10 Best Low-Code/No-Code Backend Platforms to Build Apps in 2022

Top Low-CodeNo-Code Backend Platforms

I bet there are still some developers who shake their heads at the thought of developing low-code apps. As they say, low-code platforms take them outside of the world of DevOps, .NET, Java, IDEs, JavaScript environment, and so on.

But a massive transformation since cloud computing is now facing the software industry. We have already witnessed how Google Docs approached the market as free cloud-based software and left Microsoft with no option but to change the business model of Office 365. The rest of the IT world sat up and listened too.

And now, DevOps enthusiasts have come across the cool, new kids in the town – low-code and no-code platforms, making the app development process so easy that both citizen developers and professional developers can do it. Such has been its growing popularity that 65% of app development will be low-code development by 2024.

In full disclosure, I was actively following a productivity testing project between model-driven low-code/no-code development and traditional programming (with Java) back in 2017. And the result was pretty impressive – the prior increases organizational productivity up to 5X-7X. Additionally, a 2020 No-Code Census survey revealed 4.6X productivity gain over traditional development.

Whether you are a developer or run a business, you must adapt to these ongoing trends and grab new opportunities to innovate and move faster than ever before. And if low-code/no-code is the future, how would you ensure you’re choosing the right platform for your business goals? What should you even look for?

This blog will help you find the best no-code/low-code backend platforms present in the 2022 market.

What’s Low-Code Development?

Low-code platforms allow you to write a minimal or ‘low’ code (around only 10%) and build software. Instead of waiting for several weeks or months, you can now develop customized software in just a few hours or days.

A low-code platform consists of a set of drag-and-drop tools that facilitate the development process and save turnaround time. As most of the groundwork is written, your limited knowledge of programming languages does not become much of a problem. With the increasing need for mobile app development services, you can use low-code backend platforms to answer the call for new apps, that too faster and cheaper.

What’s No-Code Development?

No-code platforms, on the other hand, have taken the coding-free development approach to a new height. No-code allows anyone to develop apps without any coding knowledge whatsoever. With a handful of simple, built-in interfaces with drag-and-drop functionality, you can tailor an app to your needs without writing any code at all.

Although both these platforms belong to the low-code category as of now, no-code apps are most likely to arise as a distinctive niche in the upcoming years.

We can help you build a customized app with minimal coding

Top Low-Code Backend Platforms in the Market

There’s an alarming misconception that organizations opt for low-code development only for simpler workflow, data visualization, forms, integration, and spreadsheet replacements. Let me bust this myth for you.

In reality, the low-code approach aligns with the latest software development trends. Developers are increasingly opting for low-code platforms to efficiently automate integrations, manage data-intensive operations, and build client-oriented apps. There are many sophisticated low-code apps in the market that provide leading-edge functionalities and connect to multiple systems. Developers can even include added features through extensions. All in all, low-code is the future of software development.

So, if you want to launch a successful low-code app in the market, here are some of the best low-code backend platforms to build it.

1. Appian

Appian – Low-Code Backend Platform

Appian is a high-performing low-code platform that allows developers to create large-scale apps as per the business needs rapidly. From optimizing business operations to supporting a customer journey and enforcing compliance with regulatory issues, low-code apps built with this platform offer multiple solutions.

According to a Forrester report, Appian enables a 17X faster app development process, reduces development costs by 50%, and helps save $13.42 million in three years. So now, you can use this BPM platform to build super secure smart apps a lot faster and cheaper.

Key Features

  • Document generation, intelligent automation, digital workflows
  • Permission for sharing, data unification, process routing, secure accessibility
  • Real-time process monitoring, unstructured processes, API connection
  • UI and program code extending, customized branding, data control
  • Lifecycle management, automation building, bot management and execution, and more

Price

If you get a standard licensing, Appian will charge $90 per month. You can also get a quote for application licensing as well as a free trial for the product.

2. Visual LANSA

Visual LANSA – Low-Code Backend Platform

Visual LANSA offers cutting-edge low-code platforms that can help you digitally upgrade your business, reduce technical risks, enable faster development, increase IT proficiency, and respond to the ongoing demand for apps.

You can access a broad range of resources such as datasheets, learning videos, case studies, new releases, etc. Hence, if you have minimal coding knowledge and need to build efficient apps quickly, Visual LANSA is the low-code development platform for you.

