No-code tools helping out to build powerful applications are skyrocketing. Big fundings, quick adoptions, delighted customers, big ROIs are commonplace in that industry. So, what's no-code, how does it work and how can it be applied to APIs?
What exactly is a no-code solution?
A no-code solution is a tool to build software without any coding skill. Thanks to a visual and graphical interface, users are for instance able to drag and drop components to create their own application. Obviously, there is code behind every functionality chosen on the no-code platform, but the user does not see it. With no-code solutions, the final digital creator defines what his/her app does rather than how it does it. To sum-up, no-code platforms help build through "configuration" rather than "coding".
To put this topic into context, what’s the history behind the no-code revolution and behind "software"?
We usually say there were four waves so far in the software world:
First Wave (1960-1980) - Build your software
In the 60’s, nobody made money selling software. Software was either gifted by the computer manufacturer or written for each computer installation. Only in 1969, companies started selling software.
Example: IBM’s software - after the antitrust lawsuit for "unbundling software"
Second Wave (1980 - 2000) - Get your personal software
This is when selling software really took off. Most often, people used the tools alone, on their own computers. Collaboration was not easy.
Example: Microsoft Word.
Third Wave (2000 - ...) - Work on a collaborative software
The internet revolution changed the way people had been working. The majority of software moved to the web and collaboration was enabled.
Examples: Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Figma, Slack, Trello…
Fourth Wave (2015 - …) - Build your own software
People are now looking for faster moves and quicker iterations.
Examples: Airtable, Webflow, Bubble…
This "no-code" movement where anyone can build his/ her "own software" not only comes as the fourth wave in Software development. For many, it is "the most disruptive trend of 2021" (Forbes, 2020.11.24).
To put numbers over words, let's take a tool we love at Blobr and that we used to build our Website: Webflow. This company raised around $215M in total. Its new funding ($140 million Series B in 2021, January) values Webflow at more than $2.1 billion. Very powerful, right?
What are then the industries most benefiting from the no-code movement?
Online shopping platforms have become very competitive. Thanks to no-code tools, brick and mortars businesses were able to switch to online & user-friendly platforms. Retailers were able to develop brand-tailored digital shops on the internet.
No-code platforms are very disruptive and maybe even more when it comes to manufacturing companies. Those need a way to coordinate people, machines and material in real-time. Thanks to no-code, manufacturing companies can improve their agility drastically.
Over the last decades, the best insurance actors took advantage of the digital revolution. Thanks to no-code tools, the best insurance actors were able to better market, sell, distribute, monitor, report…
Banking, Fintech and Payments
The Banking industry has faced quite the same challenges as the Insurance sector. Neobanks, Fintech companies and other agile new-comers used no-code solutions to build user-friendly platforms. Traditional actors had to align on those to stay competitive.
To summarize, no matter what industry is using no-code platforms, what are the key benefits?
Lower developers' involvement participates in decreasing costs. With the global pandemic, a lot of businesses need to rethink their development approach. Developers can focus on more added-value tasks to the business.
No-coding development offers the rapidity of no-code tools to implement a new solution.
Flexible Configuration & Autonomy
Instead of traditional and rigid data models, no-code solutions store data into a JSON document. This enables to build platforms very quickly and provide mass customizations.
Collaboration & Agile Development
The traditional silo between Business and IT teams is overcome by no-code tools that are deeply made for collaboration.
Now, can those benefits be applied to API no-code tools?
They certainly can! At Blobr, we believe that, for any business, what is key is the end user experience. In most industries and businesses, APIs are built by developers and consumed by some other developers. This means without any coding skills, it is hard to understand something. What's very powerful is that no matter the industry (Retail, Manufacturing, Banking...), companies can now better manage and/ or sell their APIs thanks to no-code tools.
As previously described, companies should now focus on building API Products - using API no-code platforms. The power of no-code solutions is that anyone can build anything customized for any customer. The superpower to create customized experience enables a lot possibilities.
What's to expect in the coming years for the no-code wave?
Gartner forecasts that 65% of all app development will be led by low code and no-code platforms and tools by 2024. No-code platforms enable more and more businesses to design flexible, scalable and customizable applications, almost all industries included.
Thanks to no-code platforms, we go from around 28m of developers worldwide to about 3 billion people (rough number of the working population worldwide) now able to create. Relative cost of software in the teck stack is decreasing as there is more and more people able to create their own and customized software. However, this means the value within the Tech stack is now shifting to data. Data will still need to be transmitted from one no-code app to another. This data will still need to be exchanged through APIs...
Discover how the magic of our no-code API tool - Blobr - could be applied to your business by talking to our experts.