Last Updated: March 25, 2024
Low Code vs Traditional Development
Published On: June 07, 2023

Blog Summary: Traditional development shouldn’t be overlooked despite the rise of no code/low code tools. It offers unmatched control, flexibility, and customization for complex applications. Compare low code and traditional development in detail to make informed decisions about your project’s needs and resources.

Low code development enables your employees to create their own tools without any help from the IT department. Traditional development allows you to leverage the expertise of a development team of skilled coders.

Business owners can soon find themselves caught in a battle of low code vs traditional development. The former lacks business value but offers an opportunity for non-technical citizen development. Mordor Intelligence predicts low code development will see a CAGR of 30.90% by 2029.

U.S Market CAGR

The latter is a practical approach but is often complex, expensive, and challenging. However, GM insights predicts the size of the global market for traditional development to increase at a CAGR of 21.5% till 2032.

Building and testing an app idea without writing code is much easier, cheaper, and faster with readymade templates. However, traditional development enables you to build custom functions that suit your specific needs.

In this blog, we’ll uncover the pros and cons of both software development solutions to help you make an informed decision when selecting one for your future project.

A Detailed Comparison: Low Code vs Traditional Development 

Before comparing these types of software development at length, here’s an overview of them: 

Parameters No code/Low code Development Traditional Development
Business value It is easier and faster development but has a limited approach to achieving the required app complexity. Comprehensive software frameworks and customized solutions and hence increased business value
Coding skills  More accessibility with drag-and-drop mechanism and doesn’t need deep understanding of complex high-level coding  traditional development needs advanced coding skills, and a major part of development requires code writing and testing 
Building time Development time is reduced by almost 70%, and the app can be ready in just about 4 – 5 weeks. It’s a time-intensive approach with multiple rounds of coding, testing, and bug-fixing. It can take up to 6 months to complete
Security of code  Risky development for on-premise data storage as platform security is limited and may make the app vulnerable to data leaks  It’s more suitable for large enterprises, unlike smaller teams, and is a better option for on-premise storage
Complex Logic Suited for building similar apps already in the market with defined structures, functions, and templates Better suited for highly complex apps with access to low-level hardware like cameras, sensors, and data processing
Maintenance cost Updating no code development doesn’t require much work and is easier and affordable, as you don’t need highly skilled developers. Custom code needs regular updates and modifications from a development team and might increase expenses.

Here are some other things to consider when comparing low code vs traditional development:

1. Cost of Development:

If budgets are tight, no code is the preferred choice, as it can be completed at just a fraction of the cost of developing custom apps. For example, you can build an MVP to gauge user interest before launching the full-fledged product. Traditional development can turn out to be a really expensive option.

2. Tools, Features, and Functionality

If your application requires integrating complex functions, traditional development is the best way forward. For example, hosting services can only be managed by hiring an expert development team.

Complex development also involves higher-level development problems, which are better left to the programmers. However, if you are looking to add only a few specifications, low code can be helpful.

3. Development Process

The development process in both types of development is similar in some ways, yet they have distinct phases. While low code development takes less time to complete, it doesn’t involve DevOps integration, which is crucial for any type of development.

In traditional development, DevOps ensures that the changes are continuously monitored and maintained with CI/CD pipelines. Also, while low code development allows non-technical people to use templates, they can’t tinker with those blocks.

They can only rearrange them and fit all the pieces without modifying them. Choosing your desired functionality is difficult with low code development.

However, with traditional development, you can choose practically any functionality, from hosting to integrating with APIs and tools to enhance quality and performance.

When to Choose a Low Code Solution?

Low code solutions are ideal for building dashboards and portals to automate behind-the-scenes operations. They are easy to implement without completely overhauling the systems to keep them up to date.

You can modernize your legacy applications, minimize operational costs, and optimize workflow. For example, when you want to revamp your current inventory system – a low code application can help you update your stock information without changing source code.

The single environment or the core has multiple layers for development, delivery, and updates, providing a gateway to lead your business narrative.

When to Choose Traditional Development over Low Code Development?

When you want to build an application that requires the highest level of security and ownership of IP rights, you should always choose traditional (custom) development over a low code solution.

Even though shipment times are higher, they also give higher Returns on Investments.

The possibilities are endless with the flexibility it provides to modernize itself coupled with the high degree of compatibility with existing systems.

