What is No-Code? - Dispelling the Myths - Top 3 Benefits - How it Works - What Kinds of Applications Can I Build With No-Code? - The Ultimate Guide to No-Code - No-Code: The Future of Application Development
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.
“Programming isn’t about typing, it’s about thinking,” says GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath. No-code application development removes programming as the barrier between ideas and solutions.
By making it possible to build applications without knowledge of coding, no-code platforms leverage technology to empower the ability of humans to innovate, rather than impede it.
By enabling easier and faster development, no-code allows you to implement continuous delivery, adapt to ever-changing market needs and customer/business needs to make your organization what it needs to be.
No-code platforms have evolved rapidly. You can go as complex as you like, the easiest way possible.
Low-code platforms are intended to reduce development time. But if that’s the goal, why not remove coding entirely? This is the thinking that brings us to the current era of application development.
The first programming languages were simple, but as technological requirements became more advanced and needs for software exploded, more- and more complex- languages were developed. Think of the difference between Pong-era video games and today’s MMORPGs, to get an idea of the magnitude of the evolution of programming.
Margaret Hamilton joining NASA as the lead Apollo flight software designer in the 1960s and 70s demonstrated the magnitude of what programming could help humans achieve -- literally bringing us to the moon and back.
This is why the demand for programmers is so high: There are always possible advancements in programming to push the boundaries of what we are able to achieve, and there will continue to be a need that is greater than the available resource of coders can meet.
Linus Torvalds for example, who created Linux in the early 90s, has been outspoken in favor of an open-source model for software development because it encourages open collaboration and peer production when there is such a shortage of programming talent.
The low-code movement also positions itself to address the demand for more programmers and faster development. Making it possible for developers to significantly shorten time to develop by reducing the amount of coding needed to develop applications, low-code applications reduced the amount of code needed to create applications.
Application development with no-code platforms is 8 to 10 times faster than building with traditional coding or even low-code platforms. This is because no-code solutions are a lot less complex than applications that are based on traditional codes or low-code.
Innovation is pushing the boundaries to continually improve processes, making development faster, better and more effective. And that’s exactly what no-code development provides. By addressing the increasing demands of digital business, no-code is able to surpass even the advances of low-code.
Low-code platforms are often pitched toward developers as a tool to make their work much faster. No-code can do this too, but also opens the door to a new type of developer: the citizen developer.
Citizen developers have an aptitude to use tools to their advantage to find solutions, but don’t need intensive training. Many are digital natives who grew up with and understand the value of software, so they are open to learning and implementing new tools that increase productivity and assist their workflow.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
A no-code platform is made from the following key ingredients and features:
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.
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.
(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.
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.
You can build three kinds of applications with no-code software like Betty Blocks:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.