What is no-code?

In this article, we will introduce you to a concept that is rapidly growing: the no-code.

Definition of the no-code

No-code is a way of developing software without having to fill in a single line of code. If we have to use a few simple lines of code, we will talk about low-code.

No-code is characterized by different techniques to bypass the use of code: 

  • The ability to drag and drop components that are mini-applications. These components will then be combined to create processes
  • Graphical templates to help create user interfaces
  • Workflows" to automate certain tasks: if the person clicks on such and such a place, then such and such an event will happen. 
  • A WYSIWYG working environment, which means What you see is what you get. So the user will be able to test until his application works the way he wants it to.

The no-code in practice

The simpler the use of the no-code application, the more limited the functionalities are generally. That's why most applications that call themselves no-code are usually low-code, where you have to code some specific logic and you come down to code, quite simple, to code that logic. Some low-code applications have performance levels very similar to "high-code" applications, whether in terms of loading time or in terms of platform stability, i.e. its capacity to be available almost all the time and to be able to receive many users at the same time.

Why do no-code?

Since developer skills are rare and generally in short supply, these applications drastically increase the number of people capable of "developing" applications and thus open up the creation of applications to as many people as possible. Non-technical people will therefore be able to boast of being able to create applications.

VSEs and freelancers who cannot afford a developer will be able to develop their own website or application, using tools like Weebly or Wix or create online surveys to understand their customers with tools like Google Forms. These tools are examples of no-code tools. Google acquired AppSheet in 2020 to accelerate on no-code and have a tool that can manage databases directly in Google Sheets.

Fight against human errors

For example, if you have a website to sell a service and you want to store information about the people who contact you, the most classic option is to copy and paste the desired information into a spreadsheet. With the risk of mistyping the information (by shifting a piece of information by one line for example). With a no-code tool you could automatically retrieve this information to automatically fill in a spreadsheet. This is what tools like IFTTT or Zapier, which are automation tools, can do.

Is no-code useful for data teams?

Very often, data teams do not have all the knowledge to develop an application from scratch. Creating an interface to easily test and use the algorithms produced by the data teams will be done with a no-code tool. The data teams will then be able to be autonomous in the design of algorithms with a rendering for the business user.

To conclude, here are some advantages and disadvantages of no-code:

Benefits include: 

  • Greater flexibility to build applications 
  • Cost reduction: we don't pay a developer
  • Increased productivity 
  • Easy to modify

And here are some disadvantages: 

  • The need must be clearly defined to understand if the no-code platform will allow to develop it
  • Features are sometimes too rigid
  • Safety issues may exist
  • You do not own the source code

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