Key Features

  • Low-code language, application framework, data services layer, business rules engine
  • Comprehensive platform portable language, application generation wizards, automatic screen-generation
  • SQL support, multilingual and DBCS language support, configuration management
  • Advanced visual development environment, customizable IDE, programmable templates
  • Multiple encryption capabilities, including SSL/TLS, desktop installation, and upgrade tools, etc.

Price

Visual Lansa offers a three-tiered cost structure. The entry-level package starts at $16.66 for a single user in a month. The mid-tier package will charge you $13.34/user/month, and the enterprise package will cost $8.34/user/month.

3. Mendix

Mendix – Low-Code Backend Platform

“Where thinkers become makers” – with this motto, Mendix has become one of the leading low-code backend platforms that empower both professional developers and businesses to build advanced apps for different industries. This one-in-all platform allows you to create default cloud-native apps, rich web or native mobile app solutions, and progressive apps to automate and digitize business operations.

Gartner has positioned Mendix the furthest in the for Completeness of Vision. Compared to hand-coding, this low-code platform can help you build apps up to 10X quicker.

Key Features

  • Open model API, AI-assisted development, agile project management, access controls/permissions, application management
  • Authentication, change management, compatibility testing, collaborative tools, customizable branding
  • Data synchronization, data modeling, drag and drop, integrated development environment, iteration management, lifecycle management
  • Pre-built templates, real-time monitoring and reporting, workflow management, and so on

Price

Although the community version of Mendix is absolutely free, package prices depend on the number of users you need. For example, the basic package starts at €50/month (5 years included+€10/user/app/month), the standards package costs around €800/month (€10/user/app/month) and finally, you can get a quote from Mendix if you want a premium package.

4. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator – Low-Code Backend Platform

Zoho Creator is a powerful low-code app development platform that enables businesses of all sizes to consolidate all their business intelligence needs, workflow automation, and data management in one single place. It provides a myriad of low-code benefits such as accelerated development, simplified automation, seamless integration, top-notch security, contextual scalability, and so on – all these with minimal coding and drastically reduced time.

Some of the top brands that use this platform are Amazon, Marriott International, Suzuki, Whirlpool, and Warner Music Group. According to Nucleus Research, Zoho Creator is the 2020 leader in the Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP) Technology Value Matrix. So, if you’re planning to build a rewarding low-code app, this platform must be on your checklist.

Choosing the perfect backend platform can save your time and money

Key Features

  • Web mobile and native mobile access, drag and drop interface, marketplace and developer community, webform
  • Data analysis and reporting, record summary, customer portal, automated workflow, data import/export, email notification, and schedules
  • Real-time reporting, document storage, user access control, workflow management, custom development
  • Application management, expense claims, order approvals, purchase orders, API, and much more.

Price

When it comes to pricing, Zoho Creator has various options to let you choose the best plan. The professional package starts at $25/user in a month, and the ultimate package costs $400 with 10 users and unlimited apps. It will also offer you a free trial and free version.

5. Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps for Low-Code Development

The tech-giant Microsoft has now enabled everyone to create and share low-code solutions with Power Apps. You can enhance enterprise app development with this low-code tool to modernize business processes and increase agility across your organization. Professional developers can also access an extensive range of tools and tips to optimize app performance.

According to a Forrester Consulting study, companies that use Power Apps experience 188% ROI in three years, increase employee productivity by 3.2 hours in a week, and reduce app development costs by 74%. Although not as popular as others, it’s a cutting-edge low-code development platform to create viable software solutions.

Key Features

  • App creation, app running, custom APIs, data modeling via CDS
  • Company policies support, environment and user policies settings, premium connectors integration
  • App sharing via AppSource, Office 365 & Dynamics 365 Services Connection, Common Data Service Usage, Workflow Automation
  • Data Policies Support, Collaboration Support, Cloud-Based Services Integration, and more

Price

Microsoft Power Apps offers two subscription-based pricing models. In a month, the first plan will cost you $10/user and the second one $40.

Top No-Code Backend Platforms in the Market

We love hearing the fascinating and inspiring success stories of startups that set off their journey from a garage and thrived on to become market leaders. We all have heard about those underdogs who have risen from the bottom and won. Today’s no-code development platforms can empower you to be one of those underdogs – allowing you to create and launch leading-edge apps with zero knowledge of code.

