Low-code versus no-code


Low code and no code are terms that have been heard a lot in recent years. Since the introduction of the Citizen Developer, there has been more emphasis on configuring applications with no, or a minimal amount of, code.

Citizen Developer

Citizen Developers are the result of the high pressure on IT departments. More and more is being asked from that department, but this is often structurally under-utilized. Good IT people are hard to find.

People often work within a department who know exactly which new applications their department or organization needs, but they lack the knowledge to develop these themselves. The domain knowledge is present, they have sufficient IT knowledge and insight into the processes to know what they need and how the structures should run. They mainly have an eye for the desired end result.

By using a platform without code, these “citizen developers” are able to develop applications themselves. This reduces the pressure on the IT department and the departments have exactly the applications they had in mind.

Low-code versus no-code 

These terms are often used interchangeably, especially in marketing texts. The difference between the two is therefore very small. No-code is primarily aimed at citizen developers, and low-code is primarily aimed at people who already have some programming knowledge.

However, the way in which work is done is almost the same, on the understanding that no-code is a little easier to use.

What is no-code?

No code focuses on innovation. Users are enabled to directly convert their ideas into applications. The citizen developers ensure a broad innovation within a company. Thanks to no code they are able to take that extra step.

No code is aimed at employees with smart ideas. They can turn these ideas into a working app.

What is low-code?

The purpose of low-code is to enable the developer to quickly develop applications with a minimal amount of code. This also allows people with limited coding experience to program, because the software is made visible by making it visual. it is also ideal for programmers who want to be unburdened or less interested in developing.

Develop with no-code / low-code

To enable rapid development without or with little code, no-code and low-code tools use the following components:

  • A visual software development environment (IDE¹) with drag and drop functionalities to create a graphical interface
  • Flowcharts to help define business rules
  • A Data Modeler (a database with ERD-like diagrams²)
  • 1-click cloud deployment (Easy to put the app live when it is ready)
1) Integrated Development Environment
2) Entity-Relationship Diagram
Example of a Dovetail no-code solution