Low-Code vs. No-Code – The Ultimate Guide

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Resumen

Low-code and no-code represent methodologies in software development that empower business professionals to craft tailored applications, bypassing the need for deep-seated programming expertise. With both approaches, you can build applications using drag-and-drop interfaces, intuitive diagrams, and pre-built components.

Low-code requires some coding, but it is minimized through the use of pre-built components and visual interfaces. This makes it suitable for building more complex applications. Conversely, no-code completely eliminates the need for coding, simplifying the process for non-technical individuals to construct their unique applications.

Both low-code and no-code are cost-effective and efficient ways to build applications, improve workflows, and automate processes. At Flokzu, we offer a no-code/low-code platform that enables business users to design and automate processes, create forms, and configure business rules with simple drag-and-drop functionality. Our platform empowers you to digitize and completely automate administrative business processes. You will be able to build custom workflows, manage tasks and approvals, automate repetitive tasks, and integrate with your existing systems with ease, regardless of your technical background.

What is low-code?

Low code represents a method in software creation that allows business professionals to construct bespoke applications using scant coding. It empowers users to assemble applications via intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces and ready-made components, thus making it a user-friendly option even for non-technical backgrounds.

At Flokzu, we offer a low-code platform that allows you to design and automate processes, create forms, and configure business rules with simple drag-and-drop functionality. This platform empowers you to build custom workflows, manage tasks and approvals, automate repetitive tasks, and integrate with your existing systems with ease.

A little bit of history

The low-code development approach has its roots in the early 2000s when the concept of Rapid Application Development (RAD) emerged. RAD was a response to the traditional software development process, which was slow and required extensive coding knowledge.

The term “low-code” was coined in 2014 by Forrester Research, a technology research firm, to describe a new generation of RAD tools that enabled non-technical users to build applications with minimal coding. Since then, the low-code approach has gained popularity and become more widely adopted, particularly among businesses seeking to improve their agility and speed up their application development process. Presently, many low-code platforms exist, each boasting a diverse array of features and functionalities that simplify and expedite the process of crafting bespoke applications.

Low-code development

You don’t need to be a skilled programmer to use low-code tools. In fact, a principal advantage of low-code platforms is their capacity to empower non-technical individuals to create tailored applications, circumventing the need for deep-rooted coding expertise.

Of course, having some programming knowledge can be beneficial when using low-code tools, as it can enable you to customize the application’s functionality more extensively. However, it’s not a requirement, and low code platforms are designed to be user-friendly and accessible for non-technical users.

For example, in Flokzu you can use extend or enhance the functionality of your workflows and forms:

  • Manipulate data in forms: You can use scripts (small pieces of code) to manipulate data within a Flokzu form. This can include data validation, data transformations, and data calculations in the process form.
  • Integrate with external systems: You can use code to integrate with external systems such as databases, web services, and APIs. This can enable you to fetch data from external sources, update data in external systems, and trigger actions in other applications.
  • Add custom business logic: You can use code to add custom business logic to your workflows and forms. This can enable you to automate complex business rules, create custom notifications, and implement custom decision-making processes.

At Flokzu, we know that real-life processes can be complex. 

We know that tools that are too simple, allowing absolutely no coding can be limiting for these more complex processes. Digitizing a process incompletely, or forcing the user to manually perform tasks that could be automated, jeopardizes the success of the digitization initiative. 

We believe in providing a flexible and customizable platform that can meet the unique requirements of the organization. Our low-code approach enables you to add custom code to your workflows and forms, allowing you to build the functionality you need to streamline your operations and achieve greater efficiency.

What is a low-code platform?

A low-code platform serves as a tool for software creation, facilitating business professionals to construct bespoke applications with only a smattering of coding required. It is not just a programming language, but a complete platform in which development skills are minimal, but at the same time, it provides all the environment to create powerful applications.

Flokzu is a low-code platform because it enables business users to digitize and automate complete business processes with minimal coding. Our platform provides a range of pre-built components and drag-and-drop interfaces that allow you to design and automate workflows, create forms, and configure business rules quickly and easily.

Our low-code approach also makes it easy to integrate with external systems, automate complex business rules, and streamline your operations, regardless of your technical background. At Flokzu, we believe in providing a flexible and customizable platform that enables you to build the functionality you need to achieve your business goals.

