The rise of low-code and no-code platforms for rapid application development
The idea of no-code and low-code platforms started in the early 2000s with the emergence of visual programming languages and drag-and-drop interfaces. One of the first examples of a no-code platform was Microsoft’s SharePoint, which allowed non-technical users to create and deploy their own websites and web applications using a simple visual interface. Another early example was Salesforce’s Force.com platform, which allowed users to create custom business applications using a drag-and-drop interface.
In the early days of Algoteque, we built a low-code financial system that enabled one of our banking clients to develop and manage their loan initiation and regulatory risk management processes. These platforms were primarily used for creating simple business applications such as forms, reports, and workflows. However, as technology has advanced, no-code and low-code platforms have become more powerful and versatile and are now used to create various applications, including websites, mobile apps, chatbots, and even AI models.
Today, many no-code and low-code platforms are available, such as Wix, Shopify, and Webflow for website building, AppGyver, Bubble.io, and OutSystems for app building, and Airtable, Microsoft PowerApps and Knack for creating custom business applications. New contenders are rising though, especially in the finance-related sector where understanding the underlying processes’ business domain makes general tools hardly relevant.
That’s why one of our near-shore team is involved in building a low-code solution using SureDatum’s innovative SureHub technology targeted at financial sector customers seeking to automate and integrate existing processes (including KYC and AML) to enable faster more accurate decisions while ensuring that important compliance policies are being strictly adhered to.
SureDatum provides one of the most advanced no-code platforms available on the marketplace, and we are delighted to have been in a position to deploy their engine in recent customer requests. SureDatum is part of the Stryve Group of companies headquartered in Ireland but with offices in London, Warsaw, and Washington.
In general, low-code platforms are designed for developers to create applications using a graphical user interface (GUI) with pre-built components and modules.
These platforms provide a drag-and-drop interface that allows developers to create apps by assembling building blocks rather than writing code from scratch. The platform then generates the code in the background, so the developer doesn’t need to spend their time on it. This greatly speeds up the development process, allows for more rapid deployment of applications, and in theory, reduces bug counts.
No-code platforms, on the other hand, do not require any coding skills at all. These platforms enable non-technical users to create applications using a GUI without the need for any programming knowledge. This is achieved by providing pre-built templates, workflows, and other tools that allow users to create applications without writing any code.
The increasing adoption of cloud computing has played a major role in the rise of these platforms. Cloud-based low-code and no-code platforms allow businesses to easily scale their applications and reduce the costs associated with traditional software development.
The rise of these platforms is also a result of the increasing number of non-technical employees who are required to develop and launch applications. In theory they provide a solution for non-technical teams to build applications without needing to write complex code and to involve software developers as much as with the traditional approach.
As the demand for digital transformation continues to grow, we can expect to see more and more businesses turning to low-code and no-code platforms to achieve their goals.
Here are a few free examples of mentioned above applications:
1. SureDatum: A no-code platform for building mobile and web applications. It offers a visual drag-and-drop interface, pre-built components, and integrations with most databases. It has a powerful workflow engine with a plugin architecture to provide extensibility to integrate to any system. Very useful where a gradual digital transformation approach is desired instead of a big bang.
2. OutSystems: A low-code platform with many industries-specific templates and solutions. Its market differentiation is based on an evolutionary approach to software engineering where low-code development can be used to produce applications and application components of any complexity.
3. Appian: Its LCAP offering is the Appian Platform. Appian’s market differentiation is based on its full-stack, low-code automation capabilities, which are focused on complex case management and business processes. It offers design studios for professional and citizen developers, encouraging greater collaboration between business and IT by including workflows, approvals, and change management for different developer personas.
4. Pega Systems: Primarily competes in business process automation but also offers multi-experience development, CRM, and robotic process automation (RPA) for enterprise workflows. Its market differentiation is based on a complete set of automation technologies, including process optimization, digital experience APIs for B2C user interfaces, and separate citizen and professional developer experiences.
5. Airtable: A cloud-based database platform that allows users to create custom databases and applications without needing to write code. It has a spreadsheet-like interface and supports data visualization, automation, and collaboration features.
6. Microsoft PowerApps: A low-code platform that allows users to create custom business applications without writing code. It offers a visual drag-and-drop interface, pre-built templates, and integrations with other Microsoft products and services.
7. Bubble.io: A low-code platform for building web and mobile applications. It offers a visual drag-and-drop interface, pre-built components, and the ability to create custom workflows and logic without needing to write code.
8. Appy Pie: Appy Pie is a no-code development platform that provides an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder to create web and mobile apps. It comes with a wide range of features, including a custom code editor, a wide selection of themes and templates, and a library of ready-made UI elements.
9. Form.io: Form.io is a no-code development platform that enables users to create forms, surveys, and data capture applications without writing any code. It is highly customizable and comes with a wide range of features, including a drag-and-drop form designer, a wide selection of templates, and integration with third-party services.
10. Retool: Retool is a no-code development platform that helps developers create custom applications quickly and easily. It is a highly customizable platform with a drag-and-drop editor, a wide selection of templates for various business use cases.
All these platforms can provide a faster way to create applications, but they still require careful planning, design, and testing. They also may not be suitable for all types of projects and may have limitations in terms of functionality and scalability you desire.
For example, some applications may require complex custom logic or integrations and one has to make sure it’s supported by the platform of their choice. Additionally, some no-code platforms may not be able to achieve the same level of performance and scalability as a custom-built application. Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of these platforms before choosing one for their project.
Despite potential limitations, no-code and low-code platforms have the power to democratize software development and make it easier for businesses and individuals to create and deploy their own applications.
In conclusion, no-code and low-code platforms are an ideal option for creating rapid applications. More complex projects may require traditional coding methodologies however it is also a good option to choose the platform that easily allows you to combine both.
We can’t say this enough, it’s just important to evaluate your needs and limitations before deciding on your next project tech stack.
Algoteque and SureDatum have extensive experience and a robust innovative platform for assisting in the radio deployments of complex projects. If you need help or advice with any Digital Transformation project and wish to deploy low-code or no-code platforms, please do not hesitate to contact Algoteque or SureDatum.
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