Article | October 15, 2019

Low-Code vs. No-Code: What's The Real Difference

Source: OutSystems Inc.

By Chris Souther, OutSystems

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At first glance, it’s easy to confuse low-code and no-code. They sound the same for one. Even the big analyst firms seem to have a hard time differentiating them. Gartner views “no-code” application platforms as part of the low-code sphere, lumping them together into its latest Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, 2019 (LCAP).

But there are a number of very significant differences between low-code and no-code platforms. If you’re considering moving away from traditional application development, or even just want to try out visual application development, you’ll want to be aware of what you’re getting in each offering.

What Is Low-Code and How Do You Use It?

Let’s start with low-code. You can take an in-depth look at what low-code is by reading our aptly named blog, “What Is Low-Code.” But, simply put, low-code development is a way for developers to design applications quickly and with minimum hand-coding. We use low-code as a noun, as in it’s a “thing” the same as Python or C#. We also use low-code as a verb to indicate a literal method of developing applications because as you develop your application, you are using less handwritten code than you would use normally.

Using a low-code platform is similar to an IDE in that it contains a suite of functionality that complements the way developers work and the tools they need. But, it’s so much more than a traditional IDE. Very simply put, low-code is the process of dragging and dropping visual blocks of existing code into a workflow to create applications. Since it can completely replace the traditional method of hand-coding an entire app, skilled developers can work smarter and faster, not getting tied up with repetitive coding. Instead, they can focus on creating the 10 percent of an application that makes it different.

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