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No-Code, Low-Code and Integranova M.E.S.

No-Code and Low-Code are two buzzwords you may have heard of. Whether or not you are familiar with those terms and what their implications are, let us tell you that quite often, when we do a presentation, before moving on to a live demo, people ask: “Is Integranova a No-Code tool? Or is it a Low-Code tool?”

Our quick answer to that is: “It is both and it is none”. Sounds contradictory? Keep on reading.

Before diving into what kind of tool Integranova is with respect to those two fancy terms, let us talk a bit about each one.

Low-Code is a term that encompasses tools that require little coding to build applications. Such tools usually rely on a GUI that allow users to drag, drop and combine existing blocks of code and components in a workflow to create software applications. The existing components that make up the building blocks of the application to be developed do not cover all, but most of the final product. To complete the outcome of such tools, developers come into play by adding the required code. These tools promise that the code that needs to be added is a small fraction of the whole code base, hence the term “low-code”.

The main advantages of low-code tools and platform are obviously an increase in development speed and ROI along with a minimization of risk.

There are disadvantages, however, as scalability, high availability, performance, and possibly other non-functional requirements, are not always met, and these platforms are so constrained that it is not always easy to change or adapt the output to meet specific needs

No-Code is a term that applies to tools that push the bar even higher and make a more ambitious promise. They function in a similar way to low-code tools, but their building blocks are not related to programming or development concepts. Because of that, their target audience are people that do not have a background in programming but rather a more business-oriented profile. Also, these tools promise that they can produce all the code of the application thus not requiring any additional development effort to complete it, hence the term “no-code”.

The main advantages of no-code tools are those of low-code tools combined with the fact that they require little training, so virtually anyone can become a “developer”.

But there are disadvantages too: no-code tools are even more constrained than low-code tools. You either use what they produce or not, but you cannot change it.

In any of the two approaches, users are trading off ease of use, development speed and completion of the product to develop for the ability to customize and adapt the generated product to meet specific needs.

With low-code tools, you need to create additional code to complete the generated product and you can also modify some but not all the features of the generated product.

With no-code tools, you do not need to create any additional code as the generated product is automatically packaged to be shipped, therefore you cannot modify any feature of the generated product.

With low-code tools, you need lees (but still some) technical and programming skills both to use the tool and to complete and tweak its outcome.

With no-code tools, you need virtually no technical or programming skills to use the tool and its outcome.

No-code tools are a good choice if you want to develop simple applications that do not require any customization.

Low-code tools allow you to go a bit further as they allow for some customization, so you can produce applications that are more complex and do not integrate with different external systems or data sources. Still a good choice if you need to customize and adapt what they produce to meet specific requirements, but only if the kind of customizations and adaptations needed are among the ones allowed by the tool.

So why is it that we say that Integranova is both low-code and no-code, but also none of them?

Integranova MES brings to the table increased development speed and return on investment, and it also minimizes risks as it produces complete and reliable applications. So, in this respect, it could be regarded as either no-code or low-code.

Depending on the application to be built with Integranova MES, you may or may not need to complete the generated code with additional code.

If you don’t need to customize the look and feel of the generated front-end code (e.g., modify or create custom CSS files) or implement a few particular extension points, you will not need to add a single line of code because your generated application will be ready to build, deploy and run. In this case you would have the benefits of a no-code tool.

But even if you need to apply some look and feel customizations or implement a handful extension points, the amount of code required will be a very small fraction of the whole code base. In this case you would enjoy the benefits of a low-code tool.

Additionally, Integranova gives you more powerful modeling capabilities so you have finer control to define the structure of the data your information system will manage, the behavior of the services and business rules to manipulate that data and the interaction mechanisms that end-users will be presented with to query and manipulate that data.

These modeling capabilities do not require that you gather all requirements before moving on to generating any code, but they do help you get requirements right, incrementally, and iteratively from the very beginning of your project, thus speeding up the overall development lifecycle with shorter and more productive iterations.

With Integranova, you don’t need to be constrained to using a given programming language or accept the limitations imposed by a given and probably closed architectural choice. Our evolving set of Transformation Engines let you choose among different programming languages, platforms, and architectures. And you can even have us develop tailor-made transformation engines to meet your very exact needs.

More details on future posts on Integranova Model Execution System.

If you are eager to learn more about Integranova MES or would like to see a live demo, feel free to contact us.