Moreover, custom app developers already have an extensive grasp of understanding and resolving issues as soon as they occur. So, if your organization has to manage sensitive data, you should combine your existing security systems with traditional development to build a better user interface.

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What is No Code Development?

No code development is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology like Low code. While using low code, some developer assistance is necessary to write code or scripting.

However, no code is entirely hands-off and is enriched with visual tools. It is suitable for quickly building standalone apps, simple UIs, and simple automation.

A No Code Development Platform (NCDP) is also known as a Citizen Automation Development Platform(CADP), with citizen developers as nontechnical developers. As no code is implemented, graphical interface facilities like drag-and-drop or point-and-click interfaces, which need no software development skill, do justice to the name of citizen developers.

Advantages of No Code Application Development

1. Highly Cost-effective

No code development means no developers are needed. You save the cost of software developers effectively. Hence, the cost difference is significantly higher compared to traditional development and Low code software development.

It directly impacts the ROI, making the releases faster and more agile. When opting for traditional development, yes, it may cost you more, but every penny spent is worth it.

2. Faster Time to Market

Fewer resources and no coding are required in no code development, which speeds up the process. The testing time is also less; these factors lead to quickly putting the market version of the product in the market. The project deadlines and bottlenecks are cut down from months to days.

3. Quickly Support and Update

The visual interface is implemented in no code development. With simple drag-and-drop plugins, any app changes or updates become a piece of cake.

4. Making Tech for Everyone

It is democratizing technology for all. No code software development enables nontechnical or citizen developers, business minds who are tech savvy, to create an app with little help easily.

Disadvantages of No Code Application Development

1. You Get what You are Offered

The customization alternative is eliminated while working on no code or low code platforms. Being platform dependent is one of the most significant drawbacks of Low Code, No Code (LCNC) platforms.

2. Rigid Templates

There is a platform limitation of templates. You can only utilize the templates provided by the platform. This limitation directly affects business operations, and they are altered accordingly.

3. Security Concerns

Since no code doesn’t give you access to the source code, the security is dependable on the platform. Any vulnerability in source code may lead to app exploitation and exposure to threat actors.

Types of Applications Suited for No Code Development

  • Self-service apps for businesses like student self-service, employee self-service
  • Mobile and Web Applications
  • Content Management Systems(CMS)
  • CI/CD Data pipeline builders
  • Calendar planning apps
  • BI reporting apps

No Code Development Platform Vendors

  • Appsheet
  • AppGyver
  • Bubble
  • AWS Honeycode
  • Shopify
  • Stripe and many others

What is Low Code Development?

Low code software development or Low code development platform also works on the RAD concept. A technique for developing software with a minimal amount of coding. Literally like a few lines of coding for the LCDP.

Developers’ use of specialist tools enables the creation of apps with GUI-based drag-and-drop functions, spreadsheet imports, and others. When low code development originally emerged, it was to make the task of experienced software engineers easier.

Developers could construct and scale their apps more quickly and integrate third-party apps and services because of pre-built app templates and user-friendly interfaces. Low code development is now available in a variety of forms, enabling even non-programmers to construct websites and mobile applications.

However, users must have a certain level of coding expertise to construct low code web apps. Additionally, because they increase developers’ productivity and agility, most low code platforms are befitting for companies with in-house developers.

Advantages of Low Code Application Development

1. Higher Return on Investment (ROI) with Lower Risks

You need to pay for access to the low code development platform in order to use its capabilities. You can save a lot of money by not hiring a development team to create your app.

2. Faster Time to Market

Since the software requires minimal coding, the processing time is reduced twice as compared to traditional development. With low code, you can easily create an MVP of your software, put it on the market, and see how it works.

Businesses may introduce innovative and profitable business ideas to the market by increasing the effectiveness and productivity of their development personnel. By doing this, organizations profit financially from those projects months sooner than they would have under more conventional development methods.

3. Saves Money and Resources

Low code platforms enable businesses to accelerate internal activities that increase organizational agility and efficiency while cutting the time required for development projects. Tools used in these endeavors to replace manual and time-consuming tasks will save $6.7 million in costs.

4. Continuous Deployment

Unlike traditional software development, the low code application development method aids teams in resolving any flaws and unanticipated problems after release. With just one click, you can rapidly undo changes to return to a stable version and address possible problems before they arise.

