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Low-Code vs Traditional Software Development (1)

Low-Code vs Traditional Software Development

Team Kissflow

Updated on 8 Apr 2024 7 min read

The 21st-century business world is built on software applications. In the past, IT teams had to write several lines of code to convert business logic into intuitive software products to get work done faster and more effectively. 

Today, low-code technology advancements are changing how businesses build the apps they need. According to a Gartner survey, organizations will build 70 percent of their new applications using low-code or no-code platforms by 2025.

While traditional coding will remain relevant in the future (and is the more practical solution in many cases), decision-makers now have to critically compare their options and decide on which approach to software development will be more beneficial for them. To assist you with your decision-making process, we will compare low-code to traditional software development to help you make the right choice. 

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Low Code vs Traditional Software Development – Quick Comparison

With low-code development, developers don’t have to write individual lines of code to build complete software applications. To see how this compares to traditional coding, here’s a quick comparison of both approaches to software development based on various factors.




Traditional Software Development 


Low-code development is a visual approach that uses pre-built components and drag-and-drop interfaces to build apps.

Traditional or custom software development is an approach to software development that involves creating apps through manual coding. 


Rapid application development tools such as Kissflow Low-Code are used. 

Web frameworks and programming languages such as Python, Java, and PHP.

Coding Knowledge

Basic coding knowledge is sufficient. 

Advanced coding skills are required. 

Speed of development

A working app can be created in less than a month. 

App development may take 6 months to 1 year. 


Limited customization options but some solutions such as Kissflow let users add custom UI components. 

Coding from scratch is highly customizable and the application can be tailored to specific requirements.


Changes can be made quickly and new features can be added easily. Errors can also be fixed smoothly. 

Changes will be time-consuming and frequent modifications will result in losing the project scope. 


Fast delivery as apps can be created through minimal coding. 

Longer development time as apps are created from scratch.


Extensive integration, standard performance, and live-debugging options will keep the app error-free.

Highly scalable and great performance. However, testing and debugging will be time-consuming. 


Easy to maintain as the low-code platform handles app security, maintenance, and upgrades.

You need a dedicated internal team to perform regular updates and maintain your custom app. 

Technical support

Less technical support.

More technical support. 

Template availability

Lots of pre-built templates.

None. It can only be built from scratch.


Average cost starts at $3000/month.

Ranges between $20,000 and $50,000/app.


Low-code platforms can handle variable workloads (e.g., adding more users as the organization grows) easily.

Traditional software is difficult and costly to scale without the help of experienced software developers. 


Most low-code solutions will come with ISO 2007 and SOC2. They also comply with other important data protection regulations. 

Full dependency on the software development team to implement security measures. Security takes time and may affect quality. 



Supports multi-platform development. Most no-code apps can be made to work on mobile, web, and cloud. 

Choose between native or cross-platform development methods to make the app work on multiple platforms.



Highest ROI, in some cases above 80 percent. ROI is measured based on development costs, and maintenance. 

The ROI is very low compared to low-code solutions.It is typically between the range of 15-17percent



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A Forrester research document indicated that “84%" of firms with highest enterprise requirements use low-code development and see return-on-investment. 

Planning Steps Involved in a Low-Code Development vs  Traditional Approach

Although there are similarities between them, low-code development and traditional coding are two distinct approaches to software development. Below are the phases of low-code development and traditional development that are generally in practice. Note that these may vary based on the nature of the project. 

Low-Code Development

  • Need Analysis and Requirement Gathering: The first step in no-code app development involves analyzing what you need to build and demonstrating how to achieve it. 
  • Modeling: This involves using visual modeling tools to design the application's user interface, data structures, and workflow. In low-code development, application modeling often involves using drag-and-drop components and defining business logic using a graphical interface.
  • Configuration: For the next phase, you get to configure the app’s functionality by adding pre-built components and automation as provided by the low-code platform in use. 
  • Integration: In many cases, low-code applications have to be integrated with external systems and databases using connectors or APIs on the low-code platform.
  • Testing and Deployment:  Functionality and usability tests ensure all components of the app are in order. Most low-code development platforms also have hosting environments from where the apps can be deployed. 
  • Monitoring and Maintenance: The application's performance, security, and scalability need to be monitored. Usually, there are built-in tools and dashboards for app monitoring as needed. 
  • Updates and modifications to the application are also carried out using the same visual tools with which the app was built. 
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Traditional Coding

  • Need Analysis and Requirement Gathering: Traditional coding begins with the analysis of the business need you’re coding for and the key requirements for the software project.
  • Design: for the next phase of the project, the design team creates a detailed technical design for the application. This document will also outline the basic architecture, data structures, and algorithms that will define the business logic of the app. 
  • Coding and Testing: Next, developers write code for the application using a specific programming language. As the developers code, they also carry out tests to ensure the code works as intended.
  • The specific approach to testing and coding depends on the development framework used. With the agile approach, for instance, coding and testing are iterative. The app is built in incremental steps, with testing and improvements being carried out continuously as you code. 
  • Integration: Traditional development also may involve integrating the app with external systems. But in this case, developers write custom codes for the APIs and connectors. 
  • Deployment: Finally, the app is deployed to a chosen infrastructure, which may involve setting up dedicated servers, databases, and network configurations
  • Monitoring, Maintenance, and Updates: after deployment, the development team may also implement a mechanism to monitor the app’s performance and catch bugs in the code. The codebase must also be updated periodically as new bugs are discovered and fixed. To add new features or updates based on changing requirements, development teams have to write custom code. 

