Quest for the Best Low Code Platforms in 2021

Low-code development is a new approach to software development that requires minimal coding to build applications and processes. Low-code platforms typically use drag-and-drop features, automatic code generation, business process maps, and other visual tools to deliver an agile development environment without requiring the time or complexity of traditional coding methods.

Used by professional and citizen developers, low-code platforms help create different apps (of varying complexity) for multiple purposes. Some of these include automating processes, accelerating digital transformation, and meeting business demands for development.

Why Are Low Code Platforms On The Rise?

One of the main factors for the rise of the low code development model is faster deliverability and better innovation. They offer an environment where applications can be deployed much faster, and user experience can be continuously revised.

Some of the other reasons for the popularity of the low-code model include –

Low-code platforms require much less engineering efforts, thus automatically lowering down the cost in the long run.

Low-code development platforms make IT teams more productive by speeding up the overall app development process. Further, the robust agility of low-code platforms translates to faster deployable solutions and easily adaptable strategies.

Low-code development platforms enable apps, features, and processes to be built and modified by non-technical users without putting pressure on in-house IT teams to build, code, troubleshoot, or implement a solution.

Quality low code development platforms make it easier for developers and non-developers to build scalable enterprise solutions. In fact, one of the major reasons for the rise of low code platforms is how these help young startups and entrepreneurs build their pilot MVPs without writing any code.

Top 15 Low Code Platforms – Selecting the Best Low Code Platform

Low code tools enable low code development by reducing the amount of time and manual work needed for app development in the traditional approach. 

Almost all low code development platforms are built with a common principle in mind – to make it quick and easy for both developers and non-developers to design and deploy software solutions.

The following features make this possible for low-code development platforms –

  • Drag-and-drop functionality
  • Scalability in design
  • Visual based design
  • Robust post-deployment
  • Cross-platform functionality
  • Powerful support for integration

If you’re looking to find the best low code tools for your specific organizational needs, here we’re discussing the top 15 low-code platforms along with their features, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision.

    1. OutSystems

OutSystems is one of the most intuitive low code platforms out there. Packed with features, OutSystems offers customizable app-creation experience and handles the entire software development lifecycle.

Another highlight of Outsystems is that the platform supports integration with any database, external enterprise systems, or custom app via pre-built open-source connectors, APIs, and popular cloud services. 

The platform also comes with various pre-built modern UI templates for desktop, tablets, and mobile apps.

Features:

  • Features one-click deployment and rollback
  • The platform has a robust app marketplace of pre-built components and integrations
  • Allows you to publish mobile apps directly to App Store and Google Play

Pros:

  • Fast-paced app development
  • Integrated solution
  • Scalability
  • Excellent user interface
  • Faster time to market
  • Better user experience

Cons:

  • Features desktop IDE only; there is no fully cloud-based app creation environment
  • Some coding experience is necessary


    2.Mendix

Mendix is one of the most well-known low-code development platforms that allow you to build apps with absolutely no coding. It also collaborates with you in real-time.

Mendix enables faster app development with an extensive set of tools for developing, testing, deploying, and iterating. 

The platform’s highlight is that it’s a visual development tool that offers re-use of components to speed up the overall app development process.

 Low Code Platform - [mendix]

Features:

  • Allows you to design excellent user interfaces and UX incorporating offline functionality and native mobile features
  • Features extensive App Store integrations and pre-built templates
  • Offers responsive mobile and tablet previews
  • Lets you create context-aware apps with pre-built connectors for machine learning, cognitive services, the internet of things, and more
  • Features automated software testing and QA monitoring along with built-in collaboration and project management
  • As the platform is of cloud-native architecture, it allows you to deploy your apps on-premise or via any cloud with a single click

Pros:

  • Robust app analysis
  • Live chat support
  • End-to-end app development services

Cons:

  • Priced on the higher side
  • Flexibility to improve app performance through query optimization can be improved

 


    3.Appian

Appian is an excellent low-code development platform that features intelligent automation to develop powerful business applications. 

Using Appian, you can collaborate seamlessly with your team members. This low code platform is so intuitive that you do not need any coding experience to work with Appian.

 Low Code Platform - appian

Features:

  • Offers robust features such as built-in team collaboration, social intranet, and task management
  • The platform allows plenty of customization in apps
  • Native mobile apps and drag-and-drop builder

Pros:

  • Rich feature set
  • Fast and user-friendly
  • Real-time visibility
  • Instant deployment
  • Dynamic reporting

Cons:

  • Priced on the higher side
  • Error descriptions need improvement

 


    4.Quick Base

Quick Base is primarily a cloud-based RAD and database software that is widely used by developers as their favorite low-code tool.

Quick Base stands true to its name – it’s really quick in helping you build a basic form-based app. But, at the same time, it’s not the best low code tool to customize your app’s user-interface.

