Have you never written a line of code in your life? Do terms like full stack and development environments confuse you to no end? Do you rely on other people for your IT needs? Don't fret because Low Code and No Code Development Platforms are here to save the day. The need and shortage of skilled developers in an ever-growing IT industry have fueled the demand for modular approaches to development where non-IT-trained professionals can also build software. Furthermore, the industry is moving towards hyper-automation and shorter turnaround times which led to the rise of Rapid Application Development (RAD) approaches such as Low Code and No Code.
The traditional approach to development requires hardcore coders well-versed in programming languages to hundreds of lines of code which is beyond the understanding of the otherwise untrained professional. Low Code and No Code Development Platforms are visual development tools that allow enterprise developers and citizen developers (non-IT professionals) to build software.
How do they work?
Essentially, LCAPs and NCAPs allow developers to utilise a user-friendly graphical interface consisting of visual building blocks such as APIs, drag-and-drops, templates, and other reusable code to avoid writing complex code to implement the task. WordPress is an excellent example of a website builder that walks the line between LCAP and NCAP. From experience, it is possible to build an entire website in under 2 hours without writing a single line of code. It also offers the feature to write custom HTML and CSS code if the user needs to implement a specific function.
LCAPs can be used to build business management platforms, website and mobile app builders, and machine learning libraries. NCAPs are excellent for building simple standalone apps and UIs, dashboards, and business intelligence reporting apps, among others. LCAP simplifies the development process by eliminating the most complex coding requirements. NCAP is a subset of LCAP, making the process even more straightforward.
Similarities and Benefits
LCAP and NCAP aim to reduce the complexity, cost and time of building software. Both development platforms are available as a Platform as a Service or PaaS. Essentially, they offer similar benefits regarding the development process.
They empower non-coders and citizen developers to take control of the development process. This reduces the time it takes to build software which further facilitates project timelines and time-to-market launch
They reduce the process's dependency on specialist developers, reducing the entire project's cost.
Speaking of cost, these modular approaches require fewer resources, fewer people, lesser infrastructure, and lower maintenance.
They increase the speed of building the process, which means you can create more prototypes, conduct more tests, gather feedback quickly and make a more intelligent product hassle-free.
There is a significant overlap between the two, but each has its purpose. There are a few subtle but significant differences between the two approaches. Let's explore a few:
The target user for an LCAP is usually a professional developer who seeks to reduce the amount of replicable code and manual work required. LCAPs automate the mundane aspects of coding, leaving the user to focus on the more specific and advanced parts of the process. On the other hand, NCAP is useful for unskilled coders with some domain knowledge.
Although faster than traditional development, an LCAP requires more training and time than an NCAP. An NCAP is highly configurable and eliminates the possibility of errors arising because of manual coding.
LCAP offers more flexibility and customisations than NCAP. LCAP is a more open system, whereas NCAP is a more closed system for the user. NCAP users have access to standard features and plugins so that LCAP users can adapt the available features for their purposes.
The Future of Low Code and No Code Development Platforms
Companies will continue to use the traditional development process for more extensive projects. LCAPs and NCAPs will see an increased adoption rate in the future as the demand for faster development rises. Professional and citizen developers will utilise these modular approaches across industries for various needs.
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.