Rajesh Kandaswamy, research vice president at Gartner says. “Growth in digital data, low-code development tools and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted development are among the many factors that enable the democratization of technology development beyond IT professionals."

Advantages vs. Disadvantages of Low-Code Development 


Low-Code Development

Traditional Coding

Resource Saving

Low-code development requires fewer technical resources since it relies on visual development tools and pre-built components.

It takes a large team of skilled developers and a lot of technical resources to build apps from scratch with custom code.

ROI (Return on Investment)

With faster development time and reduced resource cost, low-code development often leads to quicker returns on investment.

Traditional coding tends to take a longer time to get ROI due to extended development timelines and higher resource expenses.

Finding proper talent

With low-code development, it is easier to find and onboard citizen developers or business users with limited technical expertise and get them to build needed solutions.

It requires specialized and skilled developers. But there’s an ongoing shortage in tech talent, projected to reach 85.2 million developers and engineers by 2030. 


Suited for less complex applications and rapid development but may have limitations in customization and scalability. Quality depends on the low-code platform.

High customization and control, allowing for the development of complex software solutions. Quality is often determined by the expertise of the development team.

53.80% of the participant software development companies concurred that adapting and meeting these changing client requirements poses the biggest challenge for the developer team. 


Key Features of Low-Code Platforms

The right low-code development platform will simplify and accelerate the creation of functional software applications. However, the efficiency of your low-code development process depends significantly on the features of your chosen low-code platform. To choose the best low-code solution, the following are some of the critical factors to consider: 

Drag-and-Drop Interfaces

An intuitive low-code solution lets users create app interfaces by simply dragging and dropping components onto a design canvas. This approach reduces the need for manual coding of UI elements, making application development accessible to non-developers. 

Fast Mobility

Low-code platforms prioritize mobility. Developers can design responsive user interfaces and implement specific features using prebuilt components or modifying templates. This makes it easier and faster to develop applications for various devices and platforms. 

Security and Scalability

Modern low-code platforms include built-in security features to protect applications and user data. They comply with industry standards for application development, with advanced encryption and role-based access control to limit who can access what. Scalability is another key quality of low-code platforms, allowing applications to grow as user demands increase.


Automation is a core aspect of low-code development. These platforms provide tools for automating workflows and business processes, reducing manual efforts in enterprise software apps. 

DevOps Integration

Many low-code platforms support seamless integration with DevOps processes. This ensures that the development, testing, and deployment of applications can be part of a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. This promotes efficient software delivery and makes it easier to implement updates when necessary. 

Case Management

Many Low-code platforms also offer case management capabilities. This allows organizations to manage complex business processes, cases, tickets, and workflows from a centralized hub. 

Data Integration

Data integration is crucial for building applications that interact with various internal and external low-code platforms that provide connectors, APIs, and data mapping tools to facilitate the integration and querying of data from databases, third-party services, and legacy systems.

In Which Situations Do Low-Code/No-Code Platforms Work Best?

Low-code/no-code platforms are the right option for any startups, SMBs, mid-market, and enterprises trying to build simple solutions and deploy them quickly. The following are practical scenarios where using a low-code platform is an ideal solution. 

  • Rapid prototyping or Minimum Viable Products to showcase innovative ideas as quickly as possible without wasting resources. 
  • Build a static website or web app within 5-10 hours.
  • Build microservices-based apps.
  • Create a consistent omnichannel experience.
  • Reduce dependency and enable a collaboration-driven work environment.

How Can Low-Code and Traditional Development be Combined to Get Great Results?

You don’t have to pick on approach a winner, and in that sense, there is no battle between the two. The right approach to you depends on what is being built and how you want to build it and in some cases, both options are viable and practical. 

Contrary to common expectations, no-code isn’t out to depose or replace traditional programming. In fact, traditional software development remains relevant due to the unmatched freedom and flexibility it provides. 

So, a truce can be called to combine traditional programming and low-code platforms. Blending beneficial practices of low-code into a conventional development life cycle will facilitate faster time-to-market and process optimization.

Combining the best of both worlds will also allow the creation of high-quality enterprise-grade application solutions. For example, low-code can be used to develop the core functionality and the programming team can come in later to create complex and tailored functions. Overall, they’re a great pair and can bring significant business value. 

Ready to start leveraging the unique benefits of low-code development? Get Kissflow today to start building apps faster. 

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