Low-Code vs No-Code: What’s the Difference?

What is low-code?

Low-code is a software development practice that enables professional and citizen developers to build applications with minimal coding and scripting. Low-code’s ease of use and simple interface is based on visual process models and drag-and-drop interfaces. This allows for faster deployment than traditional code, which can take months to write.

When using a low-code approach, it’s likely that a small amount of script will be needed at some point in the project, usually for UX or design features. It is used by those with moderate IT knowledge and technical skills who can add script where necessary, helping to alleviate the burden of the IT department when automating processes or building applications.


What is no-code?

No-code is entirely based on a visual interface, often using pre-built templates. The biggest benefit of a no-code approach is that no technical knowledge is required, so business users can create complete solutions and automate new processes with little to no support from IT.

However, while no-code applications are simple to build, the parameters when using no-code are very limited. You can only create something that is based on pre-defined items; so no-code should be used for simple applications that need to be deployed quickly.

You should not develop processes or applications that require complex integrations or sophisticated business rules using no-code, as any additional complexity or customization will require code. Where this is the case, a no-code project that becomes a low-code project will be more difficult to manage, and perhaps slower than it would be if the project was planned with a low-code mindset from the beginning.


What is the difference between low-code and no-code?

Low-code and no-code platforms both provide a visual, easy-to-use approach to development, making automation accessible to a greater number of individuals. This alleviates the pressure on IT who often have a backlog of requests from the business.

The primary difference is apparent in the name: no-code platforms require absolutely no coding but may have more limited custom functionality, whereas low-code platforms are designed so that scripting can be used to meet certain unique requirements.

Low-code platforms allow you to create enterprise applications that integrate other intelligent technologies, such as AI and machine learning, and use APIs to integrate popular applications, like Power BI and SAP. Low-code platforms are also a popular way to modernize legacy systems for those organizations that are looking to update their tech stack with new features, while still integrating their current architecture.

No-code platforms on the other hand perform better when used to create standalone applications. Their straightforward and easy-to-use features make them an excellent tool for enabling citizen developers, but leave little room for customization or added complexity.

low code vs no code infographic bizagi what's the difference.jpeg


What benefits do low-code and no-code platforms share?

- Speed up application development
- Reduce dependence on IT teams
- Reduce development costs


Should I choose a low-code or no-code platform?

The benefit of low-code over no-code is that it still offers the flexibility and scope to include some script, enabling it to be used for more complex solutions. The features and capabilities of your application can be customized, giving the owner more scope.

Different platforms may be more applicable depending on your ambition and plans. Selecting the right type of low-code platform for your requirements is crucial to the success of your program. There are two main groups that tools will belong to:

Code generating low-code platforms – These are often designed solely to increase IT productivity and not designed to be accessible for business users to take part in the project. While these tools can be valuable, that value is limited by the size of your IT team in the same way it would be if you were leveraging traditional development.

Business-friendly low-code automation platforms – These are designed to enable non-technical or semi-technical staff outside the IT organization to be involved in or lead automation and transformation projects, depending on requirements. Some business-friendly low-code tools are limited to simpler projects, but the most powerful tools are those that fit into this business friendly category, but are also powerful enough to deliver against extremely complex enterprise requirements.


How Bizagi’s low-code platform supports low-code and no-code development

Want to see what you can build with Bizagi?