What Is Low-code No-Code Development and Why You Should Pay Attention To It


Low-code No-code platforms are on the rise, and the growing demand for low-code no-code platforms is apparent. However, writing software by hand is time-consuming. As a result, businesses can't deliver software fast enough to meet their increasing needs, and there aren't enough software developers available to fulfill the demand. Essentially, the software is not being delivered on time, and the quality and security of the software are significant concerns for businesses.
According to the Wall Street Journal, low-code no-code platforms will grow 70% by 2025. In addition, Gartner predicts that Low-code platforms will be responsible for more than 65% of all app dev activity by 2024.
Low code platforms growth 
Image courtesy Graphite GTC
Major technology players, including Microsoft, Google, Oracle, SAP, and several others, are jumping on the low-code bandwagon and have already deployed or plan to deploy low-code platforms and tools as a part of their extensive product portfolios.
So, what exactly is low-code development, what are low-code platforms, and why should you pay attention to this quickly growing technology?

What Is Low-code No-code Development?

Today, most software is written manually. However, the demand for new software is growing, and there aren't enough coders worldwide. The need for faster software delivery, low or no maintenance or upgrades, speed and performance of user experience, and code and data security are all significant concerns for CIOs and CTOs.
Low-code development is building software by automating the coding, debugging, testing, and deployment of software development. In low-code development, the software is created by a low-code platform, a low-code tool, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment). The platform provides workflows and features to automatically debug, test, and deploy software applications in the cloud or on-premises. Once deployed, the software runs and is managed by the platform itself.

What Are Low-code No-code Platforms?

Low-code platforms allow users to use visual diagrams and features like drag and drop, connectors, and properties to build workflows, create entities, build relationships, and define events, actions, and processes. The tool in the background writes software and creates user interfaces, business logic, and backend databases. Some low-code platforms allow developers to build, test, and deploy software solutions in the cloud.
A low-code platform usually has a visual designer where its users can select graphical objects from a list of things, drag and drop them to a canvas, and visually create workflows and set properties, events, actions, and data models.
Once workflows are completed, the tool lets users build, test, and deploy applications in the cloud or on-premises. Most software applications developed by low-code means are Web applications or mobile apps.
Think of a low-code platform as the next generation of rapid application development (RAD) tools such as Visual Basic, Visual Studio, and Delphi.

What Are The Benefits of Low-Code No-Code Platforms?

The main goal of businesses is to build faster and cheaper software with quality. The following is a list of key benefits of using low-code platforms that directly lead to the same goal:
Low code platforms benefits 
Speed of development
The essential purpose of low-code platforms is to write faster code and reduce the duration of a product's release cycle. Using RAD designers and UI tools, the Low-code media can reduce the overall software development and delivery time by 50% or even more. Less development time and fewer resources directly lead to cost savings in total software ownership costs.
All businesses care about is spending less money and faster delivery. Low-code platforms deliver that.
Code quality
The pressure of faster software delivery often leads to bad quality of code that eventually affects the software's usability, reliability, availability, and performance. Unfortunately, some development teams use less experienced developers, don't follow the industry's best practices and patterns, and produce poor-quality code. In the long run, lousy-quality code leads to significant problems.
Secure code, data security, and integrity have become primary concerns for enterprises. Hackers and cybercriminals have access to more data than ever in our lifetime. Thousands of websites are hacked daily. One of the significant reasons for cyber hacks is that code, and user interfaces are not secured and encrypted.
Low-code platforms follow industry standards on code security, data security, and integrity.
Industry-standard and best practices
Most low-code platforms follow industry standards and best practices, produce high-quality code, and build the industry's recommended user experiences.
Flexible and extensible
Most low-code platforms are flexible and extensible. As a result, developers can build modules that can easily be shared and plugged into low-code platforms to extend the functionality of existing software.
Integration with third-party APIs
Most low-code platforms allow developers to integrate with third-party APIs by simply configuring APIs via user interfaces without writing any code.
Auto Deployment and Testing
Building, testing, and deployment can be a cumbersome process of the software release cycle if CI/CD practices have not been implemented in an organization. Low-code platforms automate the process of testing and deployment, which is directly related to faster software delivery cycles.

How Do Low-code No-Code Platforms Work?

