7 Low Code Limitations to Know About

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak

About: Haissam is a digital software product manager with 15 years of expertise in developing enterprise content management solutions. His core capabilities encompass digital transformation, document management, records management, business process automation, and collaboration.

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Low code limitations should be taken seriously by organizations that are looking to embrace low code development platforms to expedite their software development cycle and foster innovation and significantly reducing the time-to-market for applications.

Low code limitations are lack of control, vendor lock-in, limited customization, security concerns, integration complexity, version control and collaboration, and scalability. These restrictions can hinder the adoption of this technology throughout an organization.

Even though this technology has revolutionized the software industry by allowing citizen developers to create powerful digital products, it is very critical to follow up on the latest developments and implement best practices to identify when to use or not to use low code for a certain type of projects.

In 2021, the low-code platform market was valued at $7.61 billion. It’s projected to reach $36.43 billion by 2027.

Let’s get started discussing the key constraints and restrictions for using low code.

Low-code environment limitations

Although low-code environments promise to accelerate and simplify software development, they might present challenges for business IT. Low code doesn’t fit the creation of any digital product, and in this article, we will discuss key low code limitations to help you make an informed decision.

According to Appian, 31% of enterprises currently using low-code haven’t built or delivered any of their highest-value applications.

Here are the key low code limitations:

1- Lack of control

The biggest limitation of low code is the lack of control over the underlying auto generated code and application structure. See when you are creating simple applications, most probably you won’t care much about modifying the generated code. When the complexity of the project increases, developers will find the need of optimizing the code for better performance or to develop custom requirements.

So next time you want to start a new project, you should first identify if your developers will need to have the ability to modify the code. Thus, while low code offers remarkable advantages in many scenarios, its limitations in control may call for a more traditional coding approach when precision and optimization are paramount.

2- Vendor lock-in

The possible lock-in effect is an additional limitation. Low code sometimes have their own proprietary frameworks or programming languages, which may restrict compatibility and make future switching difficult. You may have to do significant redevelopment work if you outgrow the low-code environment’s capabilities or want to switch to a different development strategy.

While some produce clean and standardized code that works across major browsers and mobile OS, other generate less optimized code that makes it really hard to maintain outside their own product which will make it harder to customize or switch vendors if needed.

3- Limited customization

Low-code will be not suitable to any product that require complex requirements. They are excellent at offering pre-built components and common functionalities, but they may struggle to provide special or industry-specific capabilities. In some circumstances, hard core coding would be required, which might negate the initial method of utilizing it.

In addition, it is also not suitable for teams with highly technical or experienced developers. These developers will surely feel limited and controlled by the functionalities provided specially if they are used to traditional programming languages and powerful frameworks.

Always remember, it’s important to consider the skillset and preferences of your development team before committing to a low-code approach.

4- Security concerns

Low code development comes with built in security and compliance features that allow created apps to be safe for enterprise usage. However, there are some circumstances where higher security models are needed such in healthcare or finance that need custom implementations for special security measures or compliance with industry standards.

Additionally, since low code environments cater to non-technical users, there is a risk that security aspects may be overlooked or misunderstood during the development phase. This can leave applications susceptible to various security threats, such as data breaches, injection attacks, or unauthorized access.

5- Integration complexity

While it will excel at accelerating application development through pre-built components, integrating low code with existing systems or third-party services is not an easy task.

It often has predefined integration points, which may not align seamlessly with the unique requirements of an organization’s infrastructure. Custom integration tasks may require more technical expertise which could not be available for any citizen developer.

Consequently, teams evaluating this technology must carefully consider the integration needs of their projects and ensure that the integration capabilities align with their existing ecosystem to avoid potential inefficiencies.

6- Version control and collaboration

Unlike traditional coding environments, where version control systems like Git allow developers to track changes, collaborate, and manage codebase history effectively, low code may not offer robust version control capabilities.

Most of the time, many developers will be working on the same project in order to deliver faster. Not having the ability to automatically control the version created by different team members will not allow the collaboration between colleagues thus jeopardizing the deliverables.

Lack of features like granular access control, code reviews, and comment threads can slow the effective collaboration and lead to the inability to manage the teamwork efficiently. As a result, development teams that heavily rely on efforts and value comprehensive version control may find the limitations of low code in this regard inhibiting their productivity and overall development process.

7- Scalability

When it comes to scaling complex and high-traffic applications, low code fails miserably. Because of their nature, they typically abstract away many technical details and offer simplified building blocks, which might limit the level of optimization and performance tuning necessary for large-scale applications.

As user demand and data volume grow, they might struggle to handle the increased workload efficiently, potentially resulting in performance instability. as many lack the flexibility to adapt to unique scalability requirements, and the underlying infrastructure might not be optimized for handling extensive and dynamic user loads.

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