What is no code?
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What is no code?

What is no code?
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January 25, 2022

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No-code is an IT development approach that requires no programming knowledge on the part of users. No-Code thus makes a significant contribution to simplifying application creation. No-code is particularly known in connection with no-code platforms. These enable non-programmers to participate in development. The no-code approach is important in the digitization of small and medium-sized companies, as it enables them to develop even without their own IT department. The applications for no-code tools are numerous and offer companies in various industries important competitive advantages.

<h2 id="was ist nocode" data-headline="Was ist No-Code?"><span class="first_id_number">1.</span> No-Code overview</h2>

No-code is a development approach that completely dispenses with its own programming effort. Accordingly, no-code platforms represent development environments that enable users to easily create applications without the need for programming expertise. Developers can create application software using graphical user interfaces. There is a close relationship to low-code platforms. The difference is that low-code still requires a minimum amount of programming effort (“low”).

What both approaches have in common, however, is that they significantly speed up the process of creating applications. No-code and low-code also have in common that they are primarily aimed at users with little or no programming knowledge. The popularity of no-code and low-code platforms is primarily due to the fact that good software developers are relatively rare and it is difficult to meet the demand of all companies for good applications. No-code platforms also offer small and medium-sized companies a lower barrier to entry into application development, as many start-ups cannot yet afford their own developers or even IT departments.

With the no-code approach, custom coding is not only no longer necessary, but is often not even possible, as some of the platforms no longer allow any intervention in the code. The offers from the area of no-code platforms are aimed not only at entrepreneurs, but also at private users.

<div class="rtf-blog-element"><div class="icon_area"><p class="rtf-blog-heading cc-tip">Good to know:</p></div> <img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/620a7cdcd7f0ed9792867991/627c29a301fa389fd8f12485_info-icon.svg" loading="lazy" alt=""><p>The term no code translates to “no code.” The idea behind this is that laypeople can create their own applications without programming knowledge</p></div>.

<h2 id="nocode vs lowcode" data-headline="No-Code vs. Low-Code"><span class="first_id_number">2.</span> No code in contrast to low code</h2>

The terms no-code and low-code are often used almost synonymously, especially when it comes to characterizing the corresponding platforms. No-code is closely related, but not to be confused with low-code. Low-code is a development approach that still requires a certain amount of rest programming effort. Unlike low code, No-Code completely dispenses with any coding work on the part of the user. Both approaches help to reduce development costs and remove barriers to entry in application development. The differentiation is not always possible in a selective manner and it is often a smooth transition.

Low-code and no-code are to be regarded as different approaches and are independent of each other. It is true that they both point in a comparable direction, namely to reduce programming costs. Nevertheless, the respective platforms are aimed at different user groups and are geared towards different application scenarios. Low-code approaches are primarily aimed at developers, while no-code is primarily aimed at end users.

No Code is also mostly based on a plug-and-play approach and is model-driven. With low code, there is a certain residual dependence on manual coding work. Another difference is that no-code is primarily a relatively heavily regulated or predefined user interface.

No-code systems typically offer a bit more flexibility. These platforms offer users the option to add their own manually created programming code.

<h2 id="Digitalisierung mit Nocode" data-headline="Digitalisierung mit No-Code"><span class="first_id_number">3.</span> The significance of no-code in digitization</h2>

No-code approaches contribute significantly to simplifying digitization in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the main challenges in digital transformation for SMEs is keeping pace with larger corporations. The latter have an advantage here, as they usually have their own IT departments.

Compared to competitors, many smaller companies, on the other hand, lack IT specialists. By using no-code or low-code platforms, such companies have significantly easier participation in application development. Many companies are already using such platforms and are using them profitably to digitize and simplify their processes ‍

<h2 id="No Code Plattformen" data-headline="No-Code Plattformen"><span class="first_id_number">4.</span> No-code platforms</h2>

Special platforms are used for application development with no-code, the no-code platforms. The various platforms in the areas of no-code and low-code can differ significantly from one another. The biggest differences are in the areas of application, integration and functionality.

Some of the no-code platforms are focused on specific industries or business areas and offer exactly tailored functionality. This includes, for example, the collection of data or workflow management. Other no-code platforms offer a more comprehensive approach and try to cover the most important areas of application on an equal footing. Some no-code platforms replace complete ERP solutions (Enterprise Resource Planning).

<h2 id="Anwendungsbereiche" data-headline="Anwendungsbereiche von No-Code"><span class="first_id_number">5.</span> Application and offers</h2>

The range of various no-code solutions thus meets the requirements and needs of different companies in various industries. No-code platforms are usually developed with a direct focus on users or end users, which distinguishes them from traditional IT. This allows even less experienced companies to digitize their processes. The shift in focus from developers directly to users is helping to significantly accelerate application development. They can also make a contribution to cost savings.

The naturally scarce resources in the area of application development can be avoided. Digital business strategies can be implemented in a significantly accelerated process. Through interfaces or APIs, no-code solutions can also be connected to other web services. In this way, it is possible to integrate no-code platforms into companies' existing IT infrastructure.

<h2 id="Beispiel" data-headline="Beispiel: Webflow und Bubble.io"><span class="first_id_number">6.</span> Examples of no-code platforms: Webflow and Bubble.io</h2>

The range of modern no-code platforms is large and covers various business areas. The options range from software development in the HR department to solutions for sales and marketing to applications for finance and accounting. Daily tasks can be automated and made more efficient, for example by converting simple Excel sheets into interactive applications.

