A low-code platform speeds the development and deployment of enterprise-grade business applications, typically for teams within and across business units. Low-code platforms — sometimes referred to as Rapid Application Development (RAD) platforms, Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS), or high-productivity application development platforms—make it possible for both professional coders and non-traditional developers to create and deploy these applications in days or weeks, instead of months. The ability to reduce the effort of manual coding empowers them to quickly drive business agility and innovation to where it is needed most.
Unlike traditional, high-control development platforms that require years of technical training and coding expertise in core programming languages such as .NET, Java, C# and C++, low-code platforms are designed to drive easier, faster app development.
Low-code platforms feature visual modeling or “declarative” development tools and pre-built templates and components that significantly reduce the amount of hand-coding needed to build.
More complex than no-code development platforms that can be readily employed by “builders” or “citizen developers” with basic spreadsheet skills, low-code platforms are often used by individuals in Business Unit IT with extensive skills in spreadsheets, scripting, business process modeling and business analysis.
And while these “power builders” don’t typically have professional coding backgrounds, they can leverage low-code platforms to create strategic and highly customized applications capable of scaling to large numbers of users across the enterprise.
In the event that more involved functionality is required, such as integration with critical internal systems or non-native third-party applications, citizen developers and power builders can easily collaborate with IT DevOps professionals across either platform.
IT specialists can assist by providing the added programming expertise needed to achieve the desired end result while ensuring the necessary governance and security is in place.
Apps, updates, and even non-native features (such as a barcode) can be created and delivered by both IT and power builders to the business in a fraction of the time and effort typically required by traditional development methods. For this same reason, both no-code and low-code platforms are gaining in popularity for Help Desk and IT project management.
A no-code business productivity platform enables anyone with basic spreadsheet skills to create an app simply by:
As demands for business applications continue to escalate, both low-code and no-code platforms are becoming increasingly powerful enablers for business and IT. Advantages of both include:
According to the January 2016 Forrester report: Vendor Landscape: The Fractured, Fertile Terrain Of Low-Code Application Platforms, by Clay Richardson and John R. Rymer,there are currently five different types of low-code application platform segments that support the delivery of “business-function-specific solutions”.
The independent and joint efforts of today’s traditional and non-traditional developers, backed by a range of professional, low-code, and no-code development platforms, have made greater innovation possible at all levels of the enterprise.
A power builder using a low-code platform can easily aid a citizen developer who needs a customized component to make a no-code business application even more useful. An IT professional can borrow from traditional development to assist a power builder in quickly turning out a low code app with greater reach for more impact across a broader audience.
Empowering individuals from different parts of the organization, who bring a range of skills and the right insight for each build, can help create targeted solutions faster, easier and more cost-efficiently than ever before.