Over the last few years, web and mobile apps are gaining a lot of importance among business organizations whether they are small or large. The need to keep pace with the variable market demands, digital technologies, customer satisfaction, and business trends, all of them driving the app demand both in the terms of quality and quantity.
To address the huge demand for apps, software developers often use tools and technologies to speed up the development process. The famous LowCode tool is one of them.
Low code platforms make it easier and faster to build web and mobile apps. Moreover, some of them also solve a few additional problems such as team management, collaboration, maintenance, testing, and deployment.
Let's explore more about Low-code app development, its benefits, and the best Low-code app builders.
Low-code is the simplified software development method that enables developers to build apps faster. The low code app builder provides the software development environment through the graphical user interface.
It may partially or completely eliminate the need for deep coding and reduce the time spent on grunt tasks. It enables developers to build apps from blocks of code while having the flexibility for customization as per the business's unique needs. However, this flexibility for customization varies from platform to platform.
Time is the critical aspect of software development. The quick launch of apps has benefits such as early feedback, customer acquisition, early understanding of the market, and so on.
It reduces repetitive tasks in app development and saves time. So the developers can utilize this time to solve more complex problems.
With the elimination of repetitive tasks, developers can build more apps in less time and resources. This eventually decreases the cost of application development. So even if you have a small team of developers, Low-code platforms can help you to achieve more.
Low-code development allows developers to customize code and meet the changing requirements without going into complex coding. This capability is highly useful if the app requires frequent changes.
There are several Low-code app builders for faster application development, here is the list with their unique functionalities.
DhiWise is the SaaS-based, developer-centric LowCode/ProCode app development platform for web and mobile application development. It speeds up the app development process by automating the tasks such as design to code conversion, API documentation, and so on.
Aims to enhance the ProCode capabilities of developers with an intuitive interface. Also, provides code ownership and gives full flexibility to code customization.
2. Figma to code conversion: It uniquely identifies UI components with its intelligent component identifier algorithm while converting Figma design to code (React, Flutter, Android, and iOS).
3. Generates code automatically in a few steps and more: It auto-generates code. You can integrate APIs, customize and add routes, set up authentication, and get auto-generated snippets for each process.
4. Git Integration: It simplifies collaboration among the development team with its GitHub and GitLab integration.
5. Ready to use customizable templates and screens: Select and customize ready-to-use templates and screens as per unique business needs.
6. Browser-based development: Stay away from frequent software installation, and avoid IDEs and on-premise code editors. Get benefit of the browser-based coding.
Appian is a Low-code app development and workflow builder platform equipped with native deployment tools and software integration options with DevOps tools like Jenkins.
Helps developers and business owners to build business process management (BPM) applications with offline capabilities efficiently.
1. Dynamic offline mobile: This allows users to work without reliable connectivity. So the app users in the field of installation, inspection, sales, auditing, and engineering can benefit from it.
2. One-click reporting: It moves application logic into the Appian application design platform to deliver a one-click experience.
3. RPA support: Provides RPA features to enable workflow automation design, bot creation, and sub-process automation.
4. Data synchronization failure resolution: Simplify track and sync status, get notifications and troubleshoot issues without interrupting users.
5. Intuitive interface designer tools: Provides interface designer tools and onboarding materials for quick knowledge transfer.
Kissflow is the Digital workspace that provides various LowCode/NoCode platforms to perform mainly four functions.
Kissflow is the digital workspace that provides workflow as the service for automating business processes. It allows you to create unlimited automated business applications using a drag and drop interface.
1. Automated processes: Create No-code workflows, drag and drop forms, assign tasks dynamically, avoid unauthorized access, set custom parameters for team members, and use reports to track and improve custom efficiency.
2. Intuitive and visual tools for the team: Provide tools such as Kanban board, quick tagging, case management, custom task cards, and more.
3. Collaboration channels: Create, and manage different channels (open, close and secret) for teams, create live responses, use emojis and GIFs for conversation, customize notification settings, use the search bar for archive files and posts, and safely manage sensitive posts.
4. Customizable platform: Connect workflows internally or externally, formatting flexibility, create categories for users, get full audit logs, schedule tasks, and use android and iOS mobile apps to stay connected with work.
It is a suite of apps, services and connectors, and data platforms that provide the rapid app development environment for building custom applications. These applications can be connected to the data stored either in the underlying data platform or the on-premise data sources.
Transform manual business operations into automated processes and can improve apps by integrating them with the solutions offered by the Microsoft platform. With Microsoft power apps developers can mainly create three types of apps Canvas, Model-driven, and portal.
1. Eliminates manual coding: It provides ready-to-use templates that can be used as a base for new applications.
2. Multiplatform capability: Makes the application accessible on multiple platforms including Windows, web, iOS, and Android devices to provide user convenience.
3. Automates business processes: As power apps are the component of the Microsoft Power platform, developers can improve their apps by integrating with the other solutions offered by Microsoft's platform.
4. Integrated data imports: Microsoft Power platform enables developers to use data from third-party services and Microsoft.
