Until relatively recent times, custom software development was a de facto strategy for businesses. This was so because it was the only choice. However, in the last couple of years, low-code platforms and no-code platforms have emerged as a promising substitute for companies that are not sold entirely based on tradition.
However, there are several substantial differences between low-code and no-code platforms and custom software development. If you're thinking of moving away from traditional application development or even just trying out visual application development, you're going to want to know what you're receiving in each offer.
Low-code platforms/no-code platforms and custom software development both result in customized application development. So what makes them different from each other?
Low Code Software Development
Let's initiate with a low code. Low-code development is an approach for a software application development company to develop applications quickly and at a low hand-coding. Low code is a simpler, faster, and more comprehensive technique for application development.
Unlike the dense coding demands of traditional development, low code uses a drag-and-drop configuration that involves almost no coding to achieve quick development and delivery. Also, low code has many features and functionality for companies wanting efficient application development. Since it can entirely replace the traditional method of hand-coding with the entire app, skilled developers can work faster and more efficiently, not getting tangled up with monotonous coding. In the meantime, they can focus on developing 10% of the application that makes it unique.
Benefits Of Low Code-development Platform
Low-code is cost-effective and the time perks are so predominant that sources claim that almost 70% of companies realize that low-code is more profitable than custom development. Low-code could also save your business $50-$100K of application development costs! As far as the speed-to-market apps are concerned, low-code cuts the custom application development time, having taken more than 6 months to deliver, to just a few months. Low code boosts performance, quality, and increases morale within an organization by enabling IT and business users with the right tools to develop applications.
Robust security mechanisms, data integration, and cross-platform assistance are already integrated with low-code and can be easily customized, that further means less potential losses and more time to concentrate on your company.
No-code Development Platform
No-code solutions are designed for citizen designers who do not know or need to know any precise programming languages to use the brand. Everything that the no-code vendor considers the user needs to build an app is already established into the platform.
No-code solutions are closely related to popular blogging platforms and e-commerce web development firms that have pre-built pages that you can use to start your blog or business in seconds. However, projects undertaken with no-code tools are quite difficult to personalize and do not have any unique functionality - which can be problematic if you need to deal with the challenges of modernization.
Benefits Of No-code Development
No-code hosting providers subtract many of the difficulties of building a front-end user interface by providing rich templates for leverage and customization. You just don't have to build a UI/UX from the ground up, and with the time you save, you can invest more quality time developing a great application experience with your customers.
Standardization allows you to leverage your developers more successfully across the stack, reducing the time you need to create, as well as the number of employees you need. Less time and fewer people means lower costs. Cost reduction, of course, means "potential." What the customer saves now can be re-invested in developing more functionalities and refining the customer experience.
Custom Application Development Platform
Custom application development is the structure of software applications for a particular user or group of users within a company. This custom software is designed by a custom software development company to meet specific needs within the organization, as opposed to traditional, standard software used by common people.
Custom coding focuses on working with a whole team of developers and programmers to gather particular criteria, develop a plan and collaborate with the development team to create custom code for an application to suit the specific needs.
Benefits Of Custom Application Development Platform
Custom software is tailored to your business and minimizes the need to change your business processes to fit a pre-developed software system. The interface integrates seamlessly with your established business software system ecosystem and generally minimizes the need to use numerous applications for various business functions. Usually, you can save on hardware acquisition costs as the alternative is designed with your infrastructure in view and does not have unused services to increase hardware requirements.
Differences Between No-code/Low-code Development Platform Vs Custom Application Development Platform
- Software Development Process
- Custom Application Development: In traditional software development, the method works a lot like building a custom home. Developing your app and assembling it from scratch requires technical know-how and domain knowledge, as well as a great deal of time to customize UI and UX. Finding knowledgeable software development services engineers, designers, business analysts, etc., might not be easy. To determine all the features the app should have, the business consults with its in-house or third-party project team. The end-user does not have a direct role to play in the development phase. Implying by the time they see the apps, the user has to steer it as a homeowner walks through the layout of the completed house.
