Is it possible to create a mobile app without being a software developer? Absolutely it is! Multiple tools and platforms are available nowadays that can help you create mobile applications with convenient drag-and-drop functions along with an intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface). Such a development process has been made possible since the inception of low-code platforms.
Low-code mobile app development is all about developing mobile apps on a model-driven IDE that can be operated visually with little technical expertise about the subject. People from all kinds of backgrounds can make use of such a platform as it is simple and convenient to develop apps. Let’s dive deeper into low-code app development benefits and features.
Features of a Low-Code Platform
Before you initiate brainstorming different low-code app development strategies, it is important to understand the multiple features such an approach entails. Below are a few to understand such an approach better:
1. Visual Modelling Tools
With the help of in-built modules providing visual modeling features, low code systems facilitate the details of the tool in a way that is simple to understand for the user regardless of their expertise in the market.
2. Drag-and-drop interfaces
When it comes to the multiple elements in low-code platforms, drag-and-drop interfaces are a must on that list. These interfaces allow citizen developers to build their applications and also simplify the tedious task of coding for skilled ones which is why they become a significant feature in a low-code platform.
3. Model-Based Development
With the help of visual models, it becomes much simpler and easier for citizen developers to build apps. Such a platform is even more perfect for business owners since they understand the logic and vision of the app they want to create.
4. Pre-Installed Templates
One of the best features of low-code platforms is that there exist multiple pre-built templates and elements built into modules that can be dragged and dropped whenever desired. Hence, they become reusable in the process. An entire library of modules, assets, and applications can be downloaded which makes such a platform highly resourceful for app development.
5. Cross-Platform Accessibility
An app built on a low-code platform works wonders if this feature is incorporated into it. This is because having an app with multi-channel integration makes it all the more fun and resourceful to access the platform from anywhere around the world.
Regardless of the visual and structural aesthetics, your app will be rendered useless and ignored if there is no way to safeguard data from external sources. Make sure to find low-code tools that have enough security to protect your data from potential leaks and hacks.
Developing a successful app for many can prove to be exhausting. As a result, low-code platforms for custom apps should also allow scaling options to cater to a wider audience. Starting from a single-person organization to building a brand with hundreds and thousands of employees developing apps on low-code platforms does not happen overnight. Scaling is one of the reasons why this may come true which is why such platforms should integrate scalable options for the app.
Advantages of low-code in app development
Due to an excess of competition these days, the standards to enter the market have dropped a bit. Due to this a lot of players have been developing fairly mediocre services that are focused on quantity to release their product/services in bulk. The quality of technology-led products, services, and business models has atrophied.
To leave an impact on the industry, corporations have to resort to the following approaches:
- Develop unique products via inimitable means
- Deliver services that are better, quicker, and cheaper
- Find innovative ways to engage with customers
Below are a few ways in which businesses can benefit from low-code platforms.
1. Interaction and Collaboration
The primary purpose of a low-code platform is to link technical experts with non-technical teams and bring them together to allow seamless collaboration between them through visual means. The orientation of IT, businesses, and stakeholders in the same direction will allow room for a quicker pace in seamlessly executing and developing mobile applications. This can help in delivering quality applications leading to better business outcomes.
2. Friction-less legacy modernization
When it comes to transforming your business digitally, legacy modernization can be used effectively. It is described as a digital approach to transform your IT ecosystem depending on the current and future, needs and requirements of the business making it flexible to change.
However, legacy systems control enterprise IT resources restricting the introduction of any new app development platform. Low code helps in mitigating the challenges posed by these legacy systems. You can develop new user interfaces or even rebuild your older system. Custom applications can be built through low code that:
- Increase the acumen of your legacy systems
- Combine with existing software ecosystems
- Can easily replace quaint systems
3. Flexibility and Scalability
Low code platforms are cloud-based which is why you can easily alter and add existing and new apps, respectively. Platform users can easily be onboard. System admins can control the entire ecosystem and implement role-based permission. Professional developers can utilize IDE to custom code applications, which offers low-code apps more priority over no-code apps.
