Exploring different approaches: Low-code vs. traditional High-code development

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, enterprises are wholeheartedly embracing digital transformation. Larger organizations have traditionally relied on custom application development, employing languages like .NET, JavaScript, or Java. However, as the demand for digital solutions continues to surge, IT teams often find it challenging to keep up with the pace.

Consequently, many organizations are now adopting alternative approaches, such as low-code development, to accelerate their digitization efforts. But how do low-code and traditional coding compare? Based on our extensive experience, there are compelling arguments for both, even within the organizations. 

Understanding Low-code development 

Low-code platforms began emerging over a decade ago in response to the increasing pressure on IT departments to deliver value quickly. Traditional coding languages sometimes struggled due to development speed, the absence of agile processes, or the complexities of testing and deploying applications. Low-code initially promised to democratize software development, enabling a broader workforce to create applications swiftly. 

Over time, low-code platforms have evolved, with leaders like Mendix and OutSystems focusing on bridging the gap between business and IT. This shift has led to several benefits, as our experience suggests: 

  • Development is 2-5 times faster compared to traditional coding, a fact we’ve validated through real-life experiments.
  • Additional time gain since these platforms also manage deployment and streamlining the whole development process.
  • Low-code platforms facilitate collaboration with business stakeholders due to quicker visual feedback loops, leading to a sharper focus on delivering value.
  • Popular low-code platforms continually improve, incorporating AI-driven features to accelerate development, and they also handle patches and upgrades to a large extent.

 

While low-code offers significant advantages, not all organizations can fully leverage them immediately. Your organization and development teams may need time to acquire expertise in this new technology. Although becoming proficient in low-code typically involves a steeper learning curve than with other languages. It is important to keep in mind that there are associated license fees, so a solid business case is essential. 

Revisiting High-code development 

The term of ‘high-code development’ often emerges in discussions about low-code to refer to traditional software development. Although the terminology is new, comparing high-code to low-code allows to highlight the advantages of solution development using coding languages like .NET, Java, or JavaScript: 

  • High-code allows for granular control, enabling a detailed focus on quality and performance aspects.
  • Robust developer communities, freelancers, and service providers are available for high-code languages.
  • The flexibility of development and deployment can align better with organizational standards and architectural/security requirements, reducing internal debates.
  • Open-source standards can minimize or eliminate recurring licensing costs. 

Choosing between Low-code and High-code 

When choosing a suiting solution, it is not just about the technological specs. At LINKITSYSTEMS we aim to build solutions that provide real impact for organizations and users. Therefore, the technology of choice should align with your organizational goals. If your organization’s competitive edge lies in delivering features rapidly, whether to end users or for internal automation, the speed of low-code can be a compelling argument.

On the other hand, if your organization revolves around a core set of critical applications and prioritizes the detailed quality of performance and user interfaces, traditional languages may be a better fit. 

Composable businesses 

The decision between low-code and high-code is often not binary; many organizations successfully integrate both approaches. Using low-code for rapid delivery and high-code for critical aspects offers granular flexibility. 

Ultimately, the choice between low-code and high-code hinges on specific use cases and organizational objectives. Whether prioritizing speed, automation, and IT/business collaboration through low-code or emphasizing control, precision, and community support through high-code depends on each business or use case. For dynamic, larger organizations, adopting multiple technologies can prove to be a well-suited approach. 

In conclusion, low-code and high-code can coexist harmoniously and are likely to continue doing so. If you’re contemplating how to integrate low-code alongside high-code in your organization, LINKITSYSTEMS can support you to map suitable use cases to the right technology. We can also connect you with likeminded organizations across various sectors, including retail, finance & insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics. 

If you are new to low-code and eager to explore its capabilities, consider joining our free Mendix Rapid Course. You can experience the benefits of the Mendix platform by building your own application in just two days.

Sign up now for the upcoming session on January 25th and 26th 2024. 

Questions?

Contact Maaike

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