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No-Code vs Low-Code

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Low-Code vs No-Code

You would be forgiven for confusing no-code and low-code; they are often used interchangeably by businesses and vendors alike, and there is admittedly a degree of overlap. In fact, even some of the world’s largest companies and analytical firms have struggled to draw a clear distinction between the two. 

In this article, we’ll cut through the confusion and distinguish their key similarities and differences. Not only that, but we’ll explain why you shouldn’t have to choose between a no-code and low-code platform, but can leverage the numerous benefits of both combined. 

Distinguishing No-Code from Low-Code

Both no-code and low-code platforms offer significant improvements over traditional hand coding, streamlining the development process of applications, while also improving the scope for collaboration. There are some significant differences between the two though, even if they are not necessarily noticeable at the first glance.


According to a report by Gartner this year, no-code implies tools that are “for non-professional developers.” Essentially, no-code is a visual software tool that makes use of drag-and-drop features and graphical interfaces, abstracting otherwise complex coding languages. This means that those without a coding background – sometimes known as “citizen developers” – can design their own applications, without being locked behind a technical skill-set. Data management and business intelligence solutions are just two examples of what can be built.

The drawback to an exclusively no-code platform is that it is limited in scope. The level of customisation and scalability is usually restrictive, making it unsuitable for building enterprise-wide systems, or mission-critical applications.


Low-code is similar in that it shares many of the improved UI benefits that are inherent in no-code platforms. There is one key difference though. Low-code is designed for developers – albeit those from a range of backgrounds and abilities.

Low-code development is rapid application development or high-productivity development, with an option to use code or scripting

Gartner writes. Alternatively, low-code may be seen as a visual approach to software development.

This combines the intuitive features of a no-code platform – such as drag and drop – with traditional coding, serving as a middle-ground of sorts. The streamlined user experience, and minimised amount of coding, means that developers can bring fully-fledged apps to fruition in a matter of days, rather than months. In practice, this empowers skilled developers to be more productive and creative, without being reliant on the often-repetitive nature of hand-coding. Additionally, professional developers are not constrained by some of the more restrictive no-code platforms, most of which are aimed for a citizen developer audience.

The caveat to a strictly low-code platform is that they generally require an understanding of programming, and are usually not suited for most businesspeople. However, more encompassing platforms, like Plant an App’s, do facilitate no-code options to accommodate a broader user range. 

This brings us to an important realisation. 

Why choose when you can have both? 

Both no-code and low-code have their particular uses. No-code democratises the development of applications by entirely removing coding, while low-code has the scope to design the most complex of solutions without limitations. Despite their differences and specific uses, low-code and no-code have two mutual core benefits: speed and agility. In a fast-moving digital world where customer needs are rapidly evolving, these paybacks are a high priority. So rather than committing to one, why not leverage both from the beginning? 

When used in tandem, low-code and no-code have the capability to accelerate your digital business needs with great effect. Together, they also offer you more options when looking to modernise your outdated legacy systems, providing you the freedom to best suit the needs of your existing architecture.

Some businesses and organisations begin with no-code, then look to introduce low-code features when they hit a development wall. However, transitioning from no-code to a low-code down the line will likely result in a great deal of added work and backtracking, countering the time-saving benefits you were seeking in the first place. Conversely, a platform that offers both low-code and no-code from the offset will provide a far more consistent experience – and become a more potent asset. 

The new generation of Low-Code

Plant an App’s low-code platform takes a hybrid approach. Its powerful low-code offers skilled developers the freedom they need, yet it also integrates many of the intuitive UI features associated with no-code. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses with varying requirements and development aptitudes. Having no-code functionality removes the need to hire a costly group of developers and IT professionals, allowing you to tap into your existing talent pool instead. This means you can combat the deficit of skilled coders, while also amplifying the abilities of your technically minded employees.

As well as making the best use of your workforce, a low-code/no-code model offers remarkable collaboration, opening up further possibilities for common development assignments. Coordinating an app’s development between a business’s citizen and professional developers is a real possibility. For example, a citizen developer could design the bulk of an application through helpful visual tools, while a professional developer could then introduce more sophisticated coding and scalability where needed. With this hybrid approach, Plant an App are defining a new role: the “Low-Code Developer”. In other words, a businessperson that has coding skills, or a developer who possesses business skills.

This new generation of low-code development removes many of the obstacles that previously segregated team members, cordoning off their individual talents. Business-wise employees are now able to have a digital input, while skilled developers can refine and adapt applications for more robust use. Taking this collaborative concept further, Plant an App’s platform features a cloud-native structure that allows users to work on multiple projects simultaneously, creating a truly inclusive working environment. Combined with the ability to integrate with practically anything, Plant an App is a low-code platform with a high ceiling. 

Try Plant an App

The best way to get started with Plant an App is to see a demo of the capabilities to ensure it’s right for you. Alternatively, start exploring on your own.

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