4. Improved Customer Feedback
Due to staggeringly high competition, disparate quality can be hard to find and even harder to execute. The only means of survival is developing customer-specific solutions. Low code can aid you in doing that by offering constant and unique digital customer feedback.
Low code app development allows the developers to build customer-specific mobile apps, IoT-enabled apps, web portals, and much more in a single platform. As this type of development demands collaboration, the teams can communicate with the customers and deliver them apps that represent their needs and requirements from an app. They can either do this on their own or by working together with professional developers.
Due to features such as pre-built components, one-click deployment, built-in monitoring, visual modeling, automation, and assistance bots, low code development platforms leverage speed as a factor to build mobile apps seamlessly. Low code can reduce the development time of an app by 90%.
Factors to consider while picking a low-code development platform
There are multiple crucial factors to consider before picking the right low-code development platform that is perfect for your business. Below are some of them mentioned:
1. Use Case
Highlight the specific requirement for which you need to develop your app on a low-code platform. Specific platforms are built for specific domains. Make sure you understand your needs as they are responsible for choosing the right low-code platform.
It is important to have a user-friendly interface. Make sure to choose a platform that is intuitive and requires the least technical expertise to maneuver, keeping things simple and effective for your team. The platform must provide pre-built templates and a visual interface making things easier for the development team so they can deliver the app swiftly without any coding.
3. Customization Options
Analyze the platform’s customization options. These options must be able to build your application based on your demands and requirements making it a natural fit for it. As a result, pick the platform that complies with your brand’s vision and app’s requirements containing specific customization options.
4. Integration Capabilities
Make sure that the platform can integrate perfectly with the existing software and systems. It is important to pick a robust integration system that results in an interconnected digital environment that is difficult to break. This robust integration system ensures the smooth flow of data between the backend and the front end of the app.
5. Pricing Models
Scrutinize the prices of different platform models. The pricing structure varies for different platforms, so make sure it fits your budget and does not build up any concerns down the road. Prices can vary as the development process progresses so make sure to discuss every single aspect of the process and the expense behind it with the app development team.
6. Support and Community
Make sure to investigate the active user community that supports the platform. This will help you in times of challenges when you would require to seek some guidance from external sources. So make sure that you inquire about the active members of the community. Not only that you can also exchange ideas and provide insights to others with a different perspective and find solutions to any development issues.
Custom Mobile App Development Strategy with Low Code
Finally, let’s take a look at the strategies that can keep your custom mobile app development strategy different from others when it comes to low-code platform app development:
1. Understand your Platform: From the information above, you must be thinking how little it takes to develop a mobile app in a low code environment. This might be true to a certain extent however, it still demands the most fundamental technical skills of the platform you pick. Understanding the platform helps you in building a seamlessly efficient app. Make sure that all the team members spend much time learning about platform integration, UI design, API generation, etc.
2. Build apps using pre-built apps and components: The availability of pre-installed apps in low code platforms is highly beneficial to the developers. Due to the versatility of low-code platforms, it is important to make use of in-built features and develop your program from there. However, in the majority, several apps include similar functions which is why building from square one might not be a good idea.
3. Frequent app release. Frequent feedback: Many might prefer releasing an app once it has gone through multiple tests and analyses. Since low-code platforms do not require much work it is preferable to release a half-built app that serves a single purpose than a full one that serves multiple. This way you get customer feedback instantly and through varied criticisms, can work on the multiple dimensions of the app to make it audience-oriented.
4. Select a platform with good UI/UX components: Low code platforms include multiple generalized UI/UX components in their frameworks that are ready to use. Not only are they simple to use, they also deliver an app that is seamlessly integrated with third-party software. Instead of building a custom UI/UX low code platforms allow developers to not just create UI design smoothly but also deploy it sooner than the former in the app. As the project progresses along, the need for a UX designer keeps on diminishing.
