What do you do if you want to book a flight? Do you go to the airport and stand in line for it? Or do you call up a travel agent?

Nobody really does that anymore. Because there are simpler ways of doing it now. If you can just download an application and book a ticket at the best rate available, why would you bother to go till the airport?

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the definition of an application.

What is an application?

An application is a tool to get things done in a simple and more systematic way. Most apps are built for carrying out specific functions in a particular way. They are usually made to make it easier to carry out certain tasks and to save the time of the users.

For this reason, there are many useful tools available to enhance productivity in the workplace. These tools help reduce time-to-market. However, sometimes those aren’t enough. What do you do then? Here’s something that might help your company improve efficiency at the workplace: Low-code application development platforms.

Wondering what’s this new magic spell? Don’t worry, just read on.

What Is A Low-Code Application Development Platform?

A low-code development platform [LCDP] is a software that lets programmers create application software without using traditional computing. LCDPs create entirely functional applications. Only some of them require additional coding for specific functions.

These software reduce the amount of time spent behind the traditional hand-coding. As a result, it accelerates the delivery of projects along with the efficiency. Meanwhile, it also reduces the initial cost for setup and training.

What is the Purpose of a Low-Code Development Platform?

The development platforms were created with certain problems in mind. They help you create customized software by hiring a mobile app development company.

Frankly, the easier you can create and deploy a functional app that addresses all the issues that your company is facing, the more efficient you’ll become at addressing problems. The concept of low-code platforms has been around since 2011. However, it wasn’t given a name until 2014.

The creation of low-code platform began with the idea of reducing the load on the IT department. It aimed at providing businesses with solutions that help them increase daily productivity. On the plus side, the platforms are also cost-efficient and time-saving. The tools allow organizations, of any size and field, the power to build customized apps with little to no coding.

What Are The Advantages Of Low-Code Development Platforms?

The best low-code development platforms offer many features which benefit developers to a great extent:

Fuss-Free Deployment:

The efforts needed to develop an application or software are reduced when using LCDP. Thus, it leads to a fuss-free and easy deployment.

Scalability:

Although LCDP doesn’t require you to do any coding, it certainly helps if you know how to. Using an LCDP, you don’t have to write codes for the software from scratch. You can build most of the software through the platform. Meanwhile, it allows flexibility and scalability by letting you do coding for specific features.

Visual Development Tools:

This is one of the basic and best features available in all the low-code development platforms. Because it allows the individual to visualize the functionality and code modules, it’s an important feature.

There are a number of low-code platforms out there. Since so many options may confuse you, we decided to make it easier for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of the topmost 5 platforms. These are easy to use and helps you create amazing software. Let’s take a look at them.

What are the best low-code development platforms?

Just like everything else, there is a wide variety of platforms available. How do you know which is the best one from them?

We researched a little on the topic and have made a list of 5 that we liked the most. Here is the list of our favorites:

  1. Appian
  2. Microsoft PowerApps
  3. Outsystems
  4. Mendix
  5. Quick Base

Let’s take a look at their features and functionalities in detail.

1. Appian

Appian is a low-code and BPM platform that makes simple and faster business innovations. It uses low-code capabilities and features to help a plethora of businesses in quickening their operations.

This low-code development platform has the capability to combine business process management, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, data, and integrations into intelligent automation. You need to just hire a mobile app developer with sufficient experience to even create innovative and efficient apps using Appian.

Appian

Here are its best features and the pricing:

Features:

  • Reduce time-to-market by up to 20x
  • Drag-and-drop visual interface
  • Built-in team collaboration and task management
  • Native mobile apps

Price: The package starts at $90 per user, per month. But there is also a trial version that you can use to get an idea about the platform.

2. Microsoft PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps helps you easily build the business apps you need. On top of that, it provides the option to extend or customize the applications you have or are already using.

With a point-and-click approach, it enables you to develop any application faster. It has a wide range of templates available along with the option for a blank canvas as well. After development, you can deploy your app to the web, iOS, Android and Windows 10. Hence, it’s one of the most popular low-code development platforms for mobile apps.

Microsoft PowerApps

Here are its best features and the pricing:

Features:

  • Integrated with Office 365, Power DI and Dynamics 365 by default
  • Excellent app development and preview options
  • No coding necessary for basic apps
  • Built-in advanced workflow automation with Microsoft Flow

Price: They have 2 plans, with the basic package starting at $7 per user, per month and the second one at $40 per user, per month.

3. Outsystems

Outsystems helps you build apps quickly. With high-productivity visual development and powerful tools, you can make changes and deploy the apps very quickly and efficiently.

The low-code development platform analyzes all models and re-factors dependencies immediately. It also helps accelerate UI development with 140+ beautiful and ready-to-use templates.

Outsystems is an open, standards-based platform with no lock-in. Thus, it also helps you implement your own code whenever you want.

Outsystems

Here are its best features and the pricing:

Features:

  • Flexible deployment in the cloud, on premises, etc
  • Integrate with SOAP web services and REST APIs with no coding
  • Automatic impact assessment across all the layers
  • Customizable performance dashboards

Price: They have a free version of the platform and 2 other plans. The basic package starts at $6,250 per month, allowing you to add up to 100 users and the option to add more if needed.

4. Mendix

Mendix is a high-productivity low-code development platform that gives you speed and power along with control. Many mobile application development services are in-built in the platform. Thus, it makes it easy to incorporate the software for both mobile and web.

It’s one of the easiest platforms for building both Mobile and Web applications and improving them constantly. It provides a comprehensive set of tools that follow the entire app life-cycle, from ideation and development to deployment and operations. In this way, the platform promotes and enhances innovation on the web scale.

Mendix

Here are its best features and the pricing:

Features:

  • Built-in feedback loops to receive user-feedback
  • Application Quality Monitor [AQM] helps to monitor and improve app quality and maintainability during development
  • Performs 10-20x more checks automatically
  • Incorporate new technology such as IoT, Machine Learning and Cognitive Services

Price: They have a free version of the platform and 3 other plans. The basic package starts at $1,875 per month, allowing you to add up to 50 users.

5. Quick Base

Quick Base is one of the best ways to manage data and automate processes in order to achieve more. It empowers business users to create custom software for daily operations, reducing cost and saving a lot of time.

Since it is a fast, flexible and IT-approved low-code development platform, it is easy to use and also, powerful. Moreover, you can connect separate systems together and access all data from just one place. Since the information is at just one place, you can reduce the time-to-delivery and improve your value.

Quick-Base

Here are its best features and the pricing:

Features:

  • Quick basic-app development
  • Form-based interface for workflow automation
  • Guided tutorial courses
  • Robust prebuilt app marketplace and third-party integrations

Price: They have 3 paid plans for the platform. The basic package starts at $600 per month, allowing you to build up to 50 custom business apps.

Don’t compare the platforms

People often tend to do a low-code development platform comparison. However, they fail to understand that each app is different and has some unique set of features.

Instead of comparing, sticking to the functions of each platform is a better way to decide which one is best suited for your business. In short, all of them are great and best-suited for business-owners who are looking for solutions to issues in processes.

Depending on your business and demands, you can study these top 5 and see which one has the best plans and is satisfactory for your needs.

While we are on the topic, if you’re interested in building a mobile application for your business, we have a compelling read that will be beneficial for you. Check out this blog post that answers the question – How to Develop a Successful Mobile App for Massive Business Growth?

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy.

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