Insights  |  December 29, 2018

Debunking Low-Code Myths to Empower App Modernization

You’re a dev, so low-code platforms are useless. Wrong! Read on to find out why.

Everyone seems to be talking about low-code nowadays. Low-code app development platforms are already taking the IT world by storm. Moreover, the idea of being able to swiftly develop applications with minimal coding is appealing in itself. It has been aiding app modernization in all business verticals. But, with popularity, comes various perceptions and misconceptions. It is necessary to separate facts from myths in order to know the true capabilities of low-code app development platforms.

In forums and other channels, a lot of questions come in to get a better idea of what low-code is all about. Here is a list of popular low-code myths and some arguments to debunk them:

  • Myth 1: Low-code platforms are only for the build phase of the SDLC. As the name goes, low-code app development platforms seem to be meant only for the development phase of the software development lifecycle. But that is not true. There are excellent low-code platforms that can very efficiently support the entire app delivery lifecycle — design, build, deploy, operate, monitor, and iterate. Equipped with visual development tools, these platforms come with added capabilities like agile management, social collaboration, one-click deployment, end-user feedback loops, and many more. The built-in DevOps features facilitate a shorter time-to-market by seamlessly moving the app through the app lifecycle. In short, a solid low-code platform can act as a one-stop solution for handling all the stages of the application lifecycle.
  • Myth 2: Low-code is just for citizen developers and anyone can use it to develop all types of apps with ease. Before dwelling into this myth, let us consider the types of app builders out there.
    • The citizen developers: This category consists of people who have no coding knowledge and are operating at the front lines of businesses in areas such as sales, HR, marketing, customer service, etc.
    • The power builders: This category has people who are in the IT units supporting business units or operations. They do not have formal coding experience but are skilled with spreadsheets and have a basic knowledge of scripting languages like JavaScript, VBScript, Python, etc.
    • The professional developers: These people are coding specialists and are experts in programming languages that require formal training to master.

    So, which category can use low-code development platforms? The answer is all of these. All three categories can use low-code platforms but the functionality and complexity of the applications developed will vary. Using a low-code platform, citizen developers can develop very simple applications that can offer basic functionalities. Power builders can build applications with more functionalities than that offered by citizen developers. Professional developers, on the other hand, can deliver complex applications with multiple functionalities and automation processes. A low-code platform lets a professional developer build application swiftly by reducing the amount of manual coding required. In short, a low-code platform enhances the capabilities of all types of developers by letting them do more than what they are capable of in app development.

  • Myth 3: Low-code platforms and no-code platforms are one and the same. People are often confused between the terms low-code and no-code and tend to use it interchangeably. Gartner and Forrester added to this confusion by not differentiating between the two. Gartner collectively refers to all app development platforms as a High-Productivity Application Platform-as-a-Service while Forrester divides the world of app development platforms into two segments, namely Low-Code Development and Mobile Low-Code Development. Jason Bloomberg, in his Forbes article, says, “the Low-Code and No-Code terminology itself is misleading, as the distinction isn’t about whether people need to code or not. The distinction is more about the types of people using these platforms to build applications.” This sums up the required differentiation between low-code and no code platforms. Low-code platforms are capable of allowing citizen developers to create apps without any coding and are also capable of letting professional developers create applications with a reduced amount of coding. While no-code platforms let citizen developers create basic apps, they are of no use to professional developers.
  • Myth 4: Low-code platforms cannot help you develop large-scale applications with elaborate UI/UX designs. As the difference between low-code and no-code is vague for many people, it leads to a perception that low-code platforms have a limited capability of customizability and scalability. Low-code platforms, on the contrary, can accommodate small business needs to highly complex enterprise needs. Even modernization of bulky and complex legacy applications is possible using a low-code platform. Low-code platforms also offer all the necessary tools to develop engaging UI/UX designs. The option to custom code and reuse business logic gives developers the freedom to add all the required functionalities and customize it to meet business needs.

Now that the truth about these myths is finally out, businesses can leverage low-code app development platforms to develop future-proof applications and scale. But, while looking for a suitable low-code platform, make sure you avoid some major pitfalls that can prove to be disastrous for your business.

Originally published by Spruha Pandya in Dzone