Is the management of legacy code and systems consuming too much precious time? Make developers 3x more productive with no-code.Request a Demo
—Shekar Pannala, Global CIO & Co-Leader Technology
In the digital age, the demand for custom software is growing at a relentless pace, while enterprise applications are becoming ever more sophisticated. The reason: custom solutions enable businesses to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace, from new digital products and services to the automation of critical backend processes.
It’s becoming more clear that traditional application development simply can’t keep up with demand. Making matters worse, it now takes developers 20% longer on average to complete an enterprise application project than it did in the 2000s. And McKinsey estimates that 33% of enterprise software projects go over schedule.
Development is slowing because developers are tasked with building applications on top of increasingly sprawling and disparate legacy systems—many created with now-obsolete programming languages. The advent of low-code tools, higher-level languages (e.g., Python), and agile methodologies have helped, but they are clearly not keeping up with the challenge.
In addition to increased demand and longer development timeframes, the world is facing a shortage of experienced developer talent. This shortage has also driven their median annual salaries above $110,000. In short, the current approach to development is expensive and hobbles your transformation efforts.
Another problem lurks in dark corners—tech debt. That is, the future cost of reworking code that was relatively easy to implement but that will require time-consuming and expensive changes down the road. Increasing complexity naturally tends to increase tech debt, which is eroding the ability of organizations to invest in net-new development. In a recent McKinsey survey, CIOs said they divert up to 20% of their budgets for new products to paying down their tech debt. And more than 60% said their tech debt has increased in the last three years.
Beginning in the 2000s, low-code tools, which automate certain repeatable coding tasks, promised to solve at least part of the problem. Instead of writing every single line of code, developers could access repeatable scripts, sometimes via drag-and-drop functionality. However, low-code comes with certain built-in limitations. Custom functionality usually requires at least some custom coding—and that means building a degree of tech debt into new applications. In addition, low-code interfaces are designed for highly trained technical users. Business users need not apply. Some low-code tools even require developers to learn yet another proprietary language.
Beginning in the late 2010s, no-code development platforms promised a giant step forward over low-code tools. With an enterprise-grade no-code app builder like Unqork, no-code means exactly that—developers never write or interact with a single line of code. Rather, they build applications in a completely visual UI.
With no-code, developers—Unqork calls them Creators—no longer have to worry about wrangling syntax, struggling to build integrations, or squashing bugs. Instead, they can focus their time and creativity on enhancing functionality, from optimizing business processes to enhancing user experiences. Just as important, they can run and manage applications without the complexity of managing all the parts themselves.
Thanks to all these productivity boosters, no-code speeds development by 3x. By doing so, it offers a sustainable solution to the enormous increase in both demand for apps as well as the complexity of app development in the 2020s. In this guide, we will explore five specific ways no-code helps make developers faster and more productive.
With a no-code platform like Unqork, Creators never have to invest time translating business processes into code. Instead, they build software within an entirely visual, intuitive interface. They simply drag-and-drop into place visual elements that represent all the major components of modern enterprise applications, including user-facing elements, complex workflows, backend logic, and API-based connections to external systems.
For example, Unqork’s visually configurable decision table enables Creators to quickly and easily define:
And they can do it all without any coding whatsoever. By way of comparison, a leading low-code platform’s own website boasts that to create a relatively simple form, a trained programmer needs to write “only” 111 lines of code (LOCs)—not including increasingly standard features like field-level validation, responsive behaviors, or success and/or error messaging.
In addition to speeding the work of more experienced developers, no-code also opens up application creation to a far wider audience. Less experienced peers can build far more sophisticated applications than if they were limited to code-based or low-code tools. And even business users, who have the advantage of being intimately familiar with the business goals of an application, can approve, edit, and even create key functionality. This frees up developers of all skill levels for higher-value tasks. It also saves both business users and Creators valuable time that would otherwise be spent gathering specifications.
Because of highly manual client servicing processes, a global investment bank was hindered by long turnaround times, poor client experiences, and an overabundance of resources dedicated to routine servicing tasks. Using Unqork, the firm developed a digital solution with tailored interfaces for all key stakeholders (e.g., administrative, operations, compliance, etc.). Now, a modern portal allows clients to independently upload information to the system with little-to-no back office intermediation.
