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No Code - Blog

January 3, 2024
Penned By -
Yash Gaur

No-code is a software development approach that requires few, if any, programming skills to quickly build an application. This allows line of business (LOB) employees who have the necessary institutional knowledge and understand the business requirements for an app, but lack knowledge of programming languages, to create software applications such as a form or website, or add functionality to an existing site or app.

No-code decouples programming languages and syntax from logic, and instead take a visual approach to software development to enable rapid delivery. In this sense, no-code is similar to low-code development. The key difference is that low-code platforms use less abstraction -- that is, they incorporate some coding and require some knowledge of programming languages -- and are often used by professional developers within an enterprise IT department.

How does no-code work?

No-code, in some sense, is a misnomer: There is plenty of coding involved, but it is behind the scenes, invisible to business users. The heavy lifting is done by the no-code tool providers that use data abstraction and encapsulation to essentially hide the complexity of what users accomplish through simple maneuvers, such as dragging and dropping application components, to build an application.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of no-code?

 No-code benefits emphasize simplicity and ease-of-use for non-programmers.

No code development pros and cons.


No code development is appealing, as it is easy to use and allows non-programmers to pump out apps or workflows quickly. No-code can be useful to both developers and business users, and is great for companies that have a backlogged development team and need to utilise business users as developers.

Better agility.

Most development is done via a drag-and-drop interface, built visually with pre-built modules. This means building apps is a lot faster. Testing is generally automated which further cuts down on development time.

Reduced cost.

Developers are expensive. No-code solutions give you a way to bypass that, taking away a lot of the overhead that comes with requiring a skilled team of developers on staff all the time. You can build apps faster and cheaper in the long run.

Increased Productivity.

Since apps can be built at a much faster pace, IT staff aren’t overloaded with requests from every other department, and there are fewer people waiting for work to be done. What used to take weeks or months can now be completed in hours or days.

Easily changeable.

The problem with traditional hand coding is that you can’t really change a functionality or feature at the drop of a hat, especially if you’re coding in a language foreign to you. With no code, you can. If you need to change something, you simply implement new logic, and can have your change ready in a matter of hours.


It is easy to see why many business owners are drawn to the appealing advantages of no code development platforms, however, it is important to understand the hidden drawbacks and risks associated with their use. After all, something that might seem like a cost-effective decision in the short-term has the potential to blow up down the line. Taking the total cost of ownership into consideration at any software project’s inception is always crucial.

Users must have a clear understanding of their requirements.

As no two no code platforms, nor their respective limitations, are alike, any user must first determine whether their requirements fit within the constraints of a particular tool. Even then, these requirements will naturally change over time, and so the risk of these diverging from the evolving capabilities of the platform is always present.

Rigid templates limit what you can build.

When it comes to building out the different features of an application, no code development platforms provide various templates and components that can be configured to meet a set of use cases. However, as soon as you encounter that inevitable edge case required by your app, all of a sudden you don’t have the building blocks out-of-the-box to implement that specific piece of business logic required. Not only can your focus quickly shift from the original ‘what do I want to build’ to ‘what can I build’ in these situations, but you’ll also be forced to resort to complex and often costly workarounds. Finally, after you’ve invested heavily in making your application work within the constraints of your no code provider, all you’re left with is a piece of software more rigid and costly than a bespoke solution ever would have been.

Security issues arise from lack of control.

Unlike custom development, control over your application is something that will always be sacrificed when embarking on the no code path. Having no control or say over your technology stack is one thing, but not knowing your app inside and out can lead to a number of risks in itself around security and reliability. What happens if the company providing your no code platform is acquired or liquidated? Worse yet, what if they suffer an internal security breach that leaves you and your mission-critical system vulnerable?

You don’t own your source code.

Should you eventually decide to make the move away from your no code development platform, you are bound to quickly run into the issue of vendor lock-in. This is generally accompanied by an inability to switch providers, or substantial costs to do so. Any chance at properly maintaining your application in the future rests with your dependence on the original vendor. Even if the no code vendor makes your source code accessible, what you’ll likely discover under the hood of your application is a black box of tangled and unmaintainable computer nonsense, lacking any clear documentation. In turn, you can have a complete understanding of what goes in and comes out of your application, yet the entire implementation remains hidden and locked.

  • Little to no training. User interfaces are simple -- to build an app you drag and drop, or layer, application components. Users may need some basic training, but nothing that requires coding.
  • Lower cost. Letting non-programmers handle the addition of basic functionalities frees up IT staff to tackle more complicated tasks, or projects that have more value to the business. This tradeoff saves time, and ultimately money, for the organization.

No-code has drawbacks as well, which include:

  • Application integration. Depending on the aforementioned low-code/no-code spectrum, it may be difficult to pull in data from other existing applications. Some ostensibly no-code programs actually provide tools for integration. Even these, however, require some basic programming.
  • Limited usability. The tradeoff for simplicity and ease of use is that no-code typically doesn't extend to support complex capabilities. Some no-code vendors add "escape hatches" and other features to let technically savvy users do some coding to create more varied customization and critical business apps. For example, Betty Blocks offers users a split-view: citizen developers access drag-and-drop modules on the left side of the screen, and coders click on the right side of the screen to enter programming code and access more extensive options.

What can you build with no-code?

No-code typically is used to generate simple applications for a specific function, or add minor capabilities for a simple app or website. Examples include:

  • Back-office apps, such as invoice processing and KPI monitoring;
  • Web applications, such as online shopping and restaurant reservations;
  • Mobile applications that let workers access back-office apps from the field;
  • Workflow management, such as setting internal service-level agreements so that employees acknowledge completion of a task;
  • Business process automation functions, such as document approval from multiple parties;
  • Human resources functions, such as self-service aspects of HR management systems

What is the future of no-code development?

At the time of this publication, the future for no-code development is bright because demand from LOB professionals outpaces the ability of IT departments to develop and maintain applications. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this gap as IT help desks strain to support remote workforces. Gartner predicts that 65% of all application development will be done with low-code by 2024 -- and that citizen developers will outnumber enterprise developers by at least four times by 2023.

However, the exact size and trajectory of strictly no-code applications remains murky, because market delineation between low-code and no-code remains fluid. Many low-code platforms offer no-code capabilities, while some no-code vendors offer options for users to customize an application with JavaScript or other programming languages. Moreover, analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester draw soft lines between no-code and low-code categories. For example, Gartner projects a $13.8 billion market for low-code applications in 2021, nearly 23% growth from 2020 -- but this market categorization encompasses many areas: low-code, no-code, citizen development, robotic process automation (RPA) and other related areas.