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10 Best Low-Code Development Platforms for 2021 [Updated]

Lines of code are the bricks that applications are made of. Using these bricks, developers build different functions, operations, and designs, which are then united into a solid solution. But writing thousands of lines of code isn’t an easy task.

Thankfully, there are tools that can make application development both easier and faster: low-code development platforms, or LCDPs.

In this article, we describe some of the most popular low-code development platforms for 2019. Our top ten list includes platforms that can be used for building web, mobile, and desktop applications.

What are low-code development platforms?

Low-code development platforms are meant to simplify the process of building an application. For that reason, they’re also called rapid application development platforms.

LCDPs are mostly used for building simple process applications. They allow businesses to automate repetitive processes, such as those related to hiring, and build simple applications without the involvement of developers.

Traditional application development is based on hand coding and following strict system requirements. LCDPs, in turn, are drag-and-drop environments where different features and functionalities can be put together like Legos: just pick what you need and build your application from it.

The main benefit of low-code development tools is that they eliminate the need for hiring a professional developer.

Low-code development is the best choice for non-coders and junior programmers who aren’t yet qualified to create high-quality software from scratch. These platforms are also a perfect match for organizations that want to create business applications without spending too much time and effort on it.

Below, we give you top low code development platforms that can be used for creating all kinds of applications for mobile, web, and desktop. This article will help you find an LCDP that meets your requirements.

When compiling this list, we tried to create a basic application on each of the platforms. Almost all of the platforms listed below are cloud-based, while most market leaders also have an integrated development environment (IDE) for desktop-based development. Most platforms also monitor application performance in real time.

These platforms deploy their code themselves and don’t make it available to developers, so the whole process is more like no-code web application development. Basically, you don’t code an application but rather configure it by choosing from a large set of templates and ready-made solutions.

General information about our top 10 platforms is provided in the table below.

figure 1 2

Let’s take a closer look at each of these platforms.

1. OutSystems

OutSystems is a powerful and professional LCDP with a huge number of features, third-party libraries, and templates, plus its own IDE with rich functionality.

With OutSystems, several users can develop one module simultaneously. OutSystems makes it simple to manage application users and roles. It also eases the development process by taking care of the standard but difficult parts of developing a website or application, allowing the development team to focus on solving real-world problems.

OutSystems generates code in the language of the tech stack and server that you’re using. It also allows you to use REST APIs in your applications. You can even write your own functionality with JavaScript for certain elements.

OutSystems LCDP

Plus, you can write JavaScript code independent of interface elements.

As for databases, developers can either use officially supported databases or work with any other database using standard code, Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) / Database Connectivity (DBC) drivers, or proprietary APIs. Big data repositories can be accessed via REST APIs.

OutSystems also provides options for user interface (UI) customization: You can create HTML elements and change their styles with CSS. The backend also can be customized.

The OutSystems platform allows you to monitor application performance and makes it easy to identify performance bottlenecks and take necessary actions to address them. Additionally, the platform ensures a high level of performance by optimizing automatically generated code.

OutSystems controls its product and offers bootcamps and an online community so everyone can find the information they need.

OutSystems is one of the most expensive tools on our list. The Enterprise version starts at $5,400 per month. For small businesses, there’s a free version with limited functionality.

2. Appian

Appian, which comes with its own IDE, is one of the leaders on the low-code development platform software market. It’s a business process management (BPM) platform used to create applications and deploy them as services for internal corporate use.

In contrast to similar platforms, Appian can only be accessed from certain countries. In Appian, you can link legacy applications using APIs and create dashboards and reports. Appian also provides a set of tools for application testing.

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UI customization is limited with Appian. You can’t implement any HTML or CSS elements directly, and you can’t directly use JavaScript. To do so indirectly, you’ll need to use special graphical widgets provided by the platform.

Appian monitors application performance both during development and after release.


On the downside, the platform provides no convenient way to manage large amounts of data. Pricing starts at $90 per user per month.

