Your Guide To No-Code and Low-Code Development

11 minute read | 30 Aug 2023

By Boomi

No-code and low-code development solutions make it easy for users of all skill levels to design user interfaces, build new applications, create APIs, integrate platforms, and manage workflows. These solutions require little-to-no coding knowledge. Instead, they allow users to build functionality with drag-and-drop and shape-based methodologies.

These tools have exploded in recent years with the trend toward “democratizing innovation” and enabling business users to take greater charge of their projects with minimal oversight from IT professionals. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use these technologies – an increase from less than 25% in 2020.

As no-code and low-code development continue to rise in popularity, companies must consider the use cases and the benefits of embracing this helpful new technology. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of no-code and low-code development, the differences, and key features to look for in solutions.

What Is No-Code Development?

No-code development refers to building software applications without using or writing code. No-code development platforms give users a visual interface that allows them to create applications by dragging and dropping pre-built technological components into the project. These platforms typically provide a wide range of functionalities and integrations that developers and non-developers alike can use to create robust and scalable solutions. However, customization may be limited due to the pre-built nature of no-code platforms.

What Is Low-Code Development?

Low-code development is similar to no-code development, except it requires basic coding knowledge to complete that “last mile” in creating applications. While some code is needed, low-code development is significantly simpler than traditional, code-heavy application development.

Low-code development platforms also offer a visual development environment but with the ability to add custom code when necessary. Low-code platforms balance ease of use and flexibility, empowering users to build complex applications with pre-built components and templates – all while facilitating customization.

Want to learn more about how low code development fits into your IT strategy? Download our ebook, “The Developer’s Guide to Integration Approaches.”

Key Differences Between Low-Code and No-Code

In addition to the obvious, there are some key considerations when choosing when to use low-code and when to use no-code tools. For one, no-code development usually results in faster building and launching of applications, while low-code development takes more time to perfect. While security issues must be monitored for both development types, the risks may be greater for no-code platforms.

In addition, because no-code development comes with templates and a selection of available features, there are limits to the ability to customize.

Low-code development allows greater flexibility and creative control because applications can be customized on top of pre-built features and templates.

What Are the Benefits of No-Code and Low-Code Development?

No-code or low-code development presents numerous benefits for developers and organizations. In a press release on low-code development technology forecasts, Varsha Mehta, senior market research specialist at Gartner, stated: “Organizations are increasingly turning to low-code development technologies to fulfill growing demands for speed application delivery and highly customized automation workflows.”

Here are five of the most notable benefits associated with these development methods.

  1. Increased Speed and Agility: Low-code and no-code development can shorten the usual timeline to create complex and valuable applications. These coding methods still allow developers to add and alter tools that better suit the unique needs of the business in question. With increased speed and agility, businesses can pivot strategies and scale applications more easily as needed.
  2. Accessibility: No-code and low-code development platforms put the ability to build and develop applications into the hands of more people, including non-developer contributors. Thanks to this increase in accessibility, Gartner predicts that by 2026, citizen developers outside formal IT departments will account for at least 80% of the user base for low-code development tools – up from 60% in 2021.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring a developer with a robust understanding of coding is expensive for any business. Smaller companies can budget for application development without incurring additional expenditures using low-code and no-code development. They can create solutions without forcing management to cut corners elsewhere.
  4. Better Collaboration: IT and business teams often work in their own silos, No-code and low-code solutions create an environment that fosters collaborative work. These solutions give non-developers the ability to at least offer greater input into projects. Developers can either complete them or check the work of their business colleagues. The increased communications results in greater productivity, and IT doesn’t become a bottleneck.
  5. Improved Scalability and Flexibility: As businesses grow, their applications must scale and adapt to accommodate changing business models. That can mean scaling up or down.  The added flexibility of low-code and no-code development makes changing application components significantly easier when plug-and-play applications and composable infrastructure are becoming more common.

What Are No-Code Development Features?

While eliminating the need for coding is impressive, this form of development gives users additional features that can streamline application-building, integrating, testing, and launching.

