Software Development Without Coding, How Possible?
It is a fact unarguable that programming languages are a whole lot, the difficulty in cracking beyond those walls of coding have been a factor that has dissuaded many from venturing upon that path. It’s easier to find a whole lot of people who have that burning interest to pursue a career in IT especially web designing and software development but when the encounter that aspect called learning and writing of codes, they slide back to their like mollusks to their shell when the tentacles are touched.
Almost eighty percent out of the droves of people that start the long journey to learning software development call it a quit halfway along the track and when interviewed on the cause of their throwing in the towel, the stories they tell sound alike; coding is complexity encoded.
But what if there is a way to write a code without writing a code; what if there is a defined method to design a functioning website yet not knowing programming language or sometimes involving very little but basic lines of code? As impossible and probably ridiculous as it might sound, it is a reality; it is at this junction that technological innovation has dropped us at:
#WHAT IS NO-CODE
No-code has to do with the software development approach in which few or no programming skills is quite necessary in quickly designing a functional application. This concept gives the opportunity for an employee or employer alike who understands very well his business procedures and requirements to design an application for matching his Line of business even though he doesn’t have the idea of programming languages.
A no code development platform is a tool for building software applications without coding; a popular and promising alternative to traditional software development for non-technical business users hoping to build their own full-fledged applications.
If you are a small business that lacks the budget to hire a software developer or outsource to a software development house, no code platforms move the power of innovation into the hands of your entire organization.
Using a no code platform, you can equip more of your workforce with the tools they require to become citizen developers. Business developers and other non-programmer roles can step in to meet the demands of faster application delivery, building business, web and mobile applications on their own.
Let’s consider the digital transformation of your data entry processes as an example. Data entry can be problematic for any business. Humans make errors - we’re only human after all - and programs like Excel can be fiddly and unnecessarily complicated, often causing further errors. Using a no code platform, you can quickly develop a new cloud-based application to store and use your data. As long as your requirements are straightforward and fit within the capabilities of the vendor you choose, this no code solution is an excellent way to combat human and legacy system error. By speeding up your manual data entry process through automation, you will improve the overall efficiency and productivity of your team.
There is a common misunderstanding as to the similarities and differences between the no-code and low-code terms, some believe that they are one and same but the truth is that they are not the same.
No code platforms are for business people who have no coding knowledge. No code uses declarative programming, and is about what not how - you tell the system what you want, and build it. In traditional software application platforms, code represents instructions that tell platforms how to implement desired functionality. With no code, the app creator defines what the app does rather than how it does it.
Low code platforms can also be used by non-technical people, however at some point, a developer will be required to finish things off. Low code platforms or rapid application tools (like Codebots, for example) have pre-built functionality that enable users to build their application to a certain point, before calling in a developer to then code or customize the remainder. Developers tell the platform how they want to use the components.
The idea about No-code is that it decouples programming languages and syntax from logic, and instead takes a visual approach to software development to enable rapid delivery. In this sense, no-code is similar to low-code development. The key difference is that low-code platforms use less abstraction that is, they incorporate some coding and require some knowledge of programming languages -- and are often used by professional developers within an enterprise IT department.
No-code software blocks are easier to maneuver for non-programmers, but they can be difficult to add more complex tasks. By comparison, IT professionals with some programming skills could use low-code software to add those discrete functions. Low-code platforms also offer better integration with legacy applications, and greater application development, testing and extensibility.
Both low –code and no-code platforms scion from the rapid application development initiatives which typically made use of languages such as C++ and Java
If you’re new to no code platforms, you may be wondering why there is no code, or how it is possible to build applications without code. I mean, what do we need software developers for then?
When you build on a no code platform, you are building with code, you simply don’t have to do any coding. No code platforms have pre-built drag-and-drop elements that have been coded for reuse and scale.
A no code development platform is essentially a user interface builder, where you can rapidly drag-and-drop every web page together, and instantly see how it will look on mobile, tablet and desktop. Using visual models replaces the complexity of coding, allowing you to manage your data easily. No code platforms utilize declarative UI describing what the user should see, instead of how it should be laid out. This allows platform users to render the same app across multiple devices.
But no-code applications are not primarily just drag-and-drop user interfaces;
A major misconception with no code applications is that they are only for simple apps. This is not the case. In a rapidly evolving technological age, no code application builders have become extremely sophisticated to support rich functionality in all apps, in order to meet business demands. It is now possible to build many end-to-end enterprise applications using a no code platform.
