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What is No Code & Low Code?

Until recently, leveraging software technologies required direct support from expert developers and programmers. However, today we observe a revolutionary development that transforms the way businesses operate, significantly reducing this need: No Code and Low Code applications...


Professional business managers constantly ponder three questions as they browse these lines:

1.How do we continuously improve our innovation potential?
2.How can we increase our operational efficiency?
3.How can we accelerate our speed in meeting market expectations?

The solution to these three areas of search actually lies in more effectively utilizing software technologies. It was easy to address this solution, but hard to implement…

Not anymore!

Today, utilizing technology has become far less difficult and complex for businesses of all types and sizes.

What is No Code?

No-code applications refer to software that allows adaptation and development without the need for traditional coding or programming knowledge. Developing without code means that even 'ordinary' users without any coding knowledge can easily make adaptations to build an application. During the adaptation process of a 'no code' software, business analysts, marketers, and even business managers themselves can make the desired developments without needing any technical knowledge or skills.

In a No Code environment, these “key” users utilize visual interfaces, drag-and-drop tools, and pre-built templates to create functional applications. The adaptation process on no-code platforms usually resembles assembling the basic building blocks of software architecture rather than writing code. Such platforms reduce the complexity at the foundation of the development process by focusing on “what” key users will do, rather than “how” to do the developments.

The fundamental features of No Code applications can briefly be listed as follows:

  1. User-Friendly Design Interface: No code platforms are user-friendly solutions for users with varying levels of coding skills, especially non-technical users.
  2. Adaptation with Visual Tools: Users can design user interfaces, data structures, and workflows using visual tools from the application’s “management panel” without the need to write code.
  3. Adaptation Speed: No Code applications are known for the speed at which functional applications can be created in a shorter time compared to traditional coding.
  4. Component-Based Development: No code platforms offer ready-to-use components and templates. Key users can customize these components and templates according to their needs and easily adapt the application to their organizations.
  5. Defining Workflows with Logical Sequencing and Business Rules: Key users can typically create automatic workflows for no code applications using visual identifiers that include business rules, conditions, and actions.
  6. Filters and Reports: No Code platforms allow for data field definition, data management, and filtering without the need for complex database queries.
  7. Cloud Usage and Version Management: No Code platforms, usually being cloud-based applications, offer alternative solutions that simplify the development and versioning process.

No code applications are used to quickly respond to the ever-changing needs of both customers and users, to digitize all business processes and to automate governance in collaboration with all stakeholders. These solutions grant business unit users the authority to actively take responsibility in the application development and adaptation process, thereby reducing dependency on IT departments and developers.. However, it should be added immediately that No Code applications may not fully meet the needs requiring complex or advanced customization. In such cases, either traditional coding is used for custom developments, or instead, low code development platforms/applications are utilized.

What is Low Code?

Low-code applications (or application development methods) represent a middle path between the no-code application development method and traditional coding methods. In low-code platforms, key users have the ability to use visual design tools and components, while also having the opportunity to code for more advanced and complex needs. This removes potential restrictions during the application's adaptation process, resulting in a solution that can meet very specific needs.

Although a certain amount of coding knowledge and skill is necessary for low code platforms, they significantly reduce the need for coding compared to the traditional software development method.

Low code platforms typically offer the capability to integrate the application with other systems, different databases, or API access, facilitating data exchange.
Moreover, low code platforms stand out for their scalability capabilities, which allow them to adapt to new conditions as the functional needs of business units change and develop. This makes them suitable for use in every sector and business size.

It’s worth mentioning another point about low-code platforms: they are particularly used for developing business rules and thereby automating many functions of the application. Automation applications allow businesses to make completely unique customizations with the flexibility gained from obtaining support from technical experts, albeit in small amounts.

Differences Between No Code and Low Code

These two platform types and software development methods, which serve as the accelerating catalyst for businesses’ digital transformations, can be summarized under four main differences:

1. Level of Coding: Naturally, the level of coding in Low Code applications is higher. While Low Code platforms offer this freedom, they also increase dependency on the technical expert who will perform this task.

2. User Competency Level: Low Code platforms require coding knowledge. No code software solutions do not require any coding knowledge.

3. Complexity Level: Low Code platforms and development methods are more complex than No Code platforms.

4. Development Speed: Many adaptations and developments on No Code platforms can be completed in the blink of an eye. In Low Code solutions, this still requires a simple software development process. Low Code platforms, through coding layers, provide the opportunity to make any type of customization allowed by the application, whereas in No Code applications, this situation is limited to the configuration level.

In summary, the most fundamental difference between No Code and Low Code lies in the technical proficiency of the key user making the development and adaptation, the complexity of the application, and its area of use. Both approaches have their strengths and are used to meet different development needs, making them increasingly valuable tools in the modern application development arena.

Benefits of No Code and Low Code Applications

Before the rise of No Code and Low Code applications, developing or adapting software for a company required complex steps that demanded technical knowledge, making it a challenging process for those not specialized in the field. In traditional software development processes, developers wrote the necessary codes in the chosen platforms and programming languages for the desired application. For instance, to develop a CRM application, the first step would involve conducting a detailed needs analysis and defining requirements, followed by designing a database in the initial stage while adhering to Agile or other methodologies, and concurrently starting the development of application modules on platforms like .NET or Laravel. Front-end developers, taking reference from the APIs and functions developed by back-end developers, would code the client platforms where the application would be used. Following integrations and tests, a significant effort and cost would be involved in launching a software. Maintaining the software to keep it updated and compatible with current conditions or making changes was as laborious, costly, and complex as the setup process.