Most low-code platforms let users register and log in online and build their applications via designers and tools. Users also create business logic and other functionality. Once the application is made, users can QA and test their applications, and once satisfied; applications are deployed using just a few clicks.
Low code platform process 
Only a few low-code platforms build a project that can be opened in software IDEs.
Graphite GTC is a low-code platform that allows developers to open their completed applications in Visual Studio IDE and can look at and modify code however they like.

Where Is My Application or Code Deployed?

Once an application is built and tested, it is usually deployed in a cloud or on a Web server. Most platforms provide options to deploy completed apps in their production environment (default option), on-premises, public clouds, and private clouds.
Low code platform cloud 

Why Should I Pay Attention to Low-Code Platforms?

Low-code and No-code development are on the rise. Large technology companies, including Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, Google, and others, have introduced their low-code platforms or acquired smaller low-code/no-code platforms.
As I mentioned earlier, many applications will be created in the coming years using low-code/No-code platforms. Therefore, this is an excellent time to learn low-code development and get dirty with this technology.
Several prominent technology leaders, including Microsoft, Google, and Oracle, are actively involved in low-code development. For example, Microsoft's Power Platform and Azure Designers are low-code/No-code development.
Google Cloud and AWS also provide online designers that allow you to create workflows, build user interfaces, connect with backend databases, and deploy and run applications in the cloud.
In the coming years, the number of jobs for low-code developers and experts is expected to increase.

What Are the Leading Low-code Platforms?

According to Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, Mendex and OutSystems are leading low-code platforms.
Top low code platforms 
The above image shows the leading low-code platforms as of July 2019. Besides Outsystems and Mendix, the top names in this list include Microsoft, Salesforce, Appian, Betty Blocks, Pega, ServiceNow, and Oracle.


Low code platform Outsystems
Outsystems platform supports full-stack visual development via drag-drop, including UI screens and elements, business workflows, business logic, and data models. You can also add your custom code or import other modules.
Outsystems allows enterprise-grade apps developed using its IDE and deployed in Outsystems cloud. The IDE lets you create apps to target desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. The app can also be generated as a native app.
Outsystems supports integration with external enterprise systems, databases, or custom apps via pre-built open-source connectors, popular cloud services, and APIs.
Outsystems comes with pre-built stunning modern UI templates for desktops, tablets, and mobile apps.
The following table lists various pricing options.
  • Edition Users Hosting Env CI/CD Price On-premises
  • Free 100 Shared cloud 1 No Free No
  • Basic 1000 Dedicated cloud 3 Yes $4,000 No
  • Standard Unlimited Dedicated cloud 3 Yes $10,000 Yes
  • Enterprise Unlimited Dedicated cloud 5 Yes Custom Yes


Mendix Studio is an IDE that lets you design your Web and mobile apps using a drag/drop feature.
Mendix targets IT leaders, business developers, and professional developers. To build and deploy applications, you don't need coding knowledge.
The following table lists Mendix editions and their features.
Edition Free Single App Professional Enterprise
Public Cloud Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-premises Yes
Private Cloud Yes
No. of Environments 1 2 2 3
Dedicated app container Yes Yes Yes
Pricing on the Mendix website is not transparent. However, their version provides unlimited applications in Mendix cloud with 1GB memory + 0.5GB storage per free app. The paid version is $1,875 per month, billed annually.

Microsoft Power Platform

Low code power platform 
Microsoft Power Platform is a new cloud-based but one of the fasters growing players in the Low-code/No-code world.
Microsoft Power Platform allows business users to build user interfaces, business workflows, and data models and deploy them in Microsoft's Azure cloud.
The four offerings of Microsoft Power Platform are Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents.
Low code Power Apps 
Each of these products has its pricing model, per user per month, starting at $9.99. Once the apps are built using Power Platform tools, the production apps can be deployed in the Azure cloud.


Appian is a cloud-based Low-code platform. The critical functionality of Appian revolves around business process management (BPM), robotic process automation (RPA), case management, content management, and intelligent automation.
Like Outsystems and Mendix, Appian supports both Appian cloud and public cloud deployments (AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure).
Appian provides a free trial that lets you only set up your app on the Appian cloud. However, you must be a paid user to have Appian fully managed cloud, on-premises, or public cloud options.
Appian pricing is subscription-based, starting at $90 per user per month for standard development licensing. Appian also has the option to buy application licensing at a fixed cost.