Benefits of low-code development platforms

The main benefits are faster application development, increased productivity, and reduced costs. And, at the same time, have some flexibility to introduce ad hoc code to meet the specific needs of each organization. 

Max development speed

Low-code enables faster application development by minimizing the need for manual coding and providing pre-built components and visual interfaces that enable applications to be built quickly and efficiently. 

Moreover, they reduce or suppress time-consuming tasks like compiling code and moving components through environments (testing, staging, production). They also avoid complex configurations and setups that usually require highly skilled IT people. 

Empowering business users

Allowing business users to create and maintain their own applications without requiring IT staff provides numerous benefits: 

  1. It enables business users to respond to changing business needs quickly and efficiently, without having to wait for IT staff to develop custom applications. This can help to increase business agility and speed up decision-making processes.
  2. It eases the load on IT personnel, enabling them to concentrate on more intricate responsibilities and strategic undertakings. This can help to improve the overall efficiency of IT departments and reduce costs associated with application development and maintenance.
  3. It enables business users to take ownership of their applications, providing them with greater control over the development and maintenance process. It offers the flexibility and agility necessary to create bespoke applications that address an organization’s unique requirements, thus maximizing efficiency and bolstering return on investment.

Reducing costs

Low-code minimizes upfront expenses by facilitating the rapid and effective creation of tailor-made applications, eliminating the need for comprehensive programming expertise. This can help to reduce development costs by minimizing the need for manual coding and enabling you to bring new applications to market faster.

Low coding can also reduce future maintenance and evolution costs. Because the advent of no-code platforms has revolutionized the application development process, empowering businesses to maintain their competitive edge and fostering an inclusive digital landscape teeming with innovation and collaboration. This reduces the need for extensive re-coding and can help to streamline the application maintenance process.

What is no-code?

No-code is an extension of the low-code approach to application development, designed to accelerate the construction and deployment of software even further. Nevertheless, the capacity to construct tailor-made applications without necessitating technical proficiency or coding know-how is undeniably advantageous and fosters a more diverse and inclusive digital ecosystem.

By removing the need for coding, no-code platforms enable users to create applications at an even faster pace, reducing the time and cost required to bring new applications to market. Utilizing these cutting-edge solutions can significantly enhance a company’s adaptability, swiftly reacting to fluctuating market dynamics and expediting its digital metamorphosis endeavors.

However, it is crucial to recognize that no-code platforms, despite their undeniable benefits, may exhibit certain limitations when constructing intricate applications. For more complex applications, low-code platforms may still be the better option. Precisely for this reason, Flokzu allows both modalities. It is possible to build an entire process without coding anything at all (no-code), but it is also possible to add certain customizations and specific code to meet the needs of real-life processes, which can be complex. 

In Flokzu you get the best of both worlds: the maximum speed to build applications without coding (no-code), and if needed, the possibility of adding code and customization to meet real-life needs (low-code).

No-code development steps

When you use a no-code tool, you still need to follow a few steps to build your application:

  1. Define the application’s requirements: Before you start building the application, you need to define its requirements, including its purpose, features, and functionality.
  2. Select a no-code platform: In the realm of digital innovation, many of no-code platforms exists, each boasting a distinct array of functionalities and proficiencies. Naturally, if the application will automate a business process, Flokzu will be the best alternative to build it.
  3. Choose a template: Most no-code platforms provide pre-built templates that you can use as a starting point for your application. In the business process space, Flokzu provides a Templates Library with predefined business processes that have been useful to other organizations, that you can adapt to your needs. 
  4. Customize the application: Using the platform’s drag-and-drop interface and visual artifacts, you can customize the application by adding components, modifying layouts, and configuring business rules. You can also integrate the application with external systems and services to enhance its functionality.
  5. Test and deploy: Once the application is built, you can test it to ensure that it meets your requirements and functions as expected. Flokzu, for example, provides the Sandbox, a secure place to test every process version. Once you are satisfied, you can deploy the application into production.

As you can see, the process of creating a new application using no-code tools is simple and straightforward, enabling non-technical users to build custom applications quickly and easily.

