Today’s best low code platforms offer organizations the promise of applications and tools development without the need for complex coding skills. With low code software, there are often template driven graphical approaches to code development, which provide a lower barrier to entry than traditional full code approaches.
Before low code’s current adoption, traditional software development required organizations to employ developers that are trained in a given programming language. Low code software offers an easier way.
A key trend that low code helps to enable is that of the democratization of development. Rather than development solely being the purview of the highly trained, with low code so-called citizen developers and even business users can build out small applications and tools that can help with business process and application needs.
Rather than being an outlier, low code platform are increasingly set to find a place within companies of all sizes. Gartner has forecast that by 2023, over 50% of enterprises will be using some form of low-code application platform to drive digital transformation efforts.
There are several criteria to consider when evaluating a low code platform that can help an organization to choose the best tool for a given purpose..
Fit for purpose. As is the case with any development tool, low code or otherwise, different tools are sometimes optimized for specific use cases and even specific platforms. So the first step should be to figure out what you want to do and with what data and then find a platform fit.
Explore templates. Many tools provide pre-built templates for different types of applications, be sure to see what is available to help accelerate the type of development a given project requires.
Extensibility with ‘full’ code. While low code tools can be used to build full applications, there are still often capabilities that might require traditional coding extension. If a larger application is the goal, ensure the platform can generate code that can be used in other tools.
Cost and Licensing. Increasing all forms of software are sold on a subscription model, while some is still sold on more traditional licensed models. Determine which model is the best fit for the use case, it might be more effective to pay for a limited subscription for a small project, rather than pay for a lifetime license.
Try it out. Many platform offers limited trials and it can often be helpful to see how easy (or not) a given technology is to use before actually paying for it.
In this Datamation top companies list, we spotlight the vendors that offer the top low code tools:
Value proposition for potential buyers: Appian is one of the pioneers of the low code movement and offers users a robust platform that goes beyond just basic scripting to build full, complex applications with complete business logic.
Value proposition for potential buyers: Betty Blocks is a good option for B2B and citizen developers and positions itself as a no-code platform as it doesn’t require any code and is entirely based on a visual interface.
Value proposition for potential buyers: A division of Apple Inc. Claris FileMaker takes a template driven approach to help users quickly built data driven applications.
Vendor graphs Value proposition for potential buyers: Formerly known as BPM online, Creatio is well suit for low code development of Business Process Management (BPM) applications.
Value proposition for potential buyers: For those that are already using Microsoft tools, including Power BI (business intelligence), PowerApps is an obvious choice for building out low code tools that leverage the Microsoft platform.
Value proposition for potential buyers: Mendix is a subsidiary of global conglomerate Siemens and is a solid choice for enterprise developers that use SAP software thanks to deep partnership between the two firms. Mendix is also a good choice for those looking for a service that can work with a private cloud deployment.
Value proposition for potential buyers: The Outsystems platform provides a full workflow and testing capabilities that is well suited to teams within organizations to build and operate low-code applications.
Value proposition for potential buyers: For those organizations that are already using Oracle’s database and cloud technologies, APEX is an obvious fit, enabling low code application development for data driven applications and use cases.
Value proposition for potential buyers: Salesforce Lighting provides a low code environment as part of the Salesforce Platform. It’s a great option for existing Salesforce CRM users and can also benefit those just looking for an easy to use subscription based service.
Value proposition for potential buyers: Zoho Creator provides a very easy to use interface for building both simple and complex applications and can be particularly useful for building multi-device applications.
Key Differentiator
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bot builder
Betty Blocks
Extreme ease of use
Large third party ecosystem of integrations
Business Process Management enablement.

Application design tooling.
Microsoft PowerApps
Tight integration with Microsoft tools
Integration with Oracle Database
Full testing and performance monitoring
Deep integration with Salesforce Platform
Zoho Creator
Ability to easily converge multiple data sources
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