Guide to Low Code Development Tools:

How to Choose the Right Low Code Tool for Your Organization



What Is Low Code Development?

Low-code app development allows for the fast creation of mobile and web applications by users with a wide range of coding experience. This relatively new approach, which reduces the amount of native code required to program business applications, can be used by non-developers to build applications without coding, as well as experienced developers seeking to speed up the process.

 

How Developers Use Low Code Tools

Low code application development platforms are popular for creating customizable business applications or mobile apps that work across multiple devices and operating systems. No-code app development, which utilizes a drag-and-drop interface for building apps and doesn't require any coding at all, is a subset of the category. Though there has been concern about the scalability of these applications, rapid application development can help software developers build complex, enterprise-grade applications more rapidly than native coding.

 

Finding the Best Low Code Software

The backlog of required business apps is exploding and solutions to reduce hand-coding is a key means to meet this demand for digital transformation. But with over 150 no-code and low code vendors to consider, as well as a myriad of complex technical requirements – there are a lot of critical questions buyers must ask as they navigate the marketplace and implement a solution.

Finding the Best Low Code Software | Alpha Software

This guide to low-code software outlines some of the pros and cons of low code tools, and offers practical guides for evaluating and successfully implementing this type of development approach, such as:

What Is Low-Code Development? | Alpha Software

Part I: Low-Code Development Handbook

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Part 1: Adopting Low Code Development at Your Enterprise

Part 1 of the guide offers the latest research on the changing face of business app developers in the next few years, pragmatic examples of IT-led citizen development, and a list of requirements to ensure successful democratization of app development at your organization. The report includes recent data on low-code trends and low-code predictions.


Part 2: 7 Necessary Features of Low Code Development Tools

As you determine the right tool for your organization, Part 2 of the guide offers a list of the most critical enterprise-grade capabilities that your development team should evaluate to ensure that both IT teams and line-of-business users can be successful with the platform in the long-run. Does the development tool you're considering have what it takes to succeed at enterprise app development and deployment? For example, can it tie into business process management systems?


Part 3: Determining the Best Low-Code Development Tools

There are key lessons to learn from other buyers' evaluation experiences. In Part 3 of the guide, read how one professional developer:

  • Determined the top 8 low code development platforms to evaluate
  • Set a methodology with 11 criteria to compare and test
  • Evaluated what he learned
  • Revealed which product came out on top for enterprise app development

Part 4: Achieving Returns on Low Code Development: Licensing Models and How They Affect TCO

Low-code development tools accelerate delivery and enable app production at a lower cost. However, to ensure return on investment, organizations have to know the price and licensing structure to understand what the tool will ultimately cost them. If the development platform you select does not have the right combination of licensing, hosting, services and training, you could find scaling app development very painful and costly. Part 4 of the guide will help you negotiate the best price for your development platform by providing insight into:

  • Types of licensing models and how they affect TCO
  • New services and training offerings that save BIG money
  • Negotiating the best price and package with a software vendor

How to Choose the Best Low Code Software

How To Choose The Best Low-Code Software | Alpha Software

Low code platforms are so useful, that the question no longer is whether you should use them. The question is: how do you pick the right low code app development product?

Low-code platforms are helping fight COVID-19 and get businesses to the new normal. COVID-19 has spurred the use of these platforms to help companies transform themselves.

  • Forrester estimates that the low code development platform market would grow more than 40% a year and reach $21.2 billion by 2022.
  • Gartner forecasts that more than 65% of app development would be done via low code application platforms by 2024.

So the real question for your company now is how to choose a low code tool or rather the best one for your unique situation?

Selection Criteria for Low Code Tools

There’s a wide variety of general-purpose and specialized low code development platforms to choose from. In addition there are low code solutions that can be tailored to the specific needs of enterprise customers. Naturally platforms with deeper capabilities are more expensive than others.

Given the availability of diverse platforms, it’d be best to carefully consider two key factors when selecting the right low code development platform that fits all your requirements: what do you want it to do and who will be using it.

What do you want the platform to do?

