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Best No-code App Builders & Development Platforms

The demand for new software keeps increasing with new devices being introduced regularly for the rapidly evolving needs. Millions of applications and services are available today for the customized requirements of individuals, governments, businesses and enterprises. Despite the increasing demand for software applications, the resources and experts in the field are not keeping up with their pace. The number of professionals filling the roles is not scaling up fast enough to meet the requirements. This is where no-code app development platforms come into the scene.

Businesses find their way out of this issue by devising different ways to build applications efficiently. This need has paved the way for the advent of low-code and no-code programming. Low-code and no-code programming have geared up the process of application development. Such programming techniques help software programmers and developers build enterprise applications with visual graphics and eliminate the need to write codes. No-code platforms are designed to convert flowcharts into software language or codes. Even a developer or programmer with less experience and knowledge can develop efficient codes required by organizations in less time.

This article helps you understand what low-code and no-code programming are and why it makes a big difference in increasing the pace of code development activity for your organization.

What is no-code programming?

No-code programming is a web programming and development technique that lets users create a software application using a graphical user interface (GUI). The no-code development was born out of the need to develop and design applications without having to be a programming expert. This technique eliminates the need to write hour-long code and can be used by programmers and non-programmers alike. Database, web, and mobile applications can be built using no-code programming. It enabled business developers and delivery managers to execute requirements without a need to upskill in technical knowledge. 

What’s the difference between no-code and low-code?

No-code was a buzzword coined by marketing teams to emphasize the tool’s usability for non-professionals. The concept of no-code was developed to ease the coding processes with pre-designed coding platforms or applications with generic codes and redundant functions. Technically, there is no instance where no-code works. There would be some code included in the application. 

Both low-code and no-code are short-cut methods to the conventional method of writing lines of code. While it does not mean that there is no need for technical skills, no-code requires less knowledge of programming language. Instead, visual modelling tools are used for a holistic understanding of programs and tools.

Low-code is targeted for developers, while no-code is targeted for business users. As the name goes, low-code will have more capabilities than no-code in terms of compatibility, customization, and end-to-end development process.

The low-code approach uses various tools and approaches for automating application development processes, such as visual modeling, cross-functional applications, model-driven development, etc. Though such tools feel easy and accommodative to non-professionals, their customization options are limited. There is little space to add extra codes to the already existing platforms.

Why use a no-code development platform?

Visual design tools and drag-and-drop interfaces have made coding techniques smoother than developers or business users imagine. Some of the fundamental reasons to use no-code development platforms are:

  • Market your products and services faster
  • Collaborate on business and IT
  • Maximum output with minimum resources
  • Cost-effective software development

No-code App Development Platforms

If you wonder, “which is the best no-code platform?”, you are in the right place. Some of the best free no-code app builder platforms are collated below:

Toca.io

  • Founder: Mat Rule
  • Founded: 2018
  • Funds Raised: £3.39m
  • Employee Number: 11-50
  • Details about product/service: Apps, automation, analytics, software development, control, integrate and automate systems, design

UK-based Toca is one of the best solutions to complex development challenges. Their advanced no-code app development platform allows user to automate any business processes,  integrate and control any systems, and easily extract insights and transform data on demand as well as build applications. Focusing on drag-and-drop functionality, Toca increases the development process by 20x.

Knack

  • Founder: Brandon Griggs, Eric Katherman
  • Founded: 2010
  • Funds Raised: Seed (Amount Undisclosed)
  • Employee Number: 11-50
  • Details about product/service: Database application, interface design, integration, workflow, automation, analysis, payment, data management, customization

Founders of Knack believed there had to be a better way to manage data. Hence, Knack was born out of the need to avoid the long and costly process of coding required to create data-driven features. Knack caters to all kinds of customers from small businesses to Fortune500 companies. Over 5000 customers use their platform, 100,000+ apps are built with no-code, and they store 10 billion records in their database.

Appy pie

  • Founder: Abhinav Girdhar
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funds Raised: £8k.
  • Employee Number: 251-500
  • Details about product/service: Apps, graphic design, mobile apps, software, web design, web development

Appy pie is one of the best no-code app development platforms in Virginia, Nebraska, United States. It turns any idea into tailor-made applications and websites. Users can build delivery, business, radio, restaurant, shopping, and even church applications with their app builders. 

Airtable

  • Founder: Zoe Zhang
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funds Raised: £1.13b
  • Employee Number: 1-10
  • Details about product/service: apps, customisable interface, automation, sync information, data analysis, integrations, data management, administrative controls, product and data security

Airtable is another platform that ranks in the top of the list that supports social enterprise and is located in Shanghai, China. Instead of forcing users to work within their software’s limitations, their mission is to empower them to develop customized software that meets their specific needs. They have more than 300,000 organisations under their belt, including Netflix, GitHub, Redbull, Autodesk, and Shopify.

Bubble

  • Founder: Josh Haas, Emmanuel Straschnov
  • Founded: 2012
  • Funds Raised:  £85
  • Employee Number: 51-200
  • Details about product/service: apps, graphic design, mobile and web apps, software, web design, web development, UX customization, integrations

Bubble is another go-to no-code platform for building digital products. Bubble offers an intuitive and fully customisable platform on which you can create interactive apps for both desktops and mobile browsers, just like Facebook or Airbnb.

Quickbase

  • Founder: Claude von Roesgen, Jim Salem, Joe Rice
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funds Raised: £72.6m
  • Employee Number: 251-500
  • Details about product/service: apps, mobile apps, software, web design, web development

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Quickbase is another no-code development platform that helps organizations create custom solutions, connect and integrate complex projects. They work with organisations from all kinds of industries, including construction, government, healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing.

Snappii

  • Founder: Alex Bakman
  • Founded: 2015
  • Funds Raised: £8k.
  • Employee Number: 251-500
  • Details about product/service: Apps, mobile apps, software, UI/UX app design, cloud integration

Snappii is a cloud-based no-code building platform, that enables individuals and companies to develop mobile apps. Users can decide whether to build custom apps by themselves or have Snappii’s developers help them. Simply drag, drop, and configure any custom app that meets the needs. They have helped over 110,000 apps built.

If you want to know more about Snappii, you can listen to our episode with Founder Alex Bakman on the SOL Podcast.

Which platform is the best for building apps? 

While there’s no definite answer to the above question, you can use your methods to research and learn the best application by trying out the applications as per your need. Traditional code developing methods have been long forgotten by many businesses that aim to grow quicker and stronger with the passing of each year. Low-code or no-code app development platforms have been the right tool for such competitors often to pitch in the software processes at the right time. 

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