solutions, traditional development is 100% coding from start to finish, also called custom software development. It wouldn’t be fair to say that people are torn between these two options, but there are enough enthusiasts on both sides.

    Below are the main practical differences between low-code and traditional development.

    Low-code vs. Traditional Development






    Drag-and-drop environments

    Manual Coding

    Coding Skill Required

    Minimal experience



    Takes weeks

    Takes months

    Level of Customization

    Limited (depending on the platform)

    Extremely high


    Built for specific business needs

    Full-scale development







    App Performance



    Concluding Thoughts

    Now that we know the major pros and cons of low-code methodology, we can understand that it is not meant to replace traditional development or professional software providers.

    Instead, companies must utilize low-code practices to strengthen a conventional approach and fill its gaps. When combined, low-code and traditional techniques can ensure faster and more productive application development.

    Low-code solutions are not for everyone. And especially at their current level of customization and complexity, they are not a substitute for a developer. There is no indication that low-code platforms can understand advanced and detailed applications and real developers. Ultimately, low-code development tools work best as tools for reducing software developers’ workloads.

    With this in mind, low-code platforms significantly enhance speed-to-market and improve overall business efficiency when used in tandem with traditional methods. All in all, no silver bullet can turbo-boost your business, so it’s vital to consider multiple options and get professional advice. We at ExpertTal are always eager to share our best expertise with you. Please, feel free to drop us a line whenever you see fit.

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    About the Author

    Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.

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