From automating workflows to optimizing websites, no-code tools level the playing field and ensure a successful mobile app development process for everyone. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, artist, or independent creator, you can now create apps that you could have only dreamed of in the past.

Check out the below-mentioned no-code app development platforms you should give a try in 2022.

1. Airtable

Airtable – No-Code Backend Platform

Let’s imagine this – what if you could access all the core functionality of a spreadsheet and integrate that with the data wrangling capability of advanced databases, all without the hassle of entering into a single program? Yes, you can now bring the databases and spreadsheets together in a single formula with this no-code platform.

Airtable stands out from other business apps as it offers a customizable and versatile product that you can utilize for various purposes. Whether you need to organize information, put together a customer list, or manage a calendar of project deliverables, Airtable makes it incredibly convenient to collaborate and create. It has a modular system developing customized tables that gives you the complete freedom to build exactly what you need for your company as well as to share it with others.

Key Features

  • API, access control/permission, advertising management, agile methodologies, alerts/notifications
  • App management, approval process control, asset categorization, attendance management, automatic backup
  • Audit trail, barcode/ticket scanning, brand and budget management, built-in database, campaign management
  • Compliance tracking, custom development, customizable dashboard, reports, templates, and forms, data import/export
  • Data storage and distribution management, drag and drop, email response control, performance metrics, and much more.

Price

Airtable offers a four-tiered pricing structure. You can get unlimited bases with the free package, each with 2 GB attachment space and 1200 records. The plus package starts at $12 per user/month with 5 GB attachment space and 5000 records per base. And lastly, the pro package costs $24 per user/month with 20 GB attachment space and 50,000 records for a base.

2. Bubble

Bubble – No-Code Backend Platform

Bubble opens the doorway for creative business owners to actualize their dream apps, regardless of their coding knowledge. As an all-in-one hosted web app maker, it gives you the privilege to design apps without the need to code. Whether you have a knowledge of programming languages like HTML or CSS or not, this no-code tool empowers you to build efficient web app layouts, manage the web hosting and deployment process, and more.

Although Bubble is an all-inclusive no-code backend platform, you can also connect its robust Bubble CMS with other frontend tools. So now, you can use the same data tables built inside the Bubble CMS and create native apps by linking them with other frontend development tools. It already has 1 million users, and the number is rapidly increasing.

Create progressive web apps with
Low-Code/No-Code technology

Key Features

  • Deployment and change management, collaboration tools, design templates, drag and drop, integrations management
  • Performance metrics, pre-built modules, prototype creation, visual modeling
  • Workflow management, feature library, data and accounts management, JavaScript and API integration
  • Automatic backups, plugins for solutions like Facebook, Stripe, Google, etc., and so on.

Price

Bubble allows you to start developing freely and pay as you grow. The free version does not provide access to API, but other plans do. For example, the personal plan will cost you $29 in a month, $129 for the professional plan, and $529 for the production plan.

3. Voiceflow

Voiceflow – No-Code Backend Platform

Even a few years back, we could not imagine how advanced voice-activated technology would become. Alexa and Siri were new inventions for us, of which we were a bit skeptical at first. But now, they are our all-time companions, providing us with quick information and answering our weird questions when we get bored (Am I the only one who asked Alexa if she could pass the Turing test?).

Voiceflow is a breakthrough platform that enables voice app development for Google actions and Alexa tools for anyone without any coding skill. Hence, voice apps are no longer just limited to those who know how to program. If you are passionate about building apps and have always wanted to create something for Alexa or Google, Voiceflow’s no-code backend platform is the perfect choice for you.

Some of the leading brands using Voiceflow are Spotify, BMW, Amazon, Adobe, Best Buy, Motorola, etc.

Key Features

  • Drag and drop blocks, simple and user-friendly visual interface, dialogue management API
  • One-click publish, context first designs, reusable components, smart prototyping, voice, chat, or multi-modal testing
  • Machine learning, launching and optimization, lifecycle management, process review, process analysis
  • Real-time monitoring, test to production, notifications and alerts, tool creator, and more.

Price

If you plan to start developing with Voiceflow for the first time, go for the forever free package for personal use and 2 free projects. As you grow, you can opt for the pro package starting at $40/editor/month with unlimited projects or the custom enterprise package with loads of benefits.

