Appian, Five.Co, PowerApps, Outsystems, Mendix, Bubble, Retool, Unqork, Zappier, Zoho, AppGyver, AppSheet… The list of no-code & low-code tools grows longer by the day. What's the right place to start?
The list of no-code and low-code vendors seems to get longer by the day. Finding the right starting point can be difficult for anyone who's new to the industry.
Here are three essential questions for selecting the right no-code or low-code tool:
This is the first question to ask. What are you trying to build with no-code / low-code? A website? A web application? An automation? Is your website or web app designed for use by consumers or business users? Each platform is suited for a different use case. Define your problem before trying to find the right tool.
Once you've defined the problem that you're trying to solve, ask yourself what your own skills are. Here's a shortcut: do you know SQL and relational databases? If yes, focus on low-code platforms (Five, Retool, Outsystems, Mendix, etc.). If no, focus on no-code platforms (Bubble, AppSheet, Honeycode, etc.). Generally speaking,
➡️ If you've never written code before, you'll be amazed by what you can achieve in a pure no-code approach.
➡️ If you're a professional developer, you'll be amazed by the speed of low-code development, whilst still being able to write full code where necessary.
Few developers take into consideration budget when exploring tools. Most tools are available for free anyway, so cost is only a secondary consideration. Why bother worrying about cost now, when the question only becomes relevant down the road? The answer is simple: "There's ain't no such thing as a free lunch".
Understanding what running an application will cost you, is one of the best ways to a platform's suitability. Ultimately, no-code and low-code tools are supposed to generate savings in time and in cost. Otherwise, what's the point of replacing your current dev environment with a new development tool? Our advice: explore the pricing structure of tools even before signing up for a free version.
A simple rule of thumb for selecting the right low-code tool is this:
➡️ When you can accurately estimate the number of end-users, end-user-based pricing makes sense.
This is typically the case when you build an application for internal staff. The headcount in your department or company is not going to grow by 1000% overnight. End-user based pricing enables you to accurately predict the cost of running the software.
➡️ When you cannot accurately estimate the number of end-users, end-user-based pricing does not make sense.
Let's say you want to build a marketplace or social network that could go from 100 to 1 million users overnight. Then end-user-based pricing does not make sense. Imagine having to pay US$15 for every additional user that signs up. You'd go bankrupt as your app succeeds. A fixed price per app or server capacity is the right underlying pricing model for applications where you cannot predict the number of end-users accurately.
Equipped with these three simple questions, you're ready to select the right platform for you!
If you'd like to learn more about low-code software engineering or build your first app using low-code, why not download Five (for free!). Simply visit https://five.co.
Stay tuned for more topics related to no-code / low-code, such as:
- Are low-code and no-code the same?
- What are the limits of low-code and no-code?
- And, will low-code make developers redundant?
Originally published at https://five.co/i-want-to-learn-more-about-low-code-where-should-i-start/ on August 23, 2022.