Low code is a way to develop applications with very little or no coding.
What is a low-code app development platform?
A low-code app development platform provides Graphical User Interface to develop applications without traditional coding. By minimizing hard-core coding, the platform helps businesses build apps faster and easier. It offers drag-and-drop application components to create mobile or web apps and helps with quick setup and deployment.
Through these platforms, small business owners, business analysts, managers, or others who are not professional developers can build and test apps quickly. The user-friendly GUI also helps users collaborate with third-party application program interfaces. Users can repeatedly rearrange and test modules until the app starts working as required.
Reasons for Using a low-code platform
Reduced Time: The low-code platform eliminates the need to write code line by line to develop a mobile or web app—this speeds up the development process and delivery of the product multiple times. These platforms offer ready-to-use templates, code snippets, built-in connectors, and visual builders to help build apps fast.
Reduced Cost: Hiring professional developers can be costly and time-consuming. Low-code requires less programming expertise, and anyone can easily use the platform. It also helps reduce the overhead expense of server maintenance and monitoring since the platform can store applications in the cloud.
Customer Experience: Faster delivery of applications increases customer experience. With a low-code platform, businesses can quickly adapt to market changes and customer needs. Users can use available templates, tweak them to deliver more value, make changes, fix bugs, and update apps in real-time.
Security: Low-code platforms offer security features to applications like user-access control, audit log, and threat assessments.
Here are a few more reasons to choose a low-code app development platform:
- Reduce dependency on professional developers to develop apps.
- The platform increases the problem-solving capability of non-IT teams.
- It leads to high productivity.
- Using low-code media accelerates digital innovation and transformation.
- It helps to reduce the IT backlog.
- It helps to meet customer expectations and client short deadlines.
- The platform automates the manual development process and thus makes it easier to create flexible apps to get specific tasks done.
- A low code platform like Zoho Creator facilitates immediate changes to suit new requirements.
- Using these platforms, organizations can quickly adapt and respond to fast-changing business needs and requirements.
Introduction to Zoho Creator
Zoho Creator is an easy-to-use low-code development platform designed to build custom applications with minimal coding. It is a reliable, secure, affordable, and user-friendly choice for businesses looking for an app development tool. The platform helps organizations digitize their development processes without needing traditional programming.
Zoho Creator enables users to access data from a remote location via mobile devices. The drag and drop functionality of the platform helps facilitate workflow automation by creating process automation scripts. Users can integrate the platform with other Zoho apps, such as Zoho CRM. Other key features are pre-built app templates, advanced analytics, hosting anywhere, etc.
Pricing and Plans
Zoho Creator offers different plans monthly and annual subscriptions to suit business needs. You will get a 14-day free trial with every plan. The platform’s pricing starts at $10 per user per month for a basic plan. This plan will give you access to core features of Creator, such as drag and drop development, workflows, app sharing, reports, forms, and various themes and layouts. The premium plan comes with pricing of $20 per user per month and offers all features of the basic plan plus some advanced features.
Why choose Zoho Creator?
Zoho Creator has amazing features that allow users to collect data, automate business workflows, analyze data in reports, integrate with other apps, and many more. Building an app with this platform will enable you to access real-time data from anywhere at any time using your mobile devices (iOS/Android).
Listed below are some benefits of the platform that explains why you should go for it to create your custom app:
Easy to learn: Non-developers can easily learn the platform without spending much time. It doesn’t require any programming language expertise. Users can create an app and start designing a form without CSS and HTML.
Drag and Drop feature: Users can drag and drop fields to create and design your application or form. Various templates and fields are available on the platform to meet your requirements.
Data storage: With Zoho Creator, you don’t have to worry about storing data, as each form has its table. Anyone who submits the data using the form gets stored on its table without needing to design the database separately.
Reporting: The platforms provide various reports based on data stored in forms. Use can create reports in the form of a chart, pivot table, calendar view, matrix form, etc. It enables users to create various reports based on the data like spreadsheets, lists, calendars, etc. It helps businesses in a better decision-making process.
Affordable: Zoho Creator offers exciting features to its users to meet all their business requirements at an attractive price. The platform is one of the most cost-effective mobile or web app development solutions.
Key Features of Zoho Creator
Build an app quickly and easily: Zoho Creator allows you to develop applications without needing heavy coding. Anyone can easily create custom apps using the drag-and-drop interface within minutes. The platform enables users to share input forms, reports, and dashboards and access, view, or modify the data via mobile devices.
