We explore the list of the 8 most popular low code tools among developers, and analyze their features.
What are low code tools?
Low code tools are software development platforms that minimize programming efforts by allowing developers to create software products by writing as little code as possible.
Infographic: component of a low code development platform.
The goal of the best low code tools is not just to minimize the tasks involved in writing code. They also aim to facilitate the deployment and configuration of software solutions.
Low code app development will account for 65% of all app development activity by 2024.
Benefits of low code tools
There are many benefits that a low code development platform provides:
Reduce the total development time of a software product.Improve the agility and productivity of development teams.Reduce the complexity of application development processes.Reduce software development costs.Involve users in the development processes. development. Accelerate the implementation of changes and innovations in software products.
The popularity of low code tools has given rise to a new species within the technological fauna of companies: citizen developers. These characters can create business applications with little or no programming knowledge. In addition, they have the possibility to design new workflows and modify business processes to improve the efficiency, productivity and functionality of an organization.
By minimizing the tasks involved in writing code, the best low-code tools encourage visual modeling: with the help of a graphical interface, they allow you to visually assemble and configure the components and flow control of an application.
The end of the programmers?
James Martin, in his book “Application development without programmers” predicted that, in the future, most computers should be made to work – at least in part – without the participation of programmers. Martin’s 1982 prediction had to do with the way computers were proliferating, much faster than the proliferation of programmers.
20% of low code tool users claimed to have started without any programming experience.
Luckily today you don’t need programmers to get all the computers working. If not, we would be in serious trouble; we programmers would not be able to supply all the computers in the world to work.
It is estimated that each new application that is developed contains only 10% of new logic. The rest can be reused from previous developments. This is why there is no point in using tools that force us to write the same code sequences over and over again.
Now, with the rise of low code tools, the idea is that we programmers have less and less work. Or that we refocus our skills, and instead of spending so much time writing code, we focus on more analytical tasks, interpreting user requirements and feeding them into a low-code tool so that they become an application.
Low-code platforms could be the prelude to a new generation of no-code tools, with which apps are developed without the need to write a single line of code.
The most popular low code tools
Let’s see which are the most used low code tools by developers.
User rating: 4.9 / 5
Visual Lansa is an integrated development environment (IDE) that offers a high-level and easy-to-learn programming language, oriented to the development of mobile, desktop and web applications. The software enables companies to incorporate modern technologies with a powerful business rules engine, an integrated IDE, and a metadata repository that makes the development process highly productive. By automating routine tasks, Visual Lansa aims to simplify the development process from initial idea to deployment.
The Visual Lansa IDE
Visual Lansa seeks to eliminate the complexities of modern languages, proposing the simplest way to achieve the business objectives of an organization. The business ideas put into an application are protected from future technological changes, whether these are due to the appearance of new user interfaces, new operating systems, new devices or new databases.
The low code development tool can be used hosted in the cloud or on-premises, being suitable for companies of all sizes, from SMEs to large companies and freelancers. It offers an offline working mode that allows users to use mobile applications even when they do not have an Internet connection. The Visual Lansa service is paid for on a monthly basis, and it is possible to start with a 90-day free trial.
User rating: 4.93 / 5
GeneXus is a veteran application development platform used to design applications for web environments, smart mobile devices and Windows platforms. The company offers a consulting service that helps the client to develop their applications based on their needs.
Low code tools: GeneXus
GeneXus automatically carries out the steps required to create the applications, such as connecting servers and databases, or generating relationships between clients and servers, using the appropriate language and the necessary data structures. GeneXus’ live editing view allows users to visualize and manage the operations carried out by an application while they are creating it. It also offers offline functionality for mobile applications, with automatic data synchronization.
It is compatible with all the most used environments in companies, including Android, AWS, Azure, IBM Bluemix, iOS, Linux, SAP HANA and Windows. It is also compatible with numerous database engines, such as MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Informix, among others.
User rating: 4.85 / 5
Mendix is a low code application development tool aimed at creating solutions based on the SAP cloud platform. Its most notable features are visual development, development and operations (DevOps), multi-cloud deployment, AI-assisted development, open integrations, among others. Its visual approach enables users to collaborate in real time and iteratively evolve from experimentation.