Salesforce Lightening

Low code platform Salesforce Lightening 
Unlike previous Low-code products that let you deploy your applications and apps on any public cloud or premises, Salesforce Lightning is for Salesforce CRM users who want to build their own user experiences end support desktop, tablets, and mobile devices without writing any code.
Salesforce Lightning is a framework for users to create business UI and workflow on Salesforce without involving developers.
Salesforce Lightening includes the Lightning Component Framework that lets developers develop components using the App Builder and reuse the existing elements in other apps.
Salesforce Lightening is a part of the Salesforce Platform that offers a try-for-free option. The Platform Starter and Platform Plus licensing are the paid options that cost $25 per user per month and $100 per user per month.
Once the application is built and deployed, additional cloud costs may be incurred depending on bandwidth, number of users, memory, process, storage, and other resource consumptions.

Betty Blocks

Low code platform Betty Blocks 
Betty Blocks proudly calls itself a NoCode platform with lightning-fast speed. Betty Blocks supports drag and drop to build UI, business processes, and data models like other platforms. However, Betty Blocks claims to build applications 8x faster. You create blocks of functionality and reuse them in your future applications.
Betty Blocks pricing starts at $1400 per month, billed annually, that includes 100 Building Blocks, Public cloud with 10GB storage, and Standard SLA.


Pega Platform considered a No-code platform is an app development platform that allows its users to build, automate, and deploy apps faster in the cloud.
Paga offers a 30-day free trial. After that, the Enterprise Starter price is $90 per user per month. For larger customers, Enterprise Transformation pricing is available upon call.


Low code platform ServiceNow 
ServiceNow's Now Platform allows users to build, automate, and deploy apps without writing code. The critical components of the platform are Flow Designer, IntegrationHub, Mobile Studio, Application Development, Virtual Agent, Predictive Intelligence, CMDB, and Performance Analytics.
ServiceNow's pricing isn't listed on their website.

Oracle Apex

Low code platform Apex 
Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a low-code development platform from Oracle. APEX enables its users to build scalable, secure enterprise apps that can be deployed anywhere.
The best part of Oracle APEX is it is FREE to Oracle database owners and offers native access to all the capabilities of the Oracle Database.
APEX's IDE provides a whole developer experience with drag-drop and other IDE features, including responsive designer, wizards, components, debugging, testing, and CI/CD.
APEX applications can be quickly packaged into a single file deployed in Oracle's cloud or other public clouds with the click of a mouse.

Graphite Studio

We just saw the top low-code platforms in the market. But there is a new kid on the block, Graphite Studio. Graphite Studio is an IDE developed by Graphite GTC. Unlike other Low-code platforms, Graphite Studio has some unique advantages for developers, specifically if you're a Microsoft stack developer.
Graphite Studio IDE allows you to build your UI screens, business logic, and data models using drag and drop features but also lets you visually debug the project in the designer, review and update your, take your project anywhere, and even share with your team.
Quality of the code, performance and security are at the heart of Graphite Studio. Graphite Studio follows Microsoft's best practices and standards. The code written by the IDE is C# and .NET, and it uses SQL Server as the default backend database. The SQL Server database follows industry best practices regarding data integrity, security, compliance, and encryption.
Graphite Studio pricing is simple. There is a free version for developers with all features. The only time you pay is when you deploy the app. The Premium version is $300 /month/developer to build unlimited applications. There may be additional charges after the application is deployed in production.
The best part of Graphite Studio is that it generates C# and .NET code for you in a Visual Studio project that can be opened in Visual Studio. In other words, you own the code.
The final built project can be deployed on-premises, in private or hybrid cloud, or any public cloud, including Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.



Low-code development is on the rise. In the coming years, a significant portion of software will be written and managed by Low-code platforms and tools. The goal of low-code media is simple, i.e., build software without writing manual code, just by using visual IDE features such as drag and drop in designers. Then, once the application is made, it can easily be debugged, tested, and deployed using a few clicks without the involvement of DevOps and IT teams.
Low-code platforms offer faster app development and deployment and ensure the quality and performance of the software are industry standard. Low-code platforms are designed and developed by experts and have been tested by hundreds of customers with enterprise-grade applications.
Continue reading next > Top 10 Low-code No-code Platforms


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