Low code development

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A low-code development platform (LCDP) provides a development environment used to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming. A low-code model enables developers of varied experience levels to create applications using a visual user interface in combination with model-driven logic. Such platforms may produce entirely operational applications, or require additional coding for specific situations. Low-code development platforms reduce the amount of traditional hand coding, enabling accelerated delivery of business applications. A common benefit is that a wider range of people can contribute to the application's development—not only those with formal programming skills. LCDPs can also lower the initial cost of setup, training, deployment and maintenance.[1]

Though not given a specific name until June 9, 2014,[1] by the industry analyst Forrester Research, the low-code development platform market traces back to 2011.[2]

LCDPs trace their roots back to fourth-generation programming language and rapid application development tools of the 1990s and early 2000s. Similar to these predecessor development environments, LCDPs are based on the principles of model-driven design, automatic code generation, and visual programming.[3] The concept of end-user development also existed previously, although LCDPs brought some new ways of approaching this development.


As a result of the micro computer revolution businesses have deployed computers widely across their employee bases, enabling widespread automation of business processes using software. The need for software automation and new applications for business processes places demands on software developers to create custom applications in volume, tailoring them to organizations' unique needs.[4] Low-code development platforms have been and are developed as a means to allow for quick creation and use of working applications that can address the specific process- and data needs of the organization.[5]

Business process automation[edit]

Business process automation (BPA), also known as business automation or digital transformation,[6] is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes.[7] It can streamline a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery or contain costs. It consists of integrating applications, restructuring labor resources and using software applications throughout the organization.[8] Robotic process automation is an emerging field within BPA. Whole process of business process automations are closely connected with low-code platforms.

Notable BizApps Low-code platforms[edit]

There are a lot of different no-code/low-code platforms, but this is the list of the most popular:


Research firm Forrester estimated in 2016 that the total market for low-code development platforms would grow to $15.5 billion by 2020.[9] Segments in the market include database, request handling, mobile, process and general purpose low-code platforms.[10]

Low-code development's market growth can be attributed to its flexibility and ease.[11] Low-code development platforms are shifting focus towards general purpose of applications, with the ability to add in custom code when needed or desired.[2]

Mobile accessibility is one of the driving factors of using low-code development platforms.[4] Instead of developers having to spend time creating multi-device software, Low-code packages typically come with that feature standard.[4]

Because they require less coding knowledge, nearly anyone in a software development environment can learn to use a low-code development platform. Features like drag and drop interfaces help users visualize and build the application[9]

Security and compliance concerns[edit]

Concerns over low-code development platform security and compliance are growing, especially for apps that use consumer data. There can be concerns over the security of apps built so quickly and possible lack of due governance leading to compliance issues.[11] However, low-code apps do also fuel security innovations. With continuous app development in mind, it becomes easier to create secure data workflows. Still the fact remains that low-code development platforms that do not apply and strictly adhere to Normalized Systems Theory (Herwig Mannaert, Jan Verelst, Peter De Bruyn, 2016) do not solve the challenge of increasing complexity due to changes.[11]

Analyst coverage and crowd evaluation[edit]

A Forrester report about low-code development platforms ("The Forrester Wave™: Low-code Development Platforms, Q2 2016") featured a 26-criteria evaluation of low-code development platform providers.[12]

An updated Forrester report charting the growth of the low-code market was published in July 2017 (Vendor Landscape: A Fork In The Road For Low-Code Development Platforms) highlighting 3 industry trends:[13]

  • Growth - the low-code market is forecast to increase to over $21 billion over the next five years.
  • Diversification - Two major developing market segments focus on the needs of business ("citizen") developers and of AD&D (App Dev) Professionals.
  • Integration - As adoption of low-code expands and businesses look towards technologies like AI, robotics and machine learning, solutions must grow to offer these capabilities.

A G2Crowd report about low-code development platforms evaluated market share and user reviews for 46 products.[14]

Forrester published an updated report in August 2018. The report covers key trends including the continuing adoption of low code platforms by enterprise companies and the merging of low code platforms with existing developer tools into a broader application development ecosystem.[15]


Some IT professionals question whether low-code development platforms are suitable for large-scale and mission-critical enterprise applications.[16] Others have questioned whether these platforms actually make development cheaper or easier.[17] Additionally, some CIOs have expressed concern that adopting low-code development platforms internally could lead to an increase in unsupported applications built by shadow IT.[18]

Low-code vs. no-code[edit]

No-code development platforms are similar to low-code development platforms but require no coding at all.[19]

The line between the two is not sharp. However, there are a number of key differences:

  • App Creator - No-code platforms are accessible to any end-business user while low-code platforms require professional developers who can work within the platform's constraints.
  • Core Design - No-code platforms tend to function off a model-driven, declarative approach where the end user dictates an app's design through drag and drop manipulation or simple expressions. Low-code platforms depend more on hard code to specify an application's core architecture.[20]
  • User Interface - No-code platforms most often rely on a preset user interface layer which simplifies and streamlines an app's design. Low-code platforms may provide greater flexibility in UI options at the cost of additional coding and complexity requirements.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Richardson, Clay (June 9, 2014). "New Development Platforms Emerge For Customer-Facing Applications". www.forrester.com. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Marvin, Rob (12 August 2014). "How low-code development seeks to accelerate software delivery - SD Times". SD Times. San Diego Times. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  3. Lonergan, Kevin (29 July 2015). "On the down low: Why CIOs should care about Low-code - Information Age". Information Age. Information Age. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Marvin, Rob. "Building an App With No Coding: Myth or Reality?". PCMAG. PC Mag. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  5. http://www.zdnet.com/article/developers-were-on-board-with-low-code-tools/
  6. Tharp, Matthew. "Mapping Out Business Process Automation: How BPM Functions Like A GPS". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  7. "Business Process Automation (bpa)". Gartner. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  8. Otar, Chad. "How Automation Can Help Your Small Business". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Richardson, Clay. "Vendor Landscape: The Fractured, Fertile Terrain Of Low-code Application Platforms" (PDF). Forrester Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  10. Hammond, Jeffrey. "The Forrester Wave™: Mobile Low-Code Platforms For Business Developers, Q3 2018". www.forrester.com. Forrester Research. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Rubens, Paul. "Use Low-code Platforms to Develop the Apps Customers Want". CIO. CIO Magazine.
  12. Richardson, Clay. "The Forrester Wave™: Low-code Development Platforms, Q2 2016". www.forrester.com. Forrester Research. Archived from the original on 13 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  13. Rymer, John (31 July 2017). "Vendor Landscape: A Fork In The Road For Low-Code Development Platforms". Forrester Research. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Hammond, Jeffrey. "The Forrester Wave™: Mobile Low-Code Platforms For Business Developers, Q3 2018". www.forrester.com. Forrester Research. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. Rymer, John. "Low-Code Platforms Deliver Customer Facing Apps Fast, But Can They Scale Up?". Forrester Research. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  17. Reselman, Bob. "Why the promise of low-code software platforms is deceiving". TechTarget. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  18. Shore, Joel (31 July 2015). "How no-code development tools can benefit IT". Search Cloud Applications. TechTarget Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  19. Rouse, Margaret. "low-code/no-code development platform (LCNC platform)". www.techtarget.com. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  20. Bloomberg, Jason. "The Low-Code/No-Code Movement: More Disruptive Than You Realize". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  21. Woods, Dan. "When No Code Makes Sense for Legacy App Migration". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 20 August 2018.