Nominations for the 2024 GTM Awards, sponsored by TrustRadius and Pavilion, are open! Now through July 19, nominate top go-to-market leaders, teams, and companies in the B2B tech sector.  Learn more.

A6B1A615-AF32-4C5A-96A6-4F8687892751

Low Code Development For Enterprises

Zara Hanif
July 31, 2022
IT & Development

Low Code Development For Enterprises

The bigger the company the more powerful the software you need to have. Instead of searching for and switching between different software that may not meet your exact requirements, you can build applications specifically for your needs. You don’t have to have an extensive DevOps team because the software can allow complete beginners to create. Low-code development tools can help you create personalized business applications for enormous and diverse departments. 

What is Low-Code Development?

Low-code development platforms (LCDP) are special software that allows users to perform process automation, work in databases, and build applications without coding. In a traditional development platform, it’s considered a high-code environment because you create and automate using traditional coding or hand-coding. 

With low-code, you can speed up the development process and allow those with little coding experience to build and innovate. Low-code software offers a modern graphical user interface (GUI) framework that is essentially the drag-and-drop application most computer literate are used to. 

If you’re struggling with understanding the concept of this software, imagine you’re in a foreign country. You need to complete a task but you only know bits and pieces of the language. You likely won’t be able to get as far without a tour guide. 

This tour guide takes care of maybe 90% of all communication allowing you to cover more ground faster than ever. This is a low-code development tool. It eliminates the hardest pasts and allows you to handle the control and decision-making with some instruction on your part. 

Low-code tools that double as no-code tools are basically personal translators. When it comes to low-code vs no-code a lot of businesses appreciate the simplicity, but there are more personalization limits in no-code.

If you want to learn even more about low-code platforms see our overview article here. Below is a video from Microsoft Power Platform’s channels detailing the history and massive growth of low-code application development tools. 

What Are The Benefits Of Low-Code?

Low-code applications can be almost revolutionary depending on the team and your needs. Many LCDPs solutions are also called business process management platforms (BPM). BPMs focus on application development for improving business needs. These would be custom apps for task management, project management, forms, databases, etc. 

Many LCDPs also offer machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) for predictive analytics, data models, automation, or templates. These are enterprise-grade features that expedite the time your team actually has to spend on one endeavor. 

The biggest benefit of low-code tools might be the ability to tailor apps to your needs rather than finding a software package that somewhat fits your needs. Anyone, especially the actual potential users of the platform, will be able to develop applications that fit specific needs. This could be accessible color schemes, better data volume, and scalability, or user interface (UI). 

What Are Some Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms?

Enterprise-level low-code platforms all tend to range from over $100/month to over $1000/month. These platforms are usually structured for providing powerful internal applications for vastly interconnected companies. Some of them can be used as a consumer product solution for teams looking to build and sell to clients. 

Many solutions double as both low-code and no-code for the purpose of being beginner friendly. This does not mean that you won’t need training or experience zero learning curves. Some of the simplest no-code development tools still have end-users that experience initial struggles and intimidating UI. If you have a tech-savvy, computer literate, and patient team you should be fine.

Zoho Creator 

Zoho is a popular business tech company that produces all sorts of software to streamline business processes. Zoho Creator is their BPM low-code application platform. It’s a complex and powerful app-building program. It comes with extensive functionality for DevOps teams.

Zoho Creator comes with their own private scripting language called Deluge. The platform allows for hand-coding with an IDE for professional developers. 

The language Deluge is integrated with Python and C++, which makes object-oriented programming experience especially helpful. If you want to learn more about Deluge you can go to its separate site here

Deluge was designed to be a very easy-to-learn language for beginners. Teams that are worried about it can look at user reviews. One review from Renewables & Environment Company offers helpful feedback on working in Zoho Creator and its complexities. 

Zoho Creator PlansFreeProfessionalUltimate
Cost$0 $25 per user a month with annual billing
$37 per user with monthly subscription
$400 per user a month billed annually no monthly billing

The Free tier is not a real option for enterprise teams because it lets you create one app. It does offer the chance to explore Zoho’s UI along with great features like predictive analytics.

With the Professional tier, you get a real step up. User seats are flexible and allow the option to add additional users for $25. The plan comes with almost all the major features of Zoho Creator like app, form, and report builders. It has advanced fields, AI, as well as 5GB of storage. 

