When you start looking for a low-code platform, you’ll quickly find that the market is overflowing with options. Hundreds of vendors are vying for attention. Their claims sound similar – “We’re the best low-code platform.” While no buyer is naive enough to believe these superlative claims, there’s one aspect they often fail to understand – not all low-code platforms are created equal.
In reality, the difference between high-code and low-code isn’t just black and white. It’s more like a spectrum. Every vendor might label their product as low-code or even no-code, but what they offer can vary significantly.
Expectation versus reality: What’s truly low-code?
True low-code lets anyone in your organization who understands a business process to be able to use the platform to adapt or build an application to fit that process but also can be extended to meet specific needs with coding by a low-code developer.
Building an application with a true low-code platform should feel as easy as creating a website with WordPress having a variety of widgets at your disposal. But the true essence of WordPress gets amplified by the fact that when you can’t find the features you are looking for in the widgets, you can make use of traditional HTML/CSS coding to optimize your website. However, as we’ve said, not every platform marketed as low-code truly fits the bill.
Most low-code platforms are, in fact, only partial low-code. That is why we’ve put together this guide
- We’ll explore what truly makes a platform low-code.
- We’ll tell you how to identify the right low-code solution for your business needs.
- We’ll help you see through the marketing noise to find a low-code platform that works for you.
The High-Code vs. Low-Code Decision
Let’s consider a situation where you decide to build a ticket management application for your business. It might seem like you have two clear choices: go with the traditional SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for ticket management (high code) or choose a low-code platform. But, as we’ll see, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. Let’s take a moment to understand what these two terms really mean.
Traditional SaaS (High-Code)
Traditional high-code SaaS platforms are like ready-made suits. They’re designed to fit the general needs of most businesses. Developers build these with a lot of care, focusing on making them useful and easy to use. The goal is to create a standard application that many different types of customers can use.
The Key benefits of this approach can be:
- User Experience at the Forefront
These platforms pay special attention to user experience and design. This means they are not just about doing the job; they also focus on being easy and pleasant to use. Good user experience is a big part of what makes these platforms popular.
2. Configuration: A Key Feature
High-code SaaS platforms stand out because of their configurability. They let businesses tweak various settings, like how to handle tasks, send messages, and set service standards. This reconfigurability is important because it lets each business adjust its software to fit its unique needs.
3. Different Solutions for Different Sizes
For smaller businesses, these platforms are usually simple and straightforward, covering basic needs without too much complexity. Larger businesses, however, can get more complex versions that they can adjust in many ways to fit their detailed needs.
4. The ‘All-in-One’ Approach
These platforms are versatile enough to cater to what most businesses in a certain area need. Take a ticket management system, for example. Whether it’s for a factory, an online store, or a utility company, the system focuses on features that are generally needed across these industries so that it’s easily adaptable to all their requirements with slight modifications.
5. The Limitations
However, there are limits. Because these platforms are so big and complex, making specific changes just for one business can be slow and expensive. Often, smaller businesses find that while most of their needs are met, there’s a small part that isn’t. This can lead to a situation where the business must adjust its way of working to fit the software.
Low-code platforms are a bit like using building blocks to create software. They allow you to develop applications using simpler, pre-made parts, like workflow, user interface and data structures such as objects, attributes, relationships, and role-based access control (RBAC).
These aren’t fixed in stone but can be designed and changed in a user-friendly environment. This means you don’t need to write lots of code from scratch which helps you reap the following benefits from Low-Code platforms
- The Ease of Low-Code Development
What’s great about low-code platforms is that they often come with templates. These templates are like starting points. You can take one and change it to fit your business’s specific needs. It’s a bit like editing a document – straightforward and fast. This simplicity opens the door for people who aren’t tech experts, often called citizen developers, to create or modify applications in just a few hours or days.
2. Speed and Flexibility
Another benefit of low-code platforms is their speed. The speed advantage of low-code platforms stems from their intuitive interfaces and pre-built modules. If you need to add new features or change how the software works, it can be done quickly by someone who knows low-code development. Their visual, drag-and-drop interfaces, along with pre-built modules and components, enable faster prototyping and development.
Changes or additions to features can often be implemented swiftly by developers who are well-versed in low-code tools. This reduces the time it takes to roll out updates or enhancements compared to traditional coding methods. This is much faster than traditional software development, which can be slow and expensive.
At this point, the benefits of a low-code approach, as compared to the high-code approach, are obvious. But like we said, not all low-code platforms are actually true low-code.
Most low-code platforms are, actually, partial low-code
Low-code platforms can often be evasive and confusing. While they all use the label ‘low-code’, that shouldn’t mean you should believe them. In fact, most of the platforms that claim to be low-code, are only partially low-code.
What is Partial Low-Code?
Partial low-code platforms sit somewhere in the middle of the traditional high-code and the fully flexible low-code approaches. Think of them as a hybrid solution.
Partial low-code platforms offer some of the ease and speed of low-code development, but they still have elements that are hard-coded or pre-set by the vendor. This means you get a user-friendly interface where you can drag and drop elements to create applications. However, you’re restricted in how much you can customize or adapt these elements.
