5 Best No Code Backend Development Platforms You Should Be Aware of in 2022

No Code
June 15, 2022 | Rokas Jurkėnas

When you really observe the Low Code history, it’s evident that coding was initially intended to enable everyday users and professional developers to create custom software. But we all know that has not been the case for the most part.

no code backend development platforms 2022 thumbnail

Software development has long been left for professional developers who’ve dedicated years to study and practice. Unfortunately, that meant that corporations, entrepreneurs, and citizen developers alike had no choice but to depend on the high-costing services of professionals before building custom software.

Today that is not the case. Instead, Low Code and No Code tools have taken the digital world by storm, championing the original fundamental aims of coding; to make software development possible for everyone.

As digital transformation becomes ever more imminent in our world, there has been a paradigm shift from the typical conventions of writing code to more visual development tools. However, some fundamental concepts behind app development remain relevant even in this age.

One of these fundamental concepts still relevant even with these relatively new tools is frontend and backend. An app or webpage’s frontend refers to the user interface section customers interact with upon access to your app.

Man developing apps on a train ride

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

On the other hand, the backend refers to the section of a program concerned with background functionality. It typically uses a communication channel – Application Programming Interface (API) - to communicate with the frontend of a program. 

But how does this relate to No Code and Low Code development exactly? Let’s first discuss what precisely No Code development is.

What is No Code Development?

We should first of all note that No Code development is quite different from Low Code app development. Low Code Platforms provides drag and drop tools that facilitate development with minimal coding knowledge.

Low Code platforms still require minimal coding knowledge to utilize them effectively, but that’s not the case with No Code platforms. Instead, No Code platforms allow users to develop app software without coding knowledge.

No Code uses the same building blocks – drag and drop functionality – as Low Code platforms, but they do not require you to know how to code at all. Instead, with a handful of the visual code tools, you can tailor mobile and web applications to your unique requirements.

Developer working late in a cafe

Photo by Muhammad Raufan Yusup on Unsplash

Both platforms are still primarily put under the Low Code category, but No Code is sure to become a more distinctive niche in coming years.

Now, considering that 65% of app development[1] will be Low Code by 2024, that is just the beginning. Analysts[2] predicted the No Code/Low Code Category to grow up to $187 billion by 2030; it is only natural to start thinking of what platform will give you the best benefits.

There are many overall best and most popular No Code platforms in the market, but for emphasis, we’ll only be dealing specifically with the best backend development platforms in the No Code niche.

Top No Code Backend Platforms in the Digital Market

Everyone loves to hear the inspiring success stories of startups who came from humble beginnings and became industry giants. And with these No Code platforms, the playing field is levelled for you to take your shot as well.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business user, or independent creator, No Code platforms empower you to develop and deploy your custom web apps without any coding knowledge. And there are some No Code startups to drive home that point.

Here are a few of the best platforms you can use:

1. Bubble

This is an all-in-one web app builder that opens up the doors to a wide range of design freedom for individuals with no coding knowledge.

It is all-inclusive because traditional software development approaches require you to write the code and delegate the deployment process to a web server, but the Bubble platform manages both the development, deployment process and web hosting for its users.

Bubble Low Code platform dashboard

One may be coerced to think that since it projects an all-in-one philosophy it would encourage a siloed app development process. On the contrary, Bubble CMS makes it possible to link data tables built in the CMS with any other Front end tool.

Additionally, you can easily integrate APIs, JavaScript plugins, and a wide array of other apps to further extend the functionality of your software. 

Key Features

  • Pre-made drag and drop design templates, collaboration tools, deployment, and change management.
  • Workflow automation, data and accounts management, JavaScript, and API integration.
  • Support for plugins for solutions such as Stripe, Google, Facebook, and the likes.
  • Performance metrics, automatic backups, pre-made modules, Prototype creation, and visual modeling.

Pricing plans

  • Free Tier plans: Develop web apps freely without API access up until the deployment stage.
  • Personal Plan: $29 per month with API access.
  • Professional Plan: $129 per month.
  • Production: $529 per month.

2. Airtable

At first glance, Airtable may seem like an advanced typical spreadsheet, and rightly so since it is an advanced version of Google Sheets. But this backend service offers significantly more than just that.

It combines the general functionality of spreadsheets with the data wrangling capability of an advanced database to create a flexible backend without coding.

Airtable Low Code platform project landing page

The versatility of operation that Airtable provides is one of its major strong points. You can use it to organize data tables (Bases), automate workflows, manage project deliverables, create customer lists, etc., all with sufficient provision for collaboration.

Key Features

  • Supports data filtering, sorting, reading, updating, and writing. The endpoint generated by Airtable is also usable for other operations.
  • Rich API support, access control, alerts/notifications, advertising, and user management.
  • Audit trail, barcode/ticket scanning, brand and budget management, and campaign management features.
  • Over 50 built-in apps to allow integration with other tools like G-suite, Outlook, Jira, and the likes.
  •  Compliance tracking, data import/export, customizable dashboard.
  • Data storage and distribution management, Email response control, performance metrics.

Pricing plans

  • Free Tier Package: Comes with unlimited bases each limited to 2 GB attachment space and 1200 records.
  • Plus Package: Comes with 5 GB attachment space, snapshot history, and 5000 records per base at $12 per user/month.
  • Pro Package: Comes with 20 GB attachment space and 50, 000 records for each base at $24 per user/month.

