While low code platforms are taking the IT world by storm, the much talked about popularity has also created a room of various perceptions and misconceptions. It is necessary to separate facts from myths in order to know the true capabilities of low-code app development platforms.
Here is a list of some common misconceptions around low code and the supporting arguments to debunk them:
Myth 1: Low Code is a New Trend
While it may seem like, application development using low code platforms is New – the concept has been around for at least 15 years or so starting with the promise of 4GL in the 90s and rapid application development (RAD) tools in 2000.
However, there are definitely differences between the 4GL/RAD tools of the ’90s
and low code platforms today. These tools created convoluted code and locked enterprise to their platform which is not the case with low code.
The technologies today make low-code much more intuitive and approachable to a wider range of skill sets within IT. The interesting promise of low-code today is the possibility of providing more “self-service” to users traditionally outside of Enterprise IT which was not possible before.
Myth 2: Low Code is only for Simple Application Development
Many people believe that Low code platforms are only suited for small scale development and cannot be functional for scalable, mission-critical apps.
In reality, from small- to large-sized companies, low-code platforms are a step forward from traditional software development when it comes to building applications for desktop, mobile, and web. According to a study by Forrester, majority of applications built using low code are used across the entire enterprise or multiple departments. Many organizations that have experienced low-code development are scaling up their rapid development teams to cope with growing demand and are delivering mission-critical enterprise applications. Hence, Low-code is about gain, not pain.
Myth 3: Low-code platforms are only for the build phase of the SDLC.
It is commonly believed that low code platforms are specifically meant for the development phase of the software development life cycle. However, this is not true.
Modern-day low code platforms can efficiently support the entire app delivery life cycle- design, build, deploy, operate, monitor, and iterate
Equipped with visual development tools, these platforms come with added capabilities like agile management, social collaboration, one-click deployment, end-user feedback loops, and many more. In short, a solid low-code platform can act as a one-stop solution for handling all the stages of the application lifecycle.
Myth 4: Low code platforms are meant only for citizen developers and anyone can leverage them to develop apps with ease.
Before going deep into clearing the misconception, it is important to know different types of app builders:
Citizen Developers: This class comprises of people with no prior coding knowledge who are working in the front line of business areas such as HR, customer service, marketing etc.
Professional Developers: These are professional coders with expertise in programming languages that require formal training to master.
So, which category can use low-code development platforms?
The answer is all of these. All three categories can use low-code platforms but the functionality and complexity of the applications developed will vary.
· Using a low-code platform, citizen developers can develop very simple applications that can offer basic functionalities.
Power builders can build applications with more functionality than that offered by citizen developers.
Professional developers can deliver complex applications with multiple functionalities and automation processes. A low-code platform lets a professional developer build application swiftly by reducing the amount of manual coding required.
In short, a low-code platform enhances the capabilities of all types of developers by letting them do more than what they are capable of in app development.
Myth 5: Low Code Platforms do not provide scope for customization
Another big misconception around Low code platforms revolves around customization. While it’s undeniably true that low code development favors the idea to achieve as much as possible without code, this does not imply software engineers can’t extend the functionality with the code they desire.
There can be scenarios where business requirements fall outside the skillset of the business developer and scope or capabilities of the platform, in such cases Software engineers can use code to develop reusable code extensions.
With the help of client and server side API’s, engineers can build, package and distribute new functionality such as connectors to external services like machine learning and AI, integrations to internal systems of record, native mobile widgets, and reusable UI components.
Closing Thoughts: Low Code/No Code is No Longer a Myth, But Only Reality
In conclusion, low-code platforms offer the necessary tools for both the business and IT to collaborate and build valuable enterprise apps at speed while maintaining control over the entire application life cycle. These platforms are not only here to stay, but also with expanding business technology, they are making it easy to streamline the development cycle and build applications that can solve the growing business requirements.
No doubt, they have their own strength and weakness but as a still-young concept, there are still a lot of misconceptions and myths that need to be busted to help businesses understand and leverage the true potential of these platforms.