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The Difference Between No-Code and Low-Code
Low code is a set of tools, not a platform, that allows for the acceleration of some coding tasks. Low-code is an incremental improvement over coding frameworks such as Java or.Net in that it reduces the amount of code that a programmer must write.
Fremont, CA: The seemingly limitless possibilities of building enterprise applications without coding have captured the attention of business and technology professionals. Such platforms have also piqued the interest of analysts, who have conveniently lumped low-code and no-code platforms into a single category, causing confusion and undermining the capabilities and purpose of true no-code platforms. Low-code and no-code are not synonymous, and it is critical to understand the distinction. Failure to recognize this distinction can completely derail the digital transformation journey.
What is low-code?
Low code is a set of tools, not a platform, that allows for the acceleration of some coding tasks. Low-code is an incremental improvement over coding frameworks such as Java or.Net in that it reduces the amount of code that a programmer must write. Low-code can be thought of as a framework that allows for some visual drag-and-drop elements and then provides plugins for specific repeatable coding tasks. A shopping cart, survey forms, an online store, or a webpage creation tool are a few examples. These components, as well as their plugins, must eventually be brought together. The act of bringing them together necessitates coding and thus is not no-code. More importantly, plugins are created with a specific purpose in mind. If the purpose of the end application detracts even slightly from the pre-created plugin, extensible code must be written, or the entire code must be rewritten. Most low-code platforms necessitate coding in specific languages, some of which are proprietary, making the end-goal even more difficult to achieve.
What is no-code?
No code is a platform or a collection of tools. The platform is pre-architected with all of the above components, including identity and access management, enterprise-grade security, and deployment tools, but most importantly, no code is required to connect them. No-code platforms support an almost infinite number of scenarios in which visual elements can be dragged and dropped. Newer generation no-code platforms also pre-create scenarios and libraries to help users visualize how to incorporate visual elements into an end-user flow. The main difference between low-code and no-code is that low-code allows for the reuse of previously created components. No-code allows for the reuse of pre-created components as well as the creation of components for scenarios not contemplated by low-code.