3. Microsoft PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps is easy to use and has an intuitive workspace that resembles Microsoft Excel. With PowerApps, you can build an application:

  • Using models
  • Based on databases
  • From scratch

The main advantage of PowerApps is that developers can give employees access to corporate development tools so they can independently create the services and applications they need. Developers can then further develop these web-based apps, mobile apps, and APIs using Azure services.

The PowerApps platform provides a rich set of free templates, so it’s a fine choice for those who have no or little programming experience.

PowerApps doesn’t provide direct styling options with CSS code, although this option might be implemented in the future. Until then, you can circumvent this restriction by writing styles directly into a function.

PowerApps LCDP

PowerApps also allows you to create your own elements using HTML. Plus, you can use built-in features for interface customization.

PowerApps allows you to monitor application performance and provides information on the ways you can improve it manually. Additional recommendations for improving application performance are presented both in the official PowerApps documentation and on the community blog.

You can get Microsoft PowerApps by purchasing it directly or as part of your Office 365 or Dynamics 365 subscription.

Read also:
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4. Mendix

Mendix is a comfortable and easy to use platform that guarantees a high level of fault tolerance and can be deployed in just one click. It provides a large set of controls and is fully customizable. But most importantly, unlike other platforms in our list, Mendix is an open platform and isn’t locked down by a manufacturer.

Mendix is written using CSS / Sass and supports integration with Bootstrap. It has a fully customizable UI, and you can customize the entire framework using only CSS.

Mendix LCDP

You can also create custom widgets and completely custom themes. In addition, there’s a built-in visual UI customization tool that includes an option for creating personal styles and color schemes.

The backend can also be customized in several ways, including using REST APIs and with your own Java code.

Compatibility with existing systems is easy to set up. Users are also given flexibility and control over system development.

To monitor application performance, you can use three Mendix monitoring tools:

  1. Application Quality Monitor
  2. Automated Testing Suite
  3. Application Performance Monitoring

For those who don’t have much development experience, Mendix provides a rich library of technical documentation with detailed examples.

The cost for using Mendix depends on the number of application users and not the number of developers or the complexity of the application. Currently, the platform offers four pricing schemes: a free version, Single App, Pro, and Enterprise.

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5. Quick Base

Quick Base is a perfect match for those who want to build an application for collecting and storing information or automating regular processes. With the low-code development tools provided by this platform, you can build applications even if you know nothing about table-based programming.

Using prebuilt application connectors, Quick Base enables integration with some popular cloud-based solutions:

  • Salesforce
  • NetSuite
  • Gmail
  • Box
  • And more

Security and management features include granular roles and permissions and corporate user management. The user interface can only be customized with the help of built-in tools that offer a limited set of customization options.

Quick Base

Here’s what you can do with the help of Quick Base:

  • Monitor application performance
  • Display important information such as the network boot speed and Quick Base server response time
  • Analyze the current performance of the application

Quick Base can also provide you with recommendations on how to improve application performance manually.

As for the pricing, Quick Base currently offers two plans: Quick Base Premier ($25 per user per month) and Quick Base PLATFORM ($1,600 per month).

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6. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is an easy to use and flexible platform with an intuitive and attractive interface. Using Zoho Creator, you can build simple applications that meet your requirements.

Zoho Creator is a nice alternative for building a perfect customer tracking database. The platform can be quickly adapted to any equipment.

While Zoho Creator is written in Java, you’ll need to use Deluge, a programming language developed specifically for this platform, to write your own code in it.

Zoho Creator LCDP

Zoho Creator allows you to import data from databases, files stored on your computer, and files from cloud storage. To integrate Zoho Creator with an existing database, you might need to install additional software.

Built-in tools allow you to customize the UI to your needs by changing page layouts, forms, themes, and icons.

Zoho Creator LCDP

For backend customization, the platform supports REST APIs and a special code tool called Deluge Script Builder. This tool allows you to add your own logic and change user settings.


Zoho Creator provides a set of tools for data analysis, turning input data into pivot charts, spreadsheets, and dashboards. Aside from data analysis, these tools can be used for performance monitoring.

