Open-source no-code tools could help your business streamline internal processes or prototype apps that improve your customer experience. At Pocketworks, the jury is still out as to whether no-code is something we want to offer to our clients, but it's definitely worth having on your radar. And open source could be an option to consider.
No-code platforms allow business people to build software with little or no support from technical software people. They can invite employees to use their software, deploy it on mobile devices as apps, or integrate it with existing databases and systems. It's like Microsoft Access all over again, but with the modern goodness of cloud, APIs and apps.
Note that there are many people saying their solutions are no-code. But I'm mostly focusing on the ones that allow you to build end-to-end apps and business systems for use in digital transformation or digital product prototyping.
When considering using no-code for our own clients, I worry about a few things. Feel free to talk me round, but here's why I think open source no-code solutions will benefit companies over closed-source alternatives.
Each of these claims has valid counter-arguments too. For example, with closed source solutions you may see a more consistent evolution of the platform. You won't have to worry about security or upgrades. The setup is all done for you, no need to get a tech team to help. Plus some will have reasonable "exit" conditions. All that could easily be worth the cost.
The right choice will depend on your situation.
I'll update this list as I learn more. I may even turn it into a no-code app :)
I've indicated with a ★ the ones I feel most excited to try out. This is based on feature set and gut right now. Note that I haven't tried these yet, feel free to contact me on Twitter with comments.
WARNING: The biggest hurdle for all you non-developers will be getting these systems set up to try out. Look out for ones that have a hosted option for you to try, which might be useful if your non-technical.
"NocoDB is an open-source no-code platform that turns any database into a smart spreadsheet."
"Create your own online database without technical experience. Our user-friendly no-code tool gives you the powers of a developer without leaving your browser."
"Open-source low-code framework to build & deploy internal tools with minimal engineering effort."
"Budibase is an open-source low-code platform, helping thousands of teams build apps for their workplace in minutes."
"Appsmith is an open-source framework to build admin panels, CRUD apps and workflows. Build everything you need, 10x faster."
"Saltcorn is a platform for building database web applications without writing a single line of code. Use the intuitive point-and-click, drag-and-drop user interface to build the whole application."
"An open-source low-code framework to build web apps, admin panels, BI dashboards, workflows, and CRUD apps with ease."
"Directus wraps your new or existing SQL database with a real-time GraphQL+REST API for developers and an intuitive admin app for non-technical users."
Ok, that's as far as I've got for now. Want to add your open-source no-code platform to the list? Please send me a tweet!
Find this interesting? Why not chat with Tobin over a coffee?
Pocketworks is a mobile-first software company that helps organisations improve their customer experience with mobile technology. We enable our clients use research and data to find the right solution for their business. Then, we deliver apps and digital products that increase customer satisfaction and retention.