The use of no-code platforms – and their low-code relatives, which require minimal coding knowledge – is on the rise. This trend represents a step towards the decades-long goal in computer science to automate manual coding.
Today, the unprecedented demand for more business applications, the development of AI technologies, and higher expectations are putting tremendous pressure on IT leaders. Therefore, it’s not surprising that about 70% of digital transformations fail.
The value proposition of disruptive low-code AI technology gives companies the flexibility and agility to adapt to the fast-changing industry reality while accelerating the time-to-market of new applications to keep up with or change markets.
What is Low Code?
Low-code is a software development technique that promotes faster app deliveries with little to no coding required. Hence, low-code platforms are a collection of software tools that allow the visual development of apps using intuitive modeling with a graphical user interface (GUI). Low-code eliminates or significantly reduces the need for coding, accelerating the process of getting apps to production.
The idea of low-code was introduced in 2011. The concept of low-code is considered to be a novel and cutting-edge concept in the field of programming. Hence, development platforms that reduce code and automate development tasks for developers have recently started to become widely adopted.
To understand the growing adoption of the low-code development approach, it’s essential to understand its concept, the elements of low-code software tools, and the issues that low-code solves. Instead of traditional coding techniques, a low-code development framework provides a coding setting for developing software applications through a visual user interface.
These frameworks allow IT customers to integrate building blocks into applications and work processes. These components used to develop such software applications extract the programming behind actions and orders, enabling IT professionals to build interfaces and business apps without the need to code manually.
What Is a Low-Code Platform?
Low-code development platforms are based on the concepts of model-driven design, automatic code generation, and visual programming. Hence, low-code platforms are software applications that offer a GUI for coding to produce code rapidly and thereby reducing conventional hand-coding efforts.
As a result, low-code platforms provide integrated tools to eliminate the need to write code line-by-line. Instead, the user can draw flowcharts in a visual editor, and the code will be automatically produced. In most of today’s commercial low-code/no-code platforms, users can create software applications by dragging and dropping pre-defined components. Today, some of the most popular low-code software platforms are Mendix, Outsystems, Creatio, Appian, and Creator.
A low-code platform is a set of tools for programmers and non-programmers. By lowering the difficulty level of app development processes, those technologies become accessible to a much broader audience. People are now able to build software applications without years of programming experience.
Compared to traditional software coding, the development of code with this approach becomes much faster. Accordingly, low-code platforms drive the adoption of complex emerging technologies in IoT, Edge Computing, or AI. We will discuss low-code platforms specifically built for AI tasks later in this article.
Low-code enables fast delivery of applications with minimum effort to write in a coding language and requires the least possible effort for the installation and configuration of environments, training, and implementation.
What is No Code?
No code frameworks are software design systems that make it possible for non-IT people to implement software without writing a line of code. These software tools usually have an easy-to-use UI and drag-and-drop options, enabling the user to visualize the execution process and design the entire business logic visually.
No-code software uses a visual development interface to make it possible for non-technical people to create a full application by dragging and dropping software elements. In most cases, users do not need any coding experience to build apps with no-code software tools.
What are No Code Platforms?
Along with low-code platforms, no-code development platforms are generally perceived as “extraordinarily disruptive”. No-code platforms are software platforms that leverage a visual development interface to allow non-programmers to build full applications. Hence, the platform users are not required to have coding experience for building software with no-code tools. Such platforms do not require users to have coding experience for building software with no-code tools.
What Is An Application Development Platform?
Application development platform (ADP) refers to a bundle of technology that helps companies and businesses design, build, and deploy their application. Hence, app development platforms are software tools that aid in app development processes by offering functionalities such as analytics, API, IDE, templates, code-free developments, and data synchronization. Hence, ADPs accelerate the app development process.
Several app development software platforms are used to build apps, mobile devices, and web browsers. These platforms provide APIs to simplify the process of integration with backend services. Moreover, it provides a visual development environment and makes the process of building software applications much easier.
Application Development Platforms offer functionalities such as hardware compatibility and assistance in workflow design. By doing so, they usually facilitate the development of user interfaces, business logic, and data services. They typically manage the entire life cycle of an application and support rapid application development, one-step deployment, execution, and management.
Without ADPs, companies end up using a mix of technologies, architectures, and programming structures, causing issues in application maintenance and operational bottlenecks. Large enterprises often have hundreds of applications running on various technologies and architectures. This leads to huge inefficiencies, cost overrun on app management, and stagnant response to business requirements.
Application development platforms enhance the agility and ability to respond to evolving business needs in the IT world. Currently, companies and businesses have started realizing the need to shift to unified ADPs that can build their engineering and technology foundation for all existing and future apps.
