Low-code —

15 best low-code platforms & how to use them

By Arso Stojović
5min
Published on September 21, 2022
Updated on November 14, 2022
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Did you know that most large companies adopted multiple low-code tools by the end of 2021?

One of the biggest reasons lies in the fact that companies that want to scale must look for innovative ways to improve their productivity. Investing in low-code platforms has proven to be a modern and efficient solution to this endeavor.

Many companies lack the tech talent to build apps or automate business processes as pressure mounts for new software to support digital transformation efforts. As companies struggle to hire developers, they are turning to tools that do not require coding knowledge. Business and tech professionals who do not have coding experience can use these platforms to build apps and potentially fill skill gaps in their organizations.

As a result, businesses that can't hire developers can still create apps using low-code platforms.

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What is the impact of low-code on the software industry?

Gartner predicted that the global market for low-code development technologies would grow by 23% this year alone. It is expected that low-code will grow even further in 2022.
Also, Market Research Future estimates that by 2027 the market will reach USD 73,820.4 million, increasing 26.5% year after year.

Low code

What is Low-code?

Low-code represents the ability to develop applications quickly and cost-effectively is one of the most significant benefits of low-code development platforms. 

Rather than writing traditional computer programs, low-code development platforms allow IT and business professionals to develop business application software through graphical UI. Instead of coding, UI components can be dragged and dropped to create apps visually. As part of the process, all of the project's components, such as front-end code and back-end configuration files, are automatically generated.

Apps can be SaaS, web-based products, or mobile applications developed with third-party toolkits. The toolkits enable app ideas to be developed, designed, and commercialized within a short time. With this method, you can build fast, fully-functional applications using just a few lines of code.

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Is low-code the same as no-code?

Both approaches share many features but differ in subtle ways: Low-code/no-code use visual interfaces and preconfigured templates to abstract the complex aspects. PaaS solutions are available for both platforms, and workflows define data progression.

  • Low-code goal is to eliminate the need to duplicate basic code, freeing up space for more complex aspects of development, resulting in innovation and widening feature sets. A syntax-agnostic approach and automating standard aspects of coding enhance developer reskilling and talent pool expansion.

  • In contrast, no-code targets business users with vast domain knowledge and are also slightly tech-savvy but lack coding skills.

No-code is typically used to create tactical apps to perform simple tasks. These applications can also be made using low-code, as can integrations and digital transformation initiatives that are crucial to a business's core systems.

Why is low-code so popular?

Several factors are driving the growth of the low-code development platform market, including the adoption of advanced technologies and software evolution.

Business acceleration through digital technology

The transformation of business with digital technologies has increased over the past few years. Digital companies have built a huge foundation using advanced technologies to create new customer experiences, business models, and internal capabilities. Low-code allows developers and business users to create more flexible applications and accomplish specific tasks.

An increasing number of APIs

With the rising evolution and urgency of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, the popularity of the API-centric business plan has multiplied. This enabled organizations to share information and functionality about their applications with external business partners, third-party developers, and internal departments. This empowered the organization's products and services to leverage data and functionality better by communicating via a documented interface.

Digital conversion in the IT 

Across the globe, there has been an increase in the demand for digital transformation and innovative technology. Many organizations have implemented cutting-edge solutions to capitalize on new technologies and provide customer value, thereby increasing productivity and business growth. Furthermore, with changing consumer preferences, businesses have begun to create a digital presence to attract an audience.

Low-Code Application Features

Several popular features of low-code development applications facilitate the rapid development of custom applications.

Drag-and-drop interfaces

It is incredibly time-consuming and challenging to write long stretches of code. Using low-code, developers can create applications visually, resulting in a faster time-to-market.

Mobile-friendly, out of the box

Build it once, and deploy it everywhere. Applications need standard cross-platform functionality to be compatible with mobile devices. Using low-code development, everything should happen automatically, without any coding or extra effort.

Declarative Tools

Being declarative implies that there is no need to write custom code anymore. Doing this will make it easier to change or add things in the future while also making the development process more straightforward.

Visual modeling

Lines of code and programming syntax are much more difficult to understand than the graphical interface. It simplifies the process of developing applications.

Reusability

It's a massive advantage of low-code development platforms that most major functionality is already prebuilt into modules that can be reused wherever needed. Without a doubt, having a process that allows assets, modules, and even entire applications to be reused is crucial to making work more efficient.

Security and Scalability

The development of traditional applications does not always consider security. Low-code platforms tend to provide security by default. In other words, if you find low-code tools that don't provide proper protection, ditch them.

