The idea of fast app deployment goes hand in hand with loan budgets and rapid time to market. That is the reason why the choice falls on low-code solutions.
However, there is a big gap between these theoretical benefits and reality developers facing using low code platforms for highly accelerated development.
When a business only sees advantages like independent and fast app development, it's no secret that programmers are usually cautious around low-code. So, is this just an irrational fear of being replaced by the machine or real issues?
In this article, XM^ONLINE dispels myths and finds out whether the fast-code is really so convenient for the app developers as well as for solving business tasks.
What is Low Code?
Low-code is a visual approach to software development based on drag-and-drop components with a graphical interface logic, automatic integrations, and data usage mechanisms.
It's perfect for everyone who wants to faster the delivery of applications with minimal hand-coding.
The typical low code platform consists of:
Visual interface to define the apps' UIs, workflows, data models, and add hand-written code where it's necessary.
Services connectors and back-ends aimed to help to handle data storage, structure, and retrieval.
Instruments to develop and maintain an app's testing and production.
Fast and easy to use this low code app development approach caused quite controversial opinions. Let's find out why.
Why business want Fast-Code platform for business automation?
While developers focus on application UX and capabilities, such a platform can manage the rest:
Pre-built platform tools can fast the app development in 10 times
Smooth transfer from one project to another
Functions isolation and all applications' problems treating
One codebase for omnichannel development
One-click app deployment. Automated testing, no coding language limitations
Low-risk start thanks to the platforms' high-security standards and real-time management, monitoring, and support
Easy access and integration (APIs, blockchain, IoT, AI, machine learning, and cognitive services)
There is no special skill required to meet all the demand for consumer-grade omnichannel experiences by building an app with low-code tools
Independent work of the different developers' teams over the part of an app.
Easy product's updates without rewriting the code
Low-code solutions offer rivers of milk & honey for its customers - low technical debt, no need to hire a developer, so business teams do not need to involve the IT department. Application deployment takes days, and you can easily integrate it with anything.
10 Reasons Why Developers Grow Frustrated With Low Code Development Platforms
Hard maintenance. The difficulties of running an app based on a low-code come with years when team requests for improvements and fixes. Adding them can be a challenge because these features usually lie outside the basic structure of the low-code application. Since programmers don't have access to the source code of such an app they just can't dive in and rebuild the guts. Thus, they are locked in.
Nothing new. Thanks to the standard solutions, low-code saves your time and budget. It removes much of the innovations from your project and makes it look similar to others. You can add special configurations, splash screens, or CSS skins.
One size fits none. The pipeline is an attractive idea for everyone who likes simple solutions. That's why product manufacturers prefer "one size fits all" items without care about customers. The same story with low-code tools: easy to use they limit the things you can code, customize, or change. Basically, programmers get stuck with this architecture and features. No one's happy.
Application configuration issues. Low-code is known for minimizing the app's time-to-market. This rush can create problems for developers when the possibility of the configuration file's parameters changing becomes underestimated.
Trying to save budget on code lines, some vendors prefer programmers to use platform configurations to specify the algorithms, connect the database, and fill in the parameters. Because that's easy and fast, but it does not always do. It can take days and weeks to fiddle all that keystrokes to do what they're supposed to do.
Debugging a black-box. Using low-code platforms, you can't go deep in the app structure, so basically, you don't know what is inside. It isn't a problem until something goes slightly awry. That moment programmers get stuck with the solution they don't control. Building software on a low-code platform without any chance or instruments to fix a future bug feels like going in the dark.
An extra function addition. While building app developers spend some time writing the additional little glue code to keep the data flowing while filtering out the problems. Low-code tools filters or switches can fasten these processes. Usually, it's okay, but when it's not, you are risking to get a security hole. Trying to insert arbitrary blocks of code in places, you can misuse them.
Low-code inefficiency. Low-code read minds and deliver you the things you need. Platform developers decide what works and how, and it is not always about your business case. However, nothing is free, and the cost of this magic is in a stack of code lines that deal with all the possible odd configurations and curveballs. The company stores data in the files of one type, usually. But working with a low-code means working with YAML, JSON, and XML of 1.0 and 1.1 versions. Thus, there are hundreds of formats to handle that are about the checkmarks in the matrix of features. It slows down the project and limits its efficiency. Of course, you can hide it by throwing extra compute power at the stack. But everything has its price.
Special skills required. Thanks to the fact that low-code platforms used to be written in standard languages, you don't need to learn a special one. But it has the extra structure bundled into its framework that is a real challenge for developers, who need to cope with it trying to revise or extend an app architecture.
It's a trap! Easy to join but hard to leave, low-code is like entering a mob. The cost of saving work time and using the giant's advantages is that you start to depend on them. If they are moving, you are moving too. If a low-code platform collapses, you have a problem.
However, not all low-code solutions are created equal. Just be cautious when evaluating a solution.
How to choose the best fast-code platform for your business?
To reap the benefits of highly accelerated development before choosing you should keep in mind:
Who will build an app? Developers or people with low coding experience? There are two types of fast-code tools. The first one for developers gives more control than a second ㅡ designed for business people.
What use cases do you want to deliver? Fast-code tools differ with functions in different areas. If you are focused on the workflow and business process apps, pick the one that has functions there. If you want to raise the user interface, you should look for the other functionality set.
What governance strategy do you want to follow? Who is going to do the work? What do they need, and how are you going to maintain it? Answers to these questions form a portfolio management system. Think this through while choosing a tool because it will help employees keep track of what apps have already been built in the platform and avoid overlaps.
Are you and your developers have all the necessary skills and knowledge to work with the chosen platform?
How difficult will it be to get started?
How much financial and human resources do you need to put to the start of the low code app development?
Would your team be able to create, maintain, and update such software? Check whether it supports deploying API-driven microservices-based apps, coding custom software stacks, and effectively orchestrating IT infrastructure.
Are you sure about the stability of the fast-code app workflow?
How adaptive will the operation of such a system be? Is the platform architecture flexible enough to evolve and grow with company needs?
Keep these in mind when selecting a fast-code platform, and you'll avoid the majority of the issues while developing a product.
There is apprehension in some corners of developing a low-code-based app, and it still brings IT undoubted benefits. Low-code works for everyone who wants to follow a fast and beaten track in app development. But for complicated tasks when you need to customize some really unique processes, it is not such a good option.