You might come across terms "no-code" and "low-code" quite a number of times these days. The two terms are interchangeably used as there are commonalities between them. However, there is a subtle but important difference between the two that one must know.
Before we start with the differences let us look at objectives of both these platforms. The low-code and no-code platforms offer an alternative to the traditional Waterfall or even Agile Methodology. The objective of both low-code and no-code platforms is to take ideas to market quickly by removing the obstacles of infrastructure set-up and lack of software development skills. With these platform a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or a power user can quickly convert her idea into an application and take it to the market.
Both low-code and no-code platforms allow application development through visual software interface - drag and drop features, selection boxes, data imports ,external system integrations etc.
A low-code platform, as the name suggests, reduces the amount of code needed to develop an application to a minimum. It does require a certain amount of coding though.
Low-code platform usually offers an integrated development environment (IDE). It is more general purpose and intends to meet the requirement of all applications at a generic level.
Low-code platform provides a mechanism for developers to create custom code to bring in specificity. Such a platform is usually apt for complex processes that would need multiple integrations with external sources and will require customisations through code.
Since low-code platform reduces the dependency on coding skills to a large extent, it allows non-expert developers to participate in application development process.
These non-expert developers can be the business stakeholders or users that have some basic coding or scripting skills. They can turn into “Citizen Developers” with low code platforms.
With no-code platform one can develop an application, mobile or web, without having to write a single line of code. This means that there is absolutely no dependence on programming experience.
No-code platforms are used most frequently to replace simple business cases and manual processes that do not require complex integrations. They are a great way to achieve process automation.
They also tend to be driven by specific use cases, such as eBlishing, which is a cloud-based solution that integrates all stages of publishing and provides the ability to monitor, collaborate, automate and manage a publishing process.
Both no-code and low-code platforms help organizations with rapid application development and deployment. The choice depends on complexity of a project and specificity of the use case.
Choose low-code if you need to implement a complex idea with integration with disparate systems and if you have a team of skilful designers and coders.
Choose no-code is your case is specific to a domain or process and you do not have software developers available. A no-code solution that offers you such specific implementation will save time and provide a good ROI.