By leveraging an ADP to enable the rapid development of business applications, IT organizations are increasing the value they provide to clients while still enhancing existing infrastructure and maintenance projects. Especially since reliability, security, scalability, and infrastructure monitoring are provided by the platform.
Why Do Businesses Need Low Code?
- Digital Business Transformation Drives Application Delivery
As the technological landscape evolves quickly, the demand for technological solutions and AI technology is growing fast. Complex software such as AI systems involves large amounts of code and different frameworks and the Internet of Things (IoT). The wide range of complex technologies stretches the ability of a single individual to fully understand every technical aspect. Software must be delivered quickly, efficiently, and securely while upholding high-quality standards.
- Increasing Demand for Machine Learning Specialists
Consequently, this leads to a higher demand for specialized skills and talents within the tech industry. As a result, businesses across industries need access to IT professionals with skill sets in different development categories. According to Gartner, by 2021, the demand for information systems will increase five times faster than IT departments’ ability to provide them because the number of employees is not growing at a sufficient pace.
- Low-Code Drastically Accelerates Software Development
The emergence of low-code platforms offers ways to address those problems. Low–code platforms provide companies with the ability to significantly speed up application delivery, reduce the number of experts needed and increase the scalability of IT systems. This can be achieved by substantially reducing the amount of code needed by breaking down essential functionality into reusable components that quickly can be put together and reshaped.
Why Low-Code Development?
Low–code platforms will significantly change the development landscape regarding time to market, scope, development, maintenance, integration, and deployment compared to traditional development.
The Top Reasons Why Low-Code Is so Popular
- Low code tools offer an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
- Low code development speeds up development, reducing the time to market.
- Low code development reduces complexity in large projects.
- Low code makes it easy to scale applications from testing to production.
- Low code makes development flexible, as it comes with many integrations.
- Low code provides built-in security and maintenance, saving costs and time.
- Low code lowers development risks at a high Return-On-Invest.
Benefits of Low-Code Versus Traditional Development
Many benefits to the low-code/no-code development approach can be found. Most importantly, it often drastically speeds up the development process, leading to lowers costs. Also, low code reduces the dependency on IT developers and allows for the integration of other departments in the development process.
The key differences of traditional vs. low-code development are:
- Time to market. Traditional development relies on manual coding, is slow to launch, and is slow to change. On the other hand, Low-code development uses drag and drop design, pre-built components and is quick to launch.
- Scope. Traditionally, applications are planned and developed as large, complex projects. However, Low-code allows building multiple, typically rather small and independent solutions.
- Development. Traditional development is difficult to align to business demands and has slow turnaround times. Low-code development allows up to 5x quicker building, efficient testing, and higher ROI.
- Maintenance. Common development cycles require additional development and involve expensive support. Low-code development enables easy and quick updating or extending of the solution. This makes it excellent for prototyping.
- Integration. Traditionally, software integrations are time and investment-intensive. Developers and documentation are required, as well as extensive testing phases. Low-code development offer pre-built connectors live debugging and creating web services with no coding.
- Deployment. Usually, software deployment is slow and complex; it requires multiple steps and development resources. Low code development offers one-touch deployment and deploying to multiple environments – a single click is all it takes to send an application to production.
- Low-risk/high ROI. With low-code, robust security measures, data integration, and cross-platform support are already built-in and can be easily customized. This means less risk and more time to focus on the business.
Using Low-Code Platforms for Artificial Intelligence Systems
What Is a Low-Code AI Platform
AI-based software and applications have the potential to disrupt business across industries. Therefore, businesses have to keep pace with the trend of technology evolving at a fast pace. However, Artificial Intelligence is a narrow high-tech niche of software engineering, requiring in-depth knowledge of coding and technology. Hence, AI development is traditionally associated with advanced software engineering skills and significant development experience.
The transformative potential of low-code AI development is evident. Low-code AI is a game-changer in artificial intelligence, drastically simplifying regular application development tasks and bringing software development closer to users, making it accessible to a wide range of businesses.
The benefits of businesses using such low-code platforms for AI development benefit from massive cost cuts on development, quicker time-to-market for their software, better product scalability, and a seamless and intuitive user experience.
Low-code/no-code machine learning platforms allow non-AI experts to create AI applications from pre-defined components. Such platforms are based on an intuitive graphical user interface in designing the application and visual programming as opposed to hard-coded programming techniques.
Low-Code vs. No-Code AI Development
The differences of low-code vs. no-code development are based on the fact that low code development requires minimal programming input from the user, while no-code software doesn’t require programming at all. However, both low-code and no-code can involve the use of building blocks, while low-code facilitates the integration of custom software in the form of such building blocks.