It is a LowCode application development platform that helps developers to design, develop and run any business software.
Provides an excellent collection of application templates such as online catalog maker, school management, lead management, restaurant management, etc. to meet business unique requirements.
1. Faster app development: Provides drag and drop interface to create custom business apps in minutes.
2. Wide range of prebuilt app templates: Choose from the wide range of ready-to-use app templates and customize them according to your business requirements.
3. Automate business workflows: Add logic to your application, design and automate workflows, validate inputs and automate business processes by triggering the actions based on inputs.
4. Native mobile apps for android and iOS: As mobility is critical for business, the platform offers native mobile app development for android and iOS devices.
5. Host app wherever you want: Once built the app can be hosted anywhere i.e on-premise, Zoho Cloud, Azure, or AWS cloud.
It is a LowCode development platform for building complex web and mobile enterprise applications that can run in the cloud, on-premise, or in a hybrid environment using the visual development environment.
It is a rapid application development platform. One can build, edit and debug your app in the Outsystem service studio and publish it as a web app, progressive web app, or a native mobile application.
1. Real-time monitoring and reporting: Supports real-time monitoring and reporting of all apps built with Outsystem to evaluate and improve performance.
2. Scalable app: Build and scale applications using APIs.
3. Fully secure app development: Apps are generated with a default level of protection against the common web and mobile application vulnerabilities.
4. Complete DevOps automation: Provides out-of-the-box DevOps automation tools to accelerate app development.
5. Batch processing and scheduling: This allows users to execute asynchronous logic in the application such as sending emails at predetermined times using Timers.
6. Integrated debugging engine: Easily find issues in your app logic with the integrated debugging engine.
Besides the above features, it also proves application management features such as access control and permission management.
Mendix is the open source NoCode and LowCode app development platform for building web and mobile applications. It is designed to accelerate the enterprise app delivery across the entire application development lifecycle, from ideation to deployment and operations.
The platform offers both LowCode and NoCode IDEs to rapidly build enterprise-level web and mobile applications.
1. App development through the visual interface: Enables web and mobile app development using common visual language and dedicated IDEs to meet business needs.
2. Cloud-based: Empowers developers to build, scalable and resilient applications that can be deployed anywhere with a single click.
3. Artificial intelligence and automation: Seamlessly connect with the AI and the cognitive services. Automates business processes that bring data, people, and systems together.
4. Data Integration: Integrate data and logic from any data source, system, or service.
VisionX is the open LowCode, NoCode, and ProCode app development platform for citizen developers and business users.
It is one among the few open source low code application development platforms that easily integrates the existing system and enables developers to add custom code when needed.
1. Faster app development: Build web, mobile, and desktop applications with the visual interface using ready-to-use UI components and customizable templates, layouts, and data models.
2. Easy to use interface: Visually set UI properties, create and change UI, data model, and business logic using a visual interface.
3. 100% Java open source: The platform uses the Java Opensource framework and libraries under the Apache 2.0 license or compatible. So there is no vendor lock and developers can customize almost anything according to needs.
4. Design in vision and code in eclipse: It gives a flexible way to make changes to the app. Either do it through the visual interface or in the Java code. The app UI changes done on the VisionX are directly reflected in real-time in Eclipse.
Well, let's compare all the platforms discussed above based on business size, deployment, types of app build, and flexibility for customization.
|LowCode platforms (Launch year)||Business Size||Free trial||Deployment||Type of app build||Flexibility to customization|
|DhiWise (2021)||Small, medium, and large businesses||Yes||Cloud||Any web, and mobile||Code level customization flexibility|
|Appian (1999)||Small, medium, and large businesses||Yes||Cloud||BPM applications||Limited flexibility|
|Kissflow (2012)||Small, medium and large businesses||Yes||Cloud||Business workflow automation apps||Limited flexibility|
|Microsoft power apps (2018)||Small medium and Large businesses||Yes||Cloud||Canvas apps(Forms and UI design), Model driven(Complex apps based on data) and portal apps(Websites)||Limited flexibility|
|Zoho creator(2016)||Small, medium and large||Yes||Cloud||BPM app that runs on all devices||Limited flexibility|
|Outsystem (2001)||Small, medium and large businesses||Yes||Cloud, on-premise and hybrid||Web, and mobile apps||Limited flexibility|
|Mendix (2005)||Small, medium and large businesses||It is open source||Cloud, On-premise||Web and mobile apps||Limited flexibility|
|VisionX (2008)||Freelancers developers, Small, medium, and large businesses||It is open source||On-premise||Web mobile and desktop apps||Code level customization flexibility|
After looking into these platforms we can conclude that the LowCode platforms have the capability to bring down the development cost and coding efforts. Moreover, it helps organizations in rapid application development, faster launch, app customization, and maintenance.
Recently, LowCode platforms have started supporting through the entire application development life cycle, maintenance, and monitoring to empower developers for creating better apps and improve customer engagement.
However, every low-code platforms provide a visual language for app development that limits customization flexibility, DhiWise goes one step further and offers code-level customization along with a visual interface for app building.