What is no-code?

What is no-code?

Garrett McAnulla

No-code is quite the craze in the techworld nowadays. ‘No-code platform’, ‘No-code database ' are all phrases we see in the market. But what is no-code and what does it mean for the next generation of software applications?

By the name of it, it may seem that no-code stands for a jumbled pile of information. Perhaps an unstructured return to the past of recording things on pen and paper. A rebellion against computers? On the contrary, no-code represents a new dimension of software innovation that everyone can take advantage of.

Definition of No-Code

No-code and visual development is a new way to build applications without hiring a software team. No-code tools provide a platform to build applications with a visual experience. ‘Citizen developers’ and non-technical users can add custom functionality to applications. This dramatically reduces the costs, lowers the barrier to entry and democratizes app development

Pros of No-code

Democratizing Software Development

No one understands the inner workings of a business and their process more than employees. This includes insight into what is the optimal workflow and processes that should be used in a software application. “A user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT” is called a citizen developer (Gartner), and no-code is what makes it possible. With no-code an everyday employee can now take part in making major technical contributions to their team.

Lower Costs

Traditionally, whenever a software application needed to be created or customized it required the expertise of a software developer, and good one’s ain't cheap. However, no-code provides an opportunity to create an application without having to hire a third party developer or pulling a resource from your team. Instead, everyday users can create and conceptualize the application on their own.

Faster Launch

With no-code platforms, users can integrate and hook prebuilt components and modules together. This means building apps is a lot faster. Testing can also be automated which further cuts down testing time.

Little to no training

User interfaces are easy to use and utilize point and click interfaces. You can drag and drop different layers and components. There may be some basic training involved, but no need to learn how to code.

Better Prototyping & Customizability

The problem with traditional coding is that you can’t change functionality with a flick of a switch. Changes to software applications can often force software developers to delete, change, and re-write code which is time consuming and creates a lack of adaptability in a software application. With no-code if you need to change something you can implement new logic and layer on different components to customize your application in a matter of hours.

Greater Business Agility & Autonomy

Working with citizen developers empowers smaller teams to be more efficient which are more nimble and responsive. Enterprise software projects can take years to complete and often run over budget. No-code platforms considerably shorten the process. Since apps can be built at a much faster pace, IT staff aren’t overloaded with requests from every other department, and there are fewer people waiting for work to be done.

Limitations of No-code

Limited Scope

As great as no-code is, it’s a relatively new space. No-code tools offer templates and components to meet a particular set of use cases, but if your needs are outside of what the templates provide then you may struggle to build your application.

Lack of Advanced Security Support

Many no-code platforms do not offer advanced security features that are common in enterprise cloud software. Some of these include advanced role-based permissions, audit tracking, and access logs. Some industries need to comply with certain security standards such as HIPAA or SOC2. These security features are hard to find in no-code platforms today.

Vendor Lock-in

Should you need to make a switch from the no-code platform you are using you may run into vendor lock-in, in other words it will be difficult to switch providers. Applications built on no-code platforms are dependent on the vendor so there may be very little you can re-use in your application should you have to switch.

How Docframe building a no-code platform for health IT

Docframe seeks to address some of the setbacks that typically come with a low code software. This is done by offering advanced role based access controls that allows you to enable or restrict access on the individual cell level.

The end result is you can create elaborate roles and permissions as you see fit. Docframe also offers end to end encryption and HIPAA compliance out of the box to ensure personal health information is secure. Docframe also offers templates and functionality specialized for the healthcare and biotech industries so that you can build your next healthcare related application with ease.