What is True Low-Code?
This is what many people think of when they talk about Low-Code. These platforms are incredibly flexible and allow you to build a wide range of applications. As we’ve seen, not every low-code platform is the same. There’s a significant difference between partial low-code and true low-code platforms. It’s essential to know these differences, especially if you’re looking for a true low-code experience.
We’re not saying that one is better than the other. Instead, it’s about understanding what fits your business needs both now and in the future. This decision is crucial because switching platforms later can be a difficult and costly process.
Types of low-code development platforms
Partial Low Code
1. Single Purpose Low Code SaaS Platform
These platforms focus on solving a specific problem or catering to a particular use case using low-code development principles. Instead of offering a broad set of functionalities, these platforms are designed to excel in one specific area, providing a streamlined and efficient solution for users.
Imagine a SaaS platform specifically designed as an online form builder. Its sole purpose is to enable users to create various types of forms quickly and easily without extensive coding knowledge. This platform utilizes low-code principles to facilitate the creation and customization of forms.
2. Integrated Low Code Apps SaaS Platform/App Suites
These refer to comprehensive software solutions that combine multiple low-code applications or modules into a unified platform or suite. These platforms offer various functionalities, often serving different business needs, all accessible and manageable from a single interface.
Salesforce is a prime example of an integrated Low Code Apps SaaS Platform/App Suite. It provides a suite of applications and functionalities that cater to various business needs such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), sales, marketing, service, and more.
True Low Code SaaS Platform
True low-code platforms are the most flexible and adaptable of the lot. They allow for a wide range of applications to be built and modified with minimal coding. No wonder, true low-code continues to be the favourite for businesses looking to empower their teams.
The biggest benefit of true low-code is that you can build and change applications easily, without needing a lot of coding. They enable people who aren’t professional developers to take part in creating software. The development process is fast, allowing for quick updates and changes.
Why is it important that your low-code platform is true low-code?
Choosing a truly low-code platform can be a game-changer for your business. Here are five key reasons why it’s a great choice:
- Faster Development (10x Speed)
Low-code platforms speed up the process of building and updating applications. You can get things done up to 10 times faster compared to traditional coding. This means you can respond quickly to business needs and changes in the market.
2. Cost Savings
With a low-code platform, you save money in several ways. You need fewer technical staff, spend less time on development, and can make changes without big expenses. It’s a more efficient way to build and manage your digital tools.
3. Making Software Accessible (Democratizing Software)
Low-code platforms make it possible for more people in your business to create and modify software. You don’t need a team of expert coders. Various team members can contribute, bringing diverse ideas and solutions.
4. Boosting Innovation
Since low-code platforms are easier and faster to use, people are more likely to experiment and try new things. This environment encourages innovation, as teams can quickly develop and test new ideas.
5. Increasing Productivity
Low-code platforms can improve productivity in your business. They allow you to automate tasks, streamline processes, and make better use of digital tools. This enables your team to focus on more important work, rather than getting bogged down in complex coding tasks.
What to look for in a true low-code platform?
If you’re looking for a true low-code platform, here are some simple tips to help you make the right choice:
The platform should be easy to use, even for people who aren’t tech experts. You should be able to make apps without needing to know a lot of programming.
2. Drag-and-Drop Features
A good low-code platform will let you build things by just dragging and dropping elements. This makes it much easier than writing lots of code. A true low-code platform should enable citizen developers to build and manage apps extensively, even without coding skills.
3. Simplified Low-Code Development
The platform should not require intricate skills or learning new programming languages. It’s about making low-code accessible to more people.
4. Easy to Customize
Make sure you can change the platform to suit your business’s needs easily. You shouldn’t need to do a lot of coding to make these changes.
5. Fast to Build and Launch
It should be quick to create and start using apps on the platform. If it takes a long time, it might not be a true low-code platform.
6. Make your tech-stack efficient
Look for a platform that provides a complete solution. You want a platform that reduces the need to manage additional tech pieces.
7. Quality and Governance Features
Ensure it has built-in functionalities to maintain high standards of app quality and adherence to business rules.
8. Works Well with Other Tools
The platform should easily connect with other software you use. Good integration is important for a low-code platform. These tips will help you find a low-code platform that’s genuinely easy to use and meets your business’s needs.
A word in your ear – Amoga ticks all these boxes.
Amoga’s low-code development approach sits bang in the middle of the two worlds.
One is where you get a system sophisticated enough to let you build applications that solve real business problems. Two – where the system is simple enough for business users to work with, but still powerful enough in the hands of developers.
That’s how you get applications that are as comprehensive and complete as those offered by major players like Salesforce, Oracle, or SAP, but still don’t need a development and support team to handle the digital machinery.
The development journey with Amoga puts you in control. Want a standard business app in one week? You’ll get it? Or, want a heavily customized app to support unique business needs? You can get it in 3 to 4 weeks. That’s way quicker than any other approach, you’ll save 90% of the time and ¾ of the costs. But we’d rather show it to you and expect you to believe a claim.
Book a demo today.