When we speak with our customers and say forms2 is a no-code mobile app and form development platform, we’re often asked what the difference is between no-code and low-code. Or in the world of business app building and mobile forms, who the winner might be in the battle of no-code vs low-code.
The benefits and differences between these two aren’t immediately clear to business owners, and depending on whether you’re running an enterprise or an SMB you need to know which option is right for your organisation.
So, on this page, we’ll discuss the differences between no-code and low-code app development platforms and some benefits of each in the hope it gives you a better understanding.
No code refers to tools and applications for non-professional developers – including business apps with mobile forms. The forms2 drag and drop approach to building workflow solutions, for example, is a no-code solution.
Low code can refer to tools and applications that allow developers with scripting and programming abilities to expand functionality. This can also include business apps with mobile forms.
In the context of business apps and mobile forms, the terms no-code and low-code can be easily split out by thinking in the following terms:
There are many benefits to no-code and low-code platforms, with very few downsides to either. The ‘better” option always comes down to your business needs, your available resources and of course your idea of success.
Both no-code and low-code are designed, especially within a mobile form and business app building context, to speed up workflows. They do this by providing a predominantly drag and drop interface that those with zero or limited (and advanced – we’re not forgetting about you!) coding abilities can use to create business apps and workflow solutions at speed. With no-code, you go from idea to solution in seconds. All by skipping the need for IT teams, developers and code.
By using a no-code/low-code drag and drop interface, such as forms2, you have a visually appealing way of, quite literally, dragging and dropping blocks or fields into an app or creating a mobile form in seconds complete with specific fields. Just like the way we all loved building with Lego (we still do) you can quite literally build business logic workflows within our user interface by selecting blocks (fields) and moving them around your screens.
The forms2 platform, for example, acts like a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editor so you don’t need to generate or write code if you don’t want to. By minimising or eradicating the need to code, you can build faster workflows and those with zero coding experience can improve their productivity without ever having to learn a new skill.
There are a few key differences between no-code and low-code development platforms. Especially in the world of business apps. No-code means exactly that – you have zero code to work with.
Low-code means some coding is required or applicable. Low code may require or will allow for customisation by those with coding experience, or at least an understanding of code – which is not always right for every business, especially those without an IT department.
For example, low-code platforms allow for developers to build new blocks or functionality by writing their own code. But beware…
These new blocks must fit within the functionality of the original application otherwise you risk racking up a lot of technical debt and causing management and update issues.
This means if you start changing things and adding new code outside of what the app is capable of, you risk derailing workflows if an update is rolled out. Just like trying to wedge a piece of Lego into a Jenga set – it won’t quite work.
Fortunately, our low-code functionality allows you to build within certain parameters so you’re not going to run into any trouble.
A common misconception in the no-code vs low-code debate is that no programming language or code is used. It’s there, except it’s handled by our platform and you don’t need to worry about the underlying code when you’re building business apps.
If you need the low-code option it’s mainly there for those who understand JSON, XML and other coding languages. So, you’re still working within parameters that are acceptable to the forms2 business app – you can’t break anything!
Although some may have safety concerns around low-code / no-code, with the right platform, it’s very safe to build with.
Time-saved and speed of creation are key benefits of no-code platforms such as forms2. You can create a business app complete with multi-stage workflows of varying complexity in literally minutes. No-code is traditionally 8-10x faster than traditional code, depending on the languages used etc. No-code is also 50% faster than low-code.
You create your apps to enhance your workflows and streamline what may have been complicated processes. Your apps evolve based on what you need, rather than you having to change processes to suit an app.
You build business apps and forms using the forms2 development platform to fit and improve your workflows, not the other way around.
The forms2 no-code, drag and drop platform is ready to go when you are. This means the apps and workflows you create are compatible across all devices and sync with your back office and your field teams.
Here at forms2, teach business owners how to build no-code business apps for iOS, Android and Windows – so you’re covered across all platforms and devices.
Updates are automatic and rolled out across the board. So, everyone is working on the same page. You can change your apps, add new fields and functionality. You can invite new users, send forms, create alerts, change processes and have access to the most up to date data. As soon as you add something new into your app – everyone gets the new update.
With no-code platforms, you can’t change any of the code as everything is built in a WYSIWYG drag and drop format. You can’t break anything! So, this means you can’t make any coding errors as you are not changing the functionality or core of the application.
With no-code, you don’t need an IT department or developers, so there are no extra staff overheads. As a Citizen Developer, the forms2 platform gives you everything you need to build your apps and can add extra functionality and scale when you need to without the need for an IT department.
Low-code solutions offer all the same benefits of no-code, with a few added bonuses. Yes, you save time and money by being able to roll out a business app across your company with limited coding resources, but it also bridges the gap between Citizen developers and experienced programmers.
