No-code software development is quickly becoming a critical tool for the modern enterprise. By simplifying and expediting the entire software development lifecycle, both professional developers and business users are leveraging the power of no-code tooling to build custom applications that deliver real value to both their customers and their business.
Consider an automotive manufacturer; when they build cars, they don’t fabricate every component in-house. They buy everything from the screws to the microprocessors, then they add value by engineering and assembling the finished product.
By this same token, there’s no reason for companies to devote the time and resources necessary to coding every custom application from scratch.
No-code development platforms (NCDP) provide preconstructed components that users can then assemble and configure to create truly custom applications—all in a fraction of the time of traditional software development and at a much lower cost.
Forward-thinking organizations are taking note. Adoption rates continue to climb, and this is only the beginning. IDC analysts predict that “By 2025, 60 percent of CIOs will implement governance for low/no-code tools to increase IT and business productivity, help LOB [line-of-business] developers meet unpredictable needs, and foster innovation at the edge.”
While professional software developers who write custom code will continue to play an integral role in creating sophisticated, complex, and mission-critical applications, no-code tools are ideal for large enterprises undergoing a digital transformation, fast-moving startups, and anyone in between.
Anyone who can benefit from software that helps them to get their job done can benefit from no-code software development.
Excited to learn more? Welcome to Blaze’s complete guide to no-code.
It’s a technology that enables us to create new custom applications using a visual interface.
The graphical user interface (GUI) is how most of us already interact with computers. Whether we’re building a spreadsheet, designing a graphic, searching the web, or creating a presentation, it all happens through the GUI. No-code solutions add “create custom software” to that list.
Instead of learning programming languages and following complicated logic, no-code developers build applications by dragging and dropping elements or clicking on buttons. Everything happens through visual modeling, and, at least when it comes to any no-code solution worth its salt, doing so will feel familiar to anyone who already uses a computer for day-to-day tasks.
The defining characteristic of no-code is that it requires zero codings. Some platforms, especially those that define themselves as low-code, will still require some level of coding to happen, whether it’s adding custom code in a widespread programming language or even having to learn a whole new “low-code language” to get it work.
No-code means no code. Period.
That said, some no-code tools do have the option to insert custom code, such as to create reusable components, but they aren’t ever necessary.
The main reason is to save money and time. That could mean getting a product to market faster, it could be enhancing workflow automation with an internal tool, or it could be reducing the IT department’s backlog by both enabling them to work faster and by creating the opportunity for citizen developers to share some of the burden.
Regardless of how an organization implements no-code development, they realize a concrete ROI when we compare the hours or days that it takes to build an application in no-code to the 6-25 months and average $72,000 that it takes to build a single program in native code.
No-code gives new meaning to the phrase rapid application development (RAD).
A second key advantage that no-code brings to the table is how it democratizes technology. Anyone who knows how to use a computer can build a custom application with no-code. Instead of relying solely on highly skilled computer programmers, regular business people gain the power to build their own applications to meet their own needs.
No-code development can also help harden an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Because reputable no-code vendors extensively test the code that underlies their platforms for bugs and vulnerabilities, users can be sure that the final applications that they develop will be secure by design. It’s possible to run into trouble if users begin adding their own custom code, but, at least for citizen developers who will rely purely on the zero code solution, the risk profile is vanishingly small.
The top no-code platforms are also cloud-native. This makes it easy to deploy on cloud platforms like AWS or Microsoft Azure, and it also helps with scalability and data sharing among applications.
Finally, no-code also provides valuable human resources flexibility. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 22% increase in software developer job openings by 2030, and that’s on top of an already squeezed talent marketplace. It’s not easy to hire developers, especially for smaller companies that struggle to compete with the attractive compensation and perks offered by tech giants. No-code is a viable solution because it empowers anyone to create custom software.
Are you just getting started in your search for a no-code solution? The industry is rapidly expanding, and it can be difficult to know which option is the best for your needs. We recommend starting with these five key questions for each candidate.
No-code has to be easy—no exceptions. Of course, every solution provider is going to tell you that their product is the easiest one to use. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to demo the product. Get your technical users on board, but, even more crucially, be sure that non-technical employees can navigate it as well. Even better, make sure they enjoy the experience!
Keep track of metrics like how long it takes users to learn how to leverage the platform and how much they want to use the solution again.
Some no-code products are strictly zero coding. Some enable users to add custom code. Some even require a certain amount of coding to work at all. Think about your use case and your users to find the best solution for you. Do you prioritize flexibility, simplicity, or a mixture of the two?
While regular coding languages have countless resources that can help developers learn the craft or help out in a pinch, the relatively new world of no-code doesn’t have this wealth of resources. Ensure that your no-code provider has extensive resources, documentation, training material, and support that will help you to clear hurdles and advance your mission with no-code development.
Solution providers aren’t always the most transparent about their pricing. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of just how much your organization is going to pay for your specific use case before signing on.
Having a particular objective in mind when searching for a no-code solution is important because different providers specialize in different ways. As we’ll explore later in this article, there’s a best no-code tool for every use case.