While initially, low-code development was focused on more minor, departmental, and less critical capabilities, today's low-code must allow scaling for both usage in the environment and your app.

Why use Low-code?

Besides being popular and evolving technology, Low-code has more technical advantages, so here are the reasons why you should consider using it: 

1. Use whatever stack you want

These new-generation tools work with any tech stack. They can add drag-and-drop editing using your React components. The flexibility of these tools means you can use them anywhere.

2. Publishing has never been easier

One of the main advantages is being able to make publish incrementally. API-driven tools allow you to schedule pages and variations of pages to live automatically. You can also edit a piece of text and upload it immediately. You don't have to go through code deployments.

3. Effortless collaboration

Collaborating with non-development team members is also possible with low-code. Developers could concentrate on complex tasks like creating components or other difficult tasks. Furthermore, non-developers can drag and drop those components, make changes, run tests, etc.

4. Improved performance

The legacy AB testing and personalization tools often aren't compatible with your chosen technology. They ask you to add large JavaScript files to load the page, which can cause performance issues. You can perform AB tests or other variations as part of your tech stack using API-driven tools that utilize low-code. This means, for instance, that they are statically pre-generated, so you don't have to use JavaScript that blocks the page.

Types of Low Code Development Platforms

Low-code platforms vary according to their intended use or purpose. Low-code and no-code platforms can be used to build the following types of applications.

Database

LCDPs of this kind only allow access to databases programmed within the system. A low-code database platform is helpful if you have a lot of data that you need to feed into a system but do not have much time to devote to the work.

Mobile applications

There are many challenges in developing mobile apps, but low-code development makes it possible. Code written for one platform can be ported to multiple mobile platforms. App developers use these platforms to build, test, and release mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.

Custom Apps

Managing internal workflows is possible with low-code platforms. Forms, workflows, and integrations with other systems are some of the capabilities available on these platforms. LCDPs are ideal for approval workflows and going paperless.

Business Process Management tools

By using BPM tools, businesses can optimize their processes more efficiently. Companies use them to model, implement, and automate business workflows to reduce errors, inefficiencies, and miscommunications.

Form builders

Form builders are used for creating customizable, job-specific forms for unit needs. Using them, companies can maintain, edit, and redistribute their forms.

Front-end builders & Consumer apps

With the front end, builders can create, edit, and design the blocks for your website or any other web project by dragging pre-built blocks. Once your assets are finished, these platforms will save them, optimize them, and replace remote references with local ones.

On the other hand, consumer apps are another low-code made platform created to make customers' shopping experience more seamless and convenient, thanks to their featuring functions.

Microservices

Did you know that 85% of large organizations with 5,000 or more employees currently use microservices? This trend will expand to the whole market, and to be honest, the transition can be tricky. The LCDPs can accelerate this process exponentially because they provide enterprise features and high-impact functionalities for rebuilding your application's architecture.

Extension builders

Extensions are there to make our life easier, improve our UX, make us more productive, or perform an essential task better than a dedicated tool. On the other hand, building them with low code makes the developer’s life easier. 😍

General Purpose

A general-purpose platform allows you to build an application that can be deployed anywhere and serves various purposes. Based on the requirements, general-purpose low-code platforms can include the development of the application's front-end or back-end. Almost any application can be created with these kinds of low-code platforms.

15 best low-code platforms

A lot of the buzz lately has been about low-code tools, which can boost productivity and team collaboration, simplifying and automating tedious tasks. Below, see which apps can improve and facilitate your work.

RETOOL

Retool makes it remarkably fast to build applications and internal tools. Having an interface library, access controls, and combining data sources is a huge time saver.

Retool

Retool is ideal for creating internal applications and speeding up development. Interfaces with any database or API using visually designed apps. You can customize the look and functionality of your apps almost anywhere by using code. With Retool, you can ship more apps and move your business forward faster. Workflows are simplified with Retool apps built specifically for your organization.

ZAPIER

Zapier allows all the apps you use for work to talk to each other.

ZAPIER

Zapier automates repetitive tasks between two or more apps without requiring any programming knowledge. A Zapier trigger can tell another app to perform (or do) a particular action when an event occurs in another.

PRONTOFORMS

With ProntoForms, you can easily create apps that integrate with your business systems bi-directionally. Generate custom documents for external systems and stakeholders using workflows that share context with other apps, systems, and technicians.

PRONTOFORMS

FULCRUM

Fulcrum gives you the power to turn your paper forms into fully customized mobile apps for conducting inspections, assessments, surveys, and more in the field.

