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What is a low-code development platform?

With the rise of digital transformation, embracing a low-code development platform—which anyone can use to rapidly develop new applications—is a major way your company can adapt and prosper.

Why adopt a low-code platform?

As workplaces continue to shift and evolve, more people work from home and use mobile devices. In response, businesses have had to make quick changes to meet their employees’ new needs, including continuing to learn how to better support workers with apps that increase productivity, collaboration, and efficiency.

Low-code development can facilitate your company’s digital transformation. Instead of relying heavily on programming, low-code development platforms—also called low-code application platforms—simplify app development with techniques like drag-and-drop functionality and visual guidance. This means that anyone in your company, regardless of their technical expertise or abilities, can build low-code apps so that the business can offload some tasks from IT.

Unlike professional developers, business users might not know much about hand-coding and typically lack formal training in programming, but they can still build applications using low-code platforms. Because low code simplifies the app-building process, users don’t need to be coding experts to build efficient apps. Empowering business users to create apps also frees up your IT and development resources so they can focus on more complex projects.

Low-code platforms also help your business and developers address the growing need for top-of-the-line internal workflow applications, timesaving automations, better customer experiences, and seamless integrations. It can also help your professional developers build apps faster and avoid writing code line by line.

Because all low-code application platforms don’t function the same way, choosing the right one for your business is critical for success. For example, you’ll want a platform that’s flexible enough to handle your unique business challenges and is still easy to use so that anyone in your company can quickly create professional, user-first apps.

The benefits of a low-code development platform

Low-code development platforms make businesses more productive and agile by delivering:

  • Efficiency. You don’t need to wait for developers to have openings in their schedules. With a low-code development platform, your other teams can simultaneously develop apps for multiple platforms and rapidly provide working examples. When developers are available to work on apps, they’ll benefit from intuitive features like drag-and-drop functionality and user-friendly APIs.
  • Flexibility. With low-code development, business users can create flexible apps that accomplish specific tasks. That agility is also critical if your business must scale and extend apps to quickly finish projects.
  • Responsiveness. Sometimes your business must pivot to accommodate roller-coaster market shifts, and how better to do that than with new digital initiatives? With low code, you can quickly deliver and change a full-stack application.
  • Iterability. Your company can also provide customers with a positive experience every time they interact with your brand. Online, this means providing a consistent, frictionless experience, and prebuilt templates and chatbots are a great way to approach this.

While low-code application platforms can empower your employees who don’t have technical app building skills, they can be a great option for professional developers, too. Many low-code platforms are extensible and offer building blocks that are intended for developers to use, which makes these platforms a smart choice for just about any kind of user.

Ultimately, these benefits can help your business boost profitability. Low-code app development is designed for internal teams, so you can save money by keeping low-code app development in-house instead of hiring external development teams.

Low code and no code

Low code and no code might seem similar, and they do share some things in common. They both allow users to create apps using visual modeling software, and both were created as an alternative to traditional software development, which can be time-consuming and costly. In contrast, low-code and no-code platforms are fast, affordable, and accessible.

However, some clear differentiators exist between these two types of application platforms. While a low-code development platform needs minimal hand-coding and generally involves moving existing code into a workflow to build apps, no-code solutions are designed for users who might not be familiar with programming at all. No code uses declarative programming with a focus on “what,” not “how.” In other words, you tell the system what you want, and it builds the app.

Because no-code platforms don’t require much training, anyone in your company without a technical background can quickly create business apps.

Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of low-code versus no-code development.

Low code


It’s useful for both business users and professional developers.

Users create apps with IT guidance.

It allows greater flexibility and control.


A developer is still required if you want any significant customization.

Switching app building software can be difficult because many retain ownership of users’ source code.

Some coding might be required, so it’s not ideal for all users.

No code


Anyone with moderate computer skills can develop apps with little training.

Everything the user needs is already built into the tool.

Creating a new app is very fast thanks to premade tools and templates.


The apps can be difficult to customize.

Each app is intended to solve only one business challenge.

You’re tied to the platform you use. Whatever changes they make to their business or products could negatively affect you.

What you can build with no-code and low-code platforms

Low-code development platforms make businesses more productive and agile by delivering:

  • Conference information for event attendees. Building an event-specific app is a great way to keep attendees engaged. An app can make it easy for guests to view daily agendas, learn about speakers, find local transit options, or even provide session feedback.
  • Streamlined procurement processes. Instead of using email or physical documents to request items, you can build an app to house and manage employee purchase requests and to simplify, or even automate, approvals.
  • Employee onboarding. Apps can make it easier to quickly bring new employees up to speed. You could also create an app to assign, track, and manage employee training exercises, in-house tutorials, and other important hiring documentation.
  • Food delivery management. You could build an app to keep track of when food is made, when it’s sent for delivery, and how long it takes for a driver to drop an order off. You could even add GPS functionality that gives delivery drivers the fastest route to their destinations.

When to go low code or no code

Both kinds of app development software can help you build apps that your business needs in a shorter time frame than with traditional development. But how do you know which one is right for you?

It depends on what you’re hoping to achieve and what resources you have available. If speed is your biggest concern, you only want to create apps that accomplish simple tasks, or you don’t have anyone on staff with coding skills, no code is probably your best choice.

However, if you want the speed of no code but don’t want to compromise on customizability or scalability—and both professional developers and business users will use the apps—then low code is the way to go. Whatever the size of your business, low-code platforms give both technical and non-technical users the power to build apps they need to do their jobs more efficiently. Going low code means you can save money, save time, and be more productive.

Take the next step

When you opt for a low-code development platform, you can build the apps that your business needs in next to no time. With Microsoft Power Apps, you’ll empower your teams to easily and rapidly build low-code apps that modernize processes, solve tough business challenges, and make your company more agile.

Frequently asked questions

What are low-code application platforms?

Low-code application platforms—also called low-code development platforms—simplify app development with techniques like drag-and-drop functionality and visual guidance. With low-code platforms, anyone in your company, regardless of their technical expertise, can build apps that increase productivity, collaboration, and efficiency.

What is the difference between low-code and no-code?

A low-code development platform needs minimal hand-coding and generally involves moving existing code into a workflow to build apps. No-code solutions are designed for users who might not be familiar with programming at all.

What are examples of low-code apps?

Low-code platforms can be used to build a variety of business apps. For example, instead of relying on email or physical documents, a company can create a low-code app that manages employee purchase requests and automates approvals. To increase productivity and efficiency, company could also build apps for tracking time off and travel requests.

What is low-code used for?

Organizations use low-code development to respond faster and more efficiently to business and market needs. Nontechnical people can use low-code platforms to solve challenges and take advantage of new opportunities—while freeing IT and development resources for more complex projects. Professional developers can also use low-code platforms to build apps faster and avoid writing code line by line.