Ajeet Raina Docker Captain, ARM Innovator & Docker Bangalore Community Leader.

The Rise of Low-Code/No-Code Application Platforms

6 min read

Today organizations are experiencing the shortage of software developers and it is expected to hit businesses hard in 2022. Skilled developers are often in short supply. Enterprises that are relying on traditional development methods are struggling to react fast to market disruptions and implement new digital services. They are struggling to deliver future-proof apps that are secure and scalable. They are finding difficult to meet the demand for integration with existing apps and 3rd party solutions. Enterprises today demands new digital solutions in rapidly changing operational environments. To modernize their legacy processes and deliver robust customer experience, enterprises today are turning their attention to low-code/no-code application platforms.

According to Gartner report – “By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies (up from less than 25% in 2020).”

What’s driving this significant growth? According to Gartner, the surge in remote development during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major driver that continues to boost low- code adoption, despite ongoing cost optimization efforts.  Low-code/no-code platforms are types of visual software development environments that allows enterprise developers and citizen developers to drag and drop application components, connect them together and create mobile or web apps.

Is Low-code different from No-code platforms?

Simply put, both low-code and no-code development platforms provide the means to build software applications without the need to write code. Both low-code and no-code application development follow the principle of abstracting away from code to provide the benefits of visual modeling. However, there’s a fundamental difference in the scale and type of application that can be built via the two approaches. Let us understand it first.

There are two types of users – Citizen developers and Enterprise users. Low-code platforms are mostly targeted at citizen developers whereas no-code platforms are aimed at enterprise/business users.

Low-code platforms still require some coding(“low” coding) activity.

No Coding OTT platform software | Go Codeless with Muvi

Let me re-iterate it once again – Low-code platforms still require some code. Coding is still an important part of the development process.They are aimed at an ability to create a very wide array of software solutions. A low-code application platform (LCAP) is used to rapidly develop and deploy custom applications by abstracting and minimizing hand coding. It is basically a way for developers of all skill levels to design applications quickly and with minimum hand-coding.

The No-Code Approach: Running a business without coding

No-code is a visual-based, drag and drop no-code platform allows you to create basic, but functional apps. Easy to use by people with no coding knowledge or experience, 

Whereas, the so-called No-code platforms target business users. These platforms provide no way of manually editing code, and instead focus on creating the best and easiest user experience possible, abstracting away from technical details. The easier the user interface is to understand, the better suited for business users it is.

Here is a quick glimpse of Gartner’s Magic quadrants for Enterprise Low-code Application platforms:

Leaders

  • Salesforce Platform: The Salesforce Platform empowers developers to quickly build and deploy trusted cloud applications that are rock solid, secure, and scalable without worrying about hardware provisioning or application stacks.
  • ServiceNow Platform: Get native platform intelligence, so you can predict, prioritize, and proactively manage the work that matters most with the Now Platform from ServiceNow.
  • Microsoft Power Apps: Empower everyone in your organization to build business apps the easy way with Microsoft Power Apps and start modernizing processes and driving …
  • OutSystems: OutSystems is a low-code platform to visually develop your application, integrate with existing systems and add your own code when needed.
  • Mendix: Mendix is the fastest & easiest low-code platform used by businesses to develop mobile & web apps at scale.

Challengers

  • Appian: Discover the power of low-code automation. Appian is the only leader recognized by industry analysts — in automation, low-code, and case management.
  • Oracle APEX: Oracle APEX provides you with all the tools you need to build apps in a single, extensible platform, which runs as a part of Oracle Database. Discover the benefits Oracle APEX has to offer and how you can start building superior apps today.
  • Zoho Creator: Zoho Creator is a low-code app development platform that lets you launch custom, mobile-ready apps in minutes. Create your own applications to automate workflows, internal processes, and manage databases.
  • Kony Quantum: Quantum is the industry leading application development platform for building unified digital experiences across all channels with consumer grade UX for mission critical applications. It combines the speed and ease of low-code development with a comprehensive set of enterprise backend services and integration capabilities.
  • Pega Platform: The best-in-class, rapid no-code Pega Platform is unified for building BPM, CRM, case management, and real-time decisioning apps.

Visionaries

  • Pega Platform: The best-in-class, rapid no-code Pega Platform is unified for building BPM, CRM, case management, and real-time decisioning apps.
  • Betty Blocks: The only no-code platform for full empowerment, innovation and agility. Create mobile, business and web applications at lightning speed with Betty Blocks.