The big downside is you can only create 5 applications. If you need high-end apps for specific needs then this plan is great but if you want to create apps as products then you cannot go far with this plan. 

When it comes to Ultimate, you have access to unlimited apps, and their Zia AI insights. In comparison to Professional, you get more of everything that was limited. This is the plan that will take developers that want to build custom enterprise-grade software much farther than the other plans.

Zoho Creator does not require end-users to have traditional coding experience but it will certainly help them to be tech-savvy and a fast learner. The plans can be affordable, especially considering similar low-code development tools for enterprise needs get even more expensive. 

If you want to see more about this low-code application, below is a tutorial of Zoho Creator basics.

Quickbase

Quickbase doubles as both a low-code and no-code platform. Citizen developers and those with minimal or no coding experience can develop apps with ease. The platform is better suited for internal enterprise applications for interconnected departments and companies.

User reviews report great training and real-time data analytics. The different negatives reported are very diverse from cost, situation-specific issues in the dashboard, and some functionality bugs. In general, one of the most common issues is customization. One customer who rated the low-code platform a 10/10, said they wanted Quickbase to, “expand the allowances of HTML/javascript tags for stylings.”

Quickbase subscriptions are billed annually and offer a 30-day free trial. All subscriptions have the same support, which does not include phone support.

QuickbaseTeamBusinessEnterprise
CostStarts at $600/moStarts at $2,000/moCustomizable

For the Team plan you only have up to 50 business apps. The plan has workflow automation, mobile app configuration, and flexible licensing. You can choose a per-user license or a usage-based license. 

The Team subscription does not come with custom branding, a sandbox environment, or on-premise connectivity. There also isn’t custom encryption or HIPAA compliance included with the plan. 

If all you plan to do is make business apps for your internal business users then this plan can work. If you want to work with sensitive data or build applications as a product then this is not the subscription you need. 

For Business, teams are allowed up to 100 custom applications. It comes with team features, an offline mobile connection, and advanced security. The subscription also allows teams a sandbox, data classification labels, and custom branding. For security, you can use single-sign-on, HIPAA, and FDA compliance. There is no custom encryption option with this plan either.

This plan is good if you want to make enterprise applications for a number of different teams and departments for a digital transformation of your tech stack.

With the Enterprise plan, you get much more freedom over resources. Teams can start with the number of apps they want to build and calculate the cost from there. This plan includes high-end features like custom encryption, and a performance optimizer. 

The Quickbase subscriptions are very expensive so if you want to save on your software solution these plans are not for you. In comparison, the Zoho Creator Ultimate plan costs $400 and comes with unlimited apps. The platform is best suited to tech-savvy teams so you won’t get a no-code environment, but it might save you thousands of dollars.

Below is a tutorial for beginners learning how to use Quickbase.

OutSystems

OutSystems is a great low-code development tool for traditional coding. They have features for both strong and newer programmers. Citizen developers can certainly learn the platform but should know experience hand-coding in an IDE is helpful. 

User reviews express satisfaction with the overall functionality and ability to learn the program. Negative feedback focuses on cost, scenario-specific issues like data sync offline, and a lack of flexibility for customizations. Most customers do not recommend the software to small companies and startups, with one saying it’s most suited for “big companies, that need quick results.”

All of their plans are billed annually. 

OutSystems PlansFreeStandardEnterprise
Cost$0$1,512.50Custom

The Free tier only allows you to build one app. You can use this plan to test out how well the platform actually works for the app you want to make. The plan comes with access to an IDE for traditional coding and free training. 

The Standard plan provides much more mobility. The subscription is over 1,000 a month so it had better offer more than Free. Teams can build multiple applications for internal business processes. They offer professional support as well as 99.5% guaranteed uptime. It comes with multiple testing environments and DevOps automation for a streamlined workflow. 

The Enterprise plan is ideal if your team wants more flexibility in their subscription. It offers teams 24/7 support, more runtime environments, and on-premise hosting with their own server. Teams looking for control over their software and storage will find this subscription very useful.

We are going to bring up that the Zoho Creator Ultimate plan is only $400 per user a month. It comes with unlimited apps and high-end features. It will help for both OutSystems and Zoho Creator to have a tech-savvy team but one could save you thousands of dollars.

