Mistakes to avoid in low-code app development

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The low-code option delivers, but conditions apply

The great benefit of low-code app development is that the chosen platform takes care of so much of the work for you. That's a good thing, except when you find that it might be too much of a good thing.

The quick, no-fuss attributes of low-code tools let users build applications much more efficiently than with traditional development practices. As most organizations know well, developers are in short supply, and their time must be directed at the highest-priority projects. Other items, however useful they might be, are easy to put off.

With a low-code app development tool, developers can take a few shortcuts to get a simple application up and running. Or so-called citizen developers can work off a template to get a workable, if inelegant, app built without a lot of trouble. These are compelling reasons to experiment with low-code tools.

Before proceeding, you'll want to be aware of some of the limitations. In exchange for simplicity and speed, you'll give up a few things. Those sacrifices will probably be acceptable, but make sure your assumptions are in line with the capabilities a low-code product can actually deliver.

In this handbook, software expert Matt Heusser runs down the mistakes and miscalculations prospective users most often make when they first get involved in low-code app development. Customization is possible, for instance, but it is limited. Understand how far you'll be able to travel down that road, Heusser advises, so that you don't need to turn around when you find out you've reached the limit.

If you can work within certain limitations and avoid some pitfalls, low-code tools can be a great addition to your development toolkit.