Low-code application development is revolutionizing the software development industry. And yet, there are many people who think low-code solutions aren't powerful enough to create the business apps they need.
Low-code development platforms are fast, easy-to-use, and, most importantly, powerful. Citizen developers all over the world are turning to low-code tools to help them meet their business needs with custom-made apps that require little (if any) coding knowledge. Low-code use cases are extensive and varied, and there's likely a low-code platform or use case that's right for your business. Ready to learn more? Read on.
What is Low-Code Development?
Low-code is a development approach that uses interactive, visual tools and platforms to enable custom application development without having to write much (if any) actual code. Low-code development platforms (also called app builders or app makers) are generally web-based tools that allow you to prototype, build, preview, and launch your app.
The reason low-code developers are often called "citizen developers" is because many low-code tools don't require extensive knowledge of or experience in software development. Instead, they utilize intuitive user interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and process automation to streamline and simplify app-making.
Low-code development has come a long way, and now offers businesses the chance to create new apps that have all the functionality they need — but what about low-code platforms really makes them such a great choice for businesses?
Why Low-Code App Development is Great for Businesses
Low-code platforms democratize the development process, meaning anyone can create a custom app — not just professional developers.
There are a number of big benefits to using a low-code app builder, including:
- Ease of use: Many no-code and low-code platforms can take data in a spreadsheet or database and turn it into a functional app within minutes. The platform is designed to streamline the user experience, making it possible for even beginners to make polished, professional-looking apps.
- Faster time-to-market: Custom-coding an app from scratch can take months or even years to complete. Low-code platforms help you build and launch your app much faster. Plus, it's easy to iterate on your app after you launch it, since many platforms will reflect changes you make to the back-end in real-time.
- Affordability: Custom-coding an app is expensive. Not only do you need a team of developers, but you also need an IT team to help provide ongoing maintenance and support. Costs for developing a complex app from scratch can reach hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars. With a no-code platform, you can generally build your app for free, and then a monthly fee (under $100 a month for some use cases) covers hosting, maintenance, and support from an IT department that's always at the ready in case something goes wrong.
- Flexibility: Low-code platforms are more powerful than ever, thanks to integrations and APIs that can connect other tools to add even more functionality. Just about any business need can be met with a no-code or low-code app.
Low-code platforms are like the best of both worlds between no-code platforms and hand-coding. You get the simplicity and ease of an app maker, but the ability to add your own code makes your app more flexible and customizable. That's what draws so many businesses to low-code platforms.
Low-Code Use Cases: 8 Apps You Can Build Today
From business process management to data-driven dashboards to customer facing apps like ecommerce stores — there are too many potential business uses for low-code technology to list them all. But below are some common and wide-ranging ways businesses can use low-code app builders — and you can get even more inspiration from Glide's app template library.
One of the most straightforward ways to use low-code technology to build a business app is to create an employee directory. Your directory can contain photos, biographies, roles, contact information, different office locations, and other details, and can be organized by department, searchable, and include an in-organization chat feature that allows employees to communicate with one another.
Your own employee directory can be launched and usable in minutes with a template from Glide. Employee Directory is available from the Glide library for free.
Looking for an app that will help maximize your business's operational efficiency? A simple customer relationship manager (CRM) could be the answer.
A CRM app can help you keep track of customers, clients, contractors, and suppliers, keeping their business information and contact information all a few taps away at all times. Important contacts can be listed within the app as well, along with any private notes that members of your organization might need to know about each one.
Glide's free CRM template also allows you to track contracts with other organizations, labeling each one as "proposed," "active," or "complete," so you always know when it's time to follow up or take action.
Inventory management can be one of the most complex parts of running a business, making it an area where an app can really help streamline and improve the process. An inventory management app allows you to track sales, inventory and orders, but also organize contact information for clients, providers, and suppliers (and contact them directly from the app).
Glide's inventory management app template compiles all that information into one web app, where it can be accessed by anyone at your organization and serve as a single source of truth for inventory and sales information.
Inventory is available from the Glide library for free.
Field Sales Tracker
Whether your sales team is promoting physical products or SaaS ones, managing sales made by a distributed field sales team can be tricky. Having an app for tracking and managing field sales compiles all the information you need in one place, and creates a single source of truth for the whole team to use.
Glide's Field Sales Tracker makes it easy to track sales, create schedules, access your catalog, manage inventory, and generate sales and other reports — all in one easy-to-use app that anyone on your sales team can access.
Field Sales Tracker is available from the Glide library for free.
There are many ecommerce platforms out there, but creating your own store app gives you total control over the customer experience, which makes it appealing for many businesses. A simple store app can help you display your catalog (with high-quality product photos, of course), track sales, generate inventory reports, and process transactions.
You can even add a chat function to your app so customers can ask questions and get customer service help instantly while they shop.
Simple Store is available from the Glide library for free.
Task managers are a great way to document your business's workflows, assign and delegate tasks, and keep track of projects and deadlines. There's just one problem with many of the existing task managers on the market: They aren't one-size-fits-all.
That's why many businesses turn to low-code platforms to create a custom task manager that meets their specific needs. They can tailor the app to fit their existing workflows, streamline operations, and keep track of projects and tasks that require action — making sure nothing ever falls through the cracks.
Company Tasks & Projects is available from the Glide library for free.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have needed to adapt to lockdowns, mandates, and health and safety best practices. As a result, many have turned to tools that help them create a better digital presence — especially when it comes to allowing guests to place online orders for pickup and delivery.
A restaurant app is a great way to reach customers where they are: On mobile devices and the web. Use your app to display your menu (along with mouthwatering photography), market your current promotions, sell gift cards, take online orders, and more. A restaurant app can be packed with features that give your business the flexibility it needs to survive the uncertainty of these times.
Mobile Restaurant is available from the Glide library for free.
Interview and Applicant Tracker
An important part of internal processes that many businesses overlook is a management system for job applicants. That's why another great use case for a low-code app development platform is an app for tracking candidates throughout the entire process.
Use your app to manage job descriptions, store and search job applications and resumes, to schedule interviews, to take and store notes from interviews, and to share hiring and recruiting data across your entire team.
Interview Applicant Tracker is available from the Glide library for free.
Build Your Business App Today With Glide
Glide has all the tools business users need to build a powerful, functional, professional-looking app. From web applications to mobile apps, you can build exactly what your business needs, all in an intuitive, user-friendly environment. The best part is if your data already lives in a spreadsheet, your app can be up and running in minutes.
Ready to see for yourself? Try Glide for free today. We can't wait to see what you build.