VPL stands for visual programming; it is a type of language that uses graphical components such as icons, buttons, and symbols in the form of coding. This programming language allows visual illustration of the coding concept generated by the computer. This type of programming language helps non-technical users explain charts and processes in a way that most beginners can comprehend. The visual programming language also allows users to simply use a drag and drop interface and operates most efficiently on low-code platforms.

There are benefits to using a visual programming language in software development. Modern software development as a visual programming tool is a beginner-friendly solution for users who are not coding experts. The simple visual layout of the images and blocks makes it easy for the average user to understand, design, and explain. So instead of viewing undiscernible lines of code, people can logically grasp and explain complex concepts with this visual programming language. Because of its relative simplicity, visual programming is a seamless way of introducing users to coding and programming. 

However, despite the simplicity of the language, it can prove cumbersome as it is rich in graphics. This programming language is larger in size and thus takes up more space on a computer which can further result in slowed functions because of the amount of memory it requires on a drive. VPLs are very limited in the range of expressive functions they use. This makes it more difficult to execute more complex operations, and as a result, this type of language is rarely used by technological giants in the programming world.

(VPL) Visual Programming Language - A Full Guide

Visual Programming

This guide recommends all you need to know about visual programming language – VPL in the four simple steps below, including its size, appearance, and development:

Text vs Visual

Regular programming languages are text-based, while visual programming platforms are graphical-based and made up of icons, symbols, and logical blocks. The graphical components of a visual programming platform resemble a flowchart diagram in its layout, which is different from text-based programming languages. Because of this layout, VPL such as Scratch, are more readable than their original programming language counterparts, such as Java or Kotlin.

Larger Size

Visual programming tools are bulkier and heavier in size because they are graphics-based, while regular programming languages have a cleaner, more streamlined functionality as they are mostly text-based. As a result, regular programs take up less memory on a computer than this low-code or no-code.

An interesting fact is that applications that are created using the AppMaster platform are as small and fast as applications that are developed by programmers using classical programming languages. This is because AppMaster takes only the basics from the visual style; in other words, it works with the requirements. The platform analyzes the requirements that the user has created using visual elements or using business process blocks and, based on these business process blocks, already generates pure logic.

Due to the fact that the platform has artificial intelligence, which goes through the next stage after the initial code is generated, artificial intelligence optimizes everything that has been written, and the output is minimal applications. As an example, let's take the standard application that is built on AppMaster with all the necessary built-in modules with a logger, a telemetry system, and with all the basic things that are needed in any application.

When running such an application, it consumes less than ten megabytes of RAM, which is considered an excellent result. In conclusion, we can say that there are indeed problems with the sizes in the VPL, but it all depends on the specific platform you have chosen. As you can see, the AppMaster platform has no such problems.

Simple & Easy

The simple and easy, low-code interface of a visual programming tool, such as Scratch, makes it easier for a beginner and nontechnical user to understand it than a regular programming language. Visual programming software is an excellent graphical tool for novices who wish to learn and apply the basics of coding without technicalities.

This development method will be helpful not only for beginners but also for companies with a limited budget and those who would like to save on development. It's no secret that developer salaries are high these days, and the VPL approach can help solve this problem.

Quick & Flexible Development

Visual programming

Visual programming system is more flexible on options and enables a faster development turnaround time than regular program languages because they develop and finish quickly and easily. The graphical, low-code programming components are easily moved around with the click of a mouse and so can be conveniently resized or rearranged to create a logical sequence.

Disadvantages of Visual Programming Language

Despite VPL being amazing and in demand, it has some disadvantages of a VPL – Visual Programming Language over the regular and traditional programming language.

The top 3 are as follows:

Limited Platform Scalability

Visual programming software is limited in its functions for larger scale, more complex software projects. Their rudimentary platforms and graphical components make it difficult to scale up to larger systems during the development process. These larger software systems may need the advanced functionality of a text-based program for its more complex functions.

On the other hand, AppMaster is different from existing no-code tools. When people talk about visual programming, they mean that by creating visual blocks right away, they will immediately have some kind of functionality sewn in. In AppMaster, thanks to a very flexible business process editor, you can set up something at the lowest level that the component should do or set up some kind of logic using business process blocks.

Due to the fact that there is the possibility of fine-tuning, this dramatically increases scalability. Regarding scalability, unlike other no-code solutions, applications created in the AppMaster platform by default have the ability to run in Docker Swarm, Kubernetes clusters, and almost any balancers, which allows you to scale the load almost unlimitedly.

Limited potential

There is a myth that not everything can be done with visual programming. In fact, it depends on what blocks are used in visual programming. For example, AppMaster uses a large number of various blocks, which for the most part, repeat the functions of standard programming languages. If, in competing platforms, as a rule, there are blocks taken out of context, then in the case of AppMaster, the blocks repeat the functions of the programming language.