  • Visual Interface: No-code development platforms often utilize a graphical interface that makes application development straightforward compared to code-heavy development platforms. For example, Boomi has a low-code visual interface that anyone can try by taking the product for a test drive.
  • Pre-Built Components: The pre-built components of no-code development save developers significant time that would have been spent building components from scratch. These options eliminate much of the trial-and-error experimentation that comes with other application development solutions. In addition, using pre-built templates empowers less-skilled developers to create APIs quickly.
  • Workflow Automation: By automating entire workflows in no-code and low-code development, developers can operate more efficiently and increase productivity. Automation also reduces the potential for human error, which also helps prevent project delays.
  • Data Modeling and Management: A centralized no-code development platform enables non-developer teams to access data without creating governance issues. The tools included in these development platforms help turn data into meaningful reports that provide insights on-the-fly while still securing your data as a source of truth.
  • Integration Capabilities: The applications created through no-code platforms can integrate with other applications and software programs. Robust machine-learning tools make integrating one application with other systems much easier. Developers can quickly integrate platforms such as CRM and ERP systems, which would usually take complex manual work.
  • Collaboration and Sharing: No-code platforms enable developers to provide customizable reporting and application-building tools to non-developer teams, allowing contributors and developers to work toward a common goal. Developers can remain more engaged, reduce burnout, and avoid mistakes that are difficult to resolve by automating processes.

How Boomi Flow Helps With Low-Code Development

Boomi Flow is a powerful low-code development platform that allows users to design, build, and deploy custom applications, user interfaces, APIs, and workflows. It offers a comprehensive set of features that empower developers and non-developers to streamline application development, optimize user interfaces, create APIs, scale features, integrate platforms, and automate complex processes.

Boomi Flow drastically reduces development timelines, sometimes from months to hours. That’s because of the selection of pre-built templates and low-code development techniques Boomi offers. This platform eliminates much of the need for writing code while enabling customization to meet unique business needs.

In addition, Boomi Flow provides options for the secure integration of databases and other technological systems, creating a seamless pathway for continuous data flow across environments. Whether users operate from hybrid ecosystems, on-premises architectures, or in the cloud, the pre-built connection capabilities possible through Boomi’s REST APIs enable data observability and facilitate greater performance.

Application developers can launch responsive applications with online or offline support options, which fosters better customer relationships. The accessibility to tech support professionals via mobile and desktop devices makes it easy for developers to provide assistance and stellar customer service.

Boomi Flow’s Features

Boomi Flow hosts many helpful features that developers and non-technical contributors alike can use to build the best possible product. These features include:

  • Pre-built Recipes: Boomi Discover hosts resources that users can reference to create the exact application they had in mind based on the experiences of previous developers. Take a look at example flows, integrations, and resources.
  • Data Observability Options: The OpenTelemetry Protocol (OTLP) simplifies locating and correcting data-related errors. Sending data to an OTLP endpoint makes it easy to troubleshoot the potential issue, make changes, and improve the application’s performance.
  • Flow Canvas: The simple drag-and-drop visual interface saves developers time and money by replacing long-form manual code writing with a more straightforward application-building tool.
  • Multicloud Runtime: Regardless of location, the multicloud runtime options enable deploying new applications anywhere. Whether a business uses on-premises systems, the cloud, or a hybrid model, this feature allows for more resilient data control and user flexibility.
  • Security: Boomi’s industry-best governance measures help developers ensure that their applications comply with data security regulations.
  • Custom Components: In addition to the efficiency of using drag-and-drop templates, Boomi also customizes application components by building reusable features to bring ideas to life more seamlessly.
  • API Architecture: Developers can use Boomi Flow’s API-first architecture to build upon current functions and create and engage with APIs.

Start Simplifying Your Flow

As low-code solutions innovate and streamline application development, businesses are more empowered to create and customize valuable applications. Using Boomi Flow’s low-code development automation, businesses can seamlessly adapt to changing strategies, make data-driven decisions, and provide intuitive user experiences. As Tim Heger, the previous CTO and Chief Information Security Officer at HealthBridge Financial, said: “Flow is incredibly easy to work with. We’re realizing a whole year’s worth of business value because it would have taken 12 months or more to hand-build our partner portals.”

Experience Boomi’s low-code user experience with the Interactive Boomi Test Drive