A Quick Comparison Guide to Low Code Internal Tool Builders by@gayatri

A Quick Comparison Guide to Low Code Internal Tool Builders

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Gayatri

This comparison guide covers a lot of basic and more advanced information to evaluate the top low-code platforms. 

Regardless of where you are in your low-code journey, this will offer some helpful insights and resources to further you in your path.

The global low-code development platform market is predicted to generate a revenue of $187.0 billion by 2030, rising from $10.3 billion in 2019, and is expected to advance at a fast pace, 31.1% CAGR, during the forecast period (2020-2030) - Research and Markets

What is Low Code? 

Low-code is a development approach, where using the low-code platform, users can build websites, applications, workflows, automation, APIs, and more with little to zero lines of code. 

A visual development technique, low-code packs a lot of advantages for enterprises that need to speed up development without exhausting time or dollar resources. It enables users to build solutions without the need for proficient coding skills by using drag and drop interfaces and ready-to-use modules.

72% of users are developing apps with low-code applications in 3 months or less - G2

Types of Low Code Tools 

Low-code tools come in all shapes and sizes and serve different types of use cases. Here's a list of a few of the most popular low-code tools categories: 

  1. BPM tools: Appian, Pega, Kissflow
  2. Form builders: Jotform, Typeform
  3. Automation: Zapier, Integromat
  4. Frontend builder (Consumer apps): Bubble, Adalo
  5. Frontend builder (Internal apps): Retool, DronaHQ, Appsmith
  6. App builders to build core business apps (including backend, microservices, etc.) - Outsystems, Mendix
  7. Field force apps: Prontoforms, Fulcrum
  8. Extension builder: Extension.dev
  9. Test automation: Reflect.run
  10. Online DB tools: Quickbase, Airtable, Knack
  11. Website builder: Webflow, Softr
Top Low code Internal Tools Builders 

Evidently, internal tools (business/employee-facing tools primarily used by a set of users to optimize a business operation) is the most popular category for which business sought after low-code technology. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular low-code tools used to build mobile or web applications. 

Disclaimer: These low-code platform vendors are included in the list based on their popularity as observed over search engines, review platforms like G2, Capterra, SaasHub.

  1. DronaHQ
  2. Retool
  3. Internal.io
  4. Appsmith
  5. Bubble
  6. UI Bakery
  7. Jet Admin
  8. Forest Admin
  9. Budibase
Comparing Internal Tool Builders (Free Excel Template) >

Evaluating Top Low Code Internal Tools Builders 

Before the stakeholders say engineering, business department, and top management take a call on investing in a low-code platform,  it’s vital to ask - “What do we need to achieve with this low-code tool?”

Do we need to reduce reliance on developers, do we need to increase speed to market, do we need to get more business users involved in the app development process? Do we need to connect disparate databases to one for better data accessibility? What’s a priority - frontend or backend?

Having clarity on the ‘what’ can help you navigate through the evaluation process much faster.

Things to Look for in a Low Code Tool

Identifying what to seek in a low-code/no-code automation platform is critical to a company’s success. 

  1. Quick Time-to-Market: One of the fundamental advantages of low-code is its intuitiveness. The objective should be to have working solutions up and operating as rapidly as possible, with a minimal learning curve. The platform should not be too complicated or perplexing right away. 
  2. Is the solution reducing dependencies on the engineering team? Or how easy to use the platform is. Is it fully low-code, no-code, or requires some level of developer or front-end designer expertise. Are sufficient support articles, tutorials, and documentation available? The objective is to elevate the reliance on developers and get rolling on your app/workflow/automation as smoothly as possible.
  3. Does it integrate well with your existing databases and systems? A pivotal role that low-code no-code platforms need to play is to bind together your multiple data sources and present a single unified image, in the form of reports, web portals, dashboards, or admin tools. So is the platform providing ready integrations? Ability to register APIs (REST, SOAP, GraphQL?) How secure is your data?
  4. Prebuilt Templates: Once again, the key here is the simplicity of use. While you may want to leverage automation to develop bespoke apps for your company, there’s no need to start from scratch. The more pre-built, ready-to-use templates there are, the better. It will help with faster implementation and return on investment.
  5. Is the platform secure to hold business-sensitive data? Many platforms have strict security certifications in place to protect data. Select the platform which provides control at granular levels - user-based permissions, role-based permissions, data/app/API permissions.
  6. Does the pricing plan work for me? The business and pricing strategies of low-code platforms are highly diverse. Some platforms charge you on a user-based pricing model, which means you will have to pay more as you allow more people to use your application. On the other hand, there are other low code platforms that will charge you on the basis of usage, which suggests that you can easily scale from 1 to 100 or 100,000 users quickly. 
  7. Ability to Self-serve: Not only can low-code assist bridge the knowledge gap by making application development accessible to people of all skill levels, such as citizen developers, but it can also free up the IT staff by empowering end-users to handle IT requests without the need for the service office’s involvement.
  8. Compliance and Security: Examine the platform to see if it adheres to the Global Compliance Assurances Standards. Security should be a top priority for your platform, which will serve clients from a variety of businesses, including government entities. Besides having robust security and governance features, make sure that it has also implemented an ISO/IEC 27001-compliant information security management system (ISMS).

Low Code empowering Business + IT 

The crux of low code makes it easy for users to adapt and make custom apps without the technical wizardry.

Low-code technology is leading to a paradigm shift in how business tools are made. The business developers or citizen developers can co-create powerful apps for business in collaboration with IT. 

Low-code enabled the democratization of app development is leading to a rapid increase in the rate of application delivery, and innovation in the market is bound to go up.

80% of organizations state that citizen developers have given IT departments more breathing room - G2

Why Use Low Code?

Low-code platforms are not just for those that are not proficient developers. The tools are used by developers and semi-technical users alike to accelerate digital journeys. Businesses use low-code for a host of reasons:

  1. Build prototypes faster to validate ideas
  2. Faster time to market
  3. Make operations easier and less time consuming
  4. Build solutions without outsourcing
  5. Reduce dependency on developers
66% believe digital transformation & increase responsiveness to the business as the main motive of the low-code dev platform and 45% use it to reduce dependencies on hard-to-hire tech skills. - G2

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