When it comes to developing AI solutions, increasingly, more people will be able to create AI applications and use AI technology, freeing up highly trained coders to focus on the hardest problems.
Who Uses Low-Code Development?
Low-Code development is beneficial for different types of users to speed up their projects and simplify the deployment process. As the infrastructure around the application is already set up and managed out of the box, low-code AI platforms enable rapid development, testing, and scaling of apps. Popular tools, AI models, or frameworks are already integrated and offered to the users without dealing with infrastructure, security, scaling, or DevOps tasks.
- Low-Code for AI Beginners
Low-code and no-code AI platforms make AI technologies more accessible to people without the need for hiring an AI developer full time. Depending on the platform, it becomes easier for beginners to get started with AI technologies.
- Low-Code for Developers
Low-code platforms also offer great potential for AI developers, for example, Computer Vision Engineers, to develop AI applications. Low-code allows developers to add their own custom software or AI models as integrations to the platform. Furthermore, low-code programming of AI applications enables programmers and researchers to spend less time on repetitive coding tasks, write less code and instead focus resources on the application’s functionality and optimization.
- Low-Code for Researchers
Researchers can speed up their experiments and projects with low-code development platforms. Most importantly, it becomes easier to compare different approaches and benchmark multiple versions. Also, researchers can rapidly prototype and test new tools (instant application testing after each change) without the need to invest in expensive infrastructure.
Low-Code AI Platform for Computer Vision
A low-code AI platform for automating computer vision applications is a difficult and demanding challenge that is driven by numerous research and technological problems. The latest AI low-code platform, designed specifically for computer vision, is powered by the Swiss computer vision startup named viso.ai.
Viso’s technology is worth mentioning because it is probably instructive of where the entire AI vision software space may be headed. Today, viso.ai has been a leader in AI vision software to create custom computer vision and deep learning applications that process video feeds of numerous cameras in real-time with deployed AI algorithms. To achieve this, the company integrates numerous state-of-the-art computer vision techniques and algorithms out of the box.
Because the platform works by essentially fine-tuning pre-trained AI algorithms and connecting pre-built modules in a visual editor, it becomes possible to create a custom AI vision solution quickly. The platform is designed for fast and automated continuous optimization of AI applications to achieve progressively better results.
The low-code AI vision platform of viso.ai allows building applications for multiple computing platforms simultaneously, adopt state-of-the-art hardware rapidly, and show stakeholders working examples in days or even hours. The high speed of development minimizes the time-to-market and maximizes the business value of AI solutions.
How Does Low-Code Computer Vision Work?
Low-code AI enables people with limited coding knowledge to create AI systems. Thus, also non-technical experts can quickly compile the needed software application with visual building blocks. Most low-code AI platforms include the following elements:
- Graphical User Interface. An intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) with clear visual elements that is understandable even to non-specialists allows easy construction of AI vision applications.
- Pre-Built Integrations. For the created AI vision application to work with visual input of cameras and pre-trained AI models, ready to use building-blocks are offered to the user. The Low-code AI platform provider ensures secure data storage and communication.
- Application Manager. Creating an application with a low-code AI platform is only the beginning of the software development process. For the application to work well, it needs to be maintained and updated correctly. The platform commonly offers tools and support to eliminate bugs and improve the application’s functionality and performance.
Is Low-Code the Future of Software Development?
It seems too good to be true, isn’t it? Non-programmers can develop full-fledged software applications. Great messaging, but isn’t it true that it doesn’t succeed in practice? To develop something nearly similar to a fully functioning program, you’ll need experienced coders. Low-code, on the other hand, isn’t just a concept, it’s a fact. It’s having a deep impact on the overall market right now, which is why it’s getting widespread now.
For instance, if you want to initiate a work process following a particular set of actions on your app, you use a coding language such as Python or a low-code/no-code (LCNC) framework that has already programmed the activities into code blocks that a device can quickly read and decode.
The forecast about the use of low-code/no-code development platforms follows a strongly positive curve. Accordingly, By 2024, more than 65% of applications will be developed using the low-code/no-code development approach. Also, by the same year, more than 75% of large enterprises will use at least four low-code/no-code development tools.
During the global coronavirus crisis, the need for software development has driven growth in demand for low-code/no-coding development platforms. As a result, the worldwide low-code development technologies market is projected to total $13.8 billion in 2021.
Low-code AI solutions help businesses significantly reduce the time to market of AI solutions, allow significant cost savings on hiring software and Computer Vision Engineers, and offer the speed, simplicity, and flexibility of ready-made software solutions.
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