5. Integrating Seamlessly and Supporting the Lifecycle

Low code development platforms (LCDP) allow CI/CD pipelines as well as the full Software Development Lifecycle (SLDC). Tools for quality assurance testing and project management are a few of the external connectors that low code application builders provide.

Disadvantages of Low Code Application Development

1. Requires a Technical Background

Consider designing a low code application yourself since, with all the marketing you thought, it requires much less coding. Yes, true. Significantly less coding is needed, but it takes a chef to know how much salt is not too much salt. It would help if you had expertise while treading this path.

2. Business Logic Complications

Automation technologies are used in low code application development to simplify operations and hasten the prototype stage. However, business logic becomes more intricate once you move past the prototype stage.

Business users get stuck at this stage and need help from a technical team that knows to finish the project. It’s wise to rely on something other than low code development platforms because they are far from faultless. Companies risk the entire project when they decide on a low code development approach alone.

3. Limited Functionality and Limited Customization

Low code development offers few opportunities for customization because you must use pre-made technologies to create your app or website. For instance, it’s likely you will fail to develop sophisticated, multifunctional enterprise software.

Even though low code development tools are a quick way to design commercial applications, they have limited capabilities. You have no choice but to work within the constraints of the low code development tool while developing commercial apps.

Businesses must collaborate with professional software developers to create specialized code and realize cutting-edge firm concepts when drag-and-drop functionality needs to be improved.

4. Security Limitations

Since you have less control over data security, low code solutions give a different level of security than those requiring bespoke development. You are also unaware of any potential bugs and weaknesses in the programming because you lack access to the source code.

Low code indeed gives a rapid development approach but not a look at the source code. When facing a security issue, it becomes a limitation.

Types of Apps Most Suitable for Low Code Development

  • Mobile and Web Apps
  • Employee engagement Applications
  • Automation tools for businesses like marketing, payrolls, etc.
  • Enterprise IT business applications
  • Back office Apps

Low Code Development Platform Vendors

  • Google AppSheet
  • Skyve
  • Salesforce
  • Microsoft Power Apps
  • Zoho Creator
  • Outsystems and many more

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What is Traditional Development?

Custom the word is self-explanatory, i.e., something you want according to your specific needs. One way to meet your demands and those of your clientele while advancing your business is through the creation of traditional development.

Traditional development in the initial phases includes developing and implementing the software. Maintaining the software in the later phase for companies, business users and others.

Contrary to Commercial Off-the-shelf (COTS) software, traditional development offers various solutions while aiming to suit the business’s specified objectives. Since COTS fulfills various requirements, it may be supplied, packaged, and properly advertised.

Some widely known COTS software are Microsoft Office, Windows 10 operating system, Adobe Photoshop, SAP, Oracle, and others. They satisfy the typical requirements of workplace efficiency and website development.

One drawback of COTS software is that you can’t have it if you want to make it work according to your business requirements, like handling ‘n’ numbers of clients or some maintenance program.

For that, you’ll have to switch to traditional development. It is very much similar to “Building a House.” If you want to build the home of your dreams, you need to customize it to every need, contrary to the readymade apartments in which you can’t choose much. COTS software is like ready apartments.

Advantages of Traditional Development

1. Get Exactly what You Want

Essentially the reason for which you switch to traditional development. This is what you pay for because “you get exactly what you want.” Yes, traditional development costs more because one size doesn’t fit all, and the convenience of getting things done as required.

Customization is the key advantage of bespoke development. no code or low code software development platforms are not so  easy when it comes to customization. Customization becomes a tiresome and time-consuming operation.

Which has an adverse effect on these platforms’ affordability. In addition to speed and integration issues, LCNC platforms frequently have limitations on how much they may be altered.

Contrasting sharply with traditional development, which allows you to construct anything you desire (assuming you have the necessary developer talent to do so), is the need for more freedom and control. This demonstrates that sophisticated and specialized applications are produced far more effectively through traditional development.

2. Add/Remove Functions and Features as Needed

When your business grows, the first thing needed is scaling your app or web development project. And this is provided by traditional development. You can ask developers to add/delete some features or design features.

3. Robust Security

Your program will be as secure as possible if you choose traditional development. It is the most visible advantage of traditional software development.

