Code Red! What about the no-code platforms?

Who hasn't heard about the no code tools? That's the new buzzword, and more often than not, it's confusing. How do you develop something without having to code? The developers put days into building an application. Why put hours into something so simple? 

All of your questions deserve answers. And in this blog, MarsDevs presents you with a brief introduction to the realm of no code tools. You can then choose if you want to go for it.

What is No-Code Development?

A no-code software platform uses simple visual development interfaces and allows developers and layman users to create software faster without knowing how to code. It is a boon for many, but how effective can a no-code platform be?

No code platform

No-code software development has become a trendy and promising alternative for businesses that want to build their customized software solutions quickly and cheaply.

Most no-code software platforms help you crack different methods and help you develop the backend software (or the server software) and frontend for both web and mobile applications. You can expand on such platforms using drag and drop actions to add application components. This is how creating a complete software application becomes easier for everyone.

Most of these no-code application platforms do not require any special or prior programming, coding experience, or knowledge. However, it helps if you know how to define or articulate the requirements and rules.

When you take advantage of a no-code platform, you can equip more of your workforce with the tools they might need to build web or mobile applications. The low technology barrier and the steep learning curve make promoting a new digital innovation strategy easier for your business through collaborative, agile methodologies.

No code tools

No-code tools enable ordinary citizens and developers to build customized software quickly and in a modular manner, leading to a faster and bug-free delivery without much experience. Furthermore, many are building business, web, and mobile applications independently with the emergence of these platforms.

With no code, there is no requirement for prior knowledge about programming or, say, coding. But then another question arises. If you do not code, then what is the method you use?

The progress is delivered through the drag-and-drop methods and adding application components to create a complete application. Let us tell you another secret now.

When you build using a no-code platform, you are working with code. You simply don't code manually. No-code platforms have pre-built drag-and-drop elements coded for different purposes like reuse and scale.

The no-code development platform is more like a user interface builder. You can rapidly drag and drop the component you need together and instantly see previews of how the software looks on mobile, tablet, and desktop. Visual models replace the coding complexity, allowing you to manage your data quickly.

Popular no code tools

More about no-code development! 
Numerous no-code-related rumors are floating around the internet. Let us clear a significant misconception about no-code development: it is not only for simple applications. It can handle several complex ones too. 
It is the digital age. Technology is developing faster than ever, and the builders of no-code applications have become highly sophisticated to support rich functionality in all apps to meet the businesses' demands. You can now look forward to building many end-to-end enterprise applications using a no-code platform.

Essential features of no-code development

No code development

Drag-and-drop interface  
One of the most compelling reasons why no-code development platforms have been getting good attention and multiplying is their ease of use. This feature is practical primarily due to the drag and drop core feature. Using this feature, you can drag and drop the elements that you look forward to creating for your application. It lets you do all the work quicker than you expect.

Data connections 
Most no-code application development platforms either come preconfigured with a database and server-side software or provide an easy-to-use user interface that connects with the database of your choice.

A good no-code platform helps you build the user-facing visuals and the data management and processing capabilities that run behind the scenes, helping you complete your business workflows.

User Interface Builder/ Visual Modeling 
Most no-code platforms come with some user interface builder that allows us to put preconfigured elements together and put a website and application together.

In no-code platforms, you must drag and drop and arrange components in a logical sequence to create functionality. Coding is not required. Everything is already built or visually modelized as you want. You can just drag, drop and finally rearrange. 

Integrations 
Globalization is making the world a smaller place. The world is getting more connected, while most businesses now use multiple applications to improve and automate collaboration and workflow.

Most no-code platforms tend to offer you a variety of integrations with other software. These features enable you to connect your data and processes and you do not have to duplicate or do any manual work.

When you use API integrations, you can easily integrate the apps you build using a no-code platform to help you easily integrate with all kinds of web applications such as YouTube, Google Maps, WhatsApp, Slack, Twitter, etc.

Drag and drop in no code development

AI and machine learning 
Different trends like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning emerged to automate work and get a better insight into your data. Apart from this requirement, most modern applications also need to leverage the new-age capabilities now. 
So many no-code platforms have jumped in to offer either inbuilt or integration-based capabilities that connect with AI and ML models and empower your applications to give more power to your 
You can now predict user actions to make the development process even more streamlined and efficient than it currently is by using some no-code platforms, AI, and machine learning techniques. 