These are the features that you should look for when selecting a no-code development platform.
The main thing to look for is a visual user interface that’s well laid out and easy to navigate. Being able to drag and drop elements in an instant while also having the option to add more complex UI components is a hallmark of a well-designed no-code tool.
Whether it’s a simple task automation for one user or a workflow automation that crosses multiple departments, includes several tasks, and requires touch-points from different users, process automation is a critical feature, especially for developing internal apps. Be sure that the no-code platform has an easy to follow logic for workflow automation—going over it shouldn’t be harder than following a flow chart.
Especially for enterprise use-cases, data is key. Accessing data from databases, building custom applications on top of existing data, and creating pipelines from the data that comes out of a no-code application let you get the most out of an investment in no-code.
Custom applications rarely work in isolation. Powerful no-code app builders enable fast and easy integrations with other popular software, such as Google Suite, Salesforce, and more. No-code platforms should also include an intuitive graphical user interface for creating custom integrations with API protocols like REST.
Do more than push and pull data. Harness its true power by selecting a no-code tool set that provides AI and machine learning capabilities that don’t require the skills and expertise of a data scientist to get running.
Let’s take a step backwards and look at how we got to this point.
In the early days of computers, even knowing how to get started on a computer required a PhD or extensive training. Coding these computers was a lot closer to providing numerical instructions to the hardware than the words and syntax we recognize as code today.
When the C programming language hit the scene in 1972, that all began to change. Programming became more abstracted, more “high-level,” and less tied to the underlying hardware. Over the decades, we’ve seen a proliferation of coding languages that generally follow the pattern of increasing accessibility and reducing complexity.
Python, the world’s most popular programming language, is a prime example. Students often begin with Python in school because it’s relatively simple, it focuses on readability, and it has a lot of libraries and standards that surround it. That doesn’t mean that Python is any less powerful than other options. In fact, Python is the most popular language for developing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms!
No-code and low-code production tools are the next steps in that evolution. Even Guido Van Rossum, Python’s creator, admits that no-code and low-code developers “will take over the more rudimentary aspects of programming in the years to come, freeing up pros to focus on more complex, mission-critical tasks and projects.”
It’s all about making it simpler and faster to develop new technology. While we don’t expect languages like Python to become irrelevant, just as there are still developers who work in C and even low-level assembly language, no-code is on the rise.
According to a 2021 report from Gartner, “by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020.”
As no-code adoption rates continue to climb, so too do the use cases. While no-code website designers have been around for a while at this point, emerging use cases like no-code data science and internal workflow automation are opening new doors to what is possible for citizen developers.
There’s a lot of no-code options on the marketplace, and finding the right one for your use case will help you get the most out of your investment. Your imagination is the limit of what you can accomplish with no-code, but, if you’re just getting started, we recommend beginning with one of these common uses.
Blaze.tech is ideal for web apps, internal tools, and programs that leverage data or databases. Blaze enables users to create no-code databases, which in turn are useful for creating dashboards, reporting tools, and more. Blaze’s focus on data also extends to security and compliance, making Blaze the ideal platform for creating HIPAA-compliant no-code apps. These are just a few of the internal apps that Blaze builders create:
Webflow is one of our favorite no-code website builders that’s easy and effective for marketing teams. Users can add their own code and integrations, and the fact that Webflow was built for enterprise-scale growth makes it a great choice for established companies that want to boost their web presence. For smaller organizations or individuals who are just getting started, there’s also Squarespace and WordPress. The latter is a blogger standby, but its use cases go well beyond blogs to cover many different types of websites.
For those who want to take their website in an ecommerce direction, Shopify is a great option. Without having to write any code, Shopify users can build their store, integrate 3rd party apps, and start accepting credit card payments quickly and securely.
If you’re looking to target a mobile audience, Thunkable is a good choice for a no-code mobile app development platform. Their product specifically targets native iOS and Android apps, but they also enable users to create web apps at the same time.
Atra is another notable platform because they specialize in blockchain and Web3 technology. They natively support the public Ethereum blockchain and make it easy to get started building dApps with built-in wallets.
For those who want to try out no-code data science, there’s C3 AI. Their platform has no-code, low-code, and high-code options, so users of all experience levels can begin experimenting with applying machine learning (ML) to their business processes.
Today’s business leaders understand that it’s more important than ever to harness digital technology to fuel positive outcomes. Our world continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace, and, especially for established companies that haven’t kept up with the latest innovations, there’s a real risk of falling behind.
The new generation of digital natives expects a customer experience that’s on par with the most successful online platforms. At the same time, only digital internal tools can create, manage, and utilize the data that enterprises need in order to improve operational efficiency and compete in today's marketplace.
A true digital transformation isn’t investing in a single solution. There’s no B2C mobile app or SaaS product that will lead to a seismic shift in how teams work together, how employees get work done, and how an organization leverages data.
Digital transformation is a massive undertaking, and it most commonly fails because of how time-consuming and expensive it can be to do so with a high-code approach by professional software engineers. That’s why a no-code approach and strategy to digital transformation is a great option.