FULCRUM

You can build custom forms with Fulcrum and deploy them to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device for collecting field data. The app lets you take geotagged photos, video, and audio recordings, capture signatures, and scan barcodes, regardless of Internet access.

MENDIX

MENDIX

Low-code platforms provide quality apps without requiring complex coding. Anyone can benefit from them. With Mendix, you can develop applications for any device and deploy them faster to achieve a faster success rate. 

Mendix automates end-to-end processes by connecting systems, data, and people through apps. Additionally, your apps can be extended and open for different platforms, apps, and models by integrating logic and data from any source.

FIGMA

FIGMA

Figma is the most popular and favorite designer tool. It is a collaborative design tool with excellent support for design systems and grabbing code snippets for styles used on any element. Figma is also swift because of a scalable tool that uses API to manage designs and share them with/on other platforms.

TYPEFORM

Using Typeform is a comfortable and conversational way to collect and share information. From surveys to apps, it's a web-based platform that doesn't require coding.

TYPEFORM

Its leading software creates dynamic customizable templates and integration forms. At the same time, Typeform wins in customizable templates and integrations. Typeform's software has been used by Apple, Airbnb, Uber, and Nike.

JOTFORM

Another platform that makes collecting information efficiently. Like Typeform, companies and individuals can quickly create custom online forms.

JOTFORM

DRONA HQ

Low-code app building and deployment are made easy with DronaHQ.

DRONA HQ

Among the many features of the DronaHQ app frontend are a visual relational database, user management, bulletproof security, highly scalable serverless hosting, etc.

An open-source, low-code tool for developing internal applications. Integrating the UI and data source, Appsmith simplifies building applications from the front end to the back end.

APPSMITH

The development process is simple, thanks to an inbuilt JS editor and pre-built widgets.

OUTSYSTEMS

With OutSystems, you can develop applications exceptionally quickly. You can use it to build mobile apps, web apps, and enterprise-grade applications.

Besides accelerating and simplifying app lifecycle optimization, OutSystems constantly adds new features and capabilities. The program lets you update and deploy applications in one click and automatically checks for app dependencies to help you deploy them. Additionally, you can create mobile-friendly apps with native device access, business logic on the device, and offline data synchronization. Using user feedback, you can speed up and improve your applications.

APPIAN

Appian is a low-code development platform designed for businesses of all sizes. Appian offers a low-code automation platform with a visual interface and pre-built development modules. As with other low-code automation platforms, it enables businesses to create apps using little or no code.

APPIAN

It enables users to build business process management (BPM) applications. Key features include case management, BPM, three-step app development, and application integration.

PEGA

Pega is a powerful low-code platform that enables organizations to adapt to change and be more agile. With our AI-powered decisioning and workflow automation, clients can personalize engagement, automate service, and streamline operations to solve their most pressing business challenges.

PEGA

KISSFLOW

Kissflow can be both a low-code and no-code platform, depending on what you will use it. And it can be used for various needs such as digital transformation, app building, and developing business workflows.

KISSFLOW

As a process request agent, Kissflow allows users to initiate requests for action, view pending requests, and approve pending tasks. Among its features are managing human resources processes, including onboarding employees, managing timesheets, approving vacation requests, and approving invoices.

This nifty tool allows you and your team to customize the browser to fit your needs.

EXTENSION.DEV

Extension.dev is a low code platform that helps you deploy custom browser extensions to build internal tools and sidebars on top of websites or to automate away manual tasks that waste time.

IFTTT

IFTTT derives its name from the programming conditional statement “if this, then that.”

IFTTT

The company provides a web-based service that allows various platforms, apps, and gadgets to trigger responses in one another that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

BCMS

An open-source headless platform ideal for managing content. BCMS is an intuitive and easy-to-navigate platform even for non-tech people to add new content without knowing how websites actually work behind the scenes.

BCMS

With the popularization of modern ways of developing websites, mobile applications, and entirely new platforms (IoT, smartphones, etc.), BCMS is dealing powerfully with modern challenges such as creating unique content for multiple platforms, SEO optimization, etc.  

A high-speed and scalable content management system that allows programmers, designers, and editors of company websites significant and long-term flexibility when editing their sites. 

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CONCLUSION:

Technologies that require little or no coding are game-changing. They promote collaboration among business teams, allow global-distributed teams to stay on the same page, and make it easier for everyone to contribute effectively. Developers have more freedom and can focus on more complex processes, while non-developers don’t have to rely on developers for minor updates or edits.

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