For a tutorial for mobile and web app building in OutSystems see the video below.

Microsoft PowerApps

It’s of no surprise that Microsoft, an absolute juggernaut in the software industry, has a low-code app development platform. Microsoft Powerapps is an LCDP designed with development teams of all sizes in mind.

It’s important to know that Microsoft Powerapps operates like their cloud computing applications. This means you will need other applications and resources for building apps with the program. It could be that you realize another application works well with PowerApps, or that you need SQL Server or Excel for data sources. 

Another thing potential users should know about Microsoft PowerApps is that it’s very beginner-friendly and can even be challenging for experienced users. Customer reviews show issues with formulas and the overall UI.

One end-user review reported that trying to get PowerApps to take a complex formula was so difficult they needed to “sacrifice a live chicken.” The user also said that the loading time for software was so long they went through their morning routine before it was finished. 

Another customer wrote, “For context, this is a low code platform, I am a developer, not a citizen developer, and I have found the PowerApp platform is not suited to customizations.” They go on to explain how it required so much time and effort to perfect their app all while dealing with a less intuitive programming model. They said the model was backward compared to what most programmers are used to.

The same review did note positives. They said mobile app development and preset UIs look “awesome.” The problem was adding complex customizations.

PowerAppy is best suited to more experienced teams. Citizen developers can of course learn the software with time, but the more coding experience a person has the better. 

Microsoft PowerApps subscriptions are straightforward and flexible for a variety of DevOps teams. The subscriptions are credit-based where each month a number of credits are allotted for app building. 

Each user license comes with its own amount of credits and teams can mix and match licenses. Teams that are diverse with users who need more or fewer credits will be able to save money. You can find more detailed information about licensing here.

The plans come with a combination of apps and portals per user. Portals are your ability to log into your custom app. 

Microsoft PowerAppsSubscription plan per appSubscription plan per userPay-as-you-go plan per app
Cost$5per user/app/month$20per user/month$10per active user/app/month

With the per app plan, teams can access one app or portal along with 250 AI builder credits for the development process. The software comes with pre-built connectors and on-premise connectors and custom storage and management options for real-time data.

The plan comes with a 50MB database and 400MB file capacity in Microsoft Dataverse (formerly known as Common Data Service). Dataverse is the actual low-code app development environment users will build in. 

The plan allows access to Microsoft’s Common Data Model, which allows teams to build data models with AI and machine learning. One downside for admin center roles is that you need a Microsoft 365 subscription. The subscription allows multiple data sources, and lets teams add more users when they need it.

This plan is great for teams that don’t need to constantly work on their application. Use-case wise, it’s better for internal business apps to meet business needs and streamline workflow. If you want to build consumer products then paying per app is less economical.

The per-user subscription allows unlimited app building and includes 500 AI builder credits. Teams that will be frequently active working on their apps will find this plan more conducive to their workflow. All users have a 250MB database and 2 GB file capacity in Dataverse.

Development teams building a brand new tech stack or consumer apps can do more in this plan. This is not the plan if your company just wants a few custom apps for project management or workflow automation.

The Pay-as-you-go option charges per active user per month. You can find billing information about active users here. The cost calculation takes into account the number of users and the number of different apps running monthly. There aren’t any AI builder credits because you are charged per direct use. If you hate credit-based systems then your best option is PowerApps.

The plan also includes 1GB for database and file capability in Dataverse. If your software development teams are going to have sporadic usage, then this is the best plan for you. 

The subscription is also a good choice for unlimited apps and users without having to buy individual licenses for every employee or contractor. This plan requires a Microsoft Azure subscription for cloud computing access.

Microsoft PowerApps is great for companies that need flexible plans for multiple teams. It’s a great low-code app development platform, but can definitely be challenging if you want to personalize the apps you build.

For an overview of Microsoft PowerApp see the tutorial below. 

Google App Maker

Similar to Microsoft, Google is another major company in the software industry, and they too have a LCDP solution. Google offers both a low-code/no-code development platform called Google AppSheet, which is an LCDP they acquired. 

In AppSheet, teams can access all the low-code features for free and will even be able to share their apps with up to 10 users. When it comes time for deployment, that’s when you need to purchase a subscription. By separating the development and distribution process teams can save money on business application development.

