A low-code development platform enables company employees to quickly build and deliver custom business applications without the need for extensive programming to increase organizational agility.
While low-code development platforms in their current form have been around for over a decade (there’s the popular Zoho Creator, for example), in principle, they’ve actually been around much longer. This development approach works on a common principle of high-level programming abstractions and provides a visual development approach for developing applications for non-technical users.
Low-code platforms are now a top-notch development approach and a way for businesses to pivot and adapt to rapidly changing work demands. the The low-code market is expected to reach $ 45.5 billion by 2025.
Benefits of low-code development
Essentially, low code is a disruptive software development method that allows office workers to build enterprise-level business applications, such as conferencing applications for event attendees or internal applications for procurement and procurement processes. employee onboarding, using drag and drop functionality and visual guidance, with “very little or no coding experience or knowledge”. Low-code platforms can help businesses build internal workflow apps, build time-saving automations, and create seamless integrations.
The idea is to enable almost anyone, without technical or high-level programming expertise, to develop professional-grade applications that solve specific business challenges. These business users are called “citizen developers” and help free up developer resources so that they can work on more complex and business-critical projects. Low-code development platforms make businesses more productive and agile by empowering existing staff to become citizen developers. It is also a faster approach and reduces costs.
However, developing low-code applications is not easy. For most business solutions, citizen developers still need IT advice or support from the development team.
Low code vs no code
Low code and no code are quite similar alternative approaches to traditional application development with several things in common. Both allow citizen developers to develop applications in a fast, affordable and accessible way.
Of course, no code is the best approach if speed is a factor, and intended applications must accomplish simple automation tasks and do not require any customization or scalability. While a low-code development platform requires minimal manual programming, a basic understanding of programming is still required. No code solution, on the other hand, requires no coding knowledge. As a corollary, applications built without code solutions have limited capabilities, but those with weak code allow developers to build more sophisticated applications.
In summary, while low-code platforms are useful for both business users and business developers to build applications without IT support, a developer is still required for any significant customization. No code platform, on the other hand, allows anyone with moderate computer skills to develop applications quickly. However, these applications can be difficult to customize and do not allow greater flexibility and control than those developed with low-code platforms.
Microsoft Power Apps
Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code development platform for easily building low-code apps that help modernize business processes, maximize efficiency with time-saving automations, and integrate other products. and Microsoft services like Teams.
Part of the Microsoft Power Platform, Power Apps offers a suite of apps, services, connectors, and a data platform to build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored in either the platform. form of underlying data (Microsoft Dataverse) either in other data sources such as SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and others. It offers a visual development experience with a drag-and-drop user interface and pre-built templates for company employees to add rich business logic and workflow capabilities to their applications.
That said, note that Power Apps is a low-code, not a code-free platform. Despite what the marketing combinations will tell you, to create anything that fits an organizational need, you would likely need the guidance of a professional developer. On the other hand, Power Platform also has Power Automate which enables the automation of the workflow directly in your applications with a no-code approach.
Of course, Power Apps is an extensible platform for professional developers to programmatically interact with data, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data as needed. They can also use Azure to extend these low-code applications and build business solutions that scale to meet the needs of the organization.
Essentially, Power Apps aims to democratize the app development experience and empower company employees to build feature-rich custom business apps with just a little bit of code.
Since Microsoft is ubiquitous in the business, Power Apps is fast becoming a standardized, low-code platform of choice and in a recent report Forrester declared it a leader among 14 vendors in low-code development platforms for professional developers.