For example, there are "for each" cycle that allows you to iterate through all the elements in the array sequentially, and this corresponds to the  "for each" construction of almost any higher level languages, from Javascript to С++. AppMaster for each language construct has its own visual programming block in the business process editor. Users and developers can create almost any logic with the same level of complexity and flexibility as if they were doing it using programming languages, in other words, writing it all in lines of code. All this makes AppMaster one of the most flexible on the market.

visual programming

Tedious & Bulky

The number of graphical components can become too large, tedious, and bulky to manipulate for developers that are executing complex programming functions. The time and energy required to draw large diagrams and flowchart symbols for visual programming software could have been simplified with concise lines of text from a regular programming tool.

AppMaster, in turn, has a business process editor and business processes. When we talk about business processes, we should think of them as any function with input and output parameters. This means that best practices in application development and source code generation also apply to business processes. For example, frequently repeated functions or code in business processes, even though they are visual, are also taken out into a separate process as a particular function and called from another.

This allows us to refactor frequently used code into a different business process and then call these business processes to use where we need to. This allows us not to clutter up our business processes with many blocks; they do not become cumbersome or unmanageable. The best practice in AppMaster business processes is not to use more than 25-40 blocks. This allows any user to understand what kind of logical chain is built there and can easily debug all the built mechanisms.

Advantages of Visual Programming Language

The advantages of a VPL – Visual Programming Language are immense and unavoidable as compared to the regular and traditional programming language. 

Advantages of Visual Programming

The top 3 are as follows:

Less Costly

Visual Programming Language software provides business users with a no-code, low-code graphical software development solution. These businesses may wish to scale up by creating mobile applications but may lack sufficient capital to hire an entire team of software developers. Developing a no-code, low-code software tool with VPLs is a great choice for small and medium enterprises which require simple yet compact software solutions.

Accessible Knowledge Base

Visual programming software's simplicity and easy development reduce the reliance on ‘expert’ software developers. This low-code no-code programming language platform is relatively easy and user-friendly to learn for most ‘citizen developers with a simple drag and drop interface.

Faster Software Development

Visual programming tools allow rapid application development on their low-code and no-code platforms. This is helpful for businesses that need speed up and flexibility to keep up with demand and in higher rank with their competition.

Learning Curve

When citizen developers are introduced to no-code, low-code, it is easier for them to progress to a text-based programming environment. Because of this simplicity, visual programming tools are usually used to introduce young students to the world of software development. 

Uses of Visual Programming Language

low-no-code

Educational

Visual programing language software that assists and guides the learning process is useful for simulation, training, and education of students in various fields. Visual programming software's simple graphical components help students visualize and grasp concepts and procedures. The low-code visual programming language platform and the interface are so easy to grasp that students have been able to learn coding basics from these platforms and build new applications. The no-code, low-code programming environment helps non-technical users enter the IT market faster and easier if they want to change careers.

Visual App-Modeling

In modern software development, visual programing language is programming software that is instrumental in illustrating logical concepts and flowchart processes. For example, visual programming languages are extensively used in visual-app modeling to simulate features of software design prototypes. This is a software development process used by many organizations, known as Visual App-Modeling.

Organizational Tool

Other real-world Visual Programming Language applications include data management, business processes, and analytics. Visual programming language helps businesses to scale up with the use of their intuitive interface and easy depiction of automated processes. It replaces the need for high-tech programmers while allowing the business to collect, create and generate valuable data-rich reports and analytics. The intuitive functions of the VPL software interface enable it to ‘piggyback’ on larger platforms and other collaborative technology.

Conclusion

For many experienced programmers, simple visual programming tools are at the core of modern software development. However, this does not mean that their real-world applications should be taken for granted. These applications include ease of learning, simple graphical components, and the ability to interface with larger technology platforms. It is the exact tool needed to scale up within a competitive economic environment for many businesses and organizations.

It is also cost-effective and minimizes the need for a large labor force, one that many businesses can barely afford to have today. In addition, its software platform allows management the opportunity to have a more hands-on approach to the technological development of their company.

Ultimately, each person has to decide what is the best solution for them. However, we have an extensive suite of no-code, low-code isual programming languages - VPL platforms. If you need help with that, our skilled team will be happy to schedule a meeting for consultation with you to discuss further and can recommend to you based on your needs and pocket. 

AppMaster is your number one solution if you are looking for on-budget Visual Programming Language platforms. It is more than just no-code; the uniqueness lies in its generating the source code. This means that the user can not be afraid to be tied to the platform if they want; they can always take their source code. Moreover, the AppMaster platform can write technical documentation the same way as experienced programmers do. In the end, you have a high-quality solution that is not inferior to a solution made by the hands of developers but for a much shorter time and budget without writing a single line of code. The modern software development team these days needs visual programming platforms.