No-Code, Low-Code, Bring-Your-Own-Code Platforms: Explained
No-code, low-code, and bring-your-own-code (BYOC) platforms refer to different types of software development approaches that cater to varying levels of technical expertise, allowing users to create applications, websites, and automate tasks with differing degrees of coding requirements.
Here at Resolve, we believe no-code and low-code platforms have become mainstream criteria for any major software purchase, largely because they can speed up deployment without needing programming or specialized technical skills.
IT leaders know that industry-specific skills are becoming broader, and that the technical skills gap is widening – it’s a movement that’s gaining energy and strength. IT automation platforms need more than no-code/low-code capabilities.
WATCH ON-DEMAND: The Secret to Scaling IT Automation on No-Code/Low-Code Platforms
A Breakdown of Each Platform
Designed for users with little or no programming knowledge, no-code platforms allow easy creation of applications and websites, and they can automate tasks using visual interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality – all with absolutely no need to write code.
They often come with pre-built templates, components, and integrations, making it easy for non-technical users to create fully functional applications without the help of professional developers.
Low-code platforms are designed for users with some programming knowledge, and they bridge the gap between no-code and traditional coding. Like no-code, these platforms also give users the ability to create applications and websites and automate tasks, but they also allow users to write, modify, or extend code for customization purposes.
Users can perform these tasks with less time and effort than what traditional coding methods require, as low-code platforms often speed up the development process by providing prebuilt components and integrations.
Users who prefer to write their own code or use existing code will likely choose BYOC platforms, as they provide tools, frameworks, and infrastructure to support and streamline the development process. Therefore, developers can focus on writing code instead of managing the underlying infrastructure.
Plus, BYOC platforms may offer integration with other services, libraries, or APIs, making it easier for developers to incorporate external functionality into their applications.
What about automation?
When we talk about no-code, low-code, and bring-your-own-code platforms from an automation perspective, it’s important to know they provide various approaches to create, implement, and manage automated processes, workflows, and tasks. Each platform can cater to different levels of technical expertise and allow users to build automation solutions with varying degrees of coding requirements.
As mentioned, no-code platforms are best fit for someone with little or no programming experience. In the automation space, users can create workflows by connecting pre-built components, such as triggers, actions, and conditions with zero coding involved, and no need to rely on developers.
Low-code platforms, once again, serve as a “halfway point” between no-code and BYOC. They cater to users with some programming knowledge, enabling them to create more complex and customized automation solutions. They, too, offer visual interfaces to design automation workflows while allowing some hands-on coding work.
As for BYOC platforms and automation, they’re well-suited for developers who want to do all the coding themselves when creating automated processes and workflows, and tailor them to specific requirements. BOYC platforms support the development and deployment of custom automation solutions.
And IT automation, specifically?
IT process automation is another lens for which to look at no-code, low-code, and BYOC platforms. Each offers unique methods for automating various IT processes, including infrastructure management, software deployment, monitoring, and incident management. Plus, the level of technical expertise of the team responsible for IT process automation (ITPA) can determine their sustainability.
The general attributes of each platform carry over to ITPA, with no-code fostering the automation needs of non-technical users, low-code offering a balance between ease of use and customization, and BYOC providing strong development teams with just what they need.
Each Platforms Has its Challenges.
- Limited customization: The prebuilt components and templates that no-code platforms often rely on can limit the ability to create highly customized solutions. Users might struggle to implement specific functionalities or features that are unavailable within the platform’s existing components.
- Scalability: No-code platforms may be unsuitable for creating large-scale applications or automating complex processes. And an application or process becomes larger and more complex, it can be hard for the platform to handle the higher demands. The risk? Performance issues and difficulty managing the platform.
- Vendor lock-in: Users of the platform could be dependent on one platform specifically, and its individual features, making it tough to migrate to another solution, if needed. Plus, because the reliance on one, and only one, platform, users could be unfortunately impacted by changes in pricing, features, and support.
- Learning curve: Low-code platforms require some degree of programming knowledge, even though they intend to simplify the development process. If users have limited technical expertise, getting started or fully utilizing the platform’s capabilities may not come easily.
- Performance: Applications or automation solutions built using low-code platforms may have performance limitations compared to those built using traditional coding methods. The disadvantages in this case can be due to the overhead of the platform’s visual interface, additional layers of abstraction, and less efficient generated code.
- Security and compliance: There are some potential security risks and compliance challenges that can come with low-code platforms, and making sure the components and generated codes meet requirements can be quite complex.
- Complexity: Users of BYOC platforms must have a strong understanding of programming languages, libraries, and frameworks. Compared to no-code and low-code, the BYOC development process can be the most time-consuming and the most complex.
- Maintenance: As developers create custom code for automation solutions, they’re also responsible for maintaining, updating, and fixing any issues that arise along the way. It could mean a significant burden on a developer’s shoulders, and even require ongoing effort and additional resources.
- Integration: Even though BYOC platforms offer integration options, developers must make sure their custom code works seamlessly with other systems, services, or APIs. Once again, it might call for more continuous effort and resources than what’s ideal for developers.
No-code and low-code platforms may get the job done for those with little coding and programming experience, and so they’re becoming very common—if not average—software solutions. But as today’s technical skills gap seems to expand by the minute, IT leaders will want more than what’s just OK. See how Resolve can help develop automations with scale and flexibility by requesting a demo.