layer 1 layer 2 layer 3 layer 4 layer 5 abstract shapes

How to Decide on the Right Development Approach for Your Business Apps

A guide to No Code, Low Code and Pro Code solutions in the Microsoft ecosystem

Business applications are essential for any organisation that wants to improve its productivity, efficiency, and customer experiences. However, developing and maintaining business apps can be challenging, especially when considering the increasing complexity and diversity of business needs and technologies.  

In this post, we explore the three main development approaches for business apps: No Code, Low Code and Pro Code. We cover what they are, how they work and the benefits and drawbacks of each. We also provide examples of business apps that our team have created for our clients. Finally, we offer insights on which approach is best suited for your business and how to get started today. 

What are No Code, Low Code and Pro Code? 

No Code, Low Code and Pro Code are terms that describe the level of coding or programming required to develop business applications. They are not mutually exclusive but represent a spectrum of possibilities that can be combined and adapted depending on project requirements and resources. 

  • No Code: No code solutions are tools and platforms within the Microsoft 365 productivity suite that allow users to create and customise applications without the need for coding. Examples include Microsoft Bookings, Planner, and Forms. No code solutions are ideal for simple and quick apps that can be built by anyone with basic computer skills. 
  • Low Code: Low code solutions are tools and platforms that require minimal coding to develop applications. Examples include Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate, which enable users to create custom business applications and automated workflows using a visual interface. Low code solutions are great for more complex and flexible apps that can be built by power users or citizen developers with some technical knowledge. 
  • Pro Code: Pro code solutions are the traditional method of creating and customising applications using programming languages and development tools. Examples include C# and .Net. Pro code solutions are necessary for highly complex and scalable apps and are built by professional developers with advanced technical skills. 

What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of No Code, Low Code and Pro Code? 

Each development approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the business problem, available resources and the desired outcome.  

Pros and Cons of No Code 

No code solutions are the simplist and fastest way to create business applications, but they also have some limitations.  

  • Pros of No Code: 
  • Easy to use: No code solutions are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, so anyone can create apps without any coding or technical skills.
  • Fast to deploy: No code solutions are ready to use out of the box, so users can create and launch apps in minutes or hours. 
  • Cost-effective: No code solutions are included in the Microsoft M365 subscription, so users don’t need to pay extra for development tools or licenses. 
  • Secure and compliant: No code solutions are built on the Microsoft M365 platform, which ensures security, privacy, identity, and compliance policies. 
  • Cons of No Code: 
  • Limited functionality: No code solutions have predefined features and templates, which limit the customization and flexibility of the apps. 
  • Limited integration: No code solutions have limited or no ability to connect to external data sources, services, or APIs, which restrict the data and functionality of the apps. 
  • Limited scalability: No code solutions have limited or no ability to handle large volumes of users, data, or transactions, which affect the performance and reliability of the apps. 
  • Limited support: No code solutions have limited or no access to developer support or documentation, which can make it difficult to troubleshoot or update the apps. 

Pros and Cons of Low Code 

  • Low code solutions are a great way to create more complex and flexible business apps, but they also have some challenges. Pros of Low Code: 
  • Enhanced functionality: Low code solutions allow users to create custom features and logic using minimal coding or visual interfaces. 
  • Enhanced integration: Low code solutions enable users to connect to various data sources and services using pre-built or custom plugins. 
  • Enhanced scalability: Low code solutions can handle larger volumes of users, data, or transactions using cloud-based or hybrid architectures. 
  • Enhanced support: Low code solutions have access to developer support and documentation, as well as community forums and resources. 
  • Cons of Low Code: 
  • Higher learning curve: Low code solutions require some technical knowledge and skills, such as data modelling, logic design, and scripting. 
  • Higher development time: Low code solutions take longer to create and deploy than no code solutions, as they involve more customization and testing. 
  • Higher maintenance cost: Low code solutions need more maintenance and updates than no code solutions, as they depend on external dependencies and platforms. 
  • Lower code quality: Low code solutions may produce lower quality code than pro code solutions, as they rely on algorithms and libraries that may not be optimized or secure. 

Pros and Cons of Pro Code 

Pro code solutions are the most powerful and scalable way to create business apps, but they also have some drawbacks. 

  • Pros of Pro Code: 
  • Unlimited functionality: Pro code solutions allow developers to create any feature and logic using programming languages and tools. 
  • Unlimited integration: Pro code solutions enable developers to connect to any data source and service using APIs and SDKs. 
  • Unlimited scalability: Pro code solutions can handle any volume of users, data, or transactions using custom or cloud-native architectures. 
  • High code quality: Pro code solutions produce high quality code that can be optimized, secured, and documented. 
  • Cons of Pro Code: 
  • Difficult to use: Pro code solutions require advanced technical skills and experience, such as programming, debugging, and testing. 
  • Slow to deploy: Pro code solutions take the longest to create and deploy, as they involve complex and lengthy development cycles. 
  • Expensive: Pro code solutions require the most investment in development tools, licenses, and resources, as well as professional developers. 
  • Risky: Pro code solutions may introduce errors, bugs, or vulnerabilities that can affect the functionality and security of the apps. 

