Zero-Code Platforms - Everything You Need To Know!

Zero-code platforms are taking the business world by storm, allowing even tiny businesses access to cutting-edge solutions that would otherwise be inaccessible.

May 2, 2022

Zero-code platforms are taking the business world by storm, allowing even tiny businesses access to cutting-edge solutions that would otherwise be inaccessible. But what exactly is a zero-code platform? What are its pros and cons? And is zero-code the future of tech products? Let's get into it.

What Is a Zero-Code Platform?

The terms zero-code, no-code, and codeless platforms are often used interchangeably, and all refer to the same type of digital product. For the purpose of this article, we're going to use the term zero-code, but you might see the other terms used elsewhere. So, what is a zero-code platform?

As the name hints, a zero-code platform is any tool that allows you to build software, including web applications, smartphone apps, customer service bots, and more, without any programming experience. Unfortunately, for much of the internet's history, you would need to know a programming language, and maybe even multiple languages, to create new websites and apps. This led to a situation where large companies with tons of resources could develop flashy applications while everyone else lagged behind. Luckily, with zero-code platforms, this is no longer the case today.

How Do Zero-Code Platforms Work?

Users don’t need any prior coding experience to get to grips with the software or create their new app. Zero-code platforms typically allow users to choose from a range of templates for their app or create an app from scratch by dragging-and-dropping software elements. In addition, these tools usually have a user-friendly interface that allows even non-technical people to create complex and highly functioning applications easily.

Of course, zero-code platforms still contain plenty of code, but that code has already been designed and packaged behind the scenes. As a result, all the user sees are visual components that they can connect, reuse, and move around. Essentially, users can create applications much like they would design a flowchart.

What's the Difference Between Low-code and Zero-Code?

They sound very similar, but there is a distinct difference between the two. Both low-code and zero-code tools are examples of Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools - these tools prioritize rapid prototype releases and iterations over drawn-out projects. Additionally, both low-code and zero-code platforms allow users to drag and drop software components and create apps with minimal programming experience.

Low-code platforms have more flexibility than zero-code platforms. Put simply, low-code platforms allow developers to make adjustments to the software components to address specific or unusual business processes during development. They exist to make developers' jobs easier, eliminating the need to code every line or have extensive programming knowledge while still allowing adjustments to be made when needed. As a result, low-code platforms are better suited to coders who want to speed up technical development, whereas zero-code platforms target business users with no coding knowledge.

The Pros of Zero-Code Platforms

  • They reduce bottlenecks by allowing business leaders to create apps without waiting for the IT department.

  • They allow small and medium-sized businesses to create highly functional apps without hiring coders. There's currently a shortage of skilled programmers, and finding the right employee can be expensive.

  • Zero-code platforms provide access to rich and customizable templates, thereby removing the complexities of building engaging front-end user interfaces. Essentially, companies save time and money without sacrificing quality by not needing to code a UI/UX from scratch.

  • No-code platforms reduce strain on IT staff and increase speed-to-market.

  • They reduce development costs by up to 80%.

  • Zero-code platforms provide consistent development environments where workers can build, test, and integrate business logic without worrying about environment conflicts.

  • They promote short release cycles.

  • Easy to use

The Cons of Zero-Code Platforms

The main disadvantage of zero-code platforms is their limited flexibility. While zero-code platforms typically offer extensive customization options, you're still limited to what the platform will allow you to do. This presents a significant challenge for businesses with many dependencies or heavy integration requirements.

Cybersecurity is also cited as a top concern for companies interested in using zero-code platforms. Companies rely heavily on the no-code platform provider to implement security features and address security flaws in the source code. Due to this reason, companies adopting the Zero-Code platform must check with the provider regarding the cybersecurity practices followed at their side and in the framework used for creating the no-code or low-code apps.

Lastly, many companies worry about vendor lock-in. For example, if a company invests in a specific zero-code platform, they might become dependent on that platform and struggle to switch at a later date when they become aware of a better product.

The Future of Zero-Code Platforms

All current trends point to zero-code platforms being the future of business tech products. The industry is growing fast and is expected to provide $187 billion in revenue by 2030. Additionally, it's expected to account for an eye-watering 65% of application development activity by 2024.

Batoi offers both zero-code and low-code platforms with different usage scenarios. Batoi CloudSpace, the cloud workspace for managing and automating business workflows, allows customizing existing business apps. On the other hand, Batoi OpenStudio, the low-code platform for open source apps, allows building apps fasters using Batoi Open-source Framework (OSF) and managing their deployment to one or multiple locations without much effort.

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