Low code Vs Traditional Development: Which is the Best Choice for Your Enterprise Software Applications?
February 08, 2022 / Katarina Rudela
Reading Time: 10 minutes
There was a time not too long ago when any company needing an enterprise software application was required to build their own solution from the ground up. We've come a long way in recent years, though, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications making it increasingly easier for companies of all sizes to acquire the software solutions they need without being required to build those solutions themselves. Perhaps the most significant advance in the world of custom software development, though, is the rapidly rising popularity of low code/ no code development.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of low code web application development and how it compares to traditional application development practices in order to help you decide which solution is best for your company's needs.
What is Traditional Development?
Traditional custom software development entails creating a custom application completely from scratch. For all but the simplest of software solutions, this method of custom application development will typically require working with either an in-house team of software developers or a third-party software development company. This makes traditional development something that often isn't feasible for small to medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to employ an entire team of engineers. Thankfully, low code/ no code development platforms are helping remove this barrier to entry and are making it easier than ever before for companies of all size to create their own custom software solutions.
What is Low Code Development?
Low code/ no code platforms are platforms that enable an app developer to create their own custom application or software solution in a way that requires very little coding knowledge, if any at all. With low code/no code development platforms, website developers are able to create their own custom software solutions using almost entirely point and click commands. These platforms make it much easier for companies that can't afford to hire an entire team of software engineers to create custom applications that rival those of major corporations.
One common and easy-to-understand example of low code/ no code platforms are website builders such as Wix and Squarespace. With these platforms, users are able to create their own custom websites using only drag and drop and point and click commands. Before the advent of platforms such as these, web developers were required to build their entire website from the scratch, complete with a lot of hours spent writing custom code. Now, developing a professional website is something that almost anyone can do in just a matter of minutes.
Of course, the benefits of low code/ no code platforms extend far beyond creating basic websites with website builders. Today, low code/ no code platforms enable companies to develop any number of custom applications and software solutions without the help of a software engineering expert. By drastically reducing the amount of expertise required to create custom software solutions, low code/ no code platforms empower companies of all sizes to create the custom solutions they need in a way that is much more affordable and convenient.
As evidenced by the graph below, these benefits low code development have lead to a rapid rise in the popularity of low code/ no code platforms, and these platforms are poised to play a major role in the future of software development.
Key Features of Low Code/ No Code Platforms
Low code/ no code platforms are powered by several important features that make it possible for companies to create custom applications without having to write a lot of custom code. This includes key features such as:
Visual Modeling - Low code/ no code platforms are designed to represent information visually as much as possible, replacing the requirement of writing codes with visual elements such as drag and drop commands. Through visual modeling, low code/ no code platforms are able to make the mechanics of software architecture much easier to understand and navigate for those who have little to no coding experience.
Built-In Functionality - Most low code/ no code platforms will come equipped with a number of pre-built modules that further reduce the need for custom development. By offering pre-built modules such as customer service modules or data management modules that are ready to use out-of-the-box while at the same time making it easy to customize these pre-built modules, low code/ no code platforms are able to offer a lot of functionality right from the start and provide app developers with an excellent foundation to build upon.
Flexibility - Many of the modules that low code/ no code platforms come pre-equipped with are designed to offer the core functionalities needed for a wide range of custom applications, providing developers with a variety of well-established starting points to begin from when it comes time for them to create custom applications. This degree of flexibility offered by the pre-built modules that come included with many low code/ no code platforms allows developers to quickly produce a wide range of custom applications without having to start from scratch.
Comparing Low Code Vs Traditional Development
Low code/ no code platforms can be incredibly advantageous in certain circumstances, particularly for companies that cannot afford to hire a software application developer. With that said, though, there are still plenty of instances where traditional development might be a better solution than low code development. To help you decide which approach is best for your company, let's take a look at how low code development compares to traditional development in several key areas.
Comparing the quality of the final product produced by low code/ no code platforms to the quality of an application produced via traditional development is somewhat of a mixed bag. On the one hand, there's no denying the fact that traditional development still offers a lot more room for customization than low code development. While low code/ no code platforms have advanced considerably over the past few years, even the best of these platforms are not going to offer the same "blank canvas" that you are able to enjoy when building an application from the ground up.
