Low Code Pros and Cons

Low-code development is a way to build mobile and desktop applications with minimal hand coding (typing code manually). Also, you don’t need a vast knowledge of programming languages.

Typing code line-by-line takes time. Before you can start creating any application, you need to test coding in a non-production setting.

Low-code development platforms have intuitive user interfaces or drag and drop tools, making it far quicker to develop an application. They also remove the need for tedious coding.

Furthermore, some low code development tools give you the option of adding layers of code, but only if and when you choose.

Gartner believes that the increased demand for custom software to support digital transformation has triggered the growth of citizen developers outside IT, which in turn has influenced the rise of low code.

What Are the Advantages of Low Code Development Tools?

Research by Forester shows that low-code development platforms are growing 50% year over year. This is due to the advancement of low-code capabilities to meet the needs of enterprises and help accelerate business processes.

Why is low-code development growing rapidly? Firstly, it enables business users with minimal coding knowledge to build exciting mobile and desktop applications.

Secondly, it helps businesses digitize time-sapping manual processes like employee workflows, payroll, and more.

Another plus is IT departments can focus on more pressing issues and business users can also use their creativity to build fully functional apps. Other advantages of low code are:

Benefits of Low Code Platforms

  • Rapid Development Time: According to Forester, low code development platforms make software development ten times faster than using the traditional method. Speed is one of low -code’s most crucial benefits. It can take only 2-3 days to create enterprise-grade apps - much faster than traditional hand-coding. Low code platforms include in-built templates, drag and drop functions, and business process data models which accelerate development time.
  • Helps Businesses To Remain Agile: In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, a business needs to adapt and respond effectively to market shifts and potential opportunities. Using a traditional development approach to create applications is too time-consuming. Low-code development tools help prepare systems to meet an almost endless set of requirements more rapidly with little risk.
  • Less coding: Low-code requires less coding, making it less time-consuming and error-prone. Pre-built components and off-the-shelf features speed up your development team’s efforts. Developers save time as there is no need to write and rewrite boilerplate code.
  • Cloud-Hosting: Versatility is a strong benefit of low-code platforms. Businesses can deliver full-stack solutions in weeks and sometimes even days. Low-code solutions are ideal for cloud hosting, which itself helps to make agile software delivery faster.

More Benefits of Low Code Platforms

  • Democratization Of Application Development: The Low-code approach enables citizen developers to contribute to application delivery. Most citizen developers don't have a programmer's experience to code an entire application by hand, but have the necessary business knowledge to create functional applications to speed up business processes.
  • Outstanding User Experiences: Low-code development platforms come with pre-built UI patterns, screen templates with ready-to-use layouts, styles, components, logic, and widgets. These features provide the building blocks to create outstanding user experiences and intuitive user interfaces. All of these features have been specifically prepared and tested. They integrate easily with each other and work well across a range of devices.
  • Increased Productivity: The pre-built elements of low-code development platforms allow developers to save valuable time because they don’t need to hand code. By using low-code platforms, technical teams can build more applications faster. They don't have to spend unnecessary time on small tasks and can instead focus on creating more complex and business-relevant projects.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Low Code Development?

While low-code certainly has its advantages, there are also drawbacks. There is no disputing its massive growth or widespread popularity. However, like everything else, there are pros and cons of low code.

If you would ask a low code vendor, they'll tell you that their tools can solve all your problems, but that isn't very realistic.

Here are some pros and cons of low code development and what areas you should carefully consider before purchasing a low code tool.

There are three types of pros and cons of low code that can affect different aspects of a business:

  • Business Benefits or Disadvantages
  • Operational Benefits or Disadvantages
  • User Benefits or Disadvantages
Happy Developer Reading the Pros of Low-Code Development | Alpha Software

Pros of Low Code Development

  • Low Code Can Mitigate Shadow IT: According to Gartner, demand for applications is growing 5x faster than an IT department's ability to deliver them. If users don't get what they want right away, there's a good chance they'll adopt a third-party solution, which is known as shadow IT. One way for an IT department to avoid Shadow IT involvement is to have IT sanctioned low-code development platforms that allow business users to build their own solutions without inconveniencing IT while the (IT) department controls the data and user access.
  • Accomplish More with Existing Skills: Web development is constantly changing and requires new skills. Many companies are finding that they face a skills gap. Hiring highly skilled developers when they have to work with outdated applications and systems is not cost-effective. Low-code development bridges the skills gap in an innovative way: It brings current skills to the existing workforce. For example, the IT leaders of one company used a low-code tool to turn COBOL programmers into web application developers. 
  • Cross-Platform Functionality: With low-code development, you can build an application once and deploy it across a range of devices. Because of its cross-platform functionality and 1-click deployments, new features and updates can be created just once for all application instances. The result is providing an equally outstanding user experience across desktop, mobile, and tablet.

Low-code also has its flaws, but there are ways to overcome them. A list of requirements and goals is helpful when checking out low-code platforms.

Cons of Low-Code Development:

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  • Low Code Can Promote Shadow IT: There are situations where leaders of IT departments discover that an individual or department is using an unapproved low-code development tool. This wastes resources, and creates security risks. How can you solve this problem? Look out for warning signs, such as your helpdesk receiving requests for unfamiliar software. It's also crucial that you try to understand what issues a department is facing.
  • Vendor Lock-In: Vendor lock-in is one of the biggest fears surrounding low-code development platforms. Many assume that they are locked in to the vendor they choose. However, this varies from vendor to vendor. Some vendors produce clean, standardized code that works everywhere. This makes it easier to maintain an application within their platform. However, an application can be maintained outside of their platform. Other vendors generate convoluted code that makes it nearly impossible to maintain an application outside of their platform. Other vendors don't allow you to make changes to your applications once you stop using their tool.
  • Customization: When creating custom software, the only limitations developers may face are hardware and native language capabilities. Low-code development platforms are more constrained. A business may not get the exact functionality they want or need. With some low-code solutions, the user interface and flow may be limited. On the other hand, customization options vary between platforms. Some offer limited customization choices, while others give you access to the underlying code. With some, you can create applications that meet your needs; with others, you can't. Before you choose a platform, you should know the limits of your customization options.