These tools “are emerging as a key strategy to accelerate app delivery to support digital business transformation,” writes John Rymer at Forrester. “And they have the potential to make software development as much as 10 times faster than traditional methods.”
Besides cutting costs and saving time, no-code application creation platforms for digital transformation has several other benefits. Since cloud computing is another essential component to digital transformation, the fact that no-code tools can create cloud-native applications eases that transition and aids with scalability down the road. Cybersecurity is an equally important consideration during digital transformation, and no-code applications are secure by design.
Remember that digital transformation is about more than just technology. At the heart, every organization is a group of people, and getting those people on board is one of the biggest hurdles that many companies face during this time. It can be especially difficult to facilitate that culture shift among veteran workers who are accustomed to the way things have always been done. No-code development facilitates this culture shift by giving ordinary people the ability to build technology that they actually want to use, to understand how it works, and to address their own needs.
In addition to making technology more accessible, this approach also takes advantage of the psychology behind the Ikea Effect. When people put their own furniture together, they tend to like it more—even if it is a bit crooked. Since they assembled it with their own hands, they can take pride in their work. We see the same results when people create their own software with no-code development. Ultimately, this is how organizations reach the adoption rates that they need for a successful digital transformation.
We can see this in action in Microsoft's Low-Code Trend Report 2022. “82 percent of low- or no-code users agree that technology helps provide an opportunity for software users to improve their development knowledge and technical skills,” they write. “In addition, the use of no-code or low-code platforms or apps is shown to have led to an 83 percent positive impact on work satisfaction and workload by users, and an 80 percent positive impact on morale by users.”
After citizen developers start creating custom apps with an enterprise friendly no-code platform and begin integrating it with other enterprise technology, businesses gain even greater possibilities. Both professional developers and data scientists can then use the data coming out of them to build more advanced analytics. Since machine learning and big data analytics are some of the final objectives of digital transformation, fueling them with data coming from no-code applications can help an enterprise improve their forecasts, better target their customers, and generate insights about how to enhance business operations.
The modern digital enterprise relies on an entire ecosystem of technologies. While many of them offer advantages in their own right, some of the biggest gains come from the interactions between them.
As we explained above, no-code synergizes with cloud technology because it's designed with the cloud in mind. In addition to making sure that custom no-code applications can take advantage of the scalability, availability, and resiliency that the cloud offers, no-code also simplifies integrating with other cloud applications and makes it easy to share data.
Data is the most important asset for an enterprise tech ecosystem, and no-code helps organizations get the most out of it. In addition to being able to leverage existing data in a no-code application, these programs often create data of their own, or at least digitize data that was previously stored in paper records. This gives other teams, especially data scientists, the fuel they need for their own applications.
No-code applications can also push data to and pull data from other emerging enterprise technologies, such as the internet of things (IoT) and extended reality (XR). This can help managers understand operations at a more granular level, give learning and development (L&D) teams greater visibility into the results of immersive training sessions, and more.
Ultimately, no-code platforms enable both citizen developers and professional developers to more quickly and easily build the glue that holds modern enterprise tech together. Even the smallest customized workflow can have a ripple effect throughout the organization. No-code tools help the enterprise to run like a well-oiled machine.
Chris Wanstrath, the former CEO of code-sharing repository GitHub, said it best: “The future of coding is no coding at all.”
Envisioning that future is what led us to build Blaze.tech. We felt the direction the wind was blowing, but we also saw the problems in other no-code platforms. It can be extremely difficult to maintain HIPAA compliance, many no-code solutions are limited in potential, and there’s often a steep learning curve that’s antithetical to the no-code philosophy in the first place.
We set out to create something better. So we made a no-code platform that’s easy to learn, intuitive to use, and powerful enough to manage even the most complicated workflows.
Here’s why leading companies prefer Blaze.tech.
First off, Blaze is easy to get the hang of. Whether you’re a power user who is inputting advanced formulas or just an average person, you can quickly and easily learn how to build custom apps in Blaze.
Second, we’re blazing fast (pun intended)! Our users build apps faster than they could on any other platform.
Third, Blaze is powerful and scalable. We put all the tools at your fingertips that you need to build exactly what you want. Our cloud support means that you can then scale up on demand.
Fourth, Blaze apps are secure. We’ve prioritized security from the very beginning and we extensively vet our technology. Deploy with confidence when you build in Blaze.
Finally, we have world-class customer service. Our fully stocked Resource Center and Knowledge Base means that your users can start building in Blaze in no time, and they’ll always know where to turn when they have a question or get stuck. If they can’t find what they need, we also provide direct technical support so that you’re guaranteed to achieve your goals with Blaze.
Companies need advanced technology to stay competitive, but building that tech from scratch isn’t always viable. That’s why we’re seeing a massive uptick in the number of enterprises that are adopting no-code solutions. By empowering regular people to create tech that works for them, the Blaze no-code platform shifts the paradigm when it comes to who can create new applications.
Build internal tools. Create custom web apps to better serve your customers. Construct the data infrastructure that will propel your organization forward for years to come.
What are you waiting for? Start building in Blaze today!