Application development

“By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.”

Gartner, Inc. “Low-Code Development Technologies Evaluation Guide”, February 26, 2019, Paul Vincent, Mark Driver, Jason Wong

low-code application development

What is low-code application development?

Low-code application development is a way to design and develop applications with little or no coding. Low-code application development platforms empower businesses to build custom solutions with innovative functionalities that cater to specific business models. These platforms offer intuitive visual builders, ready-to-use code snippets, form and report templates, and built-in connectors that speed development and extend the ability to innovate to a broader set of people. Users can also jump right in to building their applications, as these platforms eliminate typical coding processes, like creating frameworks, modeling data, and developing user interfaces.

What can you build with low-code platforms?

You can use low-code platforms to build applications for automating various business processes. A few of them are:

Customer engagement applications

  • Customer relationship management
  • Customer service management
  • Point of sale

Mission-critical applications

  • Custom ERP software
  • Client portal
  • Payments manager

WFH applications

  • Time tracker
  • Task management
  • Approval software

Data analysis applications

  • Online databases
  • Data management software
  • BI dashboards

No-code AI applications

  • Feedback analyzer
  • Object detection software
  • Sales predictor

Line of business applications

  • Operations management
  • Supply chain management
  • Accounting and financing
Dive deep into low-code platforms

Real-world examples of low-code application development

  • Sales optimization
  • Digital transformation
  • Construction ERP
  • Remote team tools

Sales optimization

Optimized ecommerce sales

Key features

  • E-procurement Online
  • Warehouse management
  • Online order tracking
  • Digital invoices
Learn more
Sales optimization

Digital transformation

Powering digital transformation

Key features

  • Native mobile apps
  • Custom reporting
  • KPIs & dashboards
  • Centralized data
Learn more
Digital transformation

Construction ERP

End-to-end real estate management

Key features

  • Construction tracking
  • Agent onboarding
  • Payment tracking
  • Courthouse data mining
Learn more
Construction ERP

Remote team tools

Running remote elections

Key features

  • Registration portal
  • OTP verification
  • Approvals
  • Schedules
Learn more
Remote team tools

Benefits of low-code application development

Rapid application development

By abstracting most of the repetitive coding, low-code enables you to release applications as quickly as the needs arise. You can also make constant iterations at any point in the application lifecycle.

Business-IT alignment

Business users can bring innovative ideas to life by just dragging and dropping low-code elements. These prototypes simplify the life of programmers who can use them as a starting point when building enterprise software.

Eliminate shadow IT

Since business users can build their own solutions on an IT-sanctioned low-code platform, the use of unsanctioned software can be curbed.

Effective security and governance

Low-code platforms provide all the necessary security framework, authentication mechanisms, and governance controls for your applications under one roof, making security easy to manage for an entire organization.

Low-code vs traditional application development

“Low-code platforms make software development 10 times faster than traditional methods.”


  • Traditional programming

  • Low-code development

  • Who does the development?

    (Skill set requirements)

  • Traditional programming
    Technical expertise required

    Needs developers with expertise in programming languages for web (Javascript, Python, CSS, PHP), iOS (Swift), and Android (Java, C++).

  • Low-code development
    Little to no coding needed

    Low-code's intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for both non-technical users and developers to create applications.

  • What will it cost?

    (Cost of development)

  • Traditional programming

    Upfront investment for infrastructure setup, developer fees, continuous maintenance, and more.

  • Low-code development

    License-based pricing allows you to pay as you grow and save on the massive amount needed for infrastructure.

  • How fast is development?

    (Cost of development)

  • Traditional programming
    Takes months to go live

    With many teams building applications from scratch through extensive coding and multiple revisions of prototypes, development takes a very long time.

  • Low-code development
    Launches in days

    Ready-to-use code blocks and templates enable you to develop 10x faster. Building off an existing framework in low-code is significantly faster than writing, debugging, and compiling traditional code.

  • What about mobile devices?


  • Traditional programming
    Runs on one OS only

    Applications need to be developed separately for each OS, and code can’t be shared between Android and iOS.

  • Low-code development
    Multiplatform apps

    With low-code, you build the application only once, and it works for desktop, mobile, on-premise, and in the cloud.

  • Is my data protected?


  • Traditional programming
    Risky and complicated

    The developer will have to edit the code behind each module in each application to build in the necessary defenses.

  • Low-code development
    Up-to-date, built-in security

    All the applications running on a low- code platform automatically inherit the latest security protection, audit logs, user controls and automated threat assessments, ensuring complete safety of data

  • Will it fit into my existing ecosystem?

    (Enterprise application integration)

  • Traditional programming
    Limited integration capabilities

    Requires complex scripting and testing of compatible code to integrate with new external applications.

  • Low-code development
    Fast and seamless integrations

    Easy coupling with external and existing systems with low-code’s out-of-the-box APIs and smart integration tools.

