What is No-Code Application Development?

What is no-code?

As the name suggests, no-code application development is a method of building applications without having to write code. This is made possible by no-code platforms, which enable builders to drag-and-drop pre-configured blocks to create advanced, enterprise-grade applications.

Named a Visionary in Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms 2020 sees Betty Blocks named a Visionary for the second consecutive year among 18 recognized vendors. As Gartner has positioned Betty Blocks highest for ability to execute in the Visionaries Quadrant, we’re proud of our position this year and feel we have proven our platform’s capabilities alongside our vision to democratize citizen development.

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Dispelling the myths

There are two questions we hear from time to time that stem from misconceptions about no-code.

Question 1: Is no-code restrictive? 
Answer: Betty Blocks’ no-code platform is not restrictive in any way. 

When people bring up this question they are essentially concerned that they will be limited to using the pre-configured blocks only. With Betty Blocks, this is not the case. Any pre-configured block in Betty Blocks’ platform can be modified with code, and new blocks can be created with code. Basically, with Betty Blocks, developers can code to their hearts’ content, with the difference being that business-side employees with no programming experience can bring their unique insights to the process. 

Question 2: Will no-code software replace experienced developers? 
Answer: No. 

Although non-developers can use Betty Blocks to contribute to building enterprise-grade applications, experienced developers are still crucial to the process. Instead of replacing experienced developers, no-code platforms enable them to provide governance and to focus on higher-level tasks like security and scalability. It means experienced developers can step away from merely keeping the lights on and perform the kinds of tasks that use their extensive skills and experience most effectively.  

Top 3 benefits of no-code application development

No code solutions have a proven track record of being much more effective than their traditionally-developed counterparts. Here are 3 reasons why: 

1. Align business and IT
No-code facilitates the ultimate partnership between business and IT, with both sides making the most of their unique skills and experience.
Find out more in this short video featuring Forrester expert, John Rymer. 

2. Bring products to market faster
The drag-and-drop functionality of no-code enables rapid prototyping, which in turn means products can be brought to market much faster than via traditional programming. Check out this webinar in which we pit a no-coder and a programmer against each other in a test of speed.

3. Enable citizen development 
No one understands business processes and customers better than business-side employees. Including this unique insight in the software development process is invaluable. It's called citizen development and no code makes it possible. 

To summarize, no code software is intended for enterprise organizations who are serious about building advanced solutions, who are innovation-focused, and who want to be leaders in their fields. It’s a means of addressing the challenges in using traditional development methods alone, and of adding new benefits and possibilities to the development process. 

Citizen development collaboration with IT Citizen development collaboration with IT Citizen development collaboration with IT

How it works

If you’re new to no-code, you might be wondering how it’s possible to build advanced applications without writing a single line of code. Whilst the basic idea is the same behind most no-code tools, there are of course differences between vendors. Naturally, we know the most about our own platform, so we’ll show you the no-code ropes from a Betty Blocks perspective. 

Here’s the secret: Betty Blocks programmers write the code that lays the foundation of the visual modeling elements that you then build your applications with. Essentially, when you build with a no-code platform, you are building with code, it’s just already been written for you. 

Betty Blocks: No-code with an escape hatch
Betty Blocks stands out from other no-code tools by being suited to citizen development whilst also boasting capabilities powerful enough to build secure, enterprise-grade applications. Unlike most no-code platforms, it’s no-code with an escape hatch. What do we mean by this? While it’s not necessary to write code to develop advanced applications, Betty Blocks also supports JavaScript or HTML integrations for added customization. Effectively, it's as agile in coding flexibility as in implementation.

A no-code platform is made from the following key ingredients and features:

Platform Screenshot No-Code UI Builder
User Interface Builder

Use the drag-and-drop interface to rapidly construct web pages to your exact specifications. From header to form to table, simply drag the blocks into place and instantly see how your page looks on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Feeling adventurous? Combine it with any JS framework – like Angular or Vue.js – for even more freedom and flexibility.

No-code visual data modeling
Visual modeling

We replaced complex code for a straightforward, drag-and-drop interface. Process and manage your data easily through visually modeling. Fast, fun, and easy, with endless possibilities.

Platform reusability Block Store

(Small) parts of an application can be reused in new applications. Fast development is great, but not developing at all is even better. Plus, you can contribute to the community by making your block available in the Block store for others to (re)use.