Specific benefits of no-code platforms

No-code development platforms provide additional benefits to the list of low-code benefits previously presented:

  1. Ease of use: No-code platforms are designed to be even more user-friendly than low-code platforms, enabling non-technical users to build custom applications with ease. With no-code, there is no need for coding knowledge, making the process of application development even more accessible.
  2. Speed: Because no-code platforms eliminate the need for coding, applications can be built even more quickly and efficiently than with low-code platforms. This can help to accelerate the application development process and enable businesses to respond to changing market conditions faster.
  3. Flexibility: No-code platforms offer greater flexibility than low-code platforms, allowing users to create custom applications without being limited by pre-built components or templates. This enables businesses to build applications that meet their specific needs and requirements, improving their effectiveness and ROI.

Overall, no-code development platforms offer a range of benefits that make it even easier and faster to build custom applications without requiring extensive coding knowledge. With a platform like Flokzu, business users can create custom applications quickly and easily, enabling them to improve their productivity and achieve their business goals more effectively.

Difference between low-code and no-code?

No-code and low-code are two approaches to software development that differ in the level of coding required. No-code platforms provide pre-built components and visual interfaces that  enable non-technical users to construct new apps without needing to know how to write. This approach enables faster application development, increased ease of use, and greater flexibility in application customization. Nonetheless, there could be constraints concerning the intricacy of applications constructible with this method. 

Low-code platforms offer a comparable strategy, but necessitate a degree of coding proficiency for developing more sophisticated applications.This approach provides greater control and customization options for more complex applications, while still minimizing the need for extensive coding knowledge. Low-code platforms are ideal for businesses looking to improve agility and speed up application development while maintaining some control over the application’s development process.

Overall, the choice between low-code/no-code platforms depends on the complexity of the application and the level of customization required. Regardless of the platform chosen, businesses can achieve faster application development, increased productivity, and reduced costs compared to traditional software development approaches.

Low-code vs. no-code: similarities and benefits

At Flokzu, we understand that every business has unique needs and requirements when it comes to application development. That’s why we offer a platform that supports both low code/no code approaches when digitizing and automating business processes and workflows. 

Our no-code features enable business users to create custom process automation applications quickly and easily, without requiring coding knowledge. This approach is ideal for businesses looking to develop simple applications or automate basic processes.

Our low-code features provide a more advanced approach to application development, enabling businesses to build more complex process automation applications. This approach provides greater control and customization options for some real-life applications that require more complex behaviors, while still minimizing the need for extensive coding knowledge.

By providing both no-code and low-code options, Flokzu enables businesses to develop a range of applications to meet their specific needs, improving business agility, increasing productivity, and reducing costs associated with application development and maintenance.

Overall, having a platform that supports no code/low code approaches to software development provides businesses with greater flexibility, enabling them to choose the approach that best meets their needs and achieve their business goals more effectively.

Example: Building a real-life process application

To get the concepts down to earth, next we will build a real-life application, to automate the “Vacation Request” process, using some of the main Flokzu no-code features. We will highlight the option to use some low-code features where it can enable some required advanced behavior.

Store data in a form without coding

Each business process involves related data, crucial to be stored. In our Vacation Request workflow example, data such as the applicant’s name, departure date, and return date must be stored. The low-code/no-code tool should come equipped with an intuitive form generator. This feature lets you drag and drop various fields onto a form, centralizing all pertinent information.

Low-code / no-code Workflow and BPM Form Generator by Flokzu.

Draw – without coding – the flowchart

The subsequent step involves outlining the workflow (process flowchart). Over time, graphical notations for constructing these have significantly matured from their historical counterparts. The international standard is BPMN (from OMG), which boasts an outstanding benefit: it’s straightforward yet exceptionally comprehensive. 

Low-code/no-code workflow and BPM platforms empower business users to depict their process visually. This enables swift process specification and clear documentation in just a few minutes.

An example of vacation request workflow in a low-code / no-code cloud BPM Suite: Flokzu.

Deploy into production in one click

This step can often incite apprehension due to its perceived technical complexity and impact. However, low-code/no-code platforms significantly simplify this procedure. Essentially, they enable deployment and availability of the process for end-users (in production) by simply pressing a button.

Undoubtedly, the platform must address all the intricacies transparently. It needs to generate the internal structure for data storage, interpret the process diagram, validate permissions, etc. Yet, from the business user’s perspective, they just have to click a button to “Deploy the Process,” and then it’s ready to use. That’s the allure of low-code and no-code process tools.