  • How do I stay current with the technology?

    (Application updates and maintenance)

  • Traditional programming
    Requires dedicated labor

    Difficult to implement the latest technologies across platforms (web and mobile) once the application is deployed.

  • Low-code development
    Automatic upgrades

    Handled by the hosting company, low-code tools periodically roll out the latest updates and features to all applications built on them, without the need for a team or third-party vendor.

  • Can I scale my application?


  • Traditional programming
    Monolithic, complex codebase

    Scaling after deployment is a cumbersome task that demands the involvement of various teams—development, testing, production, etc.

  • Low-code development
    Modular, highly scalable codebase

    You have the flexibility to gather feedback, make changes, and update your low-code applications in real time.

  • What support comes with my application?


  • Traditional programming
    Separate cost and effort required

    Huge costs involved in getting comprehensive support for the application.

  • Low-code development
    Built-in support

    Lifelong support at a fraction of the cost, through AMC, for the low-code platform.

Read more about low-code

Switch to low-code application development with Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is a low-code platform that abstracts 90% of the complexities in the app development lifecycle, enabling you to create the apps you need easily, without reinventing the wheel.


Collect and manage all your data in one place

Gather, unify, analyze, share, and manage data from multiple sources seamlessly. Instantly create and publish forms that can capture over 30 types of data, like locations, signatures, and QR and barcodes.

Business Process CREATOR

Get productive with automatic workflows

Set up business workflows in a snap with our user-friendly, drag-and-drop workflow builder. Use our ready-to-use code snippets to create automatic workflows, send automated messages, trigger actions based on user input, schedule routine tasks, speed up multitiered approvals, and configure payments.


Track key metrics with interactive dashboards

Bring all your important reports together to create meaningful dashboards and gain a 360-degree view of your business. Use components like widgets, gauges, buttons, and custom KPI panels to add everything you need and get a quick understanding of what's happening.

BI & Analytics CREATOR
Integration CREATOR

Break down silos with prebuilt connectors

It’s simple to integrate Zoho Creator with your other business applications. Just drag and drop the built-in connector, choose the service you want to integrate with, and connect your key applications.

7 million users. 6 million apps. 1 platform.

"To build an application the traditional way, we had to learn Java, PHP, and more. With Zoho Creator, we can save 90% of the development time, and build even a critical application in a fraction of the time."

A.K. Saravanan Developer, Team Everest

"I was so delighted when I saw members from the accounting team, from admin, from HR—who are not even programmers—developing web and mobile applications with minimal help from IT. To date, we have 46 applications hosted using Zoho Creator."

Jojo GuingaoChief Digital Officer, AEV

"Zoho Creator's cool because it's cloud-based, easily customized, and accessible from lots of different devices. It automated a ton of what we do and made our lives a lot simpler."

Clint BallerCEO, Avid Payment Solutions

Three ways to get started with low-code

Build your application from scratch.

Accelerate development using 100+ prebuilt applications.

Import an existing spreadsheet or migrate from MS Access, FileMaker.

Import an existing spreadsheet

Kickstart your journey to low-code application development with Zoho Creator


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can create mobile apps with low-code?

Anyone—a cook, project manager, business owner, IT developer, or CEO—can quickly create the web and mobile app they need on a low-code platform, without writing extensive code. Here are some tutorials.

No-code vs low-code: What's the difference?

As the name suggests, low-code is a technology that includes prebuilt app-building components and easy-to-understand logical scripting language, while no-code is all ready-made components and snippets that users can drag and drop to get results. Low-code is suitable for businesses who are looking to build customized applications with unique use cases, whereas no-code is best for applications where the degree of complexity is very basic. To learn more, click here.

How can you create an app without coding?

By choosing a low-code platform like Zoho Creator, you can skip learning programming and get right to building your application logic without the need for hand coding.

Is low-code the future of application development?

Low-code platforms are increasingly becoming the go-to platforms for developing web and mobile applications, as they offer increased agility, faster time to market, and a minimal learning curve, as well as requiring little investment in software maintenance and deployment. This trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Why are enterprises adopting low-code?

Low-code platforms enable large organizations to build all the applications they need for their complex business processes under one roof. This simplifies application security, scalability and governance of enterprise apps. To learn about Zoho Creator's enterprise features, click here

Can startups use low-code?

Yes, low-code empowers startups to build modern business apps faster, and more importantly, gives the flexibility to add new features or modules, switch templates, and make customized changes whenever needed.

How do I get started with low-code?

Zoho Creator, a pioneer in the low-code space, offers a 15-day free trial period that includes all premium features. Sign up here to kick-start your low-code journey with Zoho Creator.

Can I use low-code as a part of my existing application system?

Yes, integrating low-code platforms with your existing system enhances its performance and gives more functionality and flexibility.