Betty Blocks integration options

Easily integrate with all kinds of web services like Slack, Twitter, Mollie, or Ideal. The platform fits into every IT landscape and provides modern possibilities for legacy systems.

What kinds of apps can I build with no-code?

You can build three kinds of applications with no-code software like Betty Blocks: 

  1. Back-office (database) applications; 
  2. Web applications;
  3. Mobile applications.

All Betty Blocks applications are hosted and run 100% in the cloud. Discover examples of applications built without a single line of code in our App Gallery.

Back-Office Applications
Improve your organization's internal operations with this application type which uses a back-office module only. It provides functionality to administer your business data for internal use. The back-office module is already built and largely designed by Betty Blocks. Why? Because this module is often only seen and used by your employees or software developers. Therefore, we did the hard work for you and designed it with best practices in mind. 

No-code platform grid view

Speed up development and take advantage of the steps we’ve already taken care of for you. Use Betty Blocks’ out-of-the-box and ready-made features, such as filter, search, export, import, logic (workflows), and more. The platform makes it easy to visually create grids, forms, and workflows without programming.

Portals and Web Applications

Leading enterprises use no-code software to build advanced customer-facing applications. A web application bridges the gap between your back office and front office for applications that are built to be used publicly. The web application type uses both the back office and web module. Why? The web module is used for a customized user interface and the back-office module is used to administer your data.

waal no-code customer relationship portal

This way, the web application enables you to create your own user interface (such as web pages) together with ready-made back-office features. You can use your own HTML or our WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) page editor, or insert your favorite JS framework to build with. Customize in line with your organization’s brand by using your own style sheets.

Mobile Applications

Customize the front end specifically for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, rather than large desktops. The application is web-based and you have full access to all elements of the web browser. No software installation is needed.

no-code platform

Just like with web applications, you are completely free to create any mobile page you need in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript development. Distribute it like a ‘regular’ web application or in the same way native applications are distributed. The mobile application always includes a back-office module to administer your data.

Discover applications built with no-code

Now you know what kind of applications you can build with a no-code platform, it's time to make it more visual for you. In our App Gallery, we show you the possibilities of no-code and the unique features of each application. Take a look and discover how no-code solutions can help your organization achieve its goals. Discover the App Gallery.

The Ultimate Guide to No-Code

No-code technology supports the entire digital transformation process, from idea to experimentation to solution to innovation, by facilitating the effective and efficient implementation of a continuous stream of new ideas. With no code, your organization can easily implement or transition to an agile development strategy. No-code allows users to rapidly develop new solutions to transform business processes and meet ever-changing customer needs.

No-code development is about more than just the platform or even the technology. It's about putting the power of innovation into the hands of your entire organization. Our comprehensive whitepaper, The Ultimate Guide to No-Code, dives into everything there is to know about no-code. From how no-code works to practical implementation cases from around the world.


No-code: The future of application development

Industry experts agree: No-code is driving the future of rapid application development. The demand for applications is so high that we simply cannot keep up – there are not enough software developers available to meet the growing need. This is a problem we hear about constantly in our conversations with enterprise organizations – business needs are not aligned with the capacity of the IT department – and no-code is the solution.

Expand your developer pool

By enabling business-side employees to build applications under the governance of IT, your developer capacity naturally increases. Business developers and other non-programmer roles are able to step in to meet the demand for faster application delivery using agile, scrum, and collaborative development methods. Find out more with our whitepaper: The Rise of the Citizen Developer.

Align Business and IT

You know how it goes: the business needs a solution, IT takes the solutions and creates the first prototype months down the line with little to no input from the business side at all. And, by the time the solution is ready to be brought to market, the goalposts have changed. A successful no-code strategy creates synergy between the business and IT, and supports a culture of shared language and goals. It maximizes the full potential of each department, improves communication, and generally makes projects more inspiring for all involved!

Avoid Shadow IT

Shadow IT is the creation and use of technical solutions outside of IT’s governance and authorization. This creates security threats and drains company resources. In many cases, shadow IT is extremely difficult to just put a stop to – people will always find a way to create the solutions they need to perform at their best. By sanctioning the use of no-code tools, IT provides a regulated environment from the start and has full control over the business’ software activities. 

Crush IT Backlog

IT is swamped keeping up with the maintenance of existing applications. Delegate backlogged projects to citizen developers so that IT can focus on more critical concerns, freeing up space for both software developers and citizen developers to pursue innovation.

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