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What is “low code development”? What is different from no code?

low code development
low code development

In the modern age of Reiwa, where system development methods are diversifying, new development methods such as “low code” and “no-code” are also appearing.

Among them, low code is a method that allows easy and intuitive development while having a certain degree of freedom.
It has the potential to become a solution for companies that have problems in system development in terms of resources and speed. This time, we will explain the outline of low code, advantages and disadvantages, and the difference from no code
for the person in charge of companies who want to introduce low code development.

 

table of contents

  • 1. What does low code mean?
  • 2. What are the benefits of low-code development?
  • 3. What are the disadvantages of low-code development?
  • 4. What are the low-code development platforms?
  • 5. What is the difference between low-code development and no-code development?
  • 6. What is the future of low-code development?

 

What does low code mean?

Low code is “a method for developing a system with almost no source code in the system or a platform (tool) that can do the work”.

Low code can be developed using the GUI (the screen that emphasizes visuals and allows intuitive operation) prepared by the platform. Functions and features differ depending on the platform, but the biggest feature is that you can easily develop websites, native apps, groupware, etc. like building blocks.

If you mention the point that “development can be done without time and effort”, it will be easier to imagine low code if you imagine WordPress that can easily design a site. If you are a company person who wants to reduce the development cost of apps and want to release the system quickly according to the demand of the world, why not consider low code development?

By the way, the mainstream of the conventional system development method is “full scratch”, which is a method for engineers and system development companies to input a code from scratch for development. This is the opposite of low-code development, which rarely writes source code, and no-code development, which will be described later.

 

What are the benefits of low-code development?

Low-code development has the following advantages and disadvantages.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of low-code development
merit Demerit
Easy to significantly reduce development period and development cost Operations not supported by the platform cannot be performed
Easy system development regardless of engineer skills Knowledge of system design and man-hour calculation is required
Easy to expand or modify functions even after the system is completed The system is easy to black box

 

● Easy to significantly reduce development period and development cost

Various functions are installed depending on the application or website, such as “data storage function” and “chat function”. With low code, you can speedily add such so-called template-like elements and functions from the GUI. In short, it is easy to reduce the development period and cost by adding the template part from the GUI.

If you outsource development to engineers and system development companies with full scratch, it will take a huge development period and cost depending on the scale of the system. However, outsourcing as low-code development or doing low-code development in-house will significantly reduce the development period and cost. In addition, the speedy release of services also helps prevent the risk of being late for the competition.

 

● Easy system development regardless of engineer skills

Low code is characterized by greatly lowering the development hurdle in terms of skill.

In the past, even if you wanted to develop such a function, it was difficult to put it into practice without a highly skilled engineer. However, with the low code platform, system development is possible regardless of the skill of the engineer. With some ingenuity, even users who know little about the program will be able to carry out system development. It is low-code development that increases the flexibility of development.

 

● Easy to expand or repair functions after the system is completed

Once you have developed your system, you may want to “make it faster” or “add or remove certain features”. In the case of low code, it also helps to some degree of freedom that “you can write the code directly”, and it is easy to expand or modify the function. It is also possible to perform tasks such as “expanding functions in cooperation with other systems” and “combining programming structures to enable complex processing”.

 

What are the disadvantages of low-code development?

● Operations that are not compatible with the platform cannot be performed.

Unfortunately, low code depends on the GUI for operations, so operations that are not supported on the platform side cannot be performed. You can customize it by entering the code yourself, but depending on the balance with the screen, the work may be complicated and time-consuming. If you encounter a case where you cannot develop a system without adding a large amount of source code, low code may not be suitable for development.

 

● Knowledge of system design and man-hour calculation is required

While you can develop with almost no source code, low-code development requires knowledge of the design part of the system. For example, when developing a business system in-house with low code, the company must think about “what kind of system is needed”. In addition to this, knowledge is also required for the development of man-hour calculation. As a result of neglecting man-hour calculation, there is a possibility that the development schedule will be significantly different.

 

● The system tends to become a black box

With low code, you can intuitively operate and add source code, so it is difficult for the user to directly see what kind of code is working. For this reason, if you make a mistake in management, the contents will become a black box and problems such as “only the designated person can use it” and “cause an unexpected malfunction” may occur. Let’s prevent black boxing by taking measures such as “determine the person in charge of management firmly” and “share the design method among members each time”. Considering the advantages and disadvantages mentioned above together, it can be said that low-code development is suitable for the following projects.

  • Projects where you want to reduce development costs and time
  • Cases where it is difficult to prepare highly skilled engineer resources
  • Projects where you want to develop a system with high functionality to some extent in-house without relying on outsourcing

 

What are the low-code development platforms?