An increasingly popular no-code website editor is Webflow. With Webflow is a web-based tool that enables the creation of individual websites, landing pages and CMS systems.

The offer is aimed at various companies, from start-ups to large corporations. The development platform allows you to create websites completely without your own coding effort. Here, users can select various functional blocks, elements and components and arrange them according to their own ideas. In this way, even newcomers can create web pages block by block in just a few steps. Webflow is thus aimed as a no-code solution, in particular at non-developers as well as at management or managers directly. Developers are thus becoming obsolete as intermediaries between application creation and management.

This eliminates the often time-consuming and usually many months of interaction between development and management. Despite the no-code approach, Webflow also provides access to the underlying code as needed. The source code can therefore also be adapted and changed by manual intervention. This is the reason why even trained developers and programmers like to use Webflow as a tool.

Auch Bubble.io is a platform that allows you to create complex websites and apps without programming knowledge. Bubble.io uses an intuitive editor. The self-explanatory structure allows the development of extensive applications. The program automatically writes the required code in the background. Bubble.io goes beyond just creating applications. The company advertises that the entire process, from app creation to hosting to problem resolution, can be mastered without any previous knowledge.

The provider hosts the solutions created using Bubble.io on its own Bubble.io servers. With various packages in different price ranges, the provider is aimed at companies of various sizes and needs. Depending on their requirements and budget, users will find the right solution for them. A free version is also available, which allows you to test the solution under some restrictions.

<h2 id="plattform ueberblick" data-headline="Plattformen im Überblick"><span class="first_id_number">7.</span> Overview of other no-code platforms</h2>

In the area of creating web apps, the tools from Adalo, Glide and Sharetribe include Bubble.io. Adalo, for example, allows simple applications to be created particularly quickly and intuitively. The solutions to be created with this are particularly widespread in the area of mobile apps. The functionality is limited to the essentials. Thanks to the support of many integrations, most applications can be quickly brought into working order. The application also offers the option of publishing your own developments yourself in app stores such as the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Adalo is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized companies, freelancers and start-ups.

Airtable and Ninox, for example, offer specific solutions for data management. Caspio is a provider for the simple creation of web-based central database applications.

  • The Integromat and Zapier tools are particularly useful for workflow management.
  • Kissflow is a provider for creating project and process management solutions.
  • The AppGyver solution, which belongs to SAP, allows users to create mobile applications and web apps. Akioma is a provider that provides a platform for creating apps for various types of business processes.
  • The providers Zudy and Open as App enable users to develop apps from existing data.
  • AppSheet is a no-code platform for automating geo-positioning. This is combined with the recording of resulting notifications, images and barcodes.
  • Lobster_data is a cloud-based solution for integrating data from various sources into different target systems.

<h2 id="grenzen" data-headline="Grenzen der Plattformen"><span class="first_id_number">8.</span> Limits and restrictions of no-code platforms</h2>

When using no-code platforms, application development is basically reduced to what the platform provider enables. Developments and adjustments beyond this are usually not possible, as there is no provision for interventions in the source code if necessary.

In practical use, this has the disadvantage that the applications created using no code cannot be precisely differentiated or precisely adapted to requirements. It is true that the pre-programmed components can be arranged as desired. Nevertheless, despite many options, no-code platforms reach their limits when it comes to more precise challenges or customer requirements. Individual design preferences (such as corporate design) or special customer requirements are therefore difficult to satisfy. Such unique selling points are particularly important in small and medium-sized companies in order to remain competitive with competitors.

No-code development platforms are ideal for creating ready-to-use applications with minimal customization. While the creation of complex customer-oriented software is reaching its limits here, No-Code is particularly strong when creating internal solutions.

<h2 id="Vorteile von No Code Plattformen" data-headline="Vorteile von No-Code Plattformen"><span class="first_id_number">9.</span> Overview of no-code platforms and their benefits</h2>

The numerous advantages that no-code platforms offer their users range from lower barriers to entry into digitization to independence from developers to cost savings. In this way, companies' IT departments can be significantly relieved. In particular, young companies, small companies and start-ups that do not have their own IT department benefit from this. This also allows young companies to create their own applications and thus react more quickly to changing customer requirements.

No-code development environments basically enable all employees in the various company departments to develop their own applications without programming knowledge. This allows them to contribute their professional knowledge to app development without having to communicate extensively with developers first. The workforce doesn't have to deal with programming languages such as HTML, Python, or JavaScript. There is also no need to hire external programmers or even set up your own IT department.

Standardised components enable the creation of powerful applications within a short period of time via graphical user interfaces. The fundamentally scarce resource of developers and programmers can therefore be expanded by employees themselves.

This also has the advantage of saving time, as prefabricated components make application development faster than manually entered source code. In this way, short-term adjustments or extensions to the applications are also possible.

There is also the advantage that the pre-programmed components are already functional and harmonize with each other. This makes application development more secure and less prone to errors.

In summary, there are time and cost advantages as well as security and resource advantages over traditional application development. This reduction in effort is particularly valuable when developing simpler applications to facilitate day-to-day business.

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