Mendix Web Modeler
Additionally, the platform allows users to synchronize and control development processes between business developers and professional developers. Mendix application services enable the use of multiple applications on a component-based platform through microflows, supporting versioned services and deployment management.
Mendix’s solution offers integration with a wide variety of frameworks and libraries popular among programmers, such as HTML 5, React, Bootstrap, OpenID, CloudFoundry, among others. Mendix is contracted as a monthly subscription service that includes support through an online help desk, by phone or by e-mail.
User rating: 4.86 / 5
Comidor is a low code business process automation (BPM) platform powered by artificial intelligence, aimed at enabling companies to embark on agile continuous improvement processes through digital transformation and intelligent automation.
BPM dining room
Companies using Comidor can combine BPM with robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence to orchestrate, automate, and streamline business processes. Comidor’s low code functionality enables business users to design, build and deliver complete business applications with virtually no code to write.
The enterprise architecture of the tool enables software architects to analyze, design and implement the organization’s business strategy. Additionally, digital workspaces create an environment in which people and robots complete tasks and processes.
User rating: 4.57 / 5
VisionX is a cloud-based solution for low code application development, suitable for medium and large organizations. VisionX allows users to build mobile or desktop business applications, primarily for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). In addition to being used in the cloud, the solution is also available for on-premises use.
User interface design with VisionX
VisionX users can access template-based application generation tools, configuring logos and user interfaces, and can also insert custom code if required. Changes made in the visual app designer are displayed in the live preview module. VisionX uses open source Java frameworks and libraries licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.
VisionX business features include user-specific filters and profiles, multi-language support, database transactions, connection pooling, and more. The solution also allows users to create custom reports and export them in Word or Excel format. It is available under a monthly subscription scheme that includes telephone and e-mail support.
User rating: 4.19 / 5
Appian is a low-code development tool designed for businesses of all sizes, aimed at enabling users to build applications using business process management (BPM). Its key features include case management, BPM modeling, three-step application development, and application integration.
Appian Process Modeler
Appian’s platform enables users to automate complex processes, creating custom apps that can be installed on any device. Appian stands out for its social collaboration functionality, providing a way for developers to connect with other team members for project discussions.
The tool offers preconfigured connectors to easily integrate with other applications. Additionally, it provides analytics and interactive reports for monitoring projects, as well as managing documentation. Your deployment options include cloud, on-premise, both, or hybrid. Appian support is offered through case management, phone support, screen sharing, knowledge base, and email.
User rating: 4.5 / 5
OutSystems is a low code development tool with a few years of presence in the market. It includes simple, visual tools to make it easy for business users to build basic applications. To this, it adds project management, deployment and update, and automation functionalities, so that developers can reinforce solutions with their knowledge.
The OutSystems IDE
OutSystems stands out for offering a unified user experience throughout the entire life cycle of an application. It offers a clean and tidy dashboard, with several tabs to go to to build applications, to train, to exchange with the community and to obtain support. In the learning tab you get access to OutSystems University, a resource center where you can find guided tutorials, documentation for developers, online and classroom courses, webinars and specific certifications of the tool.
The Community tab includes a user forum, a job board, an ideas section to suggest improvements to the tool, and OutSystems Forge, an application marketplace with thousands of templates and integrations.
OutSystems offers a free plan for organizations with less than 100 users. The free edition includes a single development environment, limited scalability, and shared cloud infrastructure. This plan is ideal for small or medium-sized companies that use the tool for internal use only.
Microsoft Power Apps
User rating: 3.8 / 5
The Microsoft PowerApps development tool is part of select Microsoft Office 365 plans and offers more than 230 built-in connectors for various data sources, including Microsoft Office 365 products, PowerBI data visualization, and Dynamics 365 apps. possibility to configure custom connectors, in case you need to access a data source not integrated in the product.
PowerApps component framework
The tool combines enough flexibility to solve most of the challenges faced by companies in terms of application development with an attractive and easy-to-use user interface.
In addition to being included in certain Office 365 plans, PowerApps is also offered as a stand-alone development tool, with a monthly subscription cost per user.
No code: the next frontier
Not satisfied with the work that it takes them to create applications using low code tools, the citizen developers asked for something more. And they succeeded: no code tools, that is, no code.