General

What is Low-Code?

Radzivon Alkhovik
Low-code automation enthusiast, Latenode partner
June 10, 2024
A low-code platform blending no-code simplicity with full-code power
Get started free
Table of contents

Say no to chaotic work. Automate your tasks now.

The digital transformation of industries is in full swing, however, the choice of a suitable digital platform for business process automation poses the question for companies of whether to take a low-code or no-code approach. 

Low-code is a development method in which visual constructors and ready-made scripts from a set of commands and actions are used instead of manual programming. Low-code platforms allow applications, modules, and products to be created faster and cheaper, without the need for expensive IT specialists. Working with low-code only requires the competencies of a platform administrator.

In this article, we will examine what low code is, how it differs from the no-code approach, its advantages, functional capabilities, required skills, and areas of application. Moreover, we will explore how Latenode, as an automation and integration platform, enhances your low-code development journey by seamlessly integrating various systems and streamlining business processes.

Key Takeaways: Low-code is an application development approach that utilizes visual builders and pre-built scripts instead of manual programming, enabling the rapid creation of software solutions at lower costs without the need for expensive IT specialists. With its extensive functional capabilities such as business process design, interface design, form building, table construction, and integration capabilities, as well as requiring only basic programming skills from developers, low-code unlocks new opportunities for accelerated digital transformation across various industries.

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

What is Low-Code? 

Low Code refers to a development approach that minimizes the need for manual programming. Instead of writing code to model applications, visual designers and pre-built scripts for solving typical tasks are used. The main value is the ability to create or modify applications, modules, or even full products without the need for programmers. The competencies of a platform administrator are more than sufficient to carry out the necessary work.

Low Code platforms are essentially constructors consisting of a predefined set of commands and actions assembled into blocks. They are designed to accelerate, simplify, and democratize virtually all processes related to software development. The name of the environment stems from the fact that during its application, a specialist hardly needs to code - open an IDE, type functions, enter variables, or set conditions for loops. All operations are implemented by dragging graphical elements across the screen, with periodic checks on the functionality of the resulting product.

How Latenode Enhances Low-Code Development

Latenode is designed to complement your low-code development by providing robust integration and automation capabilities. Here’s how Latenode can be integrated into your low-code strategy:

  • Seamless Integrations: Latenode offers pre-built connectors and APIs that allow low code platforms to connect effortlessly with various enterprise systems, databases, web services, and applications. This ensures seamless data flow and process automation across different platforms.
  • Automated Workflows: With Latenode, you can design and automate complex workflows using a visual interface. This eliminates the need for manual coding and reduces the time required to deploy business processes.
  • Enhanced Data Management: Latenode’s robust data integration capabilities enable you to manage and manipulate data effectively. Whether it’s data transformation, validation, or synchronization, Latenode ensures that your data processes are efficient and reliable.
  • Scalable Solutions: Latenode supports scalable application development, allowing you to build applications that can grow with your business needs. Its flexible architecture ensures that your low code solutions remain responsive and adaptable to changing requirements.
  • Collaboration and Governance: Latenode facilitates collaborative development by enabling multiple team members to work simultaneously on different aspects of an application. It also includes built-in security features and governance capabilities to manage application lifecycles and enforce development standards.

Now you can see an example of automation with Latenode. And to elaborate, Automating the process of receiving customer requests via email, extracting the necessary information, processing it and updating the CRM system while notifying the relevant team members.

And this is how the result of this automation looks visually:

Try to Create your own Automation on Latenode – Your automation platform for you

If you need help or advice on how to create your own script or if you want to replicate this one, contact our Discord community, where the Low-code automation experts are located.

Advantages of Low-Code

One of the main advantages of Low-Code is the speed of development. Thanks to the use of visual tools and ready-made components, applications can be created much faster than with traditional programming. In addition, LowCode can significantly reduce development costs, as it does not require the involvement of expensive programmers.

Low-Code platforms are easy to use thanks to an intuitive interface, making development accessible even to people without deep programming knowledge. This expands the circle of potential developers and allows businesses to respond to changes faster.

Elements of Low-Code Platforms 

One of the key advantages of low-code platforms is their ability to significantly accelerate and simplify the application development process by providing visual modeling tools, pre-built components, and automating many of the routine tasks associated with writing code. A typical low-code platform includes the following key elements:

  • Visual Modeling: The ability to create applications by visually dragging and dropping pre-built components onto a design canvas or workspace. This visual approach allows developers to model the application's user interface, workflows, and logic without the need to write extensive code.
  • Ready-made Components and Templates: Low-code platforms provide libraries of pre-built UI components (forms, tables, charts, etc.), data connectors, and process templates. These reusable elements accelerate development by eliminating the need to build everything from scratch.
  • Rapid Application Deployment: Low-code platforms are designed for rapid application development and deployment. Once an application is modeled, it can be quickly tested, iterated upon, and deployed to the desired environment (cloud, on-premises, or hybrid) with minimal effort.
  • Model-Driven Development: Many low-code platforms follow a model-driven approach, where developers visually model the application's data model, business logic, and user interface. The platform then automatically generates the underlying code based on these models.
  • Integration Capabilities: Low-code platforms typically offer out-of-the-box connectors and APIs for integrating with various enterprise systems, databases, web services, and other applications, enabling seamless data flow and process automation.
  • Collaborative Development: Some low-code platforms support collaborative development, allowing multiple team members to work simultaneously on different aspects of an application, fostering agility and enabling faster delivery cycles.
  • Built-in Security and Governance: Enterprise-grade low-code platforms often include built-in security features, such as role-based access control, data encryption, and audit trails, as well as governance capabilities for managing application lifecycles and enforcing development standards.

