Transforming Your Business with a Full No-Code Stack: Part 2

In the second entry in our two-part series, we take a look at five excellent no-code platforms designed to help you revolutionize your DevOps pipeline.

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Image: Sofy x svyatoslavius, Shutterstock

Sofy blog regulars know that we love talking about the ongoing, widely celebrated No-Code Revolution. (And for those of you who are new to the blog, welcome aboard!) Last week, we discussed five remarkable no-code platforms that increase production speed while decreasing cost for the organizations that introduce these innovative applications to their tech-stack.

This week we take a look at another five. Let’s dive right in!

6. Bubble (full-stack)

Since its launch in 2012 as a no-code full-stack web app development platform, Bubble has proven extremely popular. With Bubble, users can build full scale applications (such as social media platforms) solely by way of clicks, drags, and drops. The platform also provides a rich marketplace that features a variety of community pre-built applications, setting the stage for you to easily extend your use cases.

Features

  • Data: Bubble lets users design their data structure on their no-code data store or provides easy connection to an existing SQL Database or RESTful API. If you’re using their data store, you can easily import and export data via CSV and create database views to query information you need. Privacy settings allow developers to control data access by defining access rules for application users.
  • User management: Like most other no-code full-stack platforms, Bubble provides user management through user name and password setup or an oAuth 2.0 provider like Facebook or Google.
  • Automation: Bubble makes it simple to automate repetitive web tasks, create, and sequence rules.  Users can also schedule tasks.
  • Design: Build responsive and flexible pages using containers and layouts. Easily add pre-built applications, widgets and choose from a collection of over 800 plugins to design the ideal user interface. You can apply dynamic visibility logic and conditional formatting so that component interaction is contextually aware of other events. As with many no-code app builders, users can choose from a variety of pre-built templates as a starting point. These templates specifically cater to the needs of an industry and can be customized to fit your particular processes. For example, you can download a free template that includes all the functionality needed to build a messaging or social media application.
  • Hosting: Bubble is cloud-based. Users don’t need to worry about infrastructure or operations to maintain servers. Server resources scale with user demand without the need to worry about adding additional infrastructure for support. Another big benefit is that your app will run on a dedicated server rather than being shared (as is typical among many other cloud services).
  • Integration: You can publish your API to allow your customers and partners to connect with you. The Bubble Data API can create a RESTful interface with one click, empowering users to perform CRUD operations on their data individually or via bulk.
  • Maintenance: Similar to most website building tools, Bubble maintains a ‘draft’ version and a ‘published’ version concurrently. Depending on the plan, users can enjoy the benefits of having multiple versions and employing a sophisticated development and deployment lifecycle. Users are also able to indicate ‘save points’ in each version, making any needed roll-backs easy. The length of time one can revert back to is dependent on the subscription plan and this restoration not only includes metadata configuration, but also data.

Pricing

Bubble provides a free, personal, professional, and production plans, all priced monthly. Each of these offerings comes with more data storage, server capacity, file storage, logs, and development versions. In any version, you can increase server capacity or file storage by paying an additional amount.

7. Nintex (front-end)

Nintex is a no-code platform that allows you to automate your time consuming business processes—think new employee onboarding or invoice approval. Not only does Nintex allow you to automate your processes, which plenty of tools can do, it helps you determine which processes to automate as well as documents, manages, and measures your processes, all with the help of robots.

Features

  • Nintex ProMapp: Import process maps documentation into Nintex and let machine learning help determine how to make processes more efficient. Nintex ProMapp can document multi-layer end-to-end processes on a visual canvas style interface. You can map out complex processes, attach relevant documentation and collaborate with members of the team.
  • Nintex Forms: Quickly design interactive and responsive forms using a drag-and-drop form builder. Easily create forms to capture important process information from users and perform data validation and complex logic based on their inputs. The form builder offers a host of common data types like date picker, people picker, and dropdowns in addition to some pretty nifty components and features (like barcode scanners and geolocation tags). After submission, you can designate an event to occur, such as email confirmation, or trigger custom functionality using JavaScript.
  • Nintex Advanced Workflows: Create tasks, generate documents and route approvals. These all things that make life easier. With Nintex, you can use a drag-and-drop builder to visually map out and construct automated workflows in a step-by-step flowchart. Initiate a variety of actions like record routing, messaging, and notifications. Nintex features deep integration with Microsoft tools like SharePoint and Nintex Xtensions provides the tools to build custom Open API connectors to connect workflows with modern SaaS apps or legacy, previously siloed systems.
  • Nintex Mobile: Take processes on the go. Access forms, review documents, receive alerts, and complete tasks on any mobile device. No internet or data? No problem—Nintex mobile goes offline with you. When you’ve returned to civilization, your work is automatically synced, routed, and archived. Nintex Mobile can be branded for your organization and even tailored to roles and departments. 
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Give your workflows the power of machine learning. Nintex RPA identifies and automates repetitive processes. It also helps reduce errors by implementing smart data validation, allowing consistency and accuracy at first entry. Attended automation allows users to off-load repetitive tasks to virtual assistants while unattended automation lets users delegate rote, easily defined tasks to robots.
  • Document Generation and E-Signature: Simple with Nintex DocGen, which allows you to instantly build and share documents with clicks. Integrate with Salesforce or Office 365, and reduce manual, time-consuming, and error-prone processes. Wherever your data may reside, you can merge field information to create Word, Exel, PowerPoint, or PDF documents. Route documents quickly for internal reviews and approvals and signatures using Nintex AssureSign. After that, save to the storage solution you’d like.