What is a Low Code Development Platform?

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Low-Code Development Platform Defined:

A low-code development platform requires minimal coding skills. It relies on simple logic-driven visual interfaces or drag-and-drop functionalities. Thanks to these intuitive low-coding tools, non-professional and professional programmers can create applications of varying complexity. Here are some essential features of low-code platforms:

Out-Of-The-Box Functionality: Low-code development platforms also have out-of-the-box functionality, which means all the modules you need to build an app are pre-built into the platform - from data management to sales processes or service management needed for customer-facing apps. Pre-built components can also be reused to build other applications.

Other Essentials for Low-Code Development Platforms

Security and Scalability Features: Security features are essential for all low-code development platforms. They ensure that all apps that are built are safe and secure at all times. Scalability is another essential feature for low-code platforms. It ensures that the apps that are built can adapt to changing or growing business needs.

Reporting and Monitoring: Low-code development platforms have a reporting and monitoring feature that assesses the effectiveness of app processes and workflows. Some platforms allow you to monitor the performance of other apps and compare them to your own.

Developers Building Apps With Low-Code | Alpha Software

The Benefits of Low-Code vs. No-Code Platforms

Before we discuss which low-code vs. no-code is better for building mobile or web apps, we need a clear idea of the basic differences.

While low-code development platforms are meant for business users with limited programming skills, no-code platforms are meant for even those who have no programming skills.

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It's important to understand which low code software can optimize web apps and mobile apps, depending on what you need to build.

Low-Code Mobile Apps | Alpha Software

Low-Code Vs No-Code in Creating Web and Mobile Apps: Low-code development platforms use visual declarative techniques instead of traditional programming. However, they require coding skills to complete integration with other systems. No-code, on the other hand, uses drag-and-drop tools that appeal to a broader audience without programming knowledge. This is achieved through workflow templates and element libraries

What is Best to Use for Web Vs Mobile apps? Low-code development platforms are best for building standalone web and mobile apps, as well as portals that will need to integrate with other systems and multiple data sources. In fact, low-code can be used for just about any application. Low-code web and mobile apps should only be used for front-end use cases.

What Are the Best No-Code and Low-Code Development Platforms?

The growth of no-code and low-code development platforms means there are various platforms. Here are just a few of many.

Microsoft PowerApps (Low-Code)

Microsoft PowerApps Logo | Low Code Software	PowerApps is Microsoft's low-code development platform, its main advantage is its integration with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Flow, and Microsoft BI, making it easier to get data into and out of any of the Office365 applications your organization uses daily. It is also relatively quick to build a simple application from scratch. All you need to do is follow the instructions. However, PowerApp’s multiple menus can make this quite challenging at first.

While PowerApps is marketed as a platform that requires no programming knowledge, some apps do require extensive knowledge. So you may need to spend time on training before you can create a professional app. There are also additional costs. Paying for multiple users can increase your monthly costs - which may not be affordable for small businesses.

 

Appy Pie (No-Code)

Appy Pie Logo | No Code Mobile Application Development PlatformAppy Pie is a web-based app development platform that makes it easy to build apps with a drag-and-drop interface, no coding knowledge required. Many small businesses have found that it is easy to create basic applications. Appy Pie allows users to add features to customizable apps like contact forms or schedulers.

The creators of this platform claim that you can create an enterprise app that matches the quality of Uber. The reality is that there is a limited selection of templates and layouts. For more advanced features, you'll need the help of a third-party developer.

Alpha Anywhere (Low-Code)

Alpha Anywhere Logo | Low-Code Development SoftwareAlpha Anywhere low-code software provides developers with a single platform to develop web, desktop, and mobile business applications. It is the ideal platform for citizen developers who have specific business needs and developers who have the technical knowledge to work in tandem to produce custom apps that integrate with company workflows, data sources, applications, and legacy systems. Alpha Anywhere allows developers to get their work done easily whether it involves server code, HTML, Java, or CSS.

Powerapps Low-Code Screenshots | Alpha Software

Alpha TransForm (No-Code)

Alpha Transform Logo | No-Code Development SoftwareAlpha TransForm is a mobile forms builder for developers and business users alike. It enables the creation of applications that fit into enterprise workflows and digitize any work process for smartphones and tablets, such as compliance and auditing and reporting, inventory tracking... and more. It allows citizen and professional developers to build apps in hours and days, rather than weeks. Other features include data capture of business and field information, data collection in remote areas without Wi-Fi or a cell signal.


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 A Final Summary...

Low-code development platforms have both advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages is the higher production of applications, promoting business agility and facilitating digitization. The disadvantages are that on some platforms there is an increased chance of vendor lock in, less customization options, and less security. With Alpha Anywhere and Alpha Transform, there are greater customization options, you can use an app outside of the platform, and there is more emphasis on secure mobile and web app development.

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The Best Software for Low Code App Development

You'll find Alpha Anywhere is the best low code development platform for building web and mobile apps for business.  We've made it easy to get started with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition, a full-featured and FREE low-code development environment. We have a team of experienced app designers and developers ready to help with 1:1 mentoring and tutorials on how to build mobile apps.