On the other hand, though, creating your own application from start to finish leaves a lot of room for bugs and errors. While low code/ no code platforms might be a little more limited than traditional development in regard to the type of custom features you will be to implement, the apps produced by these platforms are almost always well-polished and free of any bugs. With a team of talented software developers at your disposal, it is possible to create custom applications that are higher quality than those you would be able to create using a low code/ no code platform. Without the help of an experienced software application developer or custom software development company, though, the apps produced by low code/ no code platforms tend to be of higher quality.
When it comes to how much it is going to cost your company to create a custom application, making use of a low code/ no code platform is going to be much more affordable than creating your application from scratch. With low code/ no code platforms, you are only paying for access to the platform itself. With traditional development, you will have to pay for the services of one or more software engineers who will have to put a lot of billable hours into building your app. This is something that can often cost tens of thousands of dollars for a single application, compared to low code/ no code platforms that allow you to create a number of custom applications while only paying for the use of the platform.
Maintaining an application that is built via a traditional development process is going to be much more of a headache than maintaining an application that is built via a low code/ no code platform. Any revision or update to a traditionally developed application is going to require further coding and necessitate the help of experienced software developers. With low code/ no code applications, updates are often sent automatically from the company providing the low code/ no code platform, and any manual revisions that you need to make can typically be completed without the need for writing additional code.
When to Choose Low Code Development
Low code/ no code platforms offer several substantial advantages, and there are plenty of instances where utilizing these platforms may be the ideal choice for your company. This includes instances such as:
Your Business Can't Afford to Hire Software Developers
We've already discussed at length how low code/ no code platforms make it much more affordable for companies that do not already have a software development team on-staff to create custom applications. If you are needing to create one or more custom applications for your company but cannot justify hiring a team of developers to build these solutions from the ground up then creating them via a low code/ no code platform is an option that is sure to be much more affordable.
Your Business Needs Solutions That are Flexible and Agile
Low code/ no code applications tend to be much more agile than applications that are created from scratch since the process of revising a low code/ no code application as your company grows and changes is much easier and less costly than the process of revising a traditionally developed application. Low code/ no code platforms make it easy to build and rebuild applications as the needs of your company evolve, making these platforms an excellent choice for companies that want to remain as agile and adaptable as possible when it comes to their software solutions.
You Would Like to Tap into the Innovation of Departments Outside of Your Company's IT Department
Traditional development makes it difficult for anyone outside of the software engineers charged with developing your app to have any real input on the app's design and features. Since low code/ no code platforms enable anyone to create a custom application regardless of their coding expertise, utilizing these platforms allows you to tap into the innovation of those who will actually be using the app. If you are designing an app for your sales department, for example, making use of a low code/ no code platform means that you will be able to involve the members of your sales department in the process of the app's creation as much you would like, all the way up to giving them the full responsibility of creating the app.
When to Choose Traditional Development
While low code development offers a number of benefits, there are still times when traditional development might be the better choice for your company. This includes instances such as:
Your Business Needs an Open-Ended Solution
Applications built using low code/ no code platforms are typically best at performing very specific and structured tasks. If you are needing a solution that is more open-ended regarding the types of tasks that it is able to perform, though, building it via low code development may not be possible. Applications that are more open-ended and unstructured in their scope can typically only be built through traditional development.
Your Business Needs a Highly Specialized Solution
Low code/ no code platforms allow you to build applications that are suited for categories of tasks such as data analysis and CRM. These apps can often be highly customizable, but their core functionality and the tasks they are suited for remain the same. Sometimes, though, companies need to create specialized applications designed for custom tasks that don't fit neatly into any general category. In these cases where a more specialized solution is required, the application will need to be built with the help of an app developer or software engineering service.
How Baytech Consulting Can Help With All of Your Application Development Needs
Baytech is passionate about the technology we use to build custom business applications, especially enterprise solutions that optimize business processes. We’ve been delivering software solutions in a variety of technologies since 1997. Our success is due to the skill and efficiency of our senior staff, which includes software engineers, project managers, and DevOps experts. All of our engineers are onshore, salaried staff members.We focus on the quality, usability, and scalability of our software and don’t believe in mitigating cost at the risk of quality. We manage project costs by implementing an efficient development process that’s completely transparent and uses the latest standards and practices to build software right the first time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business. Find us online at https://www.baytechconsulting.com/contact.