These elements work together to provide a comprehensive environment for rapidly building, deploying, and maintaining applications without the need for extensive manual coding, making low-code platforms attractive for organizations seeking to accelerate digital transformation and application delivery.

Areas of Application of Low-Code 

Low-code platforms are gaining widespread adoption across various industries due to their ability to accelerate application development, empower citizen developers, and drive digital transformation initiatives. Thanks to their flexibility, visual nature, and rapid development capabilities, low-code platforms find application in numerous fields, including:

  • Wide-ranging Applications of Low-Code The versatility of low-code platforms allows them to be applied in diverse domains, solving a multitude of business challenges. Some prominent areas where low-code solutions are being leveraged include:
  • Healthcare: Low-code platforms are being used to create applications for managing medical institutions, patient monitoring systems, and facilitating staff interactions. These applications can streamline processes such as appointment scheduling, electronic health record management, and real-time communication between healthcare professionals.
  • Real Estate: The real estate industry is leveraging low-code platforms to develop applications for listing and downloading real estate objects, parsing property listings and offers, and supporting the rental process. These solutions can automate tasks such as property searches, lead management, and tenant management.
  • Retail: Low-code platforms are enabling retailers to create solutions for inventory control, sales channel management, and document flow optimization. Applications built using low-code can help retailers manage stock levels, analyze sales data, and automate processes such as purchase order generation and supplier communication.

These are just a few examples of the diverse applications of low-code platforms. As businesses across industries seek to digitally transform and automate processes, the demand for rapid application development continues to grow, making low-code an attractive solution for organizations of all sizes and sectors.

Low-Code Functional Capabilities

Low-Code Functional Capabilities Low-code platforms are designed to empower developers and citizen developers with a comprehensive toolset for building a wide range of applications and automations. These platforms boast an extensive array of functional capabilities that cater to various development needs, including:

  • Extensive Functional Capabilities of Low-Code Platforms Low-code platforms provide a versatile set of tools and features that enable developers to create and automate various aspects of business applications. Some of the key functional capabilities offered by low-code platforms include:
  • Business Process Design: Creating applications for automating complex business processes such as document approval workflows, request processing, task management, and much more. Low-code platforms often include visual process modelers and workflow engines to streamline process automation.
  • Interface Design: Developing user-friendly interfaces using visual drag-and-drop tools, pre-built UI components, and responsive design capabilities. These tools enable the creation of modern, engaging user experiences for web and mobile applications.
  • Form Construction: Building forms for data collection, product catalog management, customer profiling, and more. Lowcode platforms typically offer form builders with drag-and-drop functionality, field validation, and data binding capabilities.
  • Table Construction: Creating tabular structures with columns, rows, filters, sorting, and mathematical formulas. This functionality is particularly useful for building data-centric applications, such as reporting dashboards and data visualization tools.
  • Integration Construction: Seamlessly integrating applications with other systems and services using pre-built connectors, APIs, and integration workflows. Low-code platforms often provide a library of connectors to popular enterprise systems, databases, and cloud services.

Required Skills for Low-Code Developers 

Required Skills for Low-Code Developers While low-code platforms abstract away much of the complexity of traditional coding, effective development still requires a specific set of skills and competencies. Some of the key skills needed for successful low code development include:

  • A Balanced Skillset for Low-Code Success Low-code platforms are designed to democratize application development, but to truly harness their power, developers should possess a well-rounded skillset that combines technical and non-technical abilities.
  • Understanding Software Architecture: Knowledge of the principles of software construction, including data models, application architectures, and the interaction between different components. This understanding is crucial for designing scalable and maintainable low-code applications.
  • Soft Skills: Effective communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities are essential for gathering and translating business requirements into functional applications. Low-code developers often act as liaisons between business stakeholders and technical teams.
  • Implementing Ideas in Practice: The ability to quickly evaluate and select the appropriate tools, components, and workflows within the low-code platform to bring ideas to life. This skill requires a deep understanding of the platform's capabilities and best practices.
  • Basic Programming Knowledge: While low-code platforms minimize the need for manual coding, a basic understanding of programming fundamentals, query languages, and data structures can be beneficial for more complex scenarios or integrations.

By cultivating a balanced skillset in low-code development that combines technical proficiency with business acumen and problem-solving abilities, low-code developers can effectively leverage the power of low-code platforms to deliver high-quality, business-aligned applications rapidly.

When are IT skills required in Low-Code? 

While low-code platforms abstract developers from low-level programming, there are certain scenarios where specialized IT skills are still required:

  • Integration with External Systems: Integrating with proprietary or legacy systems may require manual programming and scripting, going beyond the platform's pre-built connectors and APIs.
  • Complex Analytics and Algorithms: Implementing complex search algorithms, machine learning models, or advanced data processing pipelines may necessitate specialized programming skills.
  • Non-Standard Custom Components: Adding customized or non-standard components to the application interface often requires experienced front-end developers.
  • Extending Platform Capabilities: In advanced use cases, functionality beyond the native capabilities of the low-code platform may be required, necessitating knowledge of its extensibility mechanisms.

In such scenarios, organizations often involve experienced IT professionals for complex integrations, customizations, and extensions to the low-code solution.

Conclusion

Low-Code is a powerful approach that allows businesses to quickly create the applications they need with minimal cost. Thanks to its flexibility and ease of use, Low-Code opens up new opportunities for digital transformation and accelerated software development. As technologies develop and the demand for rapid adaptation grows, Low-Code will become increasingly in demand and continue to change the rules of the game in the world of software development.

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

Related Blogs