Source: Google Trends
Figure 1. Interest in low code app development platforms
Low code tools are gaining popularity in recent years as business users seek faster and more efficient ways to develop and deploy applications (Figure 1).
Research shows that low-code platforms help:1
- Decrease the costs by ~55%
- Accelerates the speed by ~60%
- Increases app revenue by ~60%
In this article, we present the top 7 low-code development platforms, comparing their capabilities and features to help businesses find the best solution for their specific needs.
Low-code platform capabilities
Figure 2. Capabilities of using low code platforms visualized.
1- UI customization
UI customization is a key capability of low-code platforms. It enables users, even without extensive coding expertise, to design the application’s user interface according to their needs.
- Drag-and-drop interface: This feature allows users to easily add and arrange UI elements such as buttons, forms, and images on a canvas.
- Pre-built templates: Low-code platforms often provide templates for different applications and screens, which users can further customize to suit their preferences.
- Responsive design: This feature ensures that the application adapts to various screen sizes, enhancing the user experience across devices.
- Custom styling: Users can adjust style properties like colors and fonts to match their brand identity.
- Real-time preview: This allows users to view and refine the design before deployment.
2- Integration with other tools
Low-code platforms often come with pre-built connections with recognized third-party services, APIs, and apps. This streamlines workflows and eliminates the need for manual data entry by enabling users to connect to and share data between various platforms.
3- Visual development environment
The user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface of low-code platforms allows developers and non-developers to design, construct, and customize programs visually. This involves creating user interfaces, workflows, and data models without requiring considerable hand-coding.
4- Cross-platform support
Low-code platforms enable applications to be deployed on a variety of platforms, including web, mobile, and desktop, with few adjustments. This allows companies to reach a larger audience while also catering to diverse device preferences.
5- Offline data synchronization
Offline data synchronization is a feature provided by some low-code platforms, allowing users to access and interact with data even when they are not connected to the internet. This functionality is particularly important for mobile applications where users may experience intermittent connectivity or work in areas with limited network coverage.
6- Security and compliance
Many low-code platforms include security features and can be configured to meet industry-specific compliance requirements. This ensures that applications built on these platforms are secure and compliant with relevant regulations.
Vendor selection criteria
After identifying whether the vendors provide the capabilities presented above, we narrowed our vendor list based on some criteria. We used the number of B2B reviews and employees of a company to estimate its market presence because these criteria are public and verifiable.
Therefore, we set certain limits to focus our work on top companies in terms of market presence, selecting firms with:
- 500+ employees
- 200+ reviews on review platforms including G2, Trustradius, Capterra
- at least one Fortune 500 reference
The following companies fit these criteria:
3- ServiceNow App Engine
5- Salesforce Platform
7- Microsoft Power Apps
As all vendors offer a visual development environment, cross-platform support, and integration with other tools, we did not include these capabilities in the table. Below you can see our analysis of low code development tools in terms of the capabilities and features mentioned above. You can sort Table 1, for example, by the offline data synchronization capabilities.
|Vendor||Overall ratings* (out of 5)||Ease of use* (out of 10)||Price||Free Trial||Quality of support* (out of 10)||UI customization||Deployment options||Offline data synchronization||Security measures|
|Creatio||4.6||9||$300 per user / year with monthly commitment options||Available||9.1||Available||On-site or hybrid||Available||ISO / IEC 27001: 2013, HIPAA, GDPR|
|OutSystems||4.6||9.2||Not provided||Available||8.5||Available||Outsystems cloud||Available||ISO 27001, SOC2 Type II, PCI DSS|
|ServiceNow App Engine||4.5||8.9||Not provided||Available||8.6||Available||On-site||Available||ISO 27001, SOC2|
|Appian||4.5||8.7||Not provided||Available||8.4||Not available||Appian cloud||Available||ISO 27018:2019, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, HIPAA|
|Salesforce Platform||4.4||8.2||$300 per user / year||Available||8.3||Available||AWS||Available||ISO 27018:2019, HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3|
|Quickbase||4.4||8.8||$600 per team / month||Available||8.8||Available||On-site||Not available||ISO 27001, SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR|
|Microsoft Power Apps||4.1||7.8||$60 per user / year with monthly commitment options||Not available||7.7||Available||AWS||Available||ISO 27001, GDPR|
*Based on data gathered from G2.
The data is gathered from the websites of vendors. If you believe we have missed any material, please contact us so that we can consider adding it to our article.
AIMultiple serves numerous emerging tech companies, including Creatio.
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