It is the “most disruptive trend of 2021” and the most widespread evolution in software development.
Yes, we are indeed referring to low-code development.
The facts bear out too: analysts at Forrester estimate that 75% of enterprise software will be built using low-code platforms this year. Analyst and research firm Gartner predicts that, by 2024, 65% of application development activity will be through low-code development platforms.
But first, what is low-code and what does it mean?
In simple terms, low-code development platforms serve as an alternative to the traditional, object-oriented programming language. They help build application software with the help of graphical user interface (GUI) and configuration.
Low-code platforms enable you to create a variety of applications with less lead time and require comparatively less source code than traditional software development techniques.
And those are not the only key benefits of low-code, which empowers developers with the ability to enhance business logic with hand-written code. It also helps deploy applications into a private or a public cloud environment with the simple click of a button.
Despite all the benefits, a few misconceptions about low-code platforms do exist.
This article aims to clarify some of those.
Misconception #1: Low Code Platforms Make Development Teams and Developers Redundant
Why this is a misconception: Expert developers are integral to building any enterprise-wide, mission-critical applications that need to not only be developed quickly but also integrated with the organization’s information systems.
While low-code platforms help business users to develop simple applications, the applications that, for example, support digital transformation are not easy to build.
Among the key advantages of low-code platforms is they enable organizations to turn any business idea into an application within a short time-frame. This helps overcome resource constraints if any and reduces the technical gap in building the applications.
Misconception #2: Low-code is Only For Small (or Simple) Applications
Why this is a misconception: Low-code platforms are a viable alternative to traditional software development for developing large-scale applications for the purpose of digital transformation. In other words, they are an improvement on traditional software development in building mobile, web and desktop applications.
The reason? Low-code platforms can scale and are able to support hundreds or thousands of users and millions of datasets. It is worth mentioning that a majority of applications built using low-code are either enterprise-wide or are scaled for several departments.
Also, most organizations that have adopted low-code are sizing up their rapid development teams to keep up with the increasing demand for building mission-critical enterprise apps.
Misconception #3: Low-code Applications Do Not Scale
Why this is a misconception: Continuing from the previously-mentioned misconception, many low-code platforms enable scalable architectural patterns like microservices and deployment via containerized services, support cloud deployment and more.
Many enterprise-level organizations have and continue to build scalable applications, which have complex workflows, with the help of low-code development platforms.
It is, however, important to note that development teams must be aware of the best practices pertaining to each platform, which will help alleviate technical gap and rework.
Misconception #4: Custom Coding Does Not Exist in Low-code Development
Why this is a misconception: Software engineers may use code to build reusable code snippets or extensions. With the help of server and client-side APIs, engineers can build, bundle, and distribute functionalities like connectors to external services such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Through extending the native aspects of the low-code platform with code, engineers can be encouraged to overcome the limitations of the core platform and build applications with better functionalities faster.
Misconception #5: Reusability and Collaboration are Difficult with low-code Platforms
Why this is a misconception: Over the years, developers have bought into the theory that low-code development platforms have been made only for someone involved with a waterfall project. It is, however, far from the truth.
Low-code platforms provide development environments which integrate seamlessly with APIs and code management tools, thus enabling code sharing and providing a platform for team collaboration.
Most low-code platforms also support workflows that facilitate team activities, while also providing the scope for working within pipelines.
Misconception #6: Low-code Development Platforms are Based on What You See is What You Get (WYSWYG)
Why this is a misconception: Low-code platforms run natively on your operating systems and, therefore, integrate seamlessly with OS such as Windows, Mac, Linux and others. In other words, low-code platforms are not often browser-based solutions.
Low-code platforms that run locally provide users with access to the source code and thus enable a smooth development experience, while the browser-based ones offer only limited features.
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Misconception #7: All Low-code Platforms Use Same Programming Language
Why this is a misconception: It is one of the common assumptions of low-code platforms that they use the same programming languages. While that may apply to some platforms, most of them support open-source movement and leverage common and popular programming languages such as PHP, C# (C-sharp), Java and more.
RISE Editor, for example, allows users to generate output code on the basis of models in a variety of programming languages, and it is not the only one in the industry.
Multiple other platforms support open-source but also enable the creation of accessible code.
WaveMaker and VisionX, which create in the Java programming language, enable the editing of the generated code with the help of other Java integrated development environments (IDEs).
Low-code has evolved significantly despite being a new phenomenon after the term itself was coined by Forrester Research only in the year 2014. Abovementioned are some misconceptions about low-code development platforms which offer wide-ranging benefits such as being able to build scalable applications, build applications with less lead time, facilitating team collaboration and a lot more. Adoption of these platforms might slow down while these misconceptions remain, so quelling them will encourage development teams and software engineers to realize the advantages and maximize their capabilities.