There are low code mobile app development tools, which, as the name suggests, cater to mobile apps while others like web app tools are better suited for web applications. Still other specialized solutions are designed for a specific functionality or industry. What specific function or task will your platform be used for?

There are also many general purpose platforms that serve various types of mobile and web apps throughout their complete lifecycle. Most startups and small to mid-sized businesses don’t need low code solutions with deep capabilities; they can opt for those with moderate capabilities which are quite cost efficient too.

Who will be using the low code platform?

Another crucial consideration is who will be using the low code solution. Will it be used by technical or non-technical users? For instance, if the intended users are professional developers, you can opt for low code app development tools that require programming knowledge and offer a high degree of customization to suit varying business needs.

On the other hand, when choosing a low code platform for non-technical users, it’d be best to check that the solution doesn’t require a high level of proficiency. Platforms that focus on visual development tools are best for non-technical users although they may offer less scope for tailoring.

Based on these factors, you can choose the ideal low code development tool or get one customized as per your specific business demands.

 

A Checklist for Selecting Low Code Software

  1. Establish that the low-code software offers a world-class user experience, such as a visual model
  2. Make sure all the apps it builds run on mobile devices without requiring extra coding
  3. Check that the platform includes pre-built templates you can use to speed productivity
  4. Ensure the development environment offers easy to use tools
  5. Double-check that the platform has built-in cloud deployment
  6. Ensure you can fully customize your apps for any business process
  7. Confirm that the platform can easily connect to your databases, data models and internal systems
  8. Investigate the training tools and programs and make sure they’re robust
  9. Establish that outstanding support is available
  10.  Verify that the software includes enterprise-level security

Source: Business.com, “How Low-Code Platforms Empower Citizen Developers and Grow Businesses,” 

Selecting Low-Code Software | Alpha Software

Criteria for Evaluating Low Code Software: A Deeper Dive

The Business.com article, “How Low Code Platforms Empower Citizen Developers and Grow Businesses,” offers some excellent advice for selecting the right low-code app development platform.

Criteria for Evaluating Low-Code Software | Alpha SoftwareFirst of all, the article, advises, choose a low code platform that offers a world-class user experience. The article notes: “Ensure that apps developed using your platform of choice look great and perform well. Otherwise, your developers will only end up building shelf-ware.”

Next, make sure the platform can build apps that run on mobile devices without having to do additional coding.

Especially important, the article says, is that the platform lets you use pre-built templates, because they dramatically increase productivity. “For example,” it says, “if you’re looking at low-code platforms for process automation, make sure that your solution provides a variety of pre-built templates that can serve as starting points…It speeds up app development but the templates are well designed and tested so you’ll end up with a more reliable and secure application.”

The platform should include intuitive, visual, easy-to-use tools. That means it should have drag-and-drop tools, wizards, and similar features.

It’s particularly important that the platform include cloud deployment. The article says, “Embrace the cloud. Seriously.” That leads to greater security, easier deployment, and sped-up development.

Low Code Mobile App Development Tools | Alpha Software

The platform should allow developers to fully customize business apps. It suggests, “The platform should include visual tools so that business users can customize and manage their apps themselves.”

And the article goes on to say, it’s particularly vital that the platform can easily connect to databases and a company’s internal systems.

Often overlooked is the importance of training and support. Make sure that the vendor offers training. Customer support is also vital.

The article recommends, “Pay attention to the SLA and read online reviews. Happy customers often mention the quality of support they receive and it’s something you should look out for in reviews and referrals.”

Finally, pay attention to the basics, including enterprise-level security and scalability.

If you do all that you’ll go a long way towards choosing the right low-code platform and quickly reaping its benefits.

One Low Code Platform Checks all the Boxes

Alpha Software checks all the boxes for those looking to buy the best low-code platform. Alpha Software products are ideal for companies of all sizes that want to build powerful business applications and apps. Alpha TransForm helps business users craft online 

Mobile App Development Software | Alpha Software

or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. Alpha Anywhere has the unique ability to rapidly create mobile-optimized forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with any database or web service and can exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality. Alpha Anywhere offers a free version, allowing you to build all the apps  you need at no charge and with no time limitations.


Have questions? Contact Alpha Software at 781-850-4600