Programming

Low-code vs Traditional Coding: An Efficient Solution for Modern Business Challenges

Radzivon Alkhovik
Low-code automation enthusiast, Latenode partner
May 29, 2024
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Introduction

Modern software development is undergoing a significant transformation. Traditional coding, once the cornerstone of application creation, is starting to yield to new methods that promise faster and more cost-effective results. In the past, businesses had two main options: purchase off-the-shelf software or build custom applications from scratch with skilled developers.

However, the emergence of low-code approaches is changing the landscape, allowing applications to be created quickly and affordably with minimal developer involvement. But should traditional development be abandoned entirely in favor of these new tools? Let's explore the evolving dynamics between traditional coding and low-code development.

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What is Traditional Development?

Traditional Software Development (high-code) involves creating a software product from scratch using professional developers. This approach provides maximum flexibility and allows for any functional and design solutions.

Traditional Development refers to the conventional, linear approach to software projects, where the entire scope, requirements, and design are defined upfront before any coding begins. This approach emphasizes extensive planning, rigid timelines, and a focus on comprehensive documentation, often resulting in challenges with accommodating changes and delivering a final product that may not meet the evolving needs of the customer.

Advantages of Traditional Development:

  • High Customization: The application is created according to the specific requirements of the customer.
  • Security: Ability to implement advanced security measures and consider potential threats.
  • Integration: Ability to integrate the application with any system, including legacy ones.
  • Scalability: Applications can adapt as the business grows.

Disadvantages of Traditional Development:

  • Cost: High costs for hiring experienced developers and a lengthy development process.
  • Time: Multi-step development structure takes more time.
  • Team: Requires qualified specialists for successful project implementation.

Examples of High-Code Platforms

Traditional high-code platforms offer maximum flexibility and customization by providing full control over application design and functionality. They empower professional developers to build robust, scalable, and secure applications from scratch. Here are some popular high-code platforms and what they're best suited for:

  • Django (Python): A high-level web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Ideal for building scalable web applications quickly with reusable components.
  • Spring (Java): A comprehensive framework for enterprise Java development, providing a robust ecosystem for building secure and scalable enterprise applications.
  • Ruby on Rails (Ruby): A web application framework focused on convention over configuration, offering developers a fast way to build full-featured web applications.
  • ASP.NET Core (C#): A cross-platform framework designed for building modern, cloud-based, and internet-connected applications, suitable for developing web apps, APIs, and microservices.
  • Laravel (PHP): A PHP framework with an elegant syntax, providing developers with tools for routing, authentication, and templating to build web applications efficiently.
  • Angular (TypeScript/JavaScript): A platform and framework for building single-page client applications, offering a robust set of tools for developing dynamic web applications.

These high-code platforms provide developers with the flexibility and control needed to create highly customized and performant applications, making them ideal for complex, large-scale projects.

Despite these advantages, traditional development is increasingly giving way to low-code/no-code solutions that offer speed, cost-efficiency, and accessibility. Today, businesses require rapid application development to remain competitive, and traditional methods often struggle to meet these demands. Low-code and no-code platforms allow non-technical users to quickly create applications, reducing the burden on IT teams. For many projects, especially those with simple requirements, low-code/no-code development proves to be a superior and more efficient solution.

Moreover, low-code and no-code platforms enable fast and cost-effective adaptation of applications to changing business needs. This is particularly relevant in a competitive environment where functionality requirements can frequently change. Unlike traditional development, where changes are typically made no more than once a year, the low-code approach provides flexibility and the ability to promptly respond to new market challenges.

Businesses compete with each other, so requirements change. In companies that use high-code platforms, the business process is usually static and changes only slightly about once a year.

What is Low-code Development?

Low-code represent software development methods that allow applications to be created with minimal coding. Low-code involves developers to a lesser extent than traditional development. It is used for specific tasks or integration with other systems.

Advantages of Low-code Platforms

Low-code platforms offer several advantages:

  • Ease of Use: Ready-made modules and templates simplify the development process, allowing even non-specialists to create applications.
  • Reduced IT Workload: Allows IT specialists to focus on more complex tasks by passing routine tasks to business users.
  • Low Entry Barrier: Employees with minimal skills can create applications, increasing the efficiency of the entire team.

Pre-installed tools and templates enable rapid application development and launch, accelerating time to market. Furthermore, using Low-code platforms reduces development costs compared to custom solutions, allowing businesses to optimize their budget. These platforms also provide the following benefits:

  • Simplified updates and support, eliminating the need for constant developer involvement.
  • Built-in security measures to protect data and applications.
  • Automation of routine tasks, speeding up processes, reducing labor costs, and optimizing business processes.

Disadvantages of Low-code Platforms

Despite the numerous advantages, Low-code platforms also have some disadvantages:

  • Limited Customization: Ready-made components may not be flexible enough for complex projects.
  • Integration Issues: Some platforms may have limited integration capabilities with third-party systems.

Another potential drawback is the dependence on the platform vendor. Changes in the vendor's policy can affect application performance and require additional efforts for adaptation. Moreover, ready-made components may not be optimized for high loads, which can lead to performance issues when scaling applications.

Examples of Low-Code platforms

The low-code movement empowers everyone to build software, regardless of coding experience, using intuitive visual interfaces and pre-built components. Low-code platforms bridge the gap between traditional coding, blending visual development with coding flexibility. Together, they enable both professional and citizen developers to create applications quickly and with greater customization.