4. Zapier

Zapier – No-Code Backend Platform

Do you need to compile all the important data from different apps into an automated process? Zapier comes as a savior here, allowing you to tie multiple app platforms together so that you can automate and accelerate your workflow.

With its business process automation feature, this no-code platform provides a wide array of familiar tools that organizations use. Shopify, Twitter, Dropbox, and Slack are some of the processes you can automate with Zapier. Implementing such processes into an automated workflow will certainly save you time and bring more efficiency to your business. As Forbes has put it, “Zapier is making your productivity apps even more productive.”

Key Features

  • Accounting integration, activity dashboard, API access, CRM, app management
  • Configurable workflow, data import/export, database support, ERP and ETL
  • Email management, integrations management, payroll management, Point of Sale, multiple data sources
  • QuickBooks integration, SSL security, SMS management, social media integration, eCommerce management
  • Third-party integration, sales management, web services, exporting/transferring information, etc.

Price

Apart from the free plan, Zapier has four pricing models. The premium plan starts at $19.99 with 750 tasks in a month, the professional plan costs $49 with 2000 tasks, the team plan costs $299 for 50,000 tasks, and finally, the company plan will charge you $599 for 10,000 tasks. Zapier bills all these plans annually.

5. Backendless

Backendless – No-Code Backend Platform

As a low-coder, if you’re looking for integrated services and hosting your database in the cloud, Backendless is one of the best no-code platforms for you. This cloud backend tool allows you to build apps without the need to write any server-side code. It’s a complete visual app builder that can scale extensively without any code.

Backendless performs a broad range of functionalities by implementing the REST API. It offers you access to a REST API that you can use with any frontend tool. Additionally, it also supports native software development kits for JavaScript, iOS, Android apps, and much more. This platform definitely calls for software project success!

Key Features

  • API services, UI builder, push notifications, document management, email marketing
  • Debugging, deployment management, real-time analytics, reporting and statistics, rules-based workflow
  • Source control, this-party integrations, automated SMS, language translator, customizable fields and forms
  • “Show password” option in UI builder, role-based permissions, real-time data and notifications, database support, data modeling, data visualization, activity tracking, activity dashboard, and so on.

Price

This no-code backend platform has different pricing plans to fit your needs. You can start with the Backendless Cloud plan from free to $149/month with discounts for annual bill payments. Paid add-ons are also available. Additionally, you can go for higher versions like Backendless Pro and Managed Backendless with custom costs and services.

Why Should You Start Building Apps with No-Code/Low-Code Platforms?

Gartner has already predicted that the majority of apps developed in 2024 will be low-code/no-code apps. And its implications are dynamic. In the coming years, Oracle, SAP, or other large enterprise software providers must simplify their solutions for greater and faster customization. This means there will be a completely new set of enterprise technology trends and app development platforms.

As a result of all these, we won’t put up with the never-ending software customization process or hire an outsourcing partner to code an app totally from scratch.

Investors will happily support the bigger players who can move quickly to the new no-code/low-code infrastructure, even by knocking off the revenues from short-term services to gain a long-term competitive edge. And startups that help in the advancement of the latest no-code/low-code platforms will also rise. For example, the design app Canva has a recent value of $3.2 billion.

Developers, with the importance of code quality and coding standards, will always have a place, but a lack of coding knowledge should not stop us from launching our ideas, growing businesses, and following our entrepreneurial dreams. It really gives me the joy to see so many low-code and no-code platforms empowering non-programmers to create.

Want to know the best Low-Code/No-Code platform for you?

The Final Verdict

Considering the rising demand for low-code/no-code tools in recent years, you can build your app’s backend in various ways rather than just depending on experienced developers. You can use any of these backend platforms to kickstart your app development career based on your requirements. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and thus, it’s highly important for you to choose which is in line with your requirements and hire a proficient software development partner accordingly.

Have you found your favorite low-code/no-code platform in the list? Or do you have something else in your mind? Let’s connect and discuss the project.

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Pratik Mistry is a rare mix of technologist and vice president of sales at Radixweb. His passion lies is in helping companies to grow revenues by delivering top notch software development services and build value-based partnerships. When not driving high-impact go to market strategies, Pratik loves to try new cuisines and going to the movies.