No code development platforms (NCDPs) are enabling programmers and non-programmers to build application software by using graphical user interfaces and configuration rather than conventional computer coding. Such platforms suddenly have risen in popularity as enterprises have to manage the fast growth of the mobile workforce and a small number of skilled software developers.
In fact, Gartner predicts that low code application building, which included no code as well, would constitute more than 65% of all app development functions by the year 2024, with about 66% of big companies using a minimum of four low code tools and platforms.
No/Low Code Software Platforms: What’s The Objective?
NCDPs are applied to satisfy the requirements of companies that want to automate or digitise processes with cloud-based mobile apps. No-code tools are frequently created keeping in mind the requirements of enterprise users, different from regular IT and developer teams.
But those platforms are not uniform in how they are marketed but rather differ in their functionality, integrations, and business use cases and specific applications such as business automation and seamlessly integrate ERP workflows.
This turn in focus is intended to further the advancement of the software development cycle where getting IT teams to work on building business apps may take up excessive resources, funds and time, all of which may be hard to come by in comparison to market demands.
How Is No Code Software Implemented In The Enterprise?
No code development platforms usually use business-scale APIs to connect particular business systems and workflows while combining a working band of user functionality. Every day businesses can create filters and information queries to enable immediate customisation. They can then utilise APIs to combine data from different sources or applications smoothly.
Drag and drop widgets or separate components may be visually arranged to create new apps or configure organisational workflows. Using templated user-interface and drag and drop development functions for web forms, workflows, and data analytics will allow business operators to come up with applications and productive ideas.
Companies Providing No Code and Low Code Business Tools
To highlight that no-code tools are on the rise, here are some of the rising companies and their solutions-
AppSheet is a startup purchased by Google in January 2020, a startup that provides a no-code development platform (NCDP). The company enables people to build mobile and web apps by making use of data sources such as Office 365, Google Drive, DropBox, and other cloud-focused spreadsheet and database platforms. AppSheet could be for a wide variety of enterprise cases such as project management, customer relationship management, and worker reporting.
Microsoft PowerApps: With a dedicated focus on business users, Microsoft wouldn’t want to stay out of the no-code and low code race. Their product PowerApps was released January 2017 as a Platform as a Service which enables users and teams to quickly roll out low-code apps using pre-built templates, drag-and-drop simplicity, and quick deployment. It provides developers with the tools to seamlessly extend app capabilities with Azure Functions and custom connectors to proprietary or on-premises systems. On April 2 2020, there will be a new launch showcasing the latest Power Apps innovations at the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event.
Airtable is a user-centric spreadsheet app which gives a very simple way to develop custom applications and needs no coding skills. Airtable was founded in 2012 and is a spreadsheet-database hybrid, with the features of a database but can be used as a spreadsheet. The fields in an Airtable table are similar to cells in a spreadsheet, but have types such as ‘checkbox’, ‘phone number’, and ‘drop-down list’, and can reference file attachments like images. Users can easily create a database, set up column types, add records, link tables to one another, and collaborate. Airtable received $52 million in new funding, and according to the company, it wants to compete against giants such as Google and Microsoft in the business apps segment by democratising app development for all enterprise users.
SnapBoard is a Y Combinator supported company which started when founder Calum Moore decided to manage all of his apps and tools from a single dashboard without using any coding. SnapBoard enables users to connect and control a broad range of apps and platforms in a singular, customizable dashboard. Users can design boards that work as in-house software tools without taking the product or engineering team required for the project. Snapboard has more than 50 apps accessible on the Snapboard platform, including MailChimp, Google Analytics, Shopify, Dropbox, MongoDB, MySQL, Trello, Zendesk and others.
What Will Be The Impact and Benefits?
The shift from conventional business software to a lean no-code development methodology may also impact IT leaders and tech departments. According to analysts, the usage of no-code tools may put IT in a more governance-centric and supervisory role rather than dynamic software programming and debugging.
The potential benefits of utilising an NCDP tool is that with web access and practical business intelligence one can become an application developer, which is transformational for enterprise productivity.
On the other hand, IT folks have pointed out that business users inept at debugging code may create further challenges for tech teams, given the sensitivity around cybersecurity and business theft events caused by software bugs. Nevertheless, NCDPs have been anticipated as the next wave in programming and techniques for rapid app development, which could be revolutionary for the software world.
According to analysts, the rise of no-code platforms is similar to the time before the coming of computer operating systems, which impacted personal computing with the help of GUIs. Prior to the current operating systems, computers could only be accessed by technologists and people versed with languages such as DOS.
The evolution of programming languages like Java, C and Python incorporated superimposing layers of abstraction to mask the complications at the back of programming systems, which made it very helpful for developers to build apps. And now experts believe no-code coding is only natural to progress in the field of software evolution.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.