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Defining No-Code and Low-Code



First of all, we will talk about the history of No-Code and Low-Code.

If you are only here for the definitions, then let us help you straight away.


No-Code means using no coding at all.
Low-Code is just like No-Code with a bit of coding for further customization.

But that is a short definition and might be hard to understand, which is why you should read this recap of both terms to get a better understanding.



Covered in this article:

History of No-Code

Definition of No-Code

History of Low-Code

Definition of Low-Code

Conclusion


 

Let's jump into it!


History of No-Code

If you never heard of No-Code don’t worry. You met it once in your lifetime. It’s the old reliable Excel. Without using a single line of code, you can answer statistical and financial needs through spreadsheets. It was 1985 when Excel was first released.

A bit less than two decades down the line, WordPress (2003) and Shopify (2004), both websites that allow you to either build websites or support your online store without code, were made public. As leading examples of what No-Code sites can do, they powered a myriad of entrepreneurs for the next decade. Currently, Google Sheets is still at the forefront of top apps on both Integromat ( link review ) and Zapier (link review). Pretty much every other No-Code is built on top of Google Sheet. Next to Google Sheet are Bubble (2012) and Webflow (2013) other No-Code tools that shaped the No-Code trend as well by showing what one can build without code. When it comes to the future, more and more companies are jumping in on the No-Code trend. (link)No-Code will most likely democratize software development and make it accessible for anyone.



Definition of No-Code

No-code platforms are simple tools that are ideal for creating small applications. You can create applications with easy-to-use functions such as drag and drop modules, picklist selection boxes, spreadsheet imports, and many more.

With No-Code you take on a visual approach to software development and remove the programming languages. No-Code can be seen as a form of visual programming. You can drag-and-drop software components to create a fully functional app.

And that without any previous coding knowledge. However, No-Code is never fully without code. In a way is the term a bit misleading. There is always coding involved but, in this case, it’s hidden behind data abstraction and encapsulation. Use-cases for No-Code platforms would be the replacement of simple business cases, spreadsheets, or manual processes. But there are more advanced options from no-code platforms, particularly the ones used on enterprise levels such as Uncork. Another advanced website would be Ninox which allows its users to build databases and automate processes within SME



History of Low-Code

The Low-Code term, on the other hand, was defined in a 2011 report on new productivity platforms for custom applications and became more popular in 2014 together with a report by John Rymer and other analysts. Historically seen, Low-Code platforms started from programming languages such as C which was developed in 1972 and fit for a variety of applications. C was followed by C++ which was equipped with object-oriented programming. The successor of C++ was C#, a programming language specialized in web applications. With the internet growing more and more, fourth-generation programming languages (4GL) such as Perl, PHP, Ruby, and SQL appeared. Low-Code platforms are the advancement of those 4GLs and Rapid Application Development Tools (RAD). Pretty rad am I right?



Definition of Low-Code

Low-code goes beyond the drag-and-drop capabilities of No-Code and supports developers with custom coding options for further functionality.

Compared to conventional coding, Low-Code requires coding in a lesser scale and depth and is mostly suited for more complex cross-departmental processes. Especially, those that integrate with other applications, databases, or systems. Professional developers and programmers utilize Low-Code for faster application delivery and workflow automation. More focus can be invested into more complex and unique tasks. Non-IT professionals are equipped to develop simple apps or expand app functions with Low-Code. To sum up, Low-Code is a combination of visual programming, automatic code generation, and model-driven design. Like No-Code, Low-Code helps minimize hand-coding via point-and-click interface creations (drag-and-drop) and increases the speed of application delivery. That was only our definition from Low-Code. There are many more from other experts that you might consider. Click here and read more about it



Conclusion

You now know about both terms of No-Code and Low-Code. However, the line between No-Code and Low-Code is vague. Most vendors still distinguish between No-Code and Low-Code to position and market their products for different groups of customers. But that won’t stop both movements from democratizing technology, making it accessible for everyone, and reducing cost and time on projects.


If you want to read more benefits and limitations of No- and Low-Code you should check out this article.



Questions?

There are many other definitions out there but in general, they include those main points. Whether you are looking for the right NCLC solution for your company or an NCLC vendor that needs more awareness, feel free to reach out to us via email or schedule a meeting with us.

If you have feedback, ideas or just want to talk about those topics feel free to reach out as well!


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