Build and Modify Apps at Light Speed7 min read
In today’s CTO Notes, we will go through the concept of low-code development and its benefits for web or mobile application development. We will see how low-code tools can help you build web and mobile applications with minimal coding effort which will reduce development time and costs. We will go through an overview of popular low-code platforms and tools and their features.
In order for you to build, modify, and test apps at light speeds I recommend using some of the low-code tools and platforms.
💡 If you are wondering why should you use low-code tools or platforms, here is an example: I created a SaaS application almost 5 years ago with currently active 2k+ users (businesses – sole proprietorships) in just 3 days. Using purely one of the low-code tools that I will mention later in the text.
To be clear, there are significant differences between the low-code tools and platforms, later on that!
What is a low-code tool?
A low-code tool, also known as a low-code development platform, is a software application or platform that enables individuals with varying levels of technical expertise to create software applications with minimal hand-coding and programming effort. These tools are designed to simplify and expedite the application development process, making it accessible to a broader audience, including business analysts, designers, and citizen developers, who may not have extensive coding skills.
These tools typically offer visual interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and pre-built templates that allow developers to quickly build and deploy applications without having to write code from scratch. Low-code tools are designed to reduce the amount of time and resources required to create and maintain applications. They are often used by organizations looking to develop custom software applications quickly and cost-effectively, without having to rely on traditional coding and programming approaches.
Low-code tool vs platform
A low-code tool is like a specialized helper for making certain parts of an app. It’s focused on specific tasks like creating the look of the app, making tasks automatic, or connecting to specific data or systems. It’s like a handy tool you can use within a bigger toolbox for building apps.
A low-code platform is like a big, all-in-one toolkit for making whole apps. It covers everything from designing how the app looks to deciding what it does, connecting it to databases and other things outside the app, and getting it ready to use. It’s like having a one-stop shop for building apps, whether they’re small or big.
Differences between these two are also in the way they are hosted, published, priced, aimed at, and the underlying programming language that they use. There is no, like, the best platform or tool. You choose the one that’s most suitable for your needs and budget of course. Certain platforms might cost in the end 100k EUR per year.
Some popular low-code tools:
- Appgini (this was the one I used to create my SaaS application)
Some popular low-code platforms:
There are a bunch of other tools and platforms it’s simply not possible to list them all. These are only my top picks.
Benefits of using low-code tools or platforms
- Faster development time
- Lower development costs
- Increased productivity
- Easier maintenance and updates
Faster Development Time
- Pre-built modules and libraries
- User-friendly drag-and-drop interfaces
- Reduced need for coding expertise
Low-code tools enable developers to quickly build applications by providing pre-built components, templates, and drag-and-drop interfaces.
This means that developers don’t have to spend as much time writing code from scratch, which can significantly speed up the development process.
In addition, low-code platforms often offer visual interfaces that make it easier for developers to design and prototype applications, further reducing development time.
Lower Development Costs
- Less time spent on coding
- Reduced need for specialized developers
- Increased efficiency
By using low-code tools, organizations can reduce their development costs because they require fewer resources to develop and maintain applications.
With less coding required, companies can save on developer salaries, training, and other expenses associated with traditional software development.
Additionally, low-code platforms often come with pre-built integrations that reduce the need for custom development, further lowering costs.
- Focus on business logic rather than coding
- Improved collaboration between developers and business users
- Rapid prototyping and testing
Low-code tools can help organizations improve their productivity by enabling non-technical users to build applications.
With these tools, business users can create their applications without relying on IT or development teams, which can free up resources and improve efficiency.
Additionally, low-code platforms often offer collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same application simultaneously, further increasing productivity.
Easier Maintenance and Updates
- Consistent code structure
- Automated updates and bug fixes
- Reduced risk of errors and downtime
Low-code tools simplify the maintenance and updates of applications because they typically come with built-in support for application lifecycle management.
This means that developers can easily make changes and updates to applications without having to write code from scratch or deal with complicated version control.
Additionally, low-code platforms often provide automated testing and deployment capabilities, further reducing the time and effort required for maintenance and updates.
Features of low-code tool or platform
- Built-in security measures
- Database integration and management
- Template engines for easy front-end design
- Drag-and-drop interface: Low-code tools or platforms often come with a user-friendly interface that allows developers to drag and drop components onto a canvas to create a web application. This feature is especially helpful for non-technical users who may not be familiar with coding.
- Built-in templates: Low-code tools or platforms usually come with a library of pre-built templates that developers can use to create the UI of their applications. This saves time and effort, as developers don’t have to start from scratch.
- Code generation: Low-code tools or platforms often generate code automatically based on the components and settings chosen by the developer. This feature is useful for creating basic applications quickly, but may not be suitable for more complex projects.
- Integration with databases: Low-code tools or platforms typically provide built-in integration with popular databases such as MySQL, Firebase, Supabase, PostgreSQL, etc. This makes it easy to create and manage database schemas, as well as to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations.
- Customization: Low-code tools or platforms often allow developers to customize the generated code by adding their own custom code. This feature is especially useful for experienced developers who want more control over the application’s functionality.
- Collaboration: Low-code tools or platforms often come with collaboration features, such as the ability to share projects with other team members, collaborate on code, and track changes. This can help streamline the development process and improve teamwork.
- Deployment: Low-code tools often come with built-in deployment features that allow developers to deploy their applications to a server with just a few clicks. This can save time and effort, as developers don’t have to manually configure servers and deployment settings. Some low-code platforms allow this as well but some are simply bound to their hosting (in the case of web applications).
When to use Low-Code tools?
- Small to medium-sized projects
- Projects with tight deadlines
- Projects with limited budgets
- Projects with simple to medium complex requirements
- Rapid prototyping: If you need to quickly build a prototype or proof of concept for a web application, a low-code tool can help you create a basic working model without spending too much time on coding.
- Simple applications to medium complex applications: If you need to build a simple to medium complex web or mobile application, such as a basic CRUD app, a low-code tool can save you time and effort by providing pre-built components and code generation features.
- Non-technical users: If you’re working with non-technical users who need to build their own web applications, a low-code tool or platform can provide a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop features that make it easy for them to create their own applications.
- Small teams: If you’re working with a small team or have limited resources, a low-code tool can help you streamline the development process and create applications more quickly and efficiently.
- Proof of concepts: If you want to validate an idea or concept before investing a lot of time and resources into development, a low-code tool can help you quickly build a basic working model to test and validate your assumptions.
Low-code tools or platforms provide a fast, efficient, and cost-effective way to build web applications.
Whether you’re a developer or a business user, low-code can help you build high-quality applications quickly and easily.
Now, go on and create something great until Monday!