End-user reviews claim Google AppSheet is speedy, intuitive, and easily connects with databases or integrations. Many expressed appreciation for the cost and functionality. One common negative note was the natural language processing (NLP). Another issue among users found was the lack of cloud storage. With Google, you can integrate other storage options so that is likely why. 

AppSheet PlansCoreStandardEnterprise StandardEnterprise Plus
Cost$5 per user a month$10 per user a monthContact salesContact Sales

The Core comes with basic automation and support. Noteworthy automation features include branding, email, and connectors for integrations like Microsoft Excel, or Airtable. 

Use cases for this are startups and small businesses that don’t plan to distribute the app to a huge consumer base. It’s better for internal business applications rather than wide releases that larger companies may want.

With Standard, there is more security along with advanced automation capabilities like NLP. You get email support, encryption, and the ability to manage users. Standard is not a feature-rich step up from Core. For team collaboration and machine learning, you will need to pass on this one.

Enterprise Standard plan comes with ML, advanced data, collaboration features, and priority customer support. Governance policies or enterprise-grade data services like Google Doc AI are not included.

For the Enterprise Plus plan, there is governance, alerts, and access to enterprise data features. This is ideal for very large teams that have to keep track of their different departments and individual users in the program. It can be very important to ensure teams stick to rules and regulations for good communication between developers, IT departments, and other related business units.

Google AppSheet is a very affordable and flexible option for teams of all different sizes. Both professional developers and citizen developers will find the low-code tool incredibly useful for their business processes. 

Below is a beginner tutorial about Appsheet and its co-code app builder.

Nintex Process Platform

Nintex Process Platform is a BPM for automating workflows and business processes. Their enterprise plan includes an app builder for creating internal enterprise applications. They double as a low-code/no-code tool for process automation.

User reviews show positive feedback for the platform’s automation, UI, functionality, and no-code development tool. Negative feedback generally asks for more training for new users, and others report very specific issues like not enough communication if a workflow fails or not enough connectors available. 

Cost is not frequently noted as an issue but it is very much a concern for some teams. One customer who gave Nintex a 10/10 still pointed out that “The cost is quite high, limiting some businesses to purchase the tool.”

Subscriptions are all billed annually. They are considered estimates until you get a quote directly from the Nintex team. The plans both include unlimited user seats which is a huge benefit for large teams or multiple departments that need access.

Nintex Workflow PlansNintex Workflow StandardNintex Workflow Enterprise(Includes RPA)
CostStarting at $910 per monthStarting under $1,400 per month

The Nintex Workflow Standard plan comes with 10 workflows, Nintex DocGen (comes with templates for fast document building), and advanced forms. It also has standard support, mobile app access, and connectors for integrations.

This is the plan if you want to optimize productivity around data, information, and projects without writing a single line of code. It does not include the Nintex App Studio for rapid application development. 

For the Nintex Workflow Enterprise subscription, teams are provided with real-time analytics, Nintex App Studio, and Nintex RPA. RPA is another software Nintex offers for task automation, bots, and governance. The plan also comes with Nintex’s AssureSign service for electronic signatures. 

This is the Nintex plan if you’re looking for a digital transformation of your tech stack and productivity. It’s designed to deliver enterprise-grade applications and meet your business needs for maximizing productivity. 

The hard thing about the Nintex Process Platform is they are very expensive. If you want to save on your budget you won’t find that with them. 

Below is an overview of the Nintex Process Platform. 

More Resources

If you want to see the full list of low-code development platforms you can go here. To learn more about LCDPs, we have some recommended articles. 

TechRepublic offers a great article explaining the reason behind the demand for LCDPs here. OutSystems is an LCDP that offers a guide for potential users to learn more about the software in general here. Creatio is another popular LCDP that provides a comprehensive guide of information about LCDPs here.

For those that have used any of the platforms discussed here please leave a review to help other buyers make informed decisions.

About the Author

Zara Hanif
Zara is a Research Content Writer/Editor for TrustRadius. She has an English BA and Web Design and Development AS. She enjoys the creativity and freedom of the tech world. In her free time she loves to create art, make jewelry, and work on sci-fi stories

Sign up to receive more buyer resources and tips.