Low Code Platform - quickbase

Features:

  • Features end-to-end process automation
  • Provides the benefit of multiple payment levels and centralized data
  • Offers comprehensive solutions for varied needs of an enterprise

Pros:

  • Excellent CRM capabilities
  • Offers great speed and automated data management
  • Live updates and outstanding support

Cons:

  • UI customization options are limited
  • Mobile optimization is not up to the mark

 


  5.ProcessMaker

ProcessMaker makes it easy for users to automate processes, connect and extend third party systems to deliver agility to business processes. The best part is dashboards and KPIs that come inbuilt in the platform that enable easy tracking and measurement.

Low Code Platform - processmaker

Features:

  • An easy-to-use process designing interface
  • Simple layout that is fast to load
  • Refreshes quickly and gives real-time process state tracking
  • Allows integration with an email to provide real-time email alerts
  • The tool will enable you to document uploads with fair intuitive reporting and a robust dashboard feature

Pros:

  • Easy deployment and usage
  • Simple programming that can be easily extended to external parties
  • Easy-to-use and straightforward drag and drop process design interface, actionable emails, and form builder

Cons:

  • The feel and look of the UX is a bit outdated
  • Some essential features require tricky coding

    6.Microsoft Power Apps

One of the fastest-growing low code development platforms, Microsoft Power Apps, allows you to build apps that are fast and features a point-and-click approach to app design. 

Built natively on the cloud; it lets the developers extend app capabilities using cloud service. Further, developers can also use custom connectors to connect legacy systems with newly developed apps.

Microsoft Power Apps also enjoys the advantage of being a part of the Azure and Power Platform ecosystem. It provides excellent flexibility of integration with other Microsoft and third-party products.

Low Code Platform - Microsoft Power Apps

Features:

  • Easily integrates with Power BI, Office 365, and Dynamics 365
  • Features multiple UI objects and a range of pre-built templates
  • No coding experience required for basic app development
  • Excellent mobile and tablet development and app previews
  • Features cloud-based services integration, app sharing, app-running, workflow automation, etc.

Pros:

  • Offers a compelling visual app designer
  • Easily connects to Salesforce and other similar third-party apps
  • Features advanced workflow automation built-in with Microsoft Flow

Cons:

  • UI is a bit overwhelming
  • Load times could be better
  • Steep learning curve

    7.Google App Maker

Google App Maker requires some coding knowledge to get around. Its simple design and robust documentation make it a great platform. And needless to say, it effortlessly connects with G Suite APIs.

Low Code Platform -google app maker

Features:

  • Features a drag-and-drop user interface
  • Offers declarative data modeling
  • Provides built-in support for Cloud SQL
  • Offer various functionalities such as deployment settings, app preview, deployment logs, and data models
  • A complete web-based tool that supports Windows as well as macOS
  • The platform is easy to connect with Gmail, Sheets, or Calendar

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Allows you to build customized applications in minutes
  • Highly accessible

Cons:

  • Available only for G Suite Business
  • No native mobile apps


    8.Salesforce Lightning

Unlike other low-code tools that let you deploy your apps on any public cloud or on-premises, Salesforce Lightning is only for Salesforce CRM users who want to build their own user experiences without writing any code.

Put simply; it is a low code development platform that combines the power of Salesforce with low-code app development. The platform has various tools such as SalesforceDX, App Builder, and Lightning Flow that help speed up software development.

Low Code Platform -salesforce lightning

Features:

  • Allows easy integration of business solutions for various industries
  • Offers 24/7 support and style guides
  • Features excellent reporting dashboards

Pros:

  • The platform is highly customizable
  • Allows easy data tracking
  • Keeps track of all lost and gained opportunities

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • The interface is confusing to get around

 


    9.Zoho Creator

A popular name in the low-code app development platform category, Zoho Creator’s drag-and-drop interface makes it super easy to build robust apps featuring forms, dashboards, and sophisticated business workflows. 

One of the key highlights of the Zoho Creator is that every app comes natively mobile so that you can customize actions, separate layouts, and gestures for your smart devices.

Low Code Platform -zoho

Features:

  • Features an easy-to-use form builder and allows you to responsively resize your apps for mobile
  • Offers a range of pre-built app templates and fields
  • The platform supports barcode scanning
  • Offers pre-built Salesforce and QuickBooks integrations
  • Advanced features include excellent support of personalization for customers, barcodes, location coordinates, user access, data validation, calendar, timeline, and schedule
  • The tool offers several robust integration features, including CRM, Books, and invoice data, along with connectivity with multiple applications

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive; very easy to get started with the platform
  • Built-in auto-translation

Cons:

  • App customization and automation requires the use of proprietary scripting language
  • Third-party app integrations are complicated

    10.Kissflow

Kissflow is another famous name in the free low code platforms category. It is a cloud-based low code tool and a business process management software. The platform allows users to create a range of automated business applications through a simple, easy-to-use interface.