By some estimates, developers spend up to 50% of their time squashing bugs. And the vast majority of these bugs result from errors that occur in manually written code. It is estimated that hand-coded applications average 13 issues in every thousand lines of code. To understand the scale of the problem, 99% of all the security incidents that have occurred on the GitHub platform stem from such errors.
While debugger tools can identify certain coding errors during development, they are far from fool-proof. Coders still have to fix those errors manually. And as every developer knows, debugging can actually make a bad situation worse. When dependencies aren’t clear, for example, fixing one bug often means that another suddenly appears.
Unqork’s platform helps eliminate bugs before they happen. Rather than writing new code with potential errors, Creators simply apply components of the platform, all of which have already been rigorously tested and reworked. For this reason, applications built on the Unqork platform in 2020 averaged only .02 bugs per 1,000 lines of codes—a staggering 600x improvement over the traditional approach.
With a no-code app builder, developers can easily automate repeatable coding tasks. And when they fix or change a feature in one place, it automatically scales to all the places where it is in use.
By contrast, consider developers connecting an application with internal systems using code-based or even low-code methodologies. They must write LOCs to authenticate legacy and external systems. In fact, they have to build and maintain a separate script for each discrete activity within another system. And they must transform data from those systems into formats that are supported by the new application.
With an enterprise-grade no-code platform, the efficiencies are dramatic. For example, Creators can set up authentications and API inputs and outputs using the platform’s all-visual UI. And they only need to do so once. Thereafter, these functions become reusable, both within a single application and across other applications.
Just as important, backend technological elements—including programming language or other plug-ins—can change, evolve, or reach their end of life without requiring any reworks to applications built with the Unqork platform. Unqork handles these changes on the backend, so end-users never notice the difference—a key way no-code helps companies pay down tech debt.
In traditional environments relying on thousands, even millions, of lines of opaque code, developers often find themselves reinventing the wheel. And because of their lack of visibility, they don’t even realize they are doing so. Rather than spending precious time doing the same thing over and over, Unqork Creators have access to existing components in one, centralized location. Any user can reuse components they create—or share components they create with their colleagues.
Going one step further, Creators can access the Unqork Marketplace, a unified one-stop-shop offering a constantly growing body of enterprise functionality built by technology partners, system integrators, and fellow Creators. Instead of starting from scratch, Creators can borrow from the best. With Unqork Marketplace, they can quickly find new enterprise functionalities and integrate them into custom applications with just a few clicks—all without writing a single LOC. The Unqork Marketplace includes:
A leading investment firm wanted to build an end-to-end credit card onboarding platform that automates the journey from application to approval, all via a single, client-facing hub. Using Unqork’s platform, two Creators built a custom enterprise-grade card issuance solution—including live integrations with Plaid, Twilio, and Google Maps—all in just four days.
In today’s evermore sprawling and complex enterprise tech environments, the labor consumed by systems integration keeps mounting—especially as the demand for digital applications grows larger and larger. Back in 2018, Gartner estimated that, through 2020, integration would consume 50% of an enterprise technology team’s resources. And that was before the pandemic sent demand for digital services through the roof.
To meet unprecedented demand with unprecedented efficiency, Unqork transforms API creation into a completely visual experience. All API gateways are pre-built and pre-exposed. As a result, developers can jumpstart projects using pre-built templates and connectors to third-party services—all available as drag-and-drop components. As a result, Creators can:
Using Unqork, a large clinical association developed a robust, multi-channel application to assist its partner clinicians in just 12 weeks. The system seamlessly integrates with existing clinical systems (e.g., EMRs) to equip clinicians with standardized assessment processes for capturing and summarizing patient presentation and disposition. The system also presents clinicians with evidence-based treatment plans and critical reference and educational materials.
With a no-code app builder, you can meet the rising demand for custom applications by speeding every aspect of the development process. You empower non-technical users to actively participate in development. And you minimize future tech debt by eliminating the need to write a single new line of code.
Looking to accelerate the way your enterprise currently develops mission-critical applications? Click here to request a demo of Unqork’s no-code capabilities.