However, experience writing code and programming skills are advantageous and sometimes required. We wouldn’t recommend low-code for those who don’t understand code.
A key benefit of low-code comes in the form of faster prototyping. Although no-code pushes out changes instantly, a low-code update may need some testing before you push it out across your application or to your field teams. However, due to the fact you’re working within set parameters as dictated by your application, you can prototype faster as you’re not building from scratch.
The fact that you are reducing the amount of code required and working within these set parameters means you are less likely to encounter coding errors. Yes, they may still crop up, but again, you’re building within an existing framework so those who understand the relevant code will therefore understand the rules of play and can build safely.
A low-code solution will help alleviate the stress of a smaller IT department or developer shortage, as you’re not coding an app from scratch. However, it shouldn’t be considered a long-term solution unless you’re willing to learn how to code.
This entirely depends on your needs. But overall, our drag and drop no-code platform fits all skill sets and also provides much of the functionality of a low-code platform. If you fill out mobile forms daily, build workflows and want to securely connect your existing data to your teams wherever they’re located, then no-code is perfect for you.
No-code wins when it comes to building apps and streamlining workflows at speed.
If you require certain tools within an application or your IT department needs to work within certain specific languages, frameworks, patterns or Software Development Kits (SDKs) and API’s then low-code may be right for you. Fortunately, we can handle both at forms2.
The forms2 platform is a citizen development toolbox. It’s designed so anyone can revolutionize workflows for simple tasks like job and task dispatch and reporting, or create complex multi-stage workflows that span the entire company.
Coding experience is not required to use forms2.
Overall, it’s a no-code solution and business app building platform that simplifies workflows and connects teams to the data they need.
Whether you have zero coding experience or vast amounts of knowledge to call upon, you’ll find it extremely useful – but you still won’t need to code. Everything you need is right there for you. If you need extra functionality, simply speak to our team and we’ll be able to work on a solution for you.
We love building new functionality and features that our customers want to see added to the platform.
The forms2 platform is 8-10x faster than coding – and that’s if you know how to code! Our customers use forms2 to not only streamline productivity but solve a range of problems their businesses may be having without the need for IT.
Here are some solutions our customers benefit from by using our no-code platform.
Losing track of signatures or waiting for paper signatures can bring jobs to a grinding halt. The digital signature capture functionality you can build into your apps and forms makes sign-offs a breeze. It also allows you to ensure the right people have seen a document and jobs can only be actioned after this signature has been received.
Creating digital hazard reports with a drag and drop method available on the no-code forms2 platform ensures you can ask and enforce answers to the right questions. The no-code functionality allows you to drag and drop media capture blocks (known as fields) date and time, location and any other vital information. Everything you need is within this screen without you ever having to code. It’s building a template rather than programming.
This is a screen that can potentially save lives. If you are working at height or in the field, you’ll likely need to know what the weather’s going to do. Our customers use the no-code platform to tell them what the weather forecast is in a certain GPS location on a specific date and time. You can even select the location by company.
Best of all, There’s no code involved. Just select company and company location and your app talks with a live weather service through our API – discovering if there’s going to be a rainstorm or if you’re safe to proceed.
Your no-code business app grows when you need to without code. Whether you’re logging 10 entries a day or 10,000 entries per second, your app can handle it. You can build as many apps, forms, screens and workflows as you need. You don’t need to program it or warn it to get ready for new users, you don’t need to add extra functionality if you don’t need to and you certainly will not need to change any code if you have to connect to assign new tasks to new users.
Put simply: if you can imagine it, you can build it with the forms2 no-code development platform for mobile forms and apps.
Read how you can scale your mobile forms and business apps with forms2.
Unless you’re willing to go and learn a new code language or study programming, no-code is the perfect solution if you want to streamline workflows, align your business goals across the board and connect teams. No code gets you from prototypes to production-ready apps very quickly. Whether you want to connect your workforce via a business app to data stored in Google Workspace, connect your field teams to Salesforce or Oracle NetSuite, create tasks or collect field data and produce accurate reports, the forms2 no-code platform gets you there, quickly and securely
Enterprises using our no-code platform not only save time but save thousands in admin and development costs, drastically reduce paper usage and make more informed business decisions based on accurately collected data. No-code helps you stay ahead of your competition.
Thousands of users and forward-thinking businesses are utilising the powerful, scalable no-code mobile forms and apps they build with forms2. You have the freedom to break free from restrictive, paper-led workflows and solve communication problems at the touch of a button. No more bottlenecks to success.
Speak to a member of our team at forms2 today and see how we can improve your workflow in 1 hour.