Rapid development tools have been popular in the software world for quite some time now. The concept itself isn’t new, and there are various established solutions available on the market. Low-code platforms are a specific variant of these, focused on delivering a solid final product without putting so much stress on the actual implementation in code.
The popularity of low-code platforms is growing fast, and they’ve taken over some sectors successfully. It’s important to take full advantage of what they bring to the table if you want to maximize your performance when producing certain types of applications.
What Are Low-code Platforms?
The basic idea behind a low-code platform is that a developer is able to produce a working solution without focusing on the code. This removes the need to understand a specific coding language in depth, putting more emphasis on a solid fundamental design, a tested implementation, and constant refining. One of the main benefits that this brings to the table is that it allows developers to focus more directly on the end-user experience without occupying themselves too much with the specifics of their coding implementation. Developers working with low-code platforms are more interested in building sensible workflows, as well as an intuitive user interface that communicates the software’s features clearly.
They also have the advantage of requiring relatively less developer experience compared to code-based implementations, allowing more people to contribute to the development of the final product. Additionally, developers can get more frequent feedback while iterating on the final design, allowing them to ensure that it’s aligned with the expectations of users and project managers.
When Is the Use of a Low-code Platform Appropriate?
It’s important to understand that low-code platforms aren’t meant to be a complete replacement for coding an application the old-fashioned way. This still has many uses and is likely never going to go away. But their power truly shines when you need to bring something to the market as quickly as possible, and you are more concerned with having a coherent interface that leaves a good impression on the end-user, as opposed to ensuring that your underlying logic is absolutely perfect. If you need to be in total control of the logic, you’re still going to want to go with something based on code.
Many apps nowadays are easy to develop with rapid development tools, and low-code platforms have started to gain a lot of popularity in markets like mobile and web apps. The rapid prototyping that they allow for is a huge benefit that constantly draws in new users. The fact that feedback can be collected so frequently is also a drawing factor for project managers. Low-code platforms also allow developers to produce modular applications that can be used as “building blocks”, replicating common features across the entire infrastructure instead of requiring the developer to code them anew with minor differences.
Should You Use a Low-code Platform?
The main advantage to low-code platforms is the speed with which they enable a developer to get their work done. You can typically produce a large-scale application with a complex interface more quickly than with code-based development. And even though some of those features might not be perfect in terms of resource utilization and optimization, they are still objectively great, and get the job done. The fact that a developer doesn’t need to learn a new language is also of huge benefit. This can allow developers to work in unfamiliar environments more comfortably. And at the same time, it doesn’t exclude programmers with actual knowledge of different programming languages. It actually enables them to do even more work at a faster pace.
In general, low-code platforms are the perfect solution for situations where flexibility is key. When you need to constantly adapt to changing requirements, especially based on user feedback and tests, it’s a good idea to look into a coding platform. This can minimize the time between releasing a new testing version and getting proper feedback on it, which can in turn improve the overall iteration time and get the product to the market faster.
Low-code platforms can also be very useful for multiplatform development. A common example is an app that needs to run in a browser as well as on mobile devices. Yes, there are code-based frameworks that also enable this, but low-code platforms take the concept one step further and give developers even more flexibility in adapting their solutions to different requirements.
Who Are Low-code Platforms Aimed at?
There are various use cases for low-code platforms, and the people who use them are not exclusively those without any programming knowledge. They are popular for rapidly improving existing solutions, as well as developing new tools that bridge certain gaps in the development process. OroPlatform is a good example of a PHP low code platform that’s seeing a rise in popularity in many sectors, enabling companies to deploy their solutions faster, and utilize an advanced ecosystem that’s fully backed by community support. Platforms like this one can be perfect for solving business problems ranging from simple to complex ones, as well as to add additional value to current solutions.
Developers looking to create solutions that can be easily integrated into other applications – especially third-party ones – also stand to gain a lot from low-code platforms. The proper use of those platforms can enable improved efficiency and a better overall end-user experience. The eCommerce sector has been a major adopter of low-code platforms, and developers have likewise turned their attention in that direction. One great benefit of low-code platforms in that environment is that the development of a typical solution can be based on streamlined communication between different departments.
Low-code platforms are here to stay, and adopting them in your own production can have many benefits that are not to be underestimated. While some people prefer to trust code-based solutions exclusively, it’s important to understand that certain approaches work better in some circumstances, and developers should be doing their best to take advantage of those approaches whenever they are a viable option for them.
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