March 1, 2024

Introduction to Low Code Development Platform

Low code development platforms provide tools that allow the creation of applications using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic without extensive writing of custom code. These platforms are gaining popularity as they allow both professional developers and business users to participate in the application development process without deep technical expertise.

What is a Low Code Development Platform?

A Low code development platform provides visual development tools that enable users to build application through graphical user interface and configuration instead of traditional programming languages like Java or C#. Low code tools typically have visual drag-and-drop components that can be configured to create forms, workflows, data models, and basic applications. Their goal is to provide workflow-oriented application development capabilities that can be used by both technical and non-technical users.

Some key characteristics of low code development platforms include:

– Visual design tools – For building user interfaces, data models, workflows etc. without writing code.

– Component libraries – Pre-built UI components, application logic elements, connectors etc. that can be visually composed.

– Conditional logic handling – Tools for defining business rules, conditional branching etc. without traditional programming.

– Rapid Prototyping – Ability to quickly create working prototypes and minimal viable products.

– Database integration – Tools to manage database schemas, perform CRUD operations etc.

– Deployment handling – Integrated processes for deploying and managing applications in production environments.

– Collaboration features – Built-in workflows for team collaboration and reviews.

Who uses Low Code platforms?

Low code platforms are used by both professional developers as well as business/citizen developers within an organization:

– Professional Developers – Use low code tools along with traditional coding to improve productivity and focus on more complex tasks. This helps create applications faster.

– Business Users – Staff from lines of business can use low code tools to build internal tools and automate business processes. This empowers non-technical staff to participate in application development.

– Citizen Developers – Crowdsource solution building by empowering a larger set of users beyond just IT to extend existing applications or build new ones.

Benefits of Low Code Development

There are significant benefits that low code development platforms provide to organizations:

– Faster Time to Market – Applications can be built much faster without extensive coding. This allows organizations to be more agile and responsive to changing business needs.

– Increased Productivity – Low code tools dramatically increase developer productivity. Citizen developers can also participate to extend the development capacity.

– Lower Cost of Development – With quicker build times and the ability to reuse components, the overall cost of building applications is reduced compared to traditional coding.

– Business Alignment – By empowering business users, applications can be better tailored to actual business requirements and keep IT/Digital strategies aligned with business goals.

– Scalable Innovation – Organization’s capacity for digital innovation is scaled by allowing a wider base of users beyond just technical teams to contribute to application development.

– Maintenance Savings – Standardizing on visual platform tools reduces technical debt. Applications built on low code can also be more easily updated and maintained over time.

Types of Low Code Platforms

There are different types of low code platforms depending on their target usage and development approach:

– General Application Platforms – Provide full-featured tools to build any type of application across web and mobile with wide sets of pre-built components. Examples include Outsystems, Appian, Mendix.

– Process Automation Tools – Specialized for workflow-driven applications and managing business processes across departments. Examples include Nintex, K2, Bonitasoft.

– Database App Builders – Provide visual development environment on top of database integration for rapid database application development. Examples include QuickBase, FileMaker.

– CMS App Builders – Enable non-technical users to build and manage department/team level applications on top of a content management system. Examples include Microsoft PowerApps, Quicksite.

– Vertical Industry Platforms – Targeted solutions for specific industries like healthcare, banking, manufacturing etc. with pre-built vertical components.

Conclusion

Low code development platforms are disrupting traditional application development approaches by enabling both technical and non-technical users to build robust applications with their visual, drag-and-drop tools. Their benefits of faster time to market, increased innovation capacity, and better business alignment makes them a strategic choice for IT departments. With continuous innovation, the capabilities of low code tools will keep expanding. More and more organizations are embracing low code as a mainstream application development methodology.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it