Here are examples of some popular low-code platforms and what they're best suited for:

  • Latenode: A low-code platform focused on backend development, enabling users to build APIs, automate workflows, and integrate with databases and external services.
  • Make (formerly Integromat): A powerful visual platform that allows users to connect different apps and automate tasks without coding. It offers thousands of pre-built integrations and allows for complex scenario building.
  • Zoho Creator: A low-code app builder with a drag-and-drop interface for creating workflows, forms, and databases.

Example of the best low-code solution for your development

Latenode stands out as a powerful low-code platform that combines ease of use with extensive customization and integration capabilities. It allows users to create complex workflows and automate processes with minimal coding effort.

  • Visual Interface: Latenode offers an intuitive visual interface where users can build workflows through drag-and-drop actions, simplifying the development process.
  • Extensive Integration Options: The platform supports integration with numerous popular services and applications, such as Google Sheets, Slack, Trello, and Salesforce. This makes it easy to connect different parts of your business into a cohesive system.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Latenode's low-code environment provides the flexibility needed for complex applications. Users can start with simple automations and gradually add more sophisticated features as their needs grow.
  • Time and Resource Savings: By automating routine tasks, Latenode helps businesses save time and resources, allowing teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Pricing of Latenode


Latenode offers flexible and cost-effective pricing with five tiers, including a free plan. The platform doesn't charge for complex workflows, making it budget-friendly. Paid plans start at $17/month for the Starter plan, offering 83 computing hours and 10,000 scenario executions. The Grow plan ($97/month) provides 417 computing hours and 100,000 executions. For larger needs, the Prime plan ($297/month) offers 1.5 million executions and enhanced teamwork features. An Enterprise plan with custom solutions is also available upon request.

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Example Use Case: Automating Customer Inquiries

With Latenode, you can create a low-code workflow that streamlines entire processes, saving time and reducing manual effort. Here are some more examples of what you can achieve with Latenode:

Latenode's visual interface makes it easy to set up and link these actions, streamlining your process and improving efficiency.

Why is Low-code Better than Traditional Development?

Low-code development offers several advantages over traditional development methods:

  • Speed of Development: Low-code platforms reduce development time from months or years to just days or weeks by using ready-made components, templates, and visual tools.
  • Cost-effectiveness: These platforms utilize ready-made tools and templates, reducing the need for a large team of developers and accelerating time to market, making them more cost-effective than traditional development.
  • Accessibility for Business Users: Simple visual tools, templates, and ready-made components allow non-technical users to create applications independently, freeing up the IT team to focus on more complex tasks.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Low-code platforms allow for quick changes and application scaling as the business grows, using visual editors and automation tools.
  • Simplified Updates and Support: These platforms handle updates and support, freeing the IT team from routine work.
  • Enhanced Security: Low-code platforms provide built-in security measures to protect data and applications, which can be an advantage over traditional development, especially for smaller companies.
  • Rapid Automation: Low-code enables rapid automation of business processes by creating applications for managing operational costs, schedules, request processing, and other tasks, which would require significant resources and development time in traditional development.

In summary, Low-code development offers numerous advantages over traditional development, including faster development, cost-effectiveness, accessibility for business users, flexibility, simplified updates and support, enhanced security, and rapid automation of routine tasks.

The Combined Approach: Low-code + Traditional Development

It's essential to understand that low-code and traditional development approaches do not exclude each other. Depending on the project's nature, a combination of both methods can be used to achieve optimal results.

When is a Combined Approach Most Effective:

  • Prototyping and MVP: Use low-code to quickly create prototypes and MVPs (Minimum Viable Products). This will allow you to get early feedback from users and investors before investing significant resources in full custom development.
  • Internal Tools: Create internal tools and applications using low-code platforms, freeing up the development team for more complex tasks.
  • Integration: Use traditional development to create complex business logic and integrate with non-standard systems while supplementing this with ready-made components from low-code platforms.
  • Automation of Routine Tasks: Apply low-code to automate repetitive tasks, allowing developers to focus on innovation and unique features.

Practical Recommendations for Choosing an Approach:

When choosing an approach to software development, it's important to consider several key factors. First, you need to evaluate the project goals and determine what is a priority - speed to market, flexibility, scalability, or security.

The next step is to analyze the complexity of the requirements. Simple applications can be quickly created using low-code, but if the project requires complex logic and unique features, then traditional development is the better choice.

You shouldn't forget about the budget and available resources. If the budget is limited, low-code can be a more economical option. However, be prepared for potential limitations in functionality when using such platforms.

It's also important to examine the integration capabilities of the chosen solution. If the application needs to integrate with existing systems, ensure that the platform can provide this.

Finally, for successful project implementation, it's crucial to establish collaboration between different teams. Engage business users and marketers in the low-code application development process and provide developer support for creating custom components when needed.

After weighing all these factors, you'll be able to make an informed decision and choose the most suitable approach for your project.

Conclusion

Low-code and traditional development are two different but complementary approaches to creating software. Depending on the specific needs of your project, you can choose the approach that best suits your business goals.

  • Low-code Approaches: A fast and cost-effective way to create prototypes, internal tools, and simple applications. Particularly suitable for small projects or limited budgets.
  • Traditional Development: Preferable for large and complex projects where flexibility, security, and individuality are essential.

Ultimately, a combined approach will allow you to leverage the benefits of both methodologies and implement the project as efficiently as possible.

If you want to develop your own application or get advice on choosing a development approach, contact SKEND. Our team is ready to help you bring your ideas to life, ensuring successful application development that meets your requirements and goals.

Optimize your Business Process on Latenode – the best Low-Code platform for you

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