You’ve heard the hype. No-code development platforms are so simple to use that anyone can master them. By removing the obstacle of needing to know programming languages and have coding skills, they contribute to the democratization of any new technology. But is it all really that simple? Does this simplicity come at a cost?
What are no-code development platforms?
No-code development platforms allow non-programmers to analyze data and build solutions in drag-and-drop visual editors, without writing a line of code. And if your business problem is pretty standard, that’s all great. Up to a point.
Understanding no-code development limitations
Generally, the simpler the software, the less flexible it becomes. And this is particularly true with no-code platforms, which may come apart as the complexity of needs increases, and you don’t have the necessary building blocks to cover the business logic required. Even if workarounds can be integrated, which is not always the case, they will require specialized programmers and multiple scripts, which are notoriously difficult to keep track of, like an untidy desktop. Customization can be costly and time-consuming, eating into all the advantages you hoped to find with no-code tools.
With remote working on the rise, and as your company hopefully grows, the need for collaborative work on any given solution will also increase. Collaboration requires a code base to merge and store different versions of solutions, which, as you can pick up from the name, no-code platforms do not provide.
The alternative to no-code solutions so far
Faced with the need for customization and collaboration, many companies choose to forego no-code and build their own custom software solution. Custom solutions are inherently tailored to specific business needs (as long as these don’t change). But they present several drawbacks.
Creating in-house tools is costly
The first hurdle is, ironically, cost. Although you would instinctively expect to save money by using an open-source programming language, such as Python, and avoid the initial expense of a no-code platform, building your own solution can work out pretty expensive. Programmers are pricey, and you must either face the cost of hiring an internal team or outsourcing the job. Either option will not work out cheap. Outsourcing may seem to make more sense at the start, but inevitable modifications, integrations, and maintenance will result in additional costs and delays, and total dependence on the service provider.
A problem of time, resources, and technical support
The next issue to face is time. While you can get started pretty quickly with a drag-and-drop interface, building custom applications can be very time-consuming. Another aspect to consider with custom development is that programmers are human (hopefully you knew that). Even when their work is impeccable, each programmer will naturally have a different logical approach to reach the same result. This can make solution maintenance complicated if modifications are not made by the same people who worked on the original project, which is quite likely, given the high turnover rate of software developers. And finally, once the solution is ready and approved, time-consuming reworking is usually required to
effectively make it production-ready, which means more money and more time… Is there an answer?
Welcome to self-coding
There is an innovative solution that unites the advantages and overcomes the disadvantages of both no-code platforms and custom code development: self-coding. Self-code platforms have the initial user experience of an intuitive graphic platform, which allows business users to build multiple applications without writing code. But this apparent simplicity hides an immense flexibility to deal with custom business scenarios. As you drag and drop building blocks, configure tasks, and work with your data, the platform writes the underlying optimized code behind the scenes for you.
Self-code software benefits
It’s a simple WYSIWYG interface for your business users, but it’s also a code solution when you need it. So, what difference does this actually make? It means that multiple people can collaborate on the same solution, creating and merging different versions in a git-like versioning system, and making collaborative work possible on the same solution.
The code base of the solution means that the platform itself can be quickly expanded and enhanced, enabling constant innovation and the extremely fast development of new features. Consequently, customization can be implemented very quickly, often in days, so you are not stuck for months while you wait for a new connector or essential custom feature. If you want to enable your business users to build complex applications independently, while still keeping a flexible solution that allows collaborative working, and save money on expensive programming experts, look into self-code platforms. You can’t really afford not to.
Rulex’s self-code platform
Rulex Platform is an end-to-end data management platform and an innovative example of self-coding. Optimized code is generated for every operation in its drag-and-drop web interface, and each step is tracked in an interactive graphic history table. Each action can be undone, re-executed, saved, or even deleted, and the code behind each action can be viewed with a single click. Rulex Platform also leverages this code base to automatically generate documentation, which can be quickly shared with colleagues, so you don’t have to keep track of your actions. You can even add custom comments, which get automatically integrated in just the right place in the final documentation.
Developing solutions fast
In combination with self-coding, an additional peculiarity of Rulex Platform is its simplicity and speed in developing solutions, by keeping the underlying data visible during every development phase. As you add logical elements to your workflow and manipulate your data, you can execute each part in seconds, immediately check the results, and change track if required. And once you are satisfied with the results, the workflow is production-ready, speeding up change management, and avoiding wasting time with reworking.
Knowing more about self-coding
Any developer or tech lover who wants to discover the nitty-gritty of self-code development, check out the tech blog on Rulex Community: Advantages of self-coding platforms for developers.
test IT yourself with our self-code platform
Start a 30-day free trial of Rulex Platform, and try out self-coding yourself to develop your projects.