What are some Examples of Business Apps using No Code, Low Code and Pro Code? 

At BCN, we have created many applications for our clients using different development approaches, depending on their needs and goals. Here are some examples of the apps we have built using no code, low code, and pro code solutions: 

No Code Examples 

We have used no code solutions to create simple and quick apps that can be used by anyone in our organisation. Some examples include: 

  • Employee and perception surveys: We have used Microsoft Forms to create online surveys that can collect feedback from employees and customers on various topics, such as satisfaction, engagement, and performance. 
  • Communication area: We have used Microsoft SharePoint to create a communication area that can push business content to users via MS applications, such as news, announcements, and events. 
  • Desk booking and car park management: We have used Microsoft Bookings to create a booking system that can give visibility for staff of available desks and parking spaces. 

Low Code Examples 

We have used low code solutions to create more complex and flexible apps that can be used by our clients’ users. Some of the apps we have created using low code solutions are: 

  • Health and safety app: We have used Microsoft PowerApps and Power Automate to create a health and safety app that can collect and report incidents, hazards, and risks, as well as populate a dashboard with key metrics and insights. 
  • Asset management app: We have used Microsoft PowerApps and Power Automate to create an asset management app that can track and manage the inventory of IT assets, such as hardware and mobile devices. 
  • Service desk app: We have used Microsoft PowerApps and Power Automate to create a service desk app that can handle IT requests, approvals, and escalations, as well as integrate with external systems such as Jira and Dynamics 365. 

Pro Code Examples 

We have used pro code solutions to create highly complex and scalable apps that can be used by consumers or external users. Some of the apps we have created using pro code solutions are: 

  • Certified mobile app: We have used C# and .Net to create a certified mobile app for job management, payments, and scheduling, that can work offline and online, and sync with the cloud. 
  • Customer digital twin app: We have used C# and .Net to create a customer digital twin app that can create a virtual representation of a customer’s assets, such as buildings, vehicles, and equipment, and provide insights and recommendations. 
  • Custom PowerBI visual: EasySPC a that helps organizations to analyse data by providing in depth Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts. 
  • ETL with C Level dashboarding: PublicView provides insights into performance across a range of metrics. It is used by organizations such as NHS Trusts to generate reports for their board meetings. 

How to Decide which Development Approach is Best for Your Business Scenario? 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as different development approaches have different strengths and weaknesses. However, there are some factors that can help you decide which approach is best suited for your business scenario, such as: 

  • The scalability and performance of the app: How many users, data, or transactions do you expect to handle? How fast and reliable do you need the app to be? How do you plan to deploy and maintain the app? 
  • The complexity and flexibility of the app: How complex is the app in terms of features, logic, and data? How much customization and personalization do you need? How often do you need to change or update the app? 
  • The integration and functionality of the app: How do you need to connect to external data sources, services, or APIs? What kind of functionality do you need to provide to your users? How do you ensure the security and compliance of the app? 
  • The resources and skills of the team: How much time and money do you have to invest in the app development? What kind of technical skills and experience do you have in your team? How do you collaborate and communicate with your team? 

Of course, you may need to combine or adapt different development approaches depending on your specific needs and goals. For example, you may start with a no code or low code solution and then add some pro code elements to enhance the functionality or integration of the app. Or you may use a pro code solution and then leverage some no code or low code tools to simplify the development or maintenance of the app. 

How to Get Started with the Microsoft Ecosystem? 

The Microsoft ecosystem offers a wide range of tools and platforms that can help you create business.  

  • No Code: Microsoft M365 productivity suite, which includes Microsoft Bookings, Planner, Forms, SharePoint, and more. 
  • Low Code: Microsoft Power Platform, which includes Microsoft PowerApps, Power Automate, Power BI, Copilot Studio and Power Virtual Agents. 
  • Pro Code: Microsoft Azure, which includes Azure AI Studio, Visual Studio, Copilot Extensions, and more. 

At BCN, we are experts in the Microsoft ecosystem, and we can help you choose and implement the best development approach for your business apps. We have a team of consultants, developers, and designers who can guide you through the entire process, from analysis and design to development and deployment. We also offer adoption and support services to ensure that your apps are used and maintained effectively. 

Interested in creating business apps using the Microsoft ecosystem?

Contact us today and we will be happy to discuss your needs and goals.

Contact us down down down