"The number of programmers available per computer is shrinking so fast that most computers in the future must be put to work at least in part without programmers." These are the words of James Martin from his book Application Development Without Programmers Today, and we are in that very future.
Everyone refers to the terms low-code and no-code. According to a Gartner study, by 2024, 80 percent of technology solutions and products will be created by non-IT professionals. The introduction of optimization and automation simplifies development processes. On no-code services, any user can create projects without writing code. Let's try to understand no-code, its benefits, and potential, and take a detailed look at a promising no-code project.
Read more about no-code
A no-code platform is an intuitive tool, most often in the form of a drag & drop builder, on which you can build software without writing any code. The precondition for the appearance of no-code platforms was the impossibility of implementing ideas. There is an idea, but there is no possibility of realizing it, there are no resources, and there are not enough people who can do it. It is hard to find a qualified specialist. Inexperienced programmers can screw up the whole project: they don't do code reviews, and they don't check the quality and style of programming. All leads to mistakes, which are not always possible to fix here and now.
Large budgets and a team of developers, UX designers, analysts, team leaders, and system architects are not available to all companies. Yes, it's great when everyone has an area of responsibility. But you may not need a team of 20 people for your request. And the most common problem after candidates' inexperience is their ability to complicate projects. Developers find it hard to set clear deadlines. A month of agreed-upon work turns into three, defects pop up, and in the end, you hear, "it won't work; we have to redo it."
No-code tools close these pains, offer fast solutions, and enable every PC user to take advantage of such a platform.
Users are primarily won over by:
- Cost savings - a monthly subscription for most tools are several times cheaper than a programming team salary;
- Time-saving and fast results - the first version of the product will be ready in a couple of weeks;
- Less routine - tools take upon themselves the fulfillment of single-type tasks and take the load off, developers;
- Minimization of errors - the platform generates code by itself; all the processes are automated, which reduces the number of errors.
The obvious advantages increase the demand for such tools, leading to the appearance of new solutions on the market. The area of application is also growing - services are available for creating websites and applications (Adalo and Glide), integrations (Zapier and Integromat) and database management (Airtable), and online stores (Ecwid) and games, and much more.
Who uses no-code and how?
No-code has dozens of uses. Tools are used for the fast launch of new products and MVPs. No code is used for launching web or mobile apps, quickly testing sales hypotheses, performance, and audience response at a minimal cost. Organizations often create internal working tools, their own CRM, checklists, and admin panels for company employees. IT startups are among the first to actively implement no-code tools for launching product testing at a low cost.
Corporations more often build internal tools for teams. A striking example is Microsoft's Power Apps builder, which has already entered the big market. Marketers use no-code to implement small projects and collect analytics and feedback from data. Designers quickly turn into developers, using, for example, Webflow, where you can transfer the layout from Figma and Sketch. And, of course, developers. After all, creating such platforms is not aimed at replacing them completely. The main goal is to simplify all processes and reduce the errors caused by the human factor. On the contrary, no code can be considered another industry to develop and acquire new skills. Such platforms are enough to turn an idea into a product, present it to partners, team, and potential user and test it.
Not all platforms are universal, and you will have to look for different solutions to close various problems. But like everywhere else, there is an exception. And here, we want to introduce the development project AppMaster.io.
What is AppMaster.io, and how does it differ from other tools?
The AppMaster.io platform is a comprehensive no-code tool aiming to create complex products, distinguishing them from peers. AppMaster.io is built on a drag&drop interface but allows for customization through a business process editor. The platform is not based on ready-made templates and does not limit users to the provided functions. Any idea can be easily created through visual blocks.
AppMaster.io works with the three main parts that make up any project:
- Backend (or server-side applications)
- Web applications
- Mobile apps
How the platform can help and how it differs?
The main feature of AppMaster.io: the platform generates the source code instead of the developer at 22,000 lines per second, allowing the user to get the application with the source code and documentation. It's hardly something a programmer can do. Another plus is the ability to see the application interface and keep track of changes in real-time. You can even start with the visual part of the app and think through the logic and linking of elements afterward. AppMaster.io allows you to integrate with various services via modules. The platform has 40+ modules - from authentication to imaging to cryptography, and this list is growing.
Applications written by AppMaster.io have good performance. They are built on a single backend. For example, you create a product delivery app where a single backend is developed. Two apps - one for the customer and one for the vendor - will work with a single backend. You won't be tied to the platform all the time. Once you decide to disconnect from the platform, you can pick up the source code and continue working on the project yourself.
AppMaster.io reduces bugs by a factor of ten. With any small change - adding a new function or element or replacing links - the application code will be generated and updated completely. This makes the platform different from a developer's approach, who would make changes to a certain part of the code, risking breaking something and leading to a lot of technical debt over time.
Is it easy to work with AppMaster.io?
The work process is built on six main steps:
- Creating a data structure using visual tools.
- Inclusion of modules for common business cases.
- Adding business logic using the business process editor.
- Setting up an automatically generated admin panel in the web application.
- Mobile application design.
A workspace with a user-friendly interface is provided for each step. In the data model designer, databases are designed, and connections between them are configured. There is also a separate editor for business processes. Here you build the logic of your application using only visual blocks and not a single line of code.
In the endpoints section, the user can customize the interaction between the client and server sides of the application using the REST API. In the App Designer, the apps (mobile and web) are created - their interfaces are designed. Even though AppMaster.io is designed for business users, it is more complicated to work with than its counterparts. As we said, the platform is designed for more complex solutions with extensive business logic. Building a program hierarchy will be easier with a technical background.
Of course, you can understand the tool by trial and error, by studying the documentation, or by using support. The service offers a service of cooperation with one of the AppMaster team specialists to help with your future project.
What you can create?
AppMaster.io focuses on creating complex solutions: applications with a server-side part, multifunctional interface, extensive business logic, access to hardware, integration with other applications, ability to be hosted on cloud and corporate servers, and other special features. The platform develops native mobile apps that get screens and logic from the generated backend in real-time. This allows you to change the design and operation of an already published app without additional release. It's enough to republish the backend, and the end-user gets the updated app immediately.
With this no-code tool, it is possible to create software for internal needs, such as customer support programs, sales, and monitoring software, and internal databases. Popular create task trackers, CRM systems, ERP applications, and programs for automatic data collection and sorting. AppMaster.io is also suitable for creating customer-focused solutions but may require the use of additional services.
Suppose you are building applications for enterprise customers. In that case, AppMaster.io is your best choice: backend generated in Go (Golang), excellent performance of server applications with the ability to compile under Windows, Linux, and macOS, support for clusters like Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, built-in health-monitor, Zap logger and work with the PostgreSQL DBMS. If you have a task to build a small landing page, for example, or a program without complex logic and calculation on a heavy load, it is better to turn to simplified and narrowly focused analogs.
What is the future of no-code?
No-code is now in an active development phase, meaning it has not yet reached its full potential. So users must be ready for limitations which only development in its classic sense can compensate. No code is not suitable for every need. It is essential to understand your task and study the tool's possibilities before working. Use no-code to work out customer maps, test hypotheses, and automate the work. And to bring no-code to the enterprise market, look at platforms with compilable code and enterprise-level DBMSs, which is what AppMaster.io is, according to its authors. Is flow a threat to developers or an additional tool in their arsenal for creating better products? Depends on your approach. But don't forget, no-code platforms have to be made by someone, too.