5. Keep the app secure according to its standards: Not all apps and low code development are made equal. A company’s private data should be protected by all means. Apps as a result must only be allowed limited access and permissions to the company’s data. The app’s value should determine the number of controls offered to it. Apps built with Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or sensitive IP should be surveyed more carefully than uni-purpose apps. As a result, there needs to be a strict rule book that every organization should follow religiously to avoid breaches of private data.
6. Pick a platform that fits the bill across all transformation needs: Make sure to avoid the platforms that prioritize either one or two aspects of digital transformation. These platforms might offer fundamentally basic environments that might suffice minor departmental projects however, fizzle when required to scale larger corporate implementations. As a result, pick a platform that offers a consistent platform for developing digital transformation across a range of use cases, competencies, and ecosystem requirements.
Best Case Studies Of Low Code Mobile App Development
Minimizing your time and savings, multiple low-code platforms help you in cutting back your costs and time while building an app. Startups highly benefit from low code development since they operate on a shoestring budget and require the same efficiency and intricacy to an app as if they had a bigger budget. Below are a few examples of low-code apps that made it big in the market.
Airtable is a massive database platform that can help businesses become modern through a range of task-specific apps. You can also sync your Gmail, Twitter, Google Sheets, Slack, Facebook, Teams, and other accounts to this database and manage your workflow. This app allows you to work from anywhere around the world. The mobile and desktop apps allow you to alter changes across all devices.
2. Zoho Creator
With the help of this app, you can transform your business effectively and efficiently. Since it harbors low code and good functionality, you can do everything in this app with ease and expeditiously without the technical prowess of programming apps. You can create conceptual multi-platform apps ranging from minimalist call logs to complex ERPs.
This app was designed for the purpose of developing software quickly and effectively. Modern organizations make much use as it is an advanced application development platform. Hosting enough data storage, this app is a safe, secure, and dynamic technology solution. Considered to be a low code VADP, it combines a user interface builder with a friendly user interface with the database, API management functionality, and the user.
Another famous low code platform that ensures app development with much ease and limited complexity, it facilitates app development and reduces long codes provided to the developers regardless of their technological expertise, budget constraints, and coding skills. There are drag-and-drop features associated with this platform that let you build apps in minutes.
Building and deploying complex applications with the help of cloud, AI, and DevOps is something that this app is famous for. OutSystems considers the dynamic nature of the market and follows its changing demands which makes it much easier to deal with routine business processes. There are multiple automation tools and services associated with this app to develop safe, secure, and easily manageable applications.
From the accounts above, it is safe to conclude that creating mobile apps with low code is a modern approach to building mobile apps. As it does not require any prior coding skills, anyone can build apps through such platforms. Features such as in-built templates, drag-and-drop features, and other elements are involved that facilitate the sophisticated process of mobile app development.
However, keep in mind that several restrictions limit the capabilities of a low-code-built app. The apps can have similar functionalities if they are built from the same platform. So make sure to steer clear of such issues. Low-code apps cannot handle heavy user demand either.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the difference between low code and custom app development?
Low-code apps are easier and quicker to develop however, they do not offer better business values than custom mobile app development. Reaching app complexity might not be achieved by low-code app development which custom mobile apps can do easily.
2. How to build an app without coding?
Apps without coding are built via a low-code approach. It is based on the concept of pre-built software modules that deliver the same app with much ease and less complexity. These modules are tested and ready to be implemented to develop your app and are also easy to combine with third-party software.
3. What are the main merits of a low-code platform?
Speed, flexibility, and cost are the three main benefits of a low-code platform. The time to market and costs it requires to build an app are curtailed manyfold through a low-code platform.
4. What are the basic steps of low code development?
There are three major steps for low-code mobile app development:
- Define your goals.
- Streamline your workflows and business processes better.
- Execute and analyze.
Due to the structural and visual modeling capabilities of a low-code platform, multiple intermediary steps are eliminated from this process.