Pricing

The cost of Nintex depends on the product. Pricing is consultative depending on the organization needs.

8. Zapier (back-end)

Zapier is a no-code process automation tool that can easily integrate with multiple services to provide a unified process. For example, let’s say a new customer purchases a product on your E-commerce site. Use Zapier to trigger a confirmation email, notify your team member in a messaging channel, and subscribe customers to an email list hosted on a marketing automation platform.

Features

  • Integrations: Configure zaps that can chain together up to 100 actions. Actions can reach across services with deep integrations that can be easily connected, all without the need for code. Zapier supports more apps than any other platform, so regardless of what tools you are using or plan you use, Zapier is likely scale to your needs.
  • Automation: Zapier automates with drag-and-drop. Configure a visual flow on a canvas to evaluate if/then logic and determine what action to take and when. Perform tasks like evaluating an inbound lead and sending custom messaging depending on location or communication preferences.
  • Format: Outbound or inbound data the way you need. Let’s say you retrieve a payload of payment information from a webhook. Before sending the confirmation to the customer you can parse and format the information to be better suited to be read by a human.  Zapier can do things like extract email addresses and phone numbers from text, convert date and time formats, and even use find and replace.

Pricing

Zapier offers per-month pricing from Free to Enterprise while providing flexibility to increase task allotment. Tasks are ‘successfully completed actions’, like an email send, SMS notifications, or a webhook callout. Pricing is generally flexible and can scale to your needs.

9. Webflow (front-end)

Not your everyday website building platform, Webflow empowers designers to create, collaborate, and scale websites without code. What sets Webflow apart from more popular plug-and-play website builders is the granular customization and control over website format and element structure.

Features

  • The Webflow Editor: Webflow’s in-house editor provides fine-grained tuning comparable to WordPress wrapped in a drag-and-drop canvas popular in other no-code website builders. The editor makes editing site content extremely simple. Designers can drag in unstyled HTML elements for full control, or choose pre-built components like sliders, background videos, tabs and more, providing more flexibility than highly templatized site builders.
  • Webflow CMS: Weblow’s own CMS seamlessly integrates with your website, so that you can write and edit content directly on the page. When working with multiple content creators, invite clients or teammates to edit or add new content. And no need to worry—you can configure access so that they can only edit the content they need. The Webflow CMS allows users to build an entire content schema, combining video, webinar, social, and blog content and arranging in a way that they need. You can also import content from another CMS or a spreadsheet.
  • Interactions: Webflow’s Interactions feature lets designers create moments around triggers like clicks, hovers, scrolls, and page loads. Triggers can be used to apply animations and effects that previously could only feasibly be created by a developer using JavaScript. Configure interactions to occur across all devices or limit them to desktop or mobile. (For example, you might want to scroll to trigger an animation on desktop, but maybe you’ve decided that it’s too overwhelming on mobile.)
  • Ecommerce: These sites can create end-to-end customer buying experiences, and all without the need for code. You can configure your store to sell all types of products, from hard goods, events, services, software, or all of the above. Yet it’s ultimately the little things that makes this e-commerce platform impressive, like being able to customize transactional emails and receipts with custom branding and offering custom delivery options. This provides a notably bespoke and intuitive shopping experience to customers.

Pricing

Webflow provides a variety of pricing options dependent on a user’s needs, but it’s always free until it needs to go live. Ecommerce site plans scale based on sales volume and store size, CMS sites scale based on content amount and collaborators and the company’s workspace plans scale based on seats and hosted site amounts. Webflow offers custom pricing for enterprise.

Apply Pie Plus is not to be confused with this amazing-looking baked good. Image: Priscilla Du Prez, Unsplash

10. Appy Pie Plus (full-stack)

The delightfully-named Appy Pie Plus is a no-code platform offering an assortment of business solutions, including chatbots, mobile app builder, and integration tools.

Features

  • Appy Pie appmakr: Apply Pie Plus’s app-builder provides enterprises with the ability to build custom mobile applications through block-architecture. Think of it as Lego-style app designing. Building an app for a restaurant? Choose the restaurant app block, which includes menu curation, online ordering, and reservations. And that’s just for your customers. The pre-built restaurant block also includes an application for internal restaurant staff and any delivery personnel. Just add company branding and you’re ready to go.
  • Connect: Apply Pie Plus allows for a lot of flexibility around sending data between other services and applications and for automating business processes. The platform also integrates with over 300 apps. By way of a visual canvas, users can build integrated workflows with a drag-and-drop configuration, as well as set triggers, setup decision logic and execute actions between multiple applications.
  • Chatbot: Configure your own chatbot to host on websites or mobile applications in minutes. Choose from a variety of templates (based on industry) and then add some final customization to accommodate your own processes. You can also easily configure options for multiple languages. Setup chatbot to collect customer information, schedule appointments, and feed business-critical processes. Bot analytics surfaces data about chatbot interaction with visitors,  measuring response rate, effectiveness and can help.

Pricing

Appy Pie Plus’s pricing is dependent upon service type. For example, Connect charges a monthly rate based on the amount of tasks consumed, while Appmkr scales based on app download volume. The company also offers custom enterprise pricing.

Conclusion

Taken together, the no-code offerings available today are as amazing as they are overwhelming. Companies of every stripe have a host of options to choose from when it comes time to introduce no-code technology into their stack. No doubt this development will continue as the availability and adoption of no-code continues to grow.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official beliefs or positions of Sofy.

 

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