As a platform for low-code development, “kintone” is a popular service in Japan. Kintone is a cloud service platform that allows you to easily develop and manage apps that can be used to improve business efficiency on a user basis. You can easily develop a business system with functions such as a customer management system and a sales management system just by using kintone.

It is also a feature that you can use different methods such as “Read CSV or Excel data and produce” and “Drag and drop production” depending on the case. It also has data file sharing and communication functions between members, so you can proceed with development projects efficiently. If you want to know more about kintone, please refer to the following articles.

■ What is kintone? Introducing service contents and benefits of using

■ 7 recommended system development companies for kintone development [latest version]

In addition to this, there are various low-code platforms such as “Microsoft Power Apps” that allow you to develop apps as if you were using macros, and “Oracle APEX” that enables you to develop apps 20 times faster. Let’s choose the most suitable low-code platform according to your company’s resource status and development purpose.

 

What is the difference between low-code development and no-code development?

Difference between low code and no code
Main comparison points Low code No code
Source code description Describe as needed Do not describe
Development speed early Faster than low code
Extensibility The high degree of freedom Low degree of freedom

“No code” is a word that is easily confused with low code development. The two are the same in that they can be developed on a user basis rather than an engineer, but they differ in terms of operability and flexibility.

 

● Do not write source code at all with no code

No-code translates to “no code (not needed)”. In other words, the feature is that you can proceed with the work without writing the source code at all during development. Therefore, while low-code requires some programming knowledge and skills, no-code has the advantage of being able to start development work without any programming knowledge or skills.

However, it is necessary to have the skills to develop while thinking about “what kind of content you want to design” and “in what order you want to combine functions”. No-code is characterized by “no need to write code”.

 

● Easier to achieve faster development than low code

As mentioned above, no code requires you to write any code. For this reason, it is easier to develop more quickly than to proceed with development while writing code using low code.

Also, since no programming skills are required for resources, anyone can handle it, although it is necessary to learn how to operate the platform. In this respect, it may be possible to reduce labor costs compared to low code, which cannot be expanded without some programming knowledge and skills.

 

● No-code has a disadvantage in extensibility

The disadvantage of no-code is that it is less flexible than low-code. Since you can only do the work that is unlocked within the platform, there are some parts where you have to give up the implementation.

For example, let’s say you have a situation where you want to add this API to your system to extend its functionality. In the case of low code, you can write the calling code of the specified API by yourself, but in the case of no code, you can not add it unless it corresponds to the specified API. When choosing a no-code platform, you need to make sure in advance that you can implement your development objectives as much as possible without code.

 

● No-code has few domestic services yet

The current situation is that there are still few domestic services for No-code. Therefore, problems such as “the platform do not support Japanese” and “the functions related to Japanese cannot be used” may occur. If you limit yourself to domestic services, the selection process will be easier, but keep in mind that the range of options is small.

 

What is the future of low-code development?

Modern society is becoming more liquid due to the development of IT and the Internet. On the other hand, there are many cases where the products and services provided by companies become obsolete, and the point is that system development is required to be speedy to acquire users without being overtaken by competitors. Full scratch is inferior in development speed because it is dropped from scratch to the program after designing.

On the other hand, low code allows you to intuitively add, delete, and edit programs based on the GUI while directly typing the code in a full scratch manner. In terms of speed of development, it is faster to hit the program directly than the basic full scratch, and the point is that the customizability is well-balanced compared to no code. There are fewer situations where development cannot be done without relying on engineers.

There will be more and more situations where the client-side, which has been requesting system outsourcing, will directly perform development work with low code. However, if there is a requirement that complicated system development is required, the skill of resources such as an engineer who is accustomed to code input and scenario assembly, and a system development company is indispensable. for example,

  • No-code: Small system or system with narrowed down functions
  • Low Code: Medium-sized systems and systems that also require customization
  • Full Scratch: Large-scale system or system that requires a lot of customization

There is a high possibility that the development method will be used properly in the future depending on the system requirements. Low code will be established as one of the new system development methods.

By the way, what you want to make with the low code tool depends on the client. Therefore, in the future, it is expected that the number of low-code tools with various concepts, such as specializing in website production and specializing in EC site production, will increase according to needs.

This time, I explained in detail the basic information and merits of low-code development.

Some companies that develop systems can order the development of apps and software on a low-code basis. There is a cost when placing an order, but if you want to request development while reducing the development period and cost, you can also place an order with a company that specializes in low code. If full scratch development is difficult, why not consider low-code development?

If you ever want to know about similar things, check out the Facebook page Maga Techs

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