How do no code platforms work? 
As already discussed, you would not need any coding expertise to create reliable apps and solutions for working on no-code platforms. Even the non-techies would be able to leverage these easily, mostly because it is a visual-based system. As mentioned above, anyone can build functional apps from the start with the help of drag-and-drop plug-ins and other extensions as must-have features. 

Apart from this, most no-code platforms offer several ready-to-use templates from which you can pick one following your needs

Pros and Cons of No-Code Development

No code development process

Pros: 

1. More Agility 
90% of the development on the model using the no-code method is done through drag and drop using already built modules. This means a faster speed for building applications. Even automated testing helps cut down the total time you would need for development. 

2. Reduced Development Cost 
The no-code platforms help you reduce the total cost you need to build and maintain the applications. The cost benefits of making the applications on no-code technology are broad, and there are two key factors. 
First, you would no longer need to rely on highly technically skilled people (aka developers) to build and maintain your applications. 
Because of the modular nature of building the apps on no-code platforms, the total time and effort you need are significantly lower. Since you can build fast, the overall costs are reduced as you get more done with less.

No code app solutions

3. Increased productivity
The speed of making an application is increasing and even becomes easy. The IT department is now not bombarded with requests now and then. This work used to take months before, and now it is done within hours or days. 

4. Changeable
Traditional coding becomes difficult to change functionality, especially if the code is in a foreign language. With no code, you can easily change the functionality within hours.

What are the limitations of a no-code platform?

Rigid templates add limitations to what you can build.
There is a limitation to customizing applications in any no-code platform. In other words, if you want to meet the capabilities of the no-code platform, you will just have to change your business processes instead.

The security issues give birth to a lack of control
When developing code, you know you can rely heavily on it because you wrote it. But when working with no-code, you don't have complete control so that you can take on certain risks. 
This can act as an open invitation to security contravention because if your no-code platform gets hacked, it makes your application very vulnerable.

Platform dependency 
A significant limitation of no-code software is its tendency to dependency. The process ties you to whatever tool you use. If the tools sink, you sink too. 
Anne-Laure Le Cunff points out that MakerMag claimed that he was at the whim of all these companies that provide these no-code products, while many are just fast-moving startups themselves. They might decide to change how their solution works, their pricing, or to be acquired or shut down. But to even do that, they would have to change the fundamental structure of your product.            

Knowledge Requirements 
As I figured out in my journey, building a prototype using no-code tools is easier if you're familiar with tech jargon. And if you want to create a full-fledged app or site, it's beneficial to know the basics of UI, UX, and design. Few no-code tools have advanced far enough to present complex functions and building blocks without jargon-ridden labels and tutorials. 

The IP claims
Your startup's value won't depend on any unique technology in its early days. But as you grow, you'll need to develop substantial competitive edges. You'll have to find the formulae that your competitors can't mimic with a few hours of effort. That isn't easy to do if you use no-code technology. 
The process is straightforward to engineer, and your competitors can even reverse-engineer things built with no-code software. And that makes it challenging to claim IP when just about anyone can develop your product with the same suite of free tools. 

Speed and Scalability
Platforms that let you throw in everything, plus the kitchen sink, usually have speed issues. For these platforms to provide such diverse options and allow so many things, they run a massive number of scripts behind the scenes.  
Something similar can happen when you connect many different services to automate a process. While we advocate trying things that don't scale—especially when you start—this raises speed and scalability concerns if you stay no-code down the road. 

Limited functionality 
No-code tools display data, organize content, and connect APIs.  
They're less ideal if you want to:

  • Leverage some custom layouts and illustrations
  • Customize out-of-the-box functionality
  • Create robust native apps
  • Manage complex calculations
  • Oversee a ton of data
  • Prioritize speed and scalability

This is why you currently see more no-code prototypes than products. Especially on the mobile app front, no-code tools have a long way to go before making a robust, non-cookie-cutter MVP is possible.

Gain Competitive advantage with MarsDevs and a unique approach!

Guess who the best fit for you is in this field. Of course, the one that helped you understand the no code development process and its limitations better. We would say the answer should be MarsDevs. 

MarsDevs is the one-stop development shop that can help you with almost every software development requirement. Being one of the best mobile and web app development companies, MarsDevs can chip in anytime you want. It doesn't even matter if you wish to modify an already existing app. MarsDevs makes the best out of it. 

While we can discuss the limitless possibilities for hours, let us know each other better. Please share your project details so we can go through them. Also, let us know about your development requirements as we share our expertise. So what about a meet and greet virtually?