You possibly miss something, therefore, and inadvertently make your interface unreliable. Dealing with all the oddities takes time.
- Low-code/No-code: Low-code platforms/no-code platforms augment the traditional development process by making the final user the designer. Many low-code platforms are "out of the box" options that a company can start using with little or no technological development. Users can readily login and start writing their enterprise applications using a drag-and-drop interface. In this manner, the end-user is no longer separated from the development process but instead plays a vital role in its implementation.
For organizations with limited IT or development resources or companies that have a solid understanding of their working process and are seeking to upgrade it rather than completely change it, the hands-on aspect of low-code/no-code solutions provides a quick and efficient way to do so.
- Skill-sets Required For Application Development
- Custom Application Development: The traditional approach to app development usually brings with it a variety of tools and functions that help developers create highly complex applications. To be able to use these applications precisely, it would be necessary to have highly technical and sophisticated capabilities in this field.
- Low-code/No-code Platform: On the other side, low-code/no-code platforms do not have a wide range of tools and operations. Commonly, these platforms have a limited handful of tools that can help you develop a variety of applications without much trouble. The development of applications using a no-code/low-code approach makes it much easier for non-technical staff to master their skills and knowledge.
- Costs Involved In The Development Process
- Custom Application Development Platform: Traditional or custom-made software is very costly to create and can range anywhere from $40,000 – $250,000 to research and build the application. Though this cost will vary depending on the development of the work and the individual goals of the organization, it is still very high. This is generally a worthwhile option for large firms that need fully personalized software that is impossible to make using a low-code/no-code solution.
- Low-code/No-code Platform: No-code development tools are pocket-friendly for entrepreneurs and managers to build apps on a tight budget. But these platforms may prove to be costly if your product requires a lot of integrations, features, and new features in the future. The greatest difference in costs is where the burden of development resides. With low-code platforms, a company pays only to access the content, not to develop it from start to finish. A lot of low-code app developers offer pricing plans starting at $25 per month. An attractive price for a full-length app, isn't it?
The advantage of a more costly, custom software solution is that companies have a dedicated development team working on their infrastructure needs. With a low-code solution, small businesses may need to use the service company's development team or use application partners to obtain technical assistance.
- Development Time
- Custom Application Development Platform: A traditional development process can take 4-9 months to transpire into a final working product that can be implemented by a company. The project timeline may vary depending on the standards of the organization and the size of the project team, but establishing a code from scratch will always take more time than it does to construct an established system. Using the residence metaphor, when constructing a house from the ground up, there are purely more processes needed than flipping a pre-existing configuration. However, even this timeline is not a promise.
As per a study by KPMG Information Technology, 85% of software development processes go over schedule. This is a long period, but full-stack development company programmers have adopted advanced technologies that can greatly lessen this duration. To minimize humdrum coding tasks and pay more attention to the functionality of the product, they use various instruments.
- Low-code/No-code Application Development Platform: Low-code/No-code solutions are built-as-you-go. Think of it as a residence that creates itself as you stroll from room to room. What's expected can be created waiting for the development team to layout and start building the software while you're using workarounds. It's one of the major differences between traditional custom software solutions and low-code platforms: platforms are available upon payment, while custom software must be developed before it can be introduced.
Personalizations may take several days to several weeks for low-code solutions that require a third-party developer. This abbreviated development phase is the result of encoding a pre-existing platform rather than writing code from the initial concept. Much of the basic coding work has already been completed.
- Incorporation Of Functionality
- Custom Application Development Platform: Apps with specific hosting needs or high-end interactivity and usability can be established by hiring the right team of programmers and continuing to follow a custom development approach that is assumed to be the right choice for any type of project.
Traditional development platforms normally have a complicated configuration system that makes them less agile. Furthermore, because of the complex codes, it takes a lot of time to understand and execute them precisely.
- Low-code/No-code Development Platform: No-code platforms are the easiest framework for developing simple apps and solutions. They can't be used to generate more complex or sophisticated products, so you can't depend on them for each one of your projects. In contrast, low-code platforms are also much easier to use and operate because of their drag-and-drop capabilities. Furthermore, unlike custom development, you don't have to write codes here for app development, as you can use drawing methods to do the same.