You can ask the developers to take a good look at the source code to make it more resistant to cyberattacks. A very little chance of threat actors attacking as the code is kept private.

On the other hand, low code and no code platforms’ security varies depending on the service provider, and many of these platforms have security problems. This means that using no code and low code platforms for anything that involves sensitive data is not a good idea.

It’s vital to read the Terms of Service (TOS) for low code and no code platforms since, in some circumstances, there might be some issues with data collection from the platform and privacy.

4. Service and Support You can Rely on

When a business partners with a reliable source of software development services, it can rely on consistent support throughout the Software Development Lifecycle.

By asking your software support team for help, you may update, correct errors, and add new features to your software with ease. Your personalized digital product will always be updated with the latest trends.

You may rely on knowledgeable and skilled service and support whenever you need them during the duration of your long-term engagement with the software development partner.

5. Scalability

When complicated apps with specialized solutions are created, scalability is easy. The only limitations you might run into in this scenario are a need for more funding and a shortage of software engineering talent.

However, they are easy to address and fix if a reliable technology partner guides you along your bespoke development journey. To help you save money, a great partner will always offer the best tech stack and engagement strategies.

A trustworthy IT partner will also have access to talent pools of qualified people allowing you to cut costs and time on hiring, onboarding, and project ramp-up.

Disadvantages of Traditional Development

1. Higher Costs

Traditional development costs much more than no code/low code development. Furthermore, project expenses are constantly fluctuating, particularly as new product requirements appear.

As a result, it is expensive because it depends on hourly rates and the knowledge of a business or dedicated developer. Automated software development cannot modify specific functionality to meet customer needs or resolve complex coding issues.

Therefore, rather than using a no code strategy, an IT company’s advertised pricing is justified by its range of services.

2. Time and Resource Intensive

It takes time to paint a painting from scratch and no time to purchase a digitally printed artwork. Traditional development is time and resource intensive since everything is done according to the business design and requirements. This takes more time than readymade software.

According to your business requirement, software developers write the codes, build a software development plan, build the application, and test-retest phase before going live with the program.

If you have never worked on a project requiring unique programming, it will also take some time to articulate your requirements accurately. There might be a situation in which, after several iterations, you find some mistakes during the development process and intend to alter your requirements.

If you wish to prevent this potential issue, it is advised that you work with a qualified application development partner who can guide you through the process.

Types of Applications Best Suited for Traditional Development

A traditional development strategy is appropriate for developing flexible, feature-rich, complicated apps as well. Traditional development is the way to go if you need a unique, scalable solution that meets your and your customers’ needs.

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Which Approach is Best for Your Business?

While evaluating the choice for software development solutions, you should ponder upon these questions as well.

  • How complex is the application?
  • What level of customization is needed?
  • What are the resources available? 
  • How much coding control is needed? 
  • What are the security threats involved in each case?

The creation of low code software has sparked a lot of interest among non-tech professionals and companies that are undergoing digital transformation. Despite being a quick and affordable development approach, it has significant flaws that obstruct the expansion of your firm in the future.

Given that traditional development provides one-of-a-kind software, it is without a doubt our present and future. There is a rumor that programming jobs are being eliminated by low code development. However, in practice, it just modifies them. Skilled developers can accomplish considerably more with low code platforms by focusing on the trickiest areas of their code to create unique applications.

Conclusion

Connecting a few disjointed business processes allows you to relocate staff to more critical activities or free up expensive IT resources. You can quickly design solutions to address your business’s difficulties if you can stay within the constraints of no code/low code platforms.

When selecting the best alternative, you should examine your options. When it comes to developing and deploying software solutions, we have assisted innumerable firms in making decisions. Moon Technolabs specializes in custom software solutions; get in touch with us if traditional development is precisely what your company requires or if you have any questions before deciding.

FAQs

In all honesty, comparing these two solutions is useless. Low code or no code works when you want to deliver rapid applications with visual interfaces. However, choose a custom development approach if you wish for a fantastic application with complete control and customized operatives.

Shifting from one solution to another is tricky as low code and traditional development utilize different approaches. This difference in approach makes it difficult to change the application. It is advisable to decide beforehand which approach you want to follow.

The tendencies are shifting towards low code; with enhanced custom features and a sophisticated look, it might take over custom solutions in the future.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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