Zoho Creator isn’t the best fit for writing serious, complex projects. However, the platform offers one of the richest sets of templates for application development. There are a lot of ready-made solutions you can customize to your needs.

It also offers one of the most affordable pricing schemes, starting from $10 per user per month.

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7. Google App Maker

Google App Maker can help you build a simple application in less than half an hour. Using Google App Maker, you can manage access roles and create client and server scripts.

The platform provides a large set of templates for application development. However, having at least basic programming skills is preferable because you might need to write some parts of the code by hand.

App Maker can be integrated with some of the most popular Google applications and services, including Google Drive and Google Analytics.

Google App Maker allows you to write your own CSS code for UI customization. The backend can be customized with the help of REST APIs and HTTP requests as well as by writing your own code in the App Maker JavaScript editor.

One of the downsides of this platform is that Google App Maker offers no tools for performance monitoring and improvement, at least for now.

As for the price, App Maker is part of the G Suite Business package, which has two pricing tiers: Business ($10 per user per month) and Enterprise ($25 per user per month). Both versions have a 14-day trial.

Note: Credit card information is required to get access to the trial version of the service.

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8. Kissflow

Kissflow is a service platform for automating business process workflows. It’s tightly integrated with Google Apps and provides a rich selection of dynamic tables and forms for collecting data.

While Kissflow doesn’t have a built-in tool for database integration, you can add an existing database to it with the help of third-party solutions.

There’s no official Kissflow community support, but there are lots of guides and detailed technical information on the project’s website.

One of the main drawbacks of Kissflow is that it doesn’t provide any tools for application performance monitoring. Also, we couldn’t find any useful recommendations for improving performance.

Kissflow is well suited for small businesses, as it offers both great functionality and affordable pricing. There’s a standard 14-day trial, while paid service starts from $9 per user per month for organizations with 10 to 100 users.

9. Salesforce Platform

The Salesforce Platform is a helpful tool for low-code app development. It supports the Salesforce Object Query Language (SOQL) database. But to integrate the Salesforce Platform with other databases, you’ll also need to use APIs. It supports both the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST) protocol.

The Salesforce Platform is a great choice for automating repetitive processes within small and medium-sized businesses and integrating your application with external applications.

Unfortunately, there’s one big issue with this platform: an overloaded user interface with too many options. The interface may seem too complicated for less experienced users. Thankfully, if you have enough knowledge and experience, you can fully customize the Salesforce Platform to your specific needs with the help of APIs.

Working with the Salesforce Platform will cost you $150 per month for each user. A free trial is available.

10. Radzen

While Radzen is more of a desktop application than a low-code development platform, it surely deserves a place in our list.

Radzen generates Angular applications and allows you to get generated code that you can then customize the way you want. However, you need to understand what exactly the platform has generated and how it did it, which makes Radzen a more suitable tool for experienced developers and not newbies.

All files generated by Radzen can be opened in Visual Studio Code.

Radzen LCDP

The Radzen platform has moderate performance, so the UI may lag from time to time. All logic is implemented in C# partial classes and methods, which can make application development a bit more complicated. The good news is that the platform is constantly improving, so current performance issues may be solved in the near future.

Radzen has three pricing schemes:

  1. Free version (with limited capabilities)
  2. Professional ($50 per month)
  3. Enterprise ($109 per month)

Radzen is a good choice for small projects and applications that don’t need any complex functionality.

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In this article, we’ve offered you our own selection of the best low-code development platforms for 2019. As you can see, each of these platforms has its interesting features and disappointing limitations.

LCDPs will be useful for both developers and non-programmers. These platforms help you build applications faster and customize them to your specific needs, even if you don’t have extensive development skills. However, if you want to build a complex business application from scratch and equip it with a large selection of features, you’d better turn to professionals.

At Apriorit, we have a team of experienced developers who’ve mastered the art of writing code. We can help you create an application of any level of complexity to perfectly meet your requirements. Feel free to contact us.

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