- Maintenance Needs:
- Custom Application Development Platform: Custom-fit apps and solutions make instant assistance and repair services extremely easy, as a team of dedicated coders is available 24*7. They can also help you manage revisions and keep your app up-to-date.
- Low-code/No-code Application Development Platform: No-code systems do not provide timely maintenance and support services to users in the event of a design flaw or bug. It is also difficult to upgrade and modify products with any of these tools, which can make them more vulnerable to the current developments and changing consumer preferences.
Low-code platforms are typically aPaaS (application platform as a service), which means that they are operated and maintained by the company that owns the technology (similar to Microsoft with Office 365). Updates and software improvements are controlled by the hosting company rather than by the company that subscribes to the service. For firms with a small or non-existent IT unit, this allows them to cherish well-maintained software without the need for a group or third-party developers.
- Availability Of Integration And Migration Options
- Custom Application Development Platform: Custom development enables developers to work with well-defined modules, making it possible for them to avoid any integration problems. You can't afford to skip custom integrations since every startup is distinctive and dependent on distributed platforms that need to work in coherence to produce the best results.
- Low-code/No-code Development Platform: Most no-code/low-code platforms guarantee that they endorse seamless integration and can make your app work in concert with other current systems. But these tools have pre-built elements that find it harder to incorporate and migrate third-party systems to your app or portal.
- Security Options
- Custom Application Development Platform: In custom software development, you feel far more comfortable as there is an effective dedicated team for your idea. Also, you understand that only standard development practices will be used to verify if the end product is functional and credible.
- Low-code/No-code Development Platform: It's hard to trust no-code/low-code systems because there's a risk that you'll find it hard to understand and work with a pre-written framework. After starting the development process, you may feel that the tool is not in sync with your specific business requirements. Or, your no-code supplier decides to exit the market, making your app stuck in the middle of the road.
Factors To Keep In Mind While Choosing Any One Of The Options
If you choose to work with no-code techniques, then it's not a good idea to choose one at random. But pay attention to the following tools and characteristics so that you can construct an intuitive and responsive app for your startup.
Adaptive and hassle-free drag-and-drop functionality, accessibility of templates and plug-ins to enhance the app or solution, timely support and maintenance services, vendor credibility and stability, recommendations from past users and their knowledge, and some of the application developed on that specific platform in the past are some of the requirements to look for.
But if you have decided to hire web developers to tailor your idea and create a unique solution, make sure that in the outsourced company and its group you look for the following attributes:
- Good communication strategy for ensuring accountability,
- The wealth of expertise and testimonials of past clients,
- The type of applications they have developed previously,
- Knowledge of the latest technological tools and level of professionalism,
- Quality after-sales services, and
- Support with the best standards for security management.
Conditions You Might Encounter If You Chose No-code/Low-code Platform
The following situations or condition you may have to face while choosing a low-code/no-code platform over a custom software development platform:
- Tight budgets or IT resources functioning in a small facility with a few employees.
- Looking for quick alterations and easy solutions with restricted data transfer and third-party integration requirements.
- The applications built with these toolkits may have a few technical problems you need to fix. Also, an app built with a no-code system can't easily switch the framework as you need to revamp it from scratch.
- With any of these tools, you would have to evolve to the platform and create something that fits its interface. You also need to understand the workflow in detail when assessing your specific product features and capabilities.
- No-code platform vendors charge money based on storage capacity, the number of users, engaging pages, server capacity, etc. Therefore, it is important to keep the application fee in mind.
That being said, it is worth remembering that the need for traditional/custom development skills is not entirely eliminated by low-code/no-code platforms. They are largely meant to empower each member of a collaborative team with the requisite tools and resources they can use, which include developers and non-developers.
The Bottom Line
Both no-code/low-code and custom development platforms have their advantages and drawbacks, but it is your task to individually understand their relevance and make a smart choice to choose the best web development services for your company.