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Low Code/No Code software development is expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years

Driven by rapidly rising developer salaries, Low Code/No Code software development is expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years. Gartner forecasted 23% growth in 2021. I took a look at the space and here is what I discovered.

Two terms are used interchangeably – “No Code” and “Low Code”. They are the same; the former is for marketing to the business user, and the latter is aimed at IT. There is no such thing as “No Code” when it comes to dealing with APIs, data, etc. But what these tools provide is a GUI that abstracts away stylesheets, JavaScript, databases, and APIs. It empowers non-developers to build functional apps without having to start with a wireframe. Some say that Low Code software development is 3-4x, both faster and cheaper, than regular development. Data can be driven by Excel. enabling business users to build functional apps. I paid attention to six options:

Larger players, aimed at intranet apps and automating workflows within the organization – payroll, vacation requests, sick time, approval process, requisitions, etc. Anything where a boxy UI is just fine. It’s all per-user licensing; they don’t have a licensing model that would work for a public app or website. –AWS Honeycode –Google AppSheet –MS PowerApps

Smaller players are aimed at both private and public apps. You pay a license fee, they handle the infrastructure and scale. – – highly rated, public apps and websites. Seems to be the better choice if you were creating a native app. – – also a highly rated, public app and website. May not be a good choice for native apps. Allows for more complex apps. – – Bit more expensive than the first two, and aimed at both corporate users and public apps.

Each month new Low Code solutions are introduced. The growing number of options may be a detriment to the growth of the space. For example, Low Code for Financial Services, Social Media, Office automation, etc. If aiming at niche markets, you only have to build a subset of controls and objects. From that point of view, I get why it is this way.

I decided to build a test app using AWS Honeycode. The end-user has to install the AWS Honeycode App on their mobile devices. But once that is done you can quickly add multiple apps or distribute new versions without the user having to install the software. I was shocked that I was able to add a new field and re-publish it, and a user could see the new field on their phone without even having to restart the app. To me, that is a game-changer especially after struggling with getting apps distributed via the Appstore or Play Store.

Low Code is not good for: –High computation –Low-level app functions – video/audio, animation, etc. –Some functionality such as location-based (LBS) may not be readily available –Apps that require a very high level of control over the UI and full customization

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