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The Differences Between Low-Code and No-Code Platforms That You Need to Know

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk in the software industry about low-code and no-code platforms. While past low-code vs. no-code discussions have been slow to result in an actual change within the industry, low-code and no-code platforms are becoming increasingly prevalent as more and more teams adopt the strategy of leveraging these types of platforms. These technologies are expanding in both software development and software testing (QA) worlds. For example, Gartner expects that 65% of all app development will be driven by low-code or no-code tools by 2024. 

To help you get up to speed on the current state of the differences between these platforms, here are some of the highlights put forth for you.

What Is a Low-Code Platform? What Are The Benefits?

As the name suggests, low-code platforms remove most coding of the development process. Oftentimes, the idea behind low-code software programming is that it removes up to 90% of the coding process. 

Usually, low-code platforms are powered by tools like drag-and-drop interfaces, which can be leveraged by team members with little coding knowledge. These low-code methods and tools can also eliminate challenges for team members who have specialized skills in niche areas of coding, such as a particular language knowledge.

Since low-code platforms allow teams to spend less time on coding, these platforms can provide benefits like faster time to market and more time spent on improving the product. Low-code platforms can help reduce the emergence of bottlenecks in software development workflows, and teams can reduce the risk of scarce software development staffing resources.

A good example of a successful low-code platform is the Zoho low-code development platform, which provides a UI that streamlines the coding process with drag-and-drop and selection list features to streamline the creation of workflows, actions, and manipulating data. Another area where low-code platforms are becoming prominent is mobile app development, where there is a huge amount of demand and a strong desire to remove coding bottlenecks.

In the QA world, low-code tools typically allow for a better collaboration between manual and automation team members. First, automated tests are created either with record-and-playback commands or some basic scripting and afterward someone more knowledgeable will chime in and update these tests, add assertions, etc.

What Is a No-Code Platform?

No-code platforms are often grouped together with low-code platforms, but there are some differences despite no-code often being seen as a subset of low-code.

No-code software development platforms eliminate coding entirely in the software development process. These no-code platforms usually leverage simple and intuitive interfaces, again with drag-and-drop and point-and-click features.

Similar to low-code platforms, no-code platforms can greatly accelerate the time to implement a solution, and in this case, entirely remove bottlenecks related to scarce expert coding resources.

Good examples of successful no-code platforms are Airtable for cloud workspaces and Canva for graphic design. These platforms have eliminated a lot of time-intensive, meticulous aspects of the work in the markets they are addressing.

When it comes to quality assurance, there are commonly two types of no-code test automation:
  1. Record-and-playback tools, typically in the form of a browser plugin allowing you to simply record any steps performed and convert them into an automated test.
  2. Fully codeless tools such as testRigor, where you can entirely develop, edit, and modify any test case without any need for coding.

These tools provide immense benefits, as they can transform the whole team and empower even manual QA analysts to write and maintain automated test cases. Process becomes much more efficient and streamlined, and companies typically realize much lower defect escape rate and number of hotfixes after adopting no-code tools.

Drawbacks And How To Address Them

While there are many benefits to low-code and no-code platforms, they can often suffer from emphasizing the streamlining of creating software solutions, and fail to fully address scalability, performance, and optimization.

That said, platforms like SalesForce and testRigor are solving these drawbacks by offering low-code and no-code tools while also allowing customers to use more advanced implementation options when needed. For example, when you need to add an API call verification as part of your end-to-end UI test in testRigor – you are fully capable to do so, even though by the nature of API such test cannot be completely codeless.

The Bright Future With Low-Code And No-Code Platforms

With Gartner expecting low-code and no-code platforms to begin dominating the market on the near horizon, any business or team that relies on software development will likely need to adapt in some ways.

Such platforms bring immense benefits of making the entire process much more streamlined and efficient. The stronger these low-code and no-code tools become, the more they can replace pieces of software development projects or entire development projects outright.

Another important aspect of the emerging low-code and no-code market is software testing automation. With artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies on the rise, these tools are getting more and more advanced every day. Just look at testRigor, where technology allows you to build entire cross-platform end-to-end test suites with simple plain English commands. This wasn’t possible just a few years ago, and now it’s something that many teams use daily.

If you’re interested in learning more about how low-code and no-code features from testRigor can help your team streamline your software development process, get in touch with our team today, and we’ll be glad to get you all of the information you need and help you find the most optimal solution for your needs.

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