If you need to develop custom software, but you don’t have enough skilled software developers to do it, a low-code or no-code development platform might be for you. They allow you to create fully functional applications with little to no programming knowledge.
This is a game changer for small businesses. No wonder, the market for low-code development platforms (LCDPs) and no-code development platforms (NCDPs) is skyrocketing.
In 2021, the market for LCDPs is projected to grow 22.6% from 2020 to reach $13.8 billion. But that’s just a fraction of what it’s expected to reach by 2025 and 2027. According to Statista, the LCDP market will reach 47.31 billion in 2025 an 65.15 billion in 2027:
In this article, we’ll go over what low-code development platforms (LCDPs) and no-code development platforms (NCDPs) are, how they can streamline business process management (BPM), and our top 10 picks for LCDPs and NCDPs for you to check out.
So what exactly is low-code, no-code development? It’s a visual approach to software development that relies on graphical interfaces and drag-and-drop features for an easy, intuitive experience. LCDPs and NCDPs do the same thing for software development that online website builders do for website development.
To streamline workflows, LCDPs and NCDPs use robotic process automation (RPA) and sometimes even artificial intelligence (AI). This way, enterprises and citizen developers can create the custom software they need to advance their business operations.
Using low-code and no-code development has many advantages. Let’s go over the main ones:
As mentioned, low-code, no-code apps are all about making the user experience (UX) simple and easy. With the shortage of skilled software developers, it’s more important than ever to find a coding solution with a low barrier to entry. LCDPs and NCDPS do just that. They allow people with little to no programming knowledge to easily design apps that integrate with existing software through application programming interfaces (APIs).
With the little time it takes to get started with low-code, no-code development, you can turn around applications faster. This means quicker application delivery and shorter time to market. The reusable templates offered by most LCDPs and NCDPs also make it easier to scale and respond to market shifts. Plus, you can usually create apps that are compatible across different devices and operating systems (OS).
The less time it takes to develop apps, the more apps you can create. This allows you to be more productive and stay within budget. Maximize your resources by allowing employees to focus on business development and what they do well. Let the low-code, no-code interface do the technical work. LCDPs and NCDPs can automatically track all app development changes and scripts, doing away with the need to tediously record countless operation processes in traditional programming.
As you can see, low-code, no-code development platforms can be a godsend for businesses on a budget, and even large enterprises may find an increased return on investment (ROI) in them.
So without further ado, here are our 10 picks for the best low-code, no-code platforms:
First on our list is Zoho Creator. It’s a popular low-code platform with a simple user interface (UI). Though the platform offers plenty of features, it’s minimalist style keeps users from feeling too overwhelmed.
Note that you will need some basic proficiency in HTML/CSS to customize the look and feel of custom apps, so it’s not a total no-code platform. That said, Zoho Creator also integrates with Zoho’s entire suite of productivity apps that range from sales to project management.
At only $10/month per user, Zoho Creator is ideal for small to midsize businesses (SMBs).
Next up, Mendix is a feature-rich low-code platform for larger businesses and enterprises. It’s extensive app store with prebuilt templates make it an attractive solution for developers and information technology (IT) specialists.
At the same time, Mendix can have a steeper learning curve, especially for small businesses.
The free edition allows you to get started right away. For more support and features, get the basic version starting at $60/month, the standard edition starting at $950/month, or get a quote for the premium version.
Though Mendix can be a bit pricey if you’re just starting out, the free version is one of the best bangs for your buck. Plus, Mendix puts no limits on how many components, screens, or processes your created apps can contain.
Quickbase is a completely no-code platform geared toward citizen developers and everyday employees. Formerly part of financial tech giant Intuit, Quickbase is now a stand-alone NCDP.
Quickbase prides itself in its fast and easy app creation capability. Business executives and IT specialists without any coding knowledge can use the platform to develop needed BPM applications in no time.
Their Team plan starts at $600/month, and their Business plan starts at $2,000/month. You’ll have to get a quote for the fully customizable Enterprise plan.
Appian is one of the oldest low-code platforms. Founded in 1999, it offers an easy app development experience that allows collaboration on desktop and mobile. This unique social collaboration feature sets it apart from other other platforms. It’s features are also organized strategically to separate no-code quick apps from more involved process modeling, app logic, and database object customization.
Appian offers a free 30-day trial edition, after which plans start at $75/month per user. Within each price tier you get the same functionality, only with different limits on app number and complexity.
OutSystems is an enterprise-focused low-code platform with a lot of functionality. Besides helping you create custom applications, it offers IT leaders and developers a host of training material, including OutSystems University, which contains tutorials, courses, webinars, and certifications.
Perhaps what’s best about OutSystems is that you can use the platform for free for internal applications for up to 100 users. So if you’re a small business that just needs help with some in-house apps, you won’t find a better deal than this. After that, the Basic plan starts at $4,000/month, the Standard Plan at $10,000/month, and the Enterprise plan requires a custom quote.
Kissflow Low-Code is a versatile low-code platform that supports several languages. It’s used by companies in over 120 countries and integrates with a lot of other platforms, including Google Apps and Zapier End Point, with the help of application programming interfaces (APIs).
With more than 50 app templates geared toward everything from human resources (HR) processes to payment processes, Kissflow will help you build enterprise-grade apps to improve your BPM. It includes both a no-code platform for business developers and a low-code platform for IT developers. All this starting at $3000/month.
Studio Creatio is part of Creatio’s CRM and BPM suite. It’s a low-code platform ideal for medium and large organizations. They offer flexible, non-technical app creation that integrates with a host of other tools, including .Net tools, REST, SOAP, OData, and open API.
You can get started with Studio Creatio for free for an unlimited amount of users but limited capability. Or you can get their Studio enterprise plan for $25/month per user.
Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a web-based LCDP that runs on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). With it, you can create and deploy apps for both desktop and mobile devices without any coding knowledge.
One of the main perks of Oracle APEX is its integration and scalability with the Oracle Database. It’s also part of the Oracle Cloud free tier. So there are a lot of extra benefits that come with the platform.
Oracle APEX lets you get started with a free trial. After that, pricing starts at $360/month for more than 500 users with unlimited apps.
Salesforce Platform is a low-code platform that allows you to build apps that run on multiple platforms, including web, mobile, and Salesforce itself. The platform leverages AI so you can automate processes and save time developing. For those already using the Salesforce CRM, Salesforce Platform is a convenient choice.
You can try the Platform for free, after which the Starter tier will cost you $25/month per user and the Plus tier will cost you $100/month per user.
If you’re in need of custom Salesforce developers, get in touch! We are Salesforce Silver Certified Partners.
Last on our list, we have Caspio. It’s a no-code platform with app templates ranging from custom CRMs to classified ads. Whatever your app needs, Caspio probably has a customizable template for you. It allows your business to undergo digital transformation without having any coding skills at all.
As far as pricing goes, Caspio offers lots of options: a limited free version, a $100/month Explore tier, a $200/month Build tier, a $400/month Grow tier, and a Corporate tier that requires a custom quote.
So there you have it! Our top 10 choices for low-code and no-code development platforms. You’ll find there are plenty more options out there. Ultimately, your decision depends on your company’s needs and budget. Fortunately, most NCDPs and LCDPs are pretty scalable, so you can upgrade your plan as you grow. Just make sure that the platform you choose offers reasonable higher tiers, so you don’t get stuck with one you’ll later need to transition from.
If you’d rather outsource your custom software development all together, Dev.co can help. Our expert team of software developers can take any business need and turn it into a functioning app. From custom CRM development to Online Storage, we’ve created several software solutions in a number of industries. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you start optimizing your business workflows with fully custom apps.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.