Niche Players

  • Angel Point NX: AgilePoint NX is the leading Low-to-no-code Application Development platform that empowers businesses to easily build responsive business applications.
  • Quick Base: Unleash the creativity of your teams to quickly improve any process. See why thousands of the world’s best businesses trust Quick base to connect their data, processes and people.
  • Creatio: Award winning BPM CRM system for marketing, sales and service to manage business processes across the entire customer journey on a single low code platform.
  • K2: K2’s process automation platform helps your company grow and take automation to a new level. Tackle any business problem—large or small—and create an app to solve it, without writing lines of code.
  • TrackVia: Transform your business by creating the exact app you need to track and automate your work. Start to enhance your tracking and workflows with TrackVia.
  • Kingtone: Kintone is an all-in-one workplace platform that allows highly collaborative teams to build, share, and automate custom workflows and processes for data-driven results
  • ProntoForms: ProntoForms offers the leading field-focused low-code development platform for mobile forms for businesses. Start a free trial of our best-in-field mobile forms solution today!

Open Source

  • Steedos Platform: Steedos Platform is an open source management software development tool designed to help enterprises innovate, expand, and integrate business systems through its powerful agility, flexibility, and openness. Based on this platform, you can quickly create intelligent and mobile enterprise applications.
  • Odoo Studio: Become the developer with Odoo Studio and build your own customized applications.
  • Frappe: Low Code Open Source Framework in Python and JS.

Below are the curated list of low-code platforms:

Leading Low-code Application Platforms

  • Power Apps (Microsoft) – Build apps in hours—not months—that easily connect to data, use Excel-like expressions to add logic, and run on the web, iOS, and Android devices.
  • Power BI – Unify data from many sources to create interactive, immersive dashboards and reports that provide actionable insights and drive business results.
  • Appian – Provides a Low Code software development platform that enables organizations to rapidly develop powerful applications.
  • Mendix – The fastest and easiest high-productivity platform to create and continuously improve multi-channel applications at scale.
  • OutSystems – A Low Code platform that enables businesses to develop, deploy, and manage enterprise-grade apps.
  • Now Platform (ServiceNow) – Drive connected digital workflows across the enterprise, deliver modern, consumer-like experiences, and accelerate time-to-value and innovation.
  • Creator (Zoho) – Build applications from scratch without having to write endless lines of code.
  • BettyBlocks – The #1 No Code platform for innovation, agility and empowerment. Used to create mobile, business and web applications at lightning speed.
  • APEX (Oracle) – A Low Code development platform that enables you to build scalable, secure enterprise apps, with world-class features, that can be deployed anywhere.
  • Salesforce Platform, prev. Force.com (Salesforce) – Click, create, and ship from anywhere with Low Code.
  • n8n – Workflow automation tool with many integrations and with fair-code license.

Leading Low-Code Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Platforms

  • Power Automate Desktop (Microsoft) – Automate everything from simple data transfers to complex business workflows—directly from your desktop—using RPA desktop flows in Power Automate Desktop.
  • Servicetrace RPA (Salesforce) – Develop innovation in robotic solutions.
  • Appian RPA – Orchestrate RPA bots with people, systems, and data in a single workflow, scaling automation across your entire organization.
  • Workato RPA – Integration-powered RPA for Intelligent Automation.

Leading Low-Code API Management Platforms

  • MuleSoft – Manage your API lifecycle, quickly design, test, and publish APIs.
  • Workato API Management – Turn callable recipes into endpoints and organize the endpoints into API collections, making it easier for users to find and consume the endpoints through other recipes or third-party apps, without requiring access to your Workato account.

Leading Low-Code Machine Learning Platforms

  • CreateML – Experience an entirely new way of training machine learning models on your Mac.
  • Datarobot – End-to-End enterprise AI platform for fast and easy deployment of accurate predictive models. Prepare, build, deploy, monitor, and maintain powerful AI applications at enterprise scale.
  • Fritz.ai – ML platform for iOS, Android, and SnapML in Lens Studio.
  • Google Cloud AutoML – Training of high-quality custom machine learning models with minimal effort and machine learning expertise.
  • Accern – Accelerate AI workflows for financial services with a Nocode AI platform.
  • BigML – ML made beautifully simple for everyone.
  • RunwayML – Makes machine learning accessible to creative practitioners from a wide range of disciplines.
  • Superannotate – End-to-End platform to annotate, train and automate computer vision pipelines.
  • Google Cloud ML Kit – Mobile software development kit that brings machine learning expertise to Android and iOS apps.
  • MakeML – Create Object Detection and Segmentation ML models without Code.
  • Microsoft Azure Automated ML – Automatically build machine learning models with speed and scale.
  • Obviously AI – Machine learning tool that makes data science effortless by enabling anyone to instantly run accurate predictions as well as analytics on their data by asking questions in natural language.
  • Teachable Machine – Web-based tool for training a computer to recognise images, sounds, and poses.

Further References:

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Ajeet Raina Docker Captain, ARM Innovator & Docker Bangalore Community Leader.

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