Guy Wilcox

Low-Code Platforms Comparison: Which Should You Choose?

Low-Code, low-code development platform
Low-Code Platforms Comparison: Which Should You Choose?

Low-Code development platforms provide users with the ability to effectively develop the apps needed for enterprise business needs using Low-Code, quickly, securely and without the need for extensive knowledge of traditional coding. Sounds perfect, right? Well, it is. However, the ease of use and accessibility these development platforms offer presents a problem for developers - which platforms should they choose? 

We’ve compiled five of the top-performing Low-Code development platforms for you to explore. They each have their strengths and uses within the wider audience of businesses and any smaller emerging vendors are only replicating what these five are doing. So for the enterprise-level business, these choices are the go-tos. 

Here’s the Low-Code platforms comparison you’ve been looking for. 

  1. Appian
  2. Salesforce
  3. Mendix
  4. Power Apps
  5. Outsystems

1. Appian

Appian is a classic LCAP, with a focus on complex development processes. It offers:

  • Low-Code app building.
  • Business process orchestration.
  • Automated Decisioning.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Appian can be used for end-to-end case management and works for a wide variety of applications that require sophisticated automation and analytics. 

An important benefit of Appian is its ability to consolidate separate systems into one interface, a function capable of being delivered with zero code integrations needed. While running multiple services through one interface is great as you can really channel business data from multiple sources into one app, Appian does have shortcomings on what levels of data you can access because it limits the APIs and connectors you can create.

Development is driven by pre-built UIs, process models and reusable designs. The applications built are automatically upgraded to integrate with future operating systems. 

However, Appian is not for everyone. While it’s great for building automated processes, it does have its limitations. For example, you can’t integrate a line or a subset level of a database. You also don’t have access to a wide range of pre-built connectors. Consider these when choosing a Low-Code development platform.

2. Salesforce

You’ve probably heard the Salesforce name or used some of their service offerings in the past. This LCAP is another.

This platform is well-focused on developing applications for business, with a good level of customisation in terms of complexity. Existing Salesforce customers are attracted to this option because they know Salesforce works with large enterprises. 

The platform enables you to:

  • Develop apps simply.
  • Experience a speedy time to market.
  • Digitise any business process.
  • Integrate across the board.

While the offering is straightforward, Salesforce is planning to expand their LCAP support capabilities, meaning that integration, orchestration and the unification of runtime technologies are more effectively captured. 

In short, it’s great for standard business services and common productivity apps such as timesheets or simple HR systems. But it doesn’t allow you to address edge cases or anything that differs from normal processes.

This means that Salesforce’s value is limited to just being able to replace more complex standard off-the-shelf process software, which is only cost effective if you’re already a Salesforce customer.

3. Mendix

Mendix is the platform that delivers both No Code and Low-Code development tools. It’s a useful piece of software as it’s based on a model-driven, cloud-native architecture. It addresses needs that cover:

  • Integration.
  • Workflow.
  • Event processing.
  • AI-supported development. 

Users also benefit from Mendix Data Hub, a service that helps with Low-Code integration, alongside two private cloud service options. 

One of their key messages is that this LCAP allows you to leverage the entire workforce, avoiding departmental silos. Similarly, it offers apps that are developed to be cloud-native by default. 

In terms of the cons of Mendix, consider the following. If you’re looking to create multiple applications for your business and re-use service components, then Mendix is pretty limited, suffering from issues of scalability. This is partly caused by the fact you pay for each app you create, rather than paying for either environments or users. 

Don’t get us wrong, it’s great for building those ‘big’ enterprise apps, especially if that app needs to perform more like a native app as it employs ‘React Native’ frameworks, which allows for great access to a phone or tablets extensive functions. 

However, if web technology or web apps are more what you’re looking to develop, Mendix isn’t the solution for these.

4. Power Apps

Power Apps is the LCAP designed by Microsoft. It delivers a wide service offering, with features such as:

  • Power BI for business analytics.
  • Power Virtual Agents for Low-Code chatbots.
  • Power Automate. 

Power Apps has a pretty straightforward design-time toolset, meaning that it’s well-suited for citizen developers. Its key benefits are a potential 74% reduction in development costs and 188% ROI over three years. 

Now, Power Apps does have a few downsides. To start, you can’t access the Javascript and you can’t see the levels of a database visually. We wouldn’t call it ‘enterprise’ Low-Code because of this. 

However, if you want to use Microsoft and add business process applications which work to understand data and extend the Microsoft offering and you don’t happen to code, then Power Apps is the development platform for you.

5. OutSystems

OutSystems is a great option for its focus on enterprise application development for agile and continuous application delivery. It’s actually a platform that stands out from the rest - and for good reason. The system works through a built-in user interface framework that contains both multiple templates and user interface patterns, meaning it has a high ease of use. 

Every element, service or line of code of an application development can be accessed by a built-in user interface. You can save time by writing once and using across multiple applications which are fit for unique business needs. It’s simple, easy and fast. 

Similarly, OutSystems also has enhanced DevOps and data management capabilities, provided by builders for workflow and better user experience so that development projects are easily facilitated. 

OutSystems provides are AI-assisted tools, helping even inexperienced developers to build a wide range of applications. There’s a real emphasis on collaborative development, where comprehensive tools and users can be connected throughout the platform. Alongside that, OutSystems champions ‘Great UX by Default’ - a great advantage for first-time users. 

The platform offers:

  • Enterprise-grade build potential.
  • Automatic security.
  • Governance made simple. 

OutSystems are known for having a wide range of large enterprise partners, such as Volkswagen, Warner Brothers, Santander, Mercedes Benz and ExxonMobil. 

You can explore more comparisons on Gartner’s Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms Reviews and Ratings

If you’d like to learn more about OutSystems, get in touch with us at Unipro, as it’s our system of choice. We enjoy how, using Outsystems, you can easily integrate data and any existing legacy software with its pre-built connectors, which are constantly being developed and updated by the Outsystems community.

However, you’d probably like to learn more about the right choice of Low-Code application platform for you. Enterprise businesses need one that is agile, utilises user interface frameworks well and next-level data management capabilities. So where can you look for more info? Our comparison guide is the answer.

The Low-Code Comparison Guide for Enterprise Businesses

For more information on these platforms of choice, alongside OutSystems and an in-depth insight into Low-Code itself, in comparison with other styles of coding, such as Hand-Code and No-Code, download our guide.

It’s the best introduction for enterprise business professionals looking to upscale their digital development abilities in a way that’s fast, iterative and accessible for all. Click the link below to download your own copy. 

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