What is Low-Code?

Low-code development platforms focus on ease-of-use and a visual app building approach so business professionals can utilize them for creating their own solutions. This means that those closest to business problems can be empowered to quickly turn ideas into action, with point-and-click simplicity.

What are the benefits?

In today’s fast pace world where every business is a digital business, application development is becoming a core competency of every company. Businesses need to stay ahead of increased competition, keep pace with customer demands and find new ways to grow. Low-code is an approach to addressing these challenges.

Maximize the effectiveness of every employee by delivering real-time, actionable insights across systems in in a highly personalized manner

Improve speed and agility by making it easy for everyone to continuously innovate in an application ecosystem on a single platform

Reduce IT complexity & costs by eliminating traditional IT development burdens, bolstering security and standardizing governance on one platform rather than across many applications

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

Low-code is a well-defined category of application development platforms designed to make application developers faster and more productive. No-code is more like a feature of low-code where visual techniques are used to develop parts, or the whole, of an application.

Gartner views “no-code” application platforms as part of the Low Code Application Platform (LCAP) market. Gartner calls “no-code” a marketing and positioning statement, implying that the platform requires text entry only for formulas or simple expressions, with all other aspects of development being enabled by visual modeling or configuration. Gartner’s LCAP market definition includes such no-code platforms.

Whether you call it low-code or no-code, the most important factor is what skill set is needed to build applications with the platform. Forrester divides the market of low-code platforms into two parts: those designed for “business developers” and those designed for “professional IT developers.”

Why do businesses need to use low-code to stay ahead?

Improved agility: Because they’re visual in nature, creating apps with low-code allows for a more agile, effective process.

Decreased costs: Building apps and programs in less time saves companies a lot of money. It reduces the need for more developers—saving money on labor and employment. And, because of its ability to make nearly every task more efficient, entire organizations become more productive—increased productivity = more money.

Better customer experience: Low-code innovation is fast and effective, allowing companies to keep pace with the changing landscape of customer wants and need. Happier customers means loyal customers, and loyal customers create profit for life.

Tech talent gap: As the tech talent gap widens, low-code allows businesses to begin closing the gap without spending crazy amounts of money.

Decreased development time: On average, users can minimize the development period of apps by 10 times (compared to traditional methods), bringing products to market faster.

Automation: Like everything else in business and life, automation keeps things simple and ensures most hiccups are avoided. Low-code has operational features that can accelerate the development of the products and empower business experts who know the silos of data and process start to build-up.


Technology, and the role it plays in the business landscape, is an ever-evolving juggernaut. Core systems and business challenges are progressively complex. The pace of that evolution increases exponentially — what is fast right now will be glacial in hindsight.

To keep up, you must build and deploy innovative, timely solutions. We believe that building solutions with low-code makes that possible. We believe software should be built well. We believe it should deliver business value. We believe it should be delivered at speed.

To make this happen at scale we adhere to these Application Development Pillars:

Focus on business impact

Create alignment, achieve clarity, succeed quickly.

No brain power goes to waste

Unleash all the makers from across the enterprise.

Do everything with an agile attitude

Empower small teams, build for the cloud, deploy swiftly and often.

Assemble from existing business capabilities

Utilize established assets, don’t default to building from scratch.

Connect everything and everybody

APIs, integrations, new ways to access data — be open and accessible.

We know low-code is capable of building valuable solutions at speed, but as with any tool, it needs to be used correctly to get the best results.

9 Principles

We defined the following 9 Principles of Low-Code Application Developmentto empower makers from the enterprise to the dorm room to build software that makes a difference. The less we push ourselves into this, the greater value it will have for all our audiences — prospects, customers, the media, potential employees.

Model-Driven Development

Transform ideas into applications that deliver business value through abstraction, automation, and openness.


Leverage a shared visual language to support the interchange of knowledge and ideas between business domain experts and developers.


Manage the full enterprise application development lifecycle with agile workstreams to eliminate bottlenecks, support iterative delivery and achieve shortest time-to-value.

The Cloud

Cloud enables the ease and speed of application deployment that customers demand.


Anything can be integrated with an agnostic enterprise application development platform – this removes limitations on what can be built.

Multi-User Development

Multiple developers should be able to work on an application at the same time. The platform must support and synchronize their work streams.

Experimentation & Innovation

Development tools need to be affordable and nimble so innovators everywhere can experiment, explore, and create.

Governance & Control

Robust governance and control processes and protocols are essential.


A platform without a community is no platform at all.

(Source: Medix) | (Source: Creatio)

Reasons to go low-code

(Source: Quickbase)

A Brief History of Low-Code Development Platforms

1982: James Martin published Application Development Without Programmers. “The number of programmers available per computer is shrinking so fast that most computers in the future must be put to work at least in part without programmers." Led to 4GLs, CASE tools, and RAD tools.

Why These Failed:

  1. They promised more than they could deliver. IT managers felt burned by unrealistic expectations sold to them by consultants and vendors. While 4GL and visual programming technologies offered a glimpse of a better world for IT and the business, the tools themselves simply could not live up to the hype. Building applications that would scale was particularly difficult.
  2. The tools did not support best practices. Version control, testing, deployment, documentation, and other development best practices did not exist for most tools, and had to be performed manually.
  3. They amplified security risks. Empowering non-technical people to build these original stand-alone software apps (even with the assistance of new tools) exposed the organization to several risks — chief among them that most non-technical builders did not possess the skillset to create and deploy applications with appropriate security and governance.
  4. The internet swallowed everything. By the mid 2000s, a significant portion of software development was already focused on web applications, as more business sought to enable better worker productivity by delivering business applications via the cloud rather than on traditional server environments. This offset some of the need for traditional IT solutions for everyday problems.

Why would these new platforms succeed where others have failed?

The answer is in the platform. Rather than offering an interface that simply obscures the actual code generating an application, the new generation of low-code platformsare self-contained (yet extensible) platforms that enable people to build within an environment that’s already hospitable to all the unseen components of the application. In fact, most modern low-code platforms are delivered via the web, meaning users don’t have to worry about any updates at all.

The cloud platform approach also empowers these tools to provide far more security and reliability than ever — making it much easier for organizations to deploy with confidence that they have the right controls in place to meet their security and compliance standards. If the platform itself offers high-level security and compliance controls, the path to deploying platform applicationssecurely is much shorter.

Finally, the user base for these platforms has matured significantly in the last decade with the world’s most successful companies utilizing low-code platforms to power their unique processes.This has given rise to best practices, a thriving ecosystem of partners and low-code builders, and a better understanding overall of the capabilities of each platform.

The Future of Low-Code Platforms

No-code beats low-code in the long run
Recently Forrester named Quick Base a Leader in its New Wave: Low-code Development Platforms for Business Developers. Forrester also issued a separate report focused on Low-code Development Platforms for AD&D Pros. We think Forrester’s decision to define two separate markets — one aimed at non-technical business developers (sometimes called “no-code platforms”) and one aimed at professional developers working in IT — calls attention to fundamental differences in the ways low-code and no-code platforms can be deployed.

Whereas low-code platforms for professional developers are designed to help professional developers build solutions faster (and therefore serve more business requests), no-code platforms are designed to offload much or all of the responsibility of developing and delivering apps to the business developers themselves.

Tags: reading   low-code   no-code  

Last modified 09 December 2022