Low-code development: pros and cons and best tools

Developers around the world struggle to find new solutions for faster, more efficient, and effortless coding. Also, the constant lack of qualified IT specialists leads to the creation of new ways of engaging non-technical employees in the software development process.
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What is low-code development?

Low-code is the software development approach utilizing a visual software development environment that enables the building applications by simply dragging and dropping ready-to-use, pre-defined components. Those tools are delivered with an easily navigable graphical user interface (GUI) and are equipped with various elements such as scripts, integration options, blueprints, testing and automation tools, and more. Then, those pre-defined components can be freely arranged into more complex modules and applications and perform desired functionalities.


Low-code approach can help to develop software for a number of industries, including business services, manufacturing, logistics, banking, telecom, education, and many more. Within the low-code environment, it is possible to build mobile and web applications, custom apps, microservices, and other types of software.


In addition, there is also a sister of low-code - the no-code development. Although both systems provide companies with similar benefits, they differ slightly. Low code reduces the amount of work but still requires some coding, while no code is based only on using ready-to-use components and doesn’t involve any programming skills to build simple applications. Then, this method is dedicated mainly to non-technical software development adepts.

Benefits of low-code development

Obviously, low-code development was not created for no reason, and now it provides businesses with a wide range of benefits and opportunities. Low-code development:


- Requires way less advanced programming skills than traditional software development methods. Thanks to this, it enables non-programmers to build simple applications to automate their daily work and get more engaged in the problem-solving processes;

- Makes the software development process more enjoyable and more efficient as it reduces the need for writing code line-by-line;

- Allows companies to meet their customers’ demands and launch products faster due to a shorter software development process;

- Helps to reduce talent shortage in the IT market, as it enables specialists from various backgrounds to perform software development tasks and makes programming more accessible to adepts;


- Contributes to digital transformation, helps companies benefit from modern technologies, and improves their agility.

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Drawbacks of low-code development

Although the low-code development approach is undoubtedly promising, there are a few challenges that you need to be aware of.


- The low-code software development is usually more difficult to track and supervise for managers and team leaders. They typically have less control over their subordinates’ actions and the results of their work.

- Unwisely used low-code development can lead to non-efficient resource spending due to the higher independence of inexperienced employees utilizing this tool.

- Although the low-code approach accelerates software development, it still requires some programming skills to build truly functional apps. Software developed by non-technicians sooner or later will become difficult to maintain and scale and might collect a technical debt.

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Low-code development platforms

As we have already explained, low-code development is based on intuitive visual tools coming along with a set of ready-to-use components that can be arranged into more complex modules. This is exactly what makes this programming method so effortless and fast.

There are a number of low-code development platforms available on the market, and the chosen tool may significantly influence the costs, quality, and efficiency of the software development process. Let’s take a look at the most popular solutions:

Lansa is a low-code development platform equipped with IDE enabling the creation of different types of applications: desktop, web, and mobile. Thanks to extended functionalities, it helps to build apps easier and faster and allows for high control over the software development process. In addition, it delivers a variety of deployment, testing, and integration tools, which makes the creation of enterprise software more efficient, cheaper, and productive.

Retool is one of the fastest available tools for low-code development. Equipped with over 50 ready-to-use components, it allows for developing and launching software products much faster than traditional methods. Moreover, it offers the possibility to easily switch to JavaScript coding mode anytime the user needs to customize the app’s design or functionality. It also allows for smooth integration with some data sources thanks to API.

Appian helps companies to build a variety of applications that improves the quality and efficiency of business services. Like many low-code development tools, it comes with drag-and-drop components, AI/ML services, and easy integrations with popular data providers and cloud systems. Moreover, it ensures the proper security of the developed applications and intelligent automation of the development process.

One of the most popular platforms of a kind, Mendix helps to build functional applications for any type of device and is easy to adopt even by non-experienced programmers. It offers different types of deployment: on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud. It allows for agile project management, automatically creates backups, and operates offline.

Quixy is a cloud-based platform dedicated to non-technical users. The tool allows for building and automating workflows across all business departments with no need to use coding skills. It highly contributes to improving business efficiency thanks to the significant elimination of manual coding. It comes with a text editor, QR-code scanner, facial recognition, e-signature widget, and other useful tools. It also allows for easy integration with 3rd party solutions through connectors and API and is also available in the offline mode.

Creation is an intelligent platform offering a variety of templates and ready-to-use solutions for low-code development. It allows for building functional applications and automating routine tasks and manual operations. The provided tools, such as the BPM engine and automation solutions, help to build software easily and flexibly. It also comes along with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools that can be used to improve business processes, structure analytical work and ensure the right security.

UI Bakery
UI Bakery, the last popular low-code platform in our overview, allows for the building of functional apps with the help of pre-defined and custom components. It also comes along with a number of data source connectors, including HTTP and SQL. Thanks to this, it ensures fast development while keeping high customization of the solutions, thanks to the possibility of using JavaScript. Their prices and packages are cost-friendly for small and medium businesses.

The future of low-code development

Low-code development will surely benefit a number of developers and companies worldwide. It successfully accelerates the software development process and makes it more enjoyable. Thanks to this approach, programmers don’t need to struggle with writing the code line-by-line and can take on more complex tasks and complete them within shorter deadlines.

However, although the solution is becoming more advanced and popular, we should not expect that the low-code approach will fully replace developers. Human involvement will still be required to build really functional solutions which would be easy to integrate with third-party, maintain and scale. The process will still need to be supervised, as software development performed only by non-technical people, even with the support of dedicated tools, will come along with risk.

So, there’s no need to worry that low-code development will replace regular software development. There’s still the need to improve your software development skills as the software developers’ profession will remain reputable and highly desired in the upcoming years.
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Written by: Klaudia, on October 5, 2022
Developer Experience