The ultimate low-code development guide

Low-code has been growing in popularity, and its market is expected to reach $29 billion in revenue by 2025. But, what is low-code? What are its benefits, and what can you build with it?

Let’s find out.

What is a low-code platform?

Low-code platforms are software development tools that provide a visual language, drag-and-drop interface for building the application, along with pre-built components and templates.

This way, they enable developers to build applications with less manual coding and allow for rapid application development.

Common features of a low-code platform

No two low-code solutions are exactly the same, so the features and capabilities offered vary from platform to platform.

Explore Gartner’s definition of no-code, low-code, and enterprise low-code

But to be considered a low-code platform, it must include at least some of the following features:

Visual IDE

Development and design of apps through drag-and-drop

Reusable components

Library of pre-built components that can be assembled to build apps

Automated code generation

Automatic generation of the underlying code to remove tedious tasks

Model-driven development approach

App development by defining business logic and rules rather than text-based code

Integration with existing systems

Connectors that enable integration with databases and enterprise systems

Multi-platform deployment

Deployment of apps across web, mobile, and cloud

Collaboration and version control features

Multiple users can work on the same app

Security and administration

Built-in security measures like role-based access controls and data privacy

Application lifecycle manager

Tools to build, debug, deploy, and maintain apps in multiple environments automatically

What are low-code developers?

Low-code tools target essentially two personas:

  • Business users
  • Professional developers.

Depending on the platform capabilities and use cases it covers, it can swing more to one persona or the other.

Low-code for business developers
(or citizen developers)

  • Address departmental-level needs.
  • User doesn’t need a development background or programming knowledge.
  • Limited integration as mostly integrates with enterprise apps used by business users.
  • May include governance capabilities for IT to sanction security and compliance.
  • Associated with no-code platforms.
  • Low-code technology examples: Betty Blocks, AppSheet, Quickbase.

Low-code for professional developers

  • Cover a much broader range of use-cases, including enterprise and business-critical apps.
  • Provide advanced capabilities, such as AI automation and automated testing, to make the development process more efficient.
  • Integrates with existing technology stacks (read more about low-code integrations).
  • Promotes collaboration between business and IT, also known as a fusion teams approach.
  • Facilitates modern development practices, like DevOps and cloud app development.
  • Low-code technology examples: OutSystems, Mendix, Appian.

Want to experience the power of a low-code platform?

Explore OutSystems, the #1 Low-Code Platform.