No-Code Software Platforms: a Quick Introduction
If you're looking for an easy way to construct web-based applications and don't want to write any code, you might be interested in no-code software platforms. These are essentially drag-and-drop programming interfaces where nonprogrammers can build applications without having to write a single line of code.
Defining No-Code Platforms
No-code platforms are visual programming tools, where a small number of symbols in the form of objects, icons, or buttons allows users to build apps by simply dragging them and dropping them on one another. Users can then add text boxes and dialogues in order to interact with the application's user. Many no-code platforms also offer an alternative interface for experienced developers who want full programmatic access to the software.
No-code Platforms Offer a Broad Range of Benefits
Easy to use:
No-code platforms mean that almost anyone with a little bit of computer literacy can build and deploy applications online without writing any code. This enables non-programmers to get into app development quickly.
Reduced time and cost for application development:
With no programming required, no-code software is extremely quick and easy to implement, enabling companies to cut costs tremendously on application development.
Scalability and extensibility:
No-code platforms are easy to revise and extend, allowing for fast adaptation to changing requirements without the need for costly rewrites. These applications can be modified over time without requiring update or revision by the developer.
No-code software platforms are perhaps the fastest way to get an application up and running. However, it should be noted that there are many alternatives to no-code software platforms also available, including web application development, mobile app development frameworks, and server-side apps. Each has its advantages and disadvantages over the others.
No-code prototyping platforms are designed for developing interactive mockups without writing code. These platforms offer a variety of pre-designed options to create prototypes. However, in order to complete a prototype on these platforms, you typically need to download your project and upload it to another platform for further development or take it elsewhere for drag-and-drop programming.
No-code web applications are designed for creating full-fledged web applications that meet real user requirements. These platforms can be used for creating interactive prototypes or going straight into full-fledged app development.
No-code software platforms are still in their infancy, but they offer an intriguing future for developers. The rise of no-code software may foreshadow the end of modern programming languages and result in the death of code--but until then, we should expect to see this movement continue to grow and evolve.
Examples of No-Code Software Platforms:
Bubble.io, created by Alex Stirner, allows users to create an app with no programming experience required. Using drag-and-drop commands, users can build apps that access Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn APIs (apps). Bubble.io also provides a full API for developers to add their own features.
InVision is a web-based prototyping tool for mobile and web apps built on top of HTML5 and CSS3. InVision is an open-source framework created by Adobe that allows no-code projects to be deployed on the cloud. It allows for the creation of prototypes of an app that can then be tested by users and developers.
The AppMakr platform is another no-code tool that allows users to create mobile apps without writing any code. The AppMakr platform includes a library of icons, graphics, and templates that enable the user to quickly create a prototype and share it with others for feedback. It also offers APIs (application program interfaces) to other platforms, such as Salesforce cloud services.
AppGyver is a cloud-based platform that allows the development of mobile apps using HTML5 and CSS3. AppGyver is a free service with no limits or restrictions. Projects are deployed directly to the cloud and don't require downloads, making it especially useful for teams that collaborate on projects together.
Proto.io is a comprehensive prototyping tool for websites and mobile apps that allow developers to create interactive mockups of an app with no programming experience required. Prototypes can be created with the help of a visual editor and easily shared with users for feedback.
Communities Dedicated to Support No-Code Platform Users
HTML5 Rocks is an online community that connects users with web developers, designers, managers, and those who just wish to learn about the latest HTML technologies. Users can read articles on a variety of popular topics that relate to HTML5 development.
Webplus is a site dedicated to building web-based applications using HTML5 technology. Webplus provides tutorials, resources, and updates on web design and development topics.
HTML5 Doctor is a website dedicated to the latest news in HTML5. The site provides tutorials and articles related to HTML5. Many of the articles written by the website's creator, Remy Sharp, are geared towards developers or designers looking to build applications using HTML5.
No-code software platforms offer non-technical users the opportunity to build applications and apps quickly. While they generally don't have the same flexibility that you get with traditional software development, no-code platforms offer easy to deploy solutions for most common use cases.