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No-Code Development - What is No-Code Application Development?

No-code development platform (NCDPs) are just what their name suggests. Whether you are a programmer or non-programmer, you can use NCDPs to create new apps quickly using a graphical what-you-see-is-what-you-get drag and drop user interface.

Proponents of no-code development tools say that these platforms will eventually replace traditional software developers. The only question is, how realistic is this assertion?

No-Code Development Tool Benefits

Understanding why businesses love no-code application development is simple.

First and foremost, no-code application development is low-cost. With no-code development, it is no longer necessary for businesses to recruit (or outsource application development) to specialist teams of programmers. As well as this, no-code development can result in more robust application security.

- Outsourcing software development can result in Shadow IT security concerns. Namely, instances where application security and maintenance depends on on-going collaboration with third-party developers and businesses.

- Investing in no-code development can expedite the launch of new applications. This is thanks to the fact that new applications can be built and deployed in a fraction of the time required to code an application from scratch.

- No-code development proponents argue that no-code application development results in a better return on investment. This is thanks to the fact that businesses have full control over application features and integrations. Neither do businesses need to worry about communication problems with developers or common application bugs.

No-Code Application Development Cons

As a rule, no-code development is a fantastic option for businesses looking to create basic applications. If you need a new mobile app that targets everyday business consumers, no-code is usually the way to go. However, no-code application development does have limitations.

Third-Party Cloud Lock-In Risks

In most cases, no-code development is made possible by building apps on third-party cloud-based platforms like AppSheet owned by Google. However, this means that apps can’t be ported from AppSheet to run on local IT infrastructure or other third-party cloud platforms.

Being locked-in to using one platform isn’t necessarily a problem. However, this can result in integration and use case limitations.

Security & Data Privacy Risks

In practice, no-code application development is easy. People building apps simply drag and drop different pre-built app elements to create applications suitable for whatever their use case might be. At no point, though, can businesses see underlying app source code.

If you have little to no programming experience, you might welcome not being able to see the source code that makes your app work. However, this also means that you have to blindly trust third-party no-code development platforms with application security and data privacy.

Limited App Functionality

No-code application development platforms represent a fantastic way to create basic apps. However, the kind of applications you can create is limited. If you need an app that doesn’t fall into one of a specific set of supported app categories, you will hit a major development roadblock.

Low-Code Vs. No-Code

To address the limitations of no-code application development, several low-code development platforms exist. These are platforms that allow for more unique app customization in terms of core functionality. However, these still lock businesses into working with specific cloud service providers.

Will No-Code Development Replace Traditional App Development?

There is definitely a use case and market demand for no-code development platforms. However, it is unlikely that these will ever replace traditional hands-on software engineering.

No code development simply can’t deliver when it comes to custom software required for bespoke use cases and/or large scale infrastructure deployment. This being the case, software engineers don’t need to worry about being put out of business just yet.

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