The emergence and rapid spread of No Code and Low Code applications, overcoming this complex roadmap, emerged from lessons learned in traditional application development and adaptation processes. This rapid rise can be attributed to several key factors:

1. Reducing Development and Adaptation Time

Today, speed is a crucial competitive advantage. No Code and Low Code software significantly accelerates the development or adaptation of applications for companies, shortening the time required to introduce new solutions to the market. This agility is invaluable, especially in responding quickly to changing customer needs and market conditions.

2. Cost Optimization

Developing software using traditional methods involves expenses such as hiring software experts with the necessary technical knowledge and skills, and preparing the necessary setup and operational infrastructure. No Code and Low Code solutions are generally more cost-effective, reducing expenses for setup, adaptation, updates, and operations.

3. Reducing the Need for Software Experts

The traditional software development process requires strong coding skills and years of specialized training. No Code and Low Code platforms reduce the need for this specialized knowledge and skills, allowing business unit employees to actively participate in the application development process. The democratization of this process enables the innovation potential of a business to emerge through a more inclusive approach.

4. Enhanced Collaboration Between Business Units and IT

No Code and Low Code applications facilitate effective coordination and harmonious collaboration between IT teams and business unit users. During both the setup phase and the operational process, software experts and business unit users collaborate to find solutions using the opportunities provided by No Code or Low Code platforms. In situations that do not require coding, key users from the business unit can easily make adaptations themselves, while technical teams assist in exceptional circumstances that require coding, allowing them to quickly achieve their goals or purposes.

5. Adaptation Flexibility

No Code and Low Code platforms offer users the ability to quickly test, iterate, and adapt applications. Businesses can instantly respond to user feedback, changing market dynamics, or emerging opportunities, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Roles of No Code and Low Code Platforms in Sustainable Business Success

No Code and Low Code platforms, with their rapidly adopted and continuously evolving capabilities, are poised to play a significant role in the digital age, helping businesses achieve sustainable commercial success. The impact of these platforms on sustainable business success can be summarized under six headings:

1. Speed, Speed, Speed…

In today’s constantly changing conditions, the most valuable capability is the ability to adapt quickly. No Code and Low Code platforms enable businesses to create solutions more swiftly in response to changing market conditions and customer expectations, facilitating agility in development and giving companies a competitive edge.

2. Widespread Innovation Culture

No Code and Low Code platforms democratize innovation, allowing more employees to contribute their ideas and direct participation. This democratization lays the groundwork for an innovation culture that can be scaled across the company, promoting continuous improvement and adaptation.

3. Empowering Citizen Developers

You might be familiar with the term “Citizen Developer” or “Ordinary Developer” – essentially, ordinary users with the ability to develop applications without any coding knowledge. Enabling business unit users to become “citizen developers” not only accelerates application development but also enhances job satisfaction. Employees who actively contribute to technological solutions feel more invested in their organization’s success, increasing corporate loyalty.

4. Development of a Harmonious Working Culture Across Teams

The collaboration induced by these platforms acts as a bridge between IT professionals and business unit users, fostering a more harmonious working culture between technology units and business units. Cross-functional teams such as IT and Business Unit work together more effectively, finding solutions that address both technical and operational challenges.

5. Scalability and Holistic Solution Capability

No Code and Low Code platforms have the flexibility to adapt as businesses grow and evolve. Additionally, their integration capabilities facilitate the connection of new applications to existing systems, offering a cohesive and integrated software ecosystem.

6. Digital Transformation at Optimal Cost

Digital transformation often comes with a hefty price tag. No Code and Low Code platforms provide a more cost-effective transformation across all areas of use compared to traditional solutions. Dramatic reductions in setup and adaptation time, along with decreases in allocated resources (such as high-cost, skilled technical personnel), mean significant cost savings over traditional development methods.

Future Expectations for No Code and Low Code Applications

The future expectations for No Code and Low Code applications are quite intriguing. As technology continues to evolve, we will inevitably gain access to new possibilities.

What can we anticipate for the future?

  1. Hybrid Development Models: Businesses will adopt hybrid approaches that effectively combine the strengths of no-code and low-code platforms and development methods with traditional coding techniques.
  2. Mobile-First Development: With the growing importance of mobile technology, No Code and Low Code platforms will prioritize mobile application development, enabling businesses to create and customize mobile apps seamlessly.
  3. Industry-Specific Solutions: No Code and Low Code platforms will offer industry-specific templates and pre-built solutions, making it easier for businesses to address unique challenges specific to their sector.
  4. Integration with Artificial Intelligence Applications: These platforms will combine advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, allowing users to create smart applications that can automate decision-making and offer personalized experiences.
  5. Process Automation Focus: The focus of No Code solutions will shift towards process automation, enabling organizations to streamline workflows, reduce manual tasks, and further enhance operational efficiency.
  6. Enhanced Governance and Legal Compliance: These platforms will offer stronger operational and governance capabilities, ensuring applications meet security and legal compliance requirements.

In conclusion, No Code and Low Code applications and development methodologies represent a revolutionary change in the software development field. They simplify the involvement of a wide range of employees, from non-technical business unit users to experienced developers, in the setup, adaptation, and customization processes of software applications. By democratizing innovation, accelerating market entry time, and offering cost-effective solutions, these methodologies are shaping the future of corporate applications today. As No Code and Low Code platforms continue to grow and mature, they will play an increasingly significant role in helping organizations achieve sustainable commercial success in the digital age.

Gürkan Platin
Gürkan Platin, a graduate of Hacettepe University Management and Organization, worked as a manager in various positions at Mensan, Citibank, Garanti Bank and Credit Registration Bureau, respectively. Platin has been blogging since 1996 and his articles are published in various national and international publications.
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