Code, No code and Low code platforms?

What's the difference?

The IT world never sleeps. New development methods, new technologies, it is a continuous process. Sometimes it is old wine in a fresh bottle, sometimes a hype, and sometimes really interesting.

Currently, the discussion about low-code platforms and no-code platforms is very actual. But what does it mean, and what's good for you?

To explain, lets go back in time. In the 'early' days there were no supermarkets. People had to grow their own food, exchange it with their neighbours for other goods etc. You needed to know a lot as you had to grow seeds, protect it against heavy weather and bugs. Fertilizing and watering.You needed to know how to harvest, and how to process it (cook) to be able to eat it. It was also hard work! In the current web application work this is the situation if you have to do it all. You need to be aware of a programming language (PHP), JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, responsiveness if the form needs to be displayed on several platforms. If you cannot use libraries like Bootstrap then you have a lot of hard work to do which is also very time consuming. Let's call this a 'coding' platform.

Fortunately we live in a modern world where we have supermarkets. If you need to eat, you can go there and find everything you need. Fresh vegetables, perhaps some meat, potato's, couscous, pasta. There is a broad range of fresh products ready for you to buy and prepare. You still need to have some knowledge about how to cook and you need some tools to do so, but you can make virtual any combination you like and flavor it as you desire. In this case, you are helped by a tool set that allows you to do everything you could do, but without all the hard work and knowledge. I would call this low-code. PHsPeed is here the supermarket. It has shelfs of components you can use. You can make any combination and put them on your form. You can flavor them as you like but without all the hard knowledge of JavaScript, CSS and HTML. A basic knowledge of PHP is sufficient (cooking). But if you like, you can still use the food you might be growing in your garden. In fact, PHsPeed makes things way more easy, it will increase your productivity and you keep all the flexibility of a coding platform. You don't have to, but you can!

The supermarket has a separate section where you can buy pre-cooked food. Packages containing a fixed amount of some kind of vegetables, pasta or other and meat. The portion is fixed, the contents are fixed and the only thing you can do is put it in the microwave and... ping. Very handy if you don't like to cook, or don't want to know how-to, if you don't mind eating whats in the package (too salt?) etc. Although there is a lot to choose from, the amount of freedom is very limited. But if you are satisfied by whats available, then it is a good option. This I would call a no-code platform. You have a number of options to create your application, but you are bound to what the system offers you. You don't need to know about programming - at all -.

One element though is under-estimated. Applications use data. And that data must be stored. Which means that you have to know some basic knowledge about databases. In fact, without a good database model, you will encounter many difficulties in all of the above options. But if you are not a developer and you need to design a database, then you will need external expertise. But if you need a cook to prepare your food, then why not hire a developer that is not bound to pre-defined solutions? Another element is that many no-code platforms are running at Vendors (Saas). Although this is modern thinking, it also means that you are building a solution on a platform of a vendor. If that vendor quits, makes pricing higher, change license conditions... (vendor lock-in).

PHsPeed generates your application that can be uploaded and run in almost any web-host provider that supports PHP and MySQL. It's readable and maintainable PHP code, fully oop and component oriented. It is a low-code platform and not a no-code platform. Although you can build applications without a single line of code, we still believe that you will need some coding to a certain level. But like cooking, you don't need to be a chef that produces 3 stars food. Basic cooking is good enough.

01 Jun 2021 Blog None