What Is No-Code?
No-code platforms are popular because individuals and organizations can create software solutions without writing a single line of code. With a growing tech talent shortage and increasing IT backlogs, companies can bring their ideas to life quickly and efficiently with no-code.
Faster time-to-market, improved efficiency, and IT democratization, along with eliminating the need for traditional development skills, are just a few of the benefits of this development approach. They are among the major reasons its adoption has been so rapid. As a result, no-code solutions have been flooding the market in recent years, and it's estimated that there are about 175 available. So, which ones are the best? Let's take a look.
The Best No-Code Development Platforms in 2023
As I delve into some of the best no-code platforms available today, I will cover a few things to keep in mind when considering which might be right for your business..
Bubble is a popular no-code platform for creating web applications visually. Its intuitive drag-and-drop environment and comprehensive visual editor make designing and customizing a user interface easy.
Key functionality: Bubble offers built-in functionality, such as databases, workflows, and API integrations.
Common use cases include marketplace platforms, social networks, and SaaS applications.
Studio Creatio provides workflow automation and no-code capabilities. You can use this no-code platform to build, manage, optimize, and automate workflows. It’s also part of the unified customer relationship management (CRM) solution provided by Creatio.
Key functionality: Creatio provides a UI builder, drag-and-drop visual design tools, integration capabilities using SOAP and REST services, and compatibility with design tools like Figma and Adobe XD. Ready-to-go solutions, connectors, and templates for various use cases are also available in a special Creatio marketplace.
Common use cases include workflow automation.
Kintone targets non-technical users and empowers them to build apps that automate business processes, promote collaboration on projects and tasks, and quickly build reports from complex data.
Key functionality: Kintone provides dozens of pre-built applications for various use cases. It also provides APIs and integrations with third-party services.
Common use cases include CRM, project management, and inventory management.
Quickbase focuses on supporting business-led development initiatives like project management and system integration.
Key functionality: Quickbase mainly targets citizen developers and business users by providing common no-code capabilities such as pre-built components. However, Quickbase is also open for advanced customizations and professional developers through Quickbase APIs.
Common use cases include project management, work order management, resource management and scheduling, budget and financial management, and contract management.
Unqork describes itself as a “Codeless as a Service Platform” and provides a no-code, single-tenant architecture. It’s focused on removing coding from development entirely by supporting component-based development.
Key functionality: In addition to the common no-code visual capabilities, Unqork also provides auto-complete, AI functionality, and real-time configuration analysis. It also includes bidirectional integration with enterprise agile planning tools using out-of-the box plug-in components.
Common use cases include digital experience initiatives, process automation, and legacy modernization.
Is no-code the right solution for your business?
The best platform for you depends on your requirements, technical expertise, and project goals.
No-code solutions have revolutionized software development by removing the complexity of traditional development and accelerating delivery time. Yet, most organizations haven’t ditched traditional development and gone all-in on no-code–especially larger enterprises, where security and compliance are top of mind. Why? Let’s look at the challenges and risks of adopting no-code:
- Limited customization: Although no-code platforms may offer some customization, users are mostly limited to the features and functions provided by the platform.
- Lack of scalability: No-code platforms not suited for complex and large-scale projects requiring high customization and scalability.
- Limited control: No-code platforms don’t provide the same level of control over the software development process as traditional programming or even more advanced low-code platforms. As a result, the ability to fine-tune or optimize certain aspects of the application is minimal at best.
- Vendor lock-in: Users of no-code platforms won’t be able to change and maintain the apps created if they decide to migrate to another platform.
- Security and compliance risks: No-code developers often lack technical knowledge and experience, do not have a deep understanding of underlying code, and are not well-versed in security best practices. These limitations create security concerns, compliance issues, integration problems, apps that use more resources than necessary, and increased technical debt.
Traditional development, however, is also becoming a luxury exclusive to companies with deep pockets, as the supply-and-demand economy is forcing organizations to increase their budget to attract skilled developers.
So are organizations caught between a no-code rock and an expensive traditional coding hard place? No. There’s another alternative.
Low-code: The sweet spot between no-code and traditional development
Like no-code solutions, low-code platforms also provide visual development and drag-and-drop interfaces to accelerate development. But that’s about all they have in common.
Low-code platforms are built for professional developers and are focused on maximizing their productivity rather than replacing them, which is the aim of their no-code counterparts.
The more advanced low-code solutions like OutSystems also include extensibility and advanced security mechanisms that enable professional developers to add traditional code as needed and with confidence.
This way, organizations can shorten time-to-value, while ensuring their solution meets all the specifications of their business.
You can learn more about the differences between low-code and no-code in our article on the topic.
You can also take low-code for a spin by signing up for OutSystems free edition.
Not sure what you should look for when evaluating low-code platforms? Read our Buyer's Guide to High-Performance Low-Code Platforms to see how you can evaluate low-code platforms and determine whether the platform you're looking at is run-of-the-mill low-code or the high-performance low-code your enterprise requires.
Explore a leading low-code platform
OutSystems is a high-performance low-code platform designed to enable organizations to build mission-critical apps and continuously evolve them as the market demands. We have been consecutively named a leader in the low-code space by renowned analysts firms such as Gartner and Forrester, and a customer choice on popular review sites like Gartner Peer Insights and G2Crowd.
With OutSystems, you can build anything your business needs, from custom mobile and web apps and portals, and critical core systems that make your business run, to internal business applications that improve your efficiency.
Since she first used a green screen centuries ago, Forsyth has been fascinated by computers, IT, programming, and developers. In her current role in product marketing, she gets to spread the word about the amazing, cutting-edge teams and innovations behind the OutSystems platform.See All Posts From this author
- Application Development
- benefits of low-code
- citizen developer
- component-based architecture
- developer experience
- IT backlog
- it investment
- low code
- low-code market
- low-code platform
- low-code versus no-code
- visual development
- visual development tools