Low Code Platform - kissflow

Features:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality
  • Allows hand-coding
  • Robust data security and synchronization
  • It eliminates the need for coding
  • Features a drag and drop functionality to add and edit fields
  • Enables you to digitize your forms and requests
  • Gives an option to build tasks and logic using the drag and drop functionality

Pros:

  • The platform is very flexible
  • Excellent tracking feature
  • Offer great value for the price

Cons:

  • Not very customizable
  • There is no offline option


    11.Creatio

Creatio is a leading low-code development platform that enables enterprises to accelerate their app development process and customize the mobile app in the time it takes to customize the desktop application. 

Using the tool, you can configure the page layout in the Creatio mobile version or add a new section via wizard in no time.

 Low Code Platform - creatio

Features:

  • The tool features easy-to-use productivity tools for sales agents
  • Offers strong vendor support and intelligent analytics tools
  • A unified platform for various functional areas and teams
  • Excellent overall functionality

Pros:

  • User-friendly dashboards and KPIs
  • Offers high-level of customization
  • High user adoption

Cons:

  • Some of the functions require dedicated expertise
  • It is a steep learning curve for some users
  • Detailed reporting is missing

    12.Quixy

Quixy is a no-code BPM and application development platform that can be used by any business to build complex enterprise-grade applications. 

The platform has a range of pre-built solutions for multiple use cases such as CRM and project & task management.

 Low Code Platform - quixy

Features:

  • Allows you to build complex custom enterprise software much faster and with much lower costs
  • Completely visual and easy-to-use app development platform
  • The platform makes it easier to create a user interface with the drag and drop form field controls

Pros:

  • Extensive feature list
  • The tool is simple to learn and relatively easy to deploy and use
  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • Some of the dashboard features such as Graphs and Charts have scope for improvement

    13. Visual LANSA

An easy-to-use IDE platform, Visual LANSA allows developers to code just once and deploy everywhere. It is primarily a cross-platform development tool that values the rapid creation of enterprise-grade applications.   

The platform speeds up application development by eliminating the need for developers to master varied technical skills that are usually required to produce software processes and applications.

 Low Code Platform - lansa

Features:

  • Offers advanced visual development and DBMS support
  • Builds apps much faster, with ease, and at a lower cost as compared to traditional development
  • Features extensive testing, deployment, and integration controls

Pros:

  • The platform can write code within the IDE
  • Only low-code to run on windows, web, and IBMi

Cons:

  • IDE can be a bit slow at times (especially at the beginning) and is not as good as a visual studio type interface


    14.WebRatio

WebRatio is another good low code development platform for building web, mobile, and BPA applications. It is mainly an Agile development tool that uses OMG (Object Management Group) and IFML (Interaction Flow Modeling Language) standard visual modeling language.

 Low Code Platform - webratio

Features:

  • WebRatio’s visual modeling allows web, mobile, and BPA applications to be created many times faster compared to the traditional methods
  • The platform enables you to define logic, workflows, data management, forms, and other elements that make business applications
  • The tool features a combination of visual modeling and access to code that allows the development of prototypes to create solutions with a bimodal approach

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use and user-friendly
  • A powerful tool for developing applications 

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited integrations
  • Not enough documentation  

 

    15.DWKit

A relatively new low-code app development platform, DWKit is essentially a BPM (business process management) software but offers several advantages to developers.

The platform is a little more complicated compared to other similar solutions and requires robust developer’s skills. DWKit is an ideal tool for companies looking to build products of their own.

 Low Code Platform - dwkit

Features:

  • Offers robust technical support
  • Features drag-and-drop coding functionality
  • Features a free and low code open-source option
  • Self-hosted and cloud-based options available
  • Drag-and-drop form builder
  • Features a fully customized end-user interface

Pros:

  • Offers easy customization options
  • Enables users to launch their apps much faster
  • Gives developers access to source code
  • Offers database support

Cons:

  • Less reliable as the platform is relatively new and lesser-known
  • Website is not well managed 

Concluding Thoughts

Various low-code platforms offer different capabilities and approaches to the process of software development. While some platforms come with a shorter learning curve, others focus more on advanced integrating capabilities. While some emphasize collaborative development, other low code platforms enable better customizations.

Therefore, it is crucial to analyze your business needs and map your development journey with the tool you choose. You should also factor in the amount of development work you want to delegate to your citizen developers.

Maruti Techlabs has worked with organizations worldwide to provide end-to-end low code development services. Right from competitor analysis to PoC development to usability testing, our experts do it all!

Book a free consultation with our experts to expedite your app development and better utilise the low code tools available today!

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