Concluding the vacation request process example, post-deployment, employees can initiate requests via a web or mobile application:

Vacation Request Process Form deployed and used by an end user in Flokzu Cloud Workflow.

No-code with Flokzu

Low-code platforms equip users to construct tailor-made applications swiftly and effectively, reducing the reliance on manual coding. They offer ready-to-use components and intuitive visual interfaces to streamline the process. This methodology offers enterprises heightened control over application creation, reducing the need for in-depth coding expertise. The benefits of low-code platforms include faster application development, increased productivity, and reduced costs.

Conversely, no-code platforms entirely eradicate the need for programming, offering intuitive visual interfaces and ready-made templates. This empowers non-technical individuals to rapidly and effortlessly build tailored applications. The benefits of no-code platforms include increased ease of use, even faster application development, and greater flexibility in application customization.

By offering both low-code and no-code options, Flokzu provides businesses with greater flexibility, enabling them to choose the approach that best meets the specific needs of each process to be automated. This way your business objectives can be attained more efficiently. Leveraging our platform allows enterprises to enhance their adaptability, react swiftly to evolving market scenarios, and expedite the launch of new applications.

Schedule here to setup a process in 30 minutes, without writing a single line of code.

FAQs

Which is better: low-code or no-code?

Both low-code and no-code software have their strengths. Low-code platforms offer greater customization and are ideal for complex applications but require some coding knowledge. On the other hand, no code software is extremely user-friendly, enabling non-technical users to create applications quickly, although they might lack the same level of flexibility. Selecting the optimal solution relies on evaluating your individual requirements, technical expertise, and the intricacies of the undertaking.

How do low-code and no-code tools work?

Low-code and no-code tools abstract complex code into user-friendly, graphical interfaces. Users can design and build applications using a drag-and-drop interface to place elements onto a canvas and define their behaviors. Low-code platforms require some coding for advanced customization, while no-code platforms are entirely visual, eliminating the need for any traditional programming. These functions expedite the app creation procedure, making it more user-friendly for non-technical individuals and diminishing the dependence on proficient developers.

Who can use low code/no code platforms?

Low-code/no-code platforms, including no-code development tools, are designed to be user-friendly, making them accessible to many users. Professional developers can use them to prototype and deploy applications rapidly. Concurrently, these tools enable non-technical individuals, including business analysts, designers, and citizen developers, to develop operational apps without coding. Hence, low-code/no-code platforms democratize software development, fostering innovation across various organizational roles.

What are the benefits of using low code/no code platforms?

They accelerate application development and deployment, reducing the time-to-market. They democratize software development by abstracting complicated coding, allowing non-technical individuals to construct programs. This reduces reliance on skilled developers and frees them to focus on more complex tasks. These platforms make it simple to iterate and customize, increasing agility and responsiveness to company demands. Furthermore, they reduce the initial cost of software development and enable businesses to adapt quickly to changing technology landscapes.

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Sobre el autor

Picture of Juan Moreno

Juan Moreno

I have been an entrepreneur, founder, and investor in tech companies since 2001, with a B2B vision and a focus on innovative technologies. What do I talk about? I concentrate on applied computer technology as a tool for efficiency and effectiveness in real organizations. In particular, I specialize in the digitalization and management of business processes, involving aspects of process automation, artificial intelligence, and no-code tools. I always apply a pragmatic approach, prioritizing the effective application of technologies in real businesses. My background: I am a Computer Engineer, with a PhD in Software Engineering and an MBA. I have been a university professor since 2002, currently teaching undergraduate, postgraduate courses, and giving lectures. As an entrepreneur, I founded 5 technology companies and am an angel investor in others. I am a recipient of the National Innovation Award, with dozens of academic publications and two books. My role at Flokzu: I currently serve as the Chief Strategy Officer, where I am responsible for the medium and long-term strategy of the product and the company. Part of my role is to evaluate technological trends and their incorporation to ensure that Flokzu becomes increasingly useful to our clients. It also involves understanding the reality and needs of our customers to ensure a perfect fit with what Flokzu offers. Finally, my job also includes evangelizing the discipline of Business Process Management and no-code technologies worldwide through publications, conferences, workshops, or complete courses.

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