What’s a Low Code App Builder?

by | Nov 14, 2018

Low-code app builders have only been around for a few years, but they are already making a splash in the development community. A low code app builder is a third party development platform that offers pre-built modules or app elements that can be used as a foundation for app development, and be further customized with additional code. The biggest benefit about low code app builders is their ability to accelerate development cycles so that developers aren’t starting from scratch.


What is a low code app builder?

A low-code app builder is just what the name suggests: an app building platform that requires a low amount of coding to build new software. Most low code platforms were created for developers to help speed up the app building process. With this kind of development there might be some elements of visual development, such as a drag and drop builder, but to customize and complete your app you will need to write some lines of code. Low code app builders were designed to help accelerate the app development process, often taking between 8-15 weeks to deploy, versus up to 40 weeks with traditional development.


Who uses low code app builders?

Since you do need to understand some amount of coding when using a low code app builder, there are two main types of people who use low code app builders. First are “citizen developers”, or non-developers who have some coding knowledge and see the opportunity in making their own app. Second are professional developers and IT, who utilize low-code platforms to accelerate the mobile development process by giving them a jumping off point. But since coding is a necessity when building an app with a low code platform, non-technical individuals would have a hard time building their own app without some prior coding education.


What types of apps can you build with low code app builders?

There isn’t a limit to the types of apps you can create with a low code app builder. Many people think that low-code platforms are meant for simpler apps. However, a Forrester survey explained how many larger, more complex enterprises are building their apps with low code platforms. As we said, low code app builders are designed to speed up the app building process, but still allow for complex coding, giving the developer the opportunity to build out a complex, individualized app for their client or company.


Low code vs. no-code app builders

We’ve discussed the main differences between low code and no-code app builderspreviously, but here’s a brief overview: While a low code app builder requires the user to have some coding knowledge to finish building the app, a no-code app builder requires no previous coding knowledge. Most no-code app builders (like Hatch Apps), use a functional drag and drop builder to allow users to completely build and customize their app as if they were drawing a picture or rearranging boxes. You don’t need a software developer to deploy a fully functional app with a no-code app builder, and you are still able to customize it to your business’s brand.

The main benefit of using a low code app builder over a no-code one is that it allows you to build out complex code, giving you the ability to make deeper customizations to your app’s functionality. The final decision maker, therefore, is the person writing the code. With a no-code app builder, you are restricted to whatever the app allows you to build, thereby giving less opportunity for customization. Low code app builders are also better suited for larger, more complex apps. In contrast, since no-code app builders don’t allow for developer access, you can’t always build out the app to allow for that level of complexity.


Is a low code app builder right for me?

Today, most businesses realize that mobile apps play a big part in your overall marketing strategy. But deciding how to build your app can be a tough decision. Low code app builders can be a great way to build an app in less time and for less money. Low code platforms are perfect for individuals with some coding knowledge, or companies with a developer on staff, who want to build out an app themselves but want an initial starting point. You’ll be able to develop complex, enterprise-level apps faster and have the ability to edit content in your app whenever you need to.

If low-code app builders aren’t for you, then learn about 5 different ways you can build an app without coding. If you’re interested in learning more about a no-code app builder like Hatch Apps,  make sure to set up a 15-minute conversation with our team. We’d love to learn about your app idea!

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Start Designing Your Custom App