One thing you should know is that in No-code platforms the idea is that there is no-code involves but in the real sense there are plenty codes written behind the scenes which are invisible to the business user. What the no-code tool providers did was just to use data abstraction and encapsulation method to essentially hide that complex thing the user wants to achieve by simple maneuvering processes like dragging and dropping application components in the process of building the application.
Basically speaking low-code development and no-code use a visual integrated development environment, a software suite that consolidates basic tools required to write and test software. Often they use a model-driven development approach, which uses a software model to map out how the software system should work before the actual coding begins. Once the software is created, it can be tested using model-based testing (MBT) and then deployed.
# NO-CODE PLATFORMS
There are quite many no-code platforms that exist and here listed are but a few:
- AppSheet: Appsheet is a no code app building platform that allows you to quickly build apps to collect or connect to data. It is a no code development platform for application software which allows users to create mobile, tablet and web applications using data sources like Google Drive, Dropbox, Office365 and other cloud-based spreadsheet and database platforms
- Betty Blocks: Betty Blocks describes itself as a citizen development platform that empowers a new generation of developers to break the boundaries of technology for business innovation. You can build complex enterprise-grade applications, from mobile apps to customer portals, and back office management.
- Bubble: Bubble is a popular visual programming language and application platform as a service that enables non-technical people to build web-applications without needing to code, through a point-and-click programming tool.
- Nintex: Nintex is a workflow automation solution. You can visually plan, map and manage your business processes with tools that help you manage, automate and transform your business. You can optimize your business processes by leveraging the data created through automated processes.
- BP Logix BPMS: This is an AI-enabled low-code and no-code development platform that drives enterprise digital transformation. Teams and individuals are empowered to rapidly develop, deploy and enhance critical digital applications without programming.
#ADVANTAGES OF NO-CODE DEVELOPMENT
- No code development is appealing, as it is easy to use and allows non-programmers to pump out apps or workflows quickly. No-code can be useful to both developers and business users, and is great for companies that have a backlogged development team and need to utilize business users as developers.
- Better agility: Most development is done via a drag-and-drop interface, built visually with pre-built modules. This means building apps is a lot faster. Testing is generally automated which further cuts down on development time.
- Reduced cost: Developers are expensive. No-code solutions give you a way to bypass that, taking away a lot of the overhead that comes with requiring a skilled team of developers on staff all the time. You can build apps faster and cheaper in the long run.
- Increased Productivity: Since apps can be built at a much faster pace, IT staffs aren’t overloaded with requests from every other department, and there are fewer people waiting for work to be done. What used to take weeks or months can now be completed in hours or days.
- Easily changeable: The problem with traditional hand coding is that you can’t really change functionality or feature at the drop of a hat, especially if you’re coding in a language foreign to you. With no code, you can. If you need to change something, you simply implement new logic, and can have your change ready in a matter of hours.
#DISADVANTAGES OF NO-CODE DEVELOPMENTS
- Limited usability.The tradeoff for simplicity and ease of use is that no-code typically doesn't extend to support complex capabilities. Some no-code vendors add "escape hatches" and other features to let technically savvy users do some coding to create more varied customization and critical business apps. For example, Betty Blocks offers users a split-view: citizen developers access drag-and-drop modules on the left side of the screen, and coders click on the right side of the screen to enter programming code and access more extensive options.
- Rigidity in Templates: When it comes to building out the different features of an application, no code development platforms provide various templates and components that can be configured to meet a set of use cases. However, as soon as you encounter that inevitable edge case required by your app, all of a sudden you don’t have the building blocks out-of-the-box to implement that specific piece of business logic required. Not only can your focus quickly shift from the original ‘what do I want to build’ to ‘what can I build’ in these situations, but you’ll also be forced to resort to complex and often costly workarounds. Finally, after you’ve invested heavily in making your application work within the constraints of your no code provider, all you’re left with is a piece of software more rigid and costly than a bespoke solution ever would have been.
- Security Issues: Unlike custom development, control over your application is something that will always be sacrificed when embarking on the no code path. Having no control or say over your technology stack is one thing, but not knowing your app inside and out can lead to a number of risks in itself around security and reliability. What happens if the company providing your no code platform is acquired or liquidated? Worse yet, what if they suffer an internal security breach that leaves you and your mission-critical system vulnerable?
The future of both no-code and low-code development is something to admire though in anticipation but one though no-coding is a step beyond the code writing but if you really check it critically you will realize that its frame work is still built upon programming language so I can state for a fact that coding is not going anywhere neither will it be dispensable for the foreseeable future.
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