3. Backendless

Most frontend developers would agree that MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service) has become rather salutary[3] to backend development and more specifically, mobile development. Instead of writing conventional server side code, they can now use an API-driven, easy-to-use cloud-based service.

Backendless platform dashboard

Backendless is one of the most recognized, open source MBaaS solutions in the market and it has even more benefits to offer than that. It offers a comprehensive toolset that allows for backend development in an efficient and easy way.

Key Features

  • Scalable and flexible database with efficient SQL and NoSQL functionalities.
  • Supports authorized user management and custom back end services to supply standard server functions. 
  • Robust API services, push notifications, real-time analytics, and rules-based statistics.
  • Automated code generator, permission control for user roles, cross-platform data caching.
  • Codeless logic with potential for reusability.
  • Programmable services for customizing fields and forms, Email marketing, this-party integrations, language translator, data modeling, activity tracking and so much more.
  • Supports native SDKs (Software Development Kits) for iOS, JavaScript, and Android.

Pricing Plans

  • Free Backendless Cloud plan: Start building your Low Code applications on the free tier plan until you’re ready to scale then upgrade to one of the paid plans – Cloud 9 for $25 per month and Cloud 99 for $99 per month.
  • Backendless Pro and Managed Backendless are the higher versions with custom costs.

4. Voiceflow

Voiceflow is a breakthrough platform with relatively unique features. It is used especially for creating chatbots and voice apps for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. With a user-friendly interface, you can build custom conversational AI or prototype your Alexa skill without coding.

Voiceflow dashboard

Amazon's Alexa[4] platform alone has up to 100, 000 skills now, and the market for voice apps is only expected to keep growing. It is only common sense to capitalize on this growing trend and with Voiceflow you can do just that.

Key features

  • Voiceflow uses Single-sign-on user authentication by leveraging SAML[5] (Security Assertion Markup Language) to properly manage member access to your workspace.
  • Visual Flow Builder. User-friendly visual interface with drag and drop blocks that make it easy to set up a chatbot.
  • Context first designs, reusable components support, multi-modal testing. Smart prototyping.
  • Machine learning, process analysis and review, project lifecycle management, optimization, and custom fields.
  • Google Sheets and Webhooks integration.
  • Real-time monitoring, dialogue management API, and a lot more.

Pricing

  • Starter plan: Free tier plan available forever with a limit of 2 projects, unlimited viewers, and real-time collaboration with up to 5 editors.
  • Team Plan: Starts at $40 per editor/month, billed annually. Offers unlimited projects for up to 5 editors, unlimited viewers, 1 workspace, and real-time collaboration.
  • The Enterprise plan uses custom pricing annually and offers unlimited projects, editors and viewers. Also supports SSO, custom NLU, and advanced user permissions, among other features.

5. Xano

Xano is one of the best Low Code backend platforms for rapid development and businesses that prioritize a scalable database - in this case, a hosted and flexible database based on PostgreSQL with an in-built API gateway. PostgreSQL is one of the most highly-recommended open-source object-relational database systems.

Xano gets its popularity especially because of its support for the REST API paradigm. The Low Code platform automatically generates REST API endpoints that consume each data table based on a pre-defined database schema.

Xano platform tutorial

Even more than that, Xano provides the capability to customize these API endpoints using its No Code API builder. Xano’s smart tools can be used to create APIs. Additionally, it can auto-generate basic CRUD API operations which keep the API endponts and model in sync.

Much of the backend functions get abstracted away; you can even create custom functions to query databases and monitor the query life cycle with detailed stats, all without writing a single line of code.

Key Features

  • Using the PostgreSQL engine makes creating an adjustable and scalable server possible. You can then scale horizontally – database replicas and data sharding – or scale vertically essentially.
  • Automated interface with application templates for rapid development.
  • Integrate with apps such as Google Drive and Salesforce.
  • Supports authenticated API requests.
  • No code API builder with access to connect and utilize any REST API or Graphql APIs.
  • Manage, organize and track project details from tests to reports all in one place.
  • Supports the development of mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows.
  • Access control and integrated services for debugging.

Pricing plans

  • Build plan: Free tier plan with a limit of 1 Workspace, 100 records, and a rate-limited API among other details.
  • Launch plan: Goes for $59/month, $708 Billed Yearly. It consists of 3 workspaces, 10 GB of media file storage, no Record limit - 3 GB of database storage, and No rate limit API.
  • Scale plan: Build a scalable backend for $199/month, $2,388 Billed Yearly. The plan includes 5 Workspaces, 50 GB media file storage, No record limit, Schema Versions, and API Versioning via Branches.
  • The Agency plan and Enterprise plan are the highest subscriptions with custom costs. 

Conclusion

Given the demand for rapid change and compatibility today, it’s obvious that the Low Code and No-Code development platforms will continue to rise. It is then not a surprise that there are a variety of options for building your application’s backend.

Man using drag and drop features on computer

On that note, each of the discussed platforms is certain to provide creative, efficient, and fast visual environments for development. The only deciding factor is what exactly you’re looking for. They all have their limitations and advantages. So, as long as you take those into account, you can kick off your projects with any one suited to your needs.

References

Author

Rokas Jurkėnas
Code or No Code, that is the question
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