Pre-built application templates: Zoho Creator has pre-built business applications allowing users to download and create applications. You can customize the apps according to your requirement. Different templates available on the platform are IT and administration, sales and marketing, operations, education, etc.
Custom workflow, business automation: The platform allows you to add logic to your apps and help you design workflows quickly with minimal coding. Zoho Creator supports validating inputs and triggers business processes based on the inputs entered. Thus, its business process automation system helps streamline entire business processes using logic and intelligence.
Advanced capabilities with Zoho Creator mobile Apps: Zoho Creator mobile Apps offer the following advanced features:
- Modify data within the mobile application.
- Group, classify, search, filter, and apply custom activities to data.
- Receive notifications
- Support all deluge events
- Approve requests
- Offline data submission
- Payment acceptance right from the phone
- Support mobile phone features like Cameras, Microphones, Gestures, and Location Services.
Host anywhere: Using Zoho Creator, users can host applications anywhere they want:
- Zoho cloud
- Azure and AWS
Secure sharing, Accessing, and collaboration: Zoho Creator allows multiple developers to access the platform simultaneously to edit or modify apps. Users can share input forms and reports via a URL. The platform has a set of security protocols to separate one customer’s data from others. It gives security and privacy to every customer’s data.
Notification: Zoho Creator offers an SMS notification feature to send instant messages or information whenever needed. It allows scheduling timely alerts or notifications as well.
Rest API: Creator gives you the flexibility to access and consume data from external apps using REST and RPC
Audit and Log: The platform allows users to track changes and modifications to the apps or data. Creator has a dedicated portal to help customers log in and access their details.
Reports: It is one of the core features of Zoho Creator. With this feature, users can collect data submitted through forms.
Update changes instantly: Zoho creator updates new features instantly to launch applications. If customers do not like the new feature, the platform allows users to undo changes with automatic backups and get the old version back.
Integrations: Zoho Creator allows integrations with other Zoho applications such as:
- Zoho CRM
- Zoho Calendar
- Zoho Books
- Zoho Reports
- Zoho Recruit
- Zoho Subscriptions
- Zoho Invoice
- Zoho Support
How to Build a New Application with Zoho Creator?
Zoho Creator helps build custom applications for your needs, from simple apps like project time trackers to complex ERP systems to solve business problems. Businesses using the platform to create applications are Restaurants, eCommerce, Real estate, Schools, Hotels, Hospitals, Lawyers, and many more.
Before you start creating an application using Zoho Creator, note down all the requirements you want from it. Then sign in to the platform after selecting a plan that meets your needs and starts building your first app by clicking “Create Application”. The create application page of Creator will help you-
- Create application from scratch: Develop and design an application from scratch using the drag and drop builder.
- Create an application by Importing files: You can import files to the platform to create an app. File formats supported are XLS, XLSV, CSV, TSV, ODS, and DS.
- Select from the Application Gallery: There are various ready-to-use templates available that you can use and make some changes to create your desired product.
- Import DS file: Develop an app by importing a Deluge script file.
If you want to create a simple cloud app using the platform, you can add the following components easily:
- Data form to collect and store information
- Reports and pages to view data
- Workflow to implement logic and automate processes
- Built-in security
- Integration with external applications
- Mobile device access
- Publishing components to websites and blogs
Alternatives to Zoho Creator
Following are two of the best alternatives to Zoho Creator:
Bubble is a visual programming platform that uses code-free language to create and host web applications. It has a drag-and-drop builder that enables the code-free design of web and mobile applications.
- Mobile-friendly layout
- Dynamic content
- Intuitive, fully customizable platform
- Performance metrics
- Change and Deployment management
- Drag and Drop
- No-code development
- Collaboration tools
- Multiple design templates
- Pre-built modules
- Feature Library
- Visual modeling
- Workflow management
The Bubble has powerful tools for prototyping, iterating, and scaling multi-user applications. Like other low-code platforms, it handles complicated parts like coding, database, servers, etc., leaving designing and building parts to users.
Knack is a low-code tool that makes the development of custom applications easy and quick. The platform helps businesses focus on improving their efficiency and productivity. It can further help them to boost their sales and increase turnaround time from tasks and projects.
- Audit management
- Automatic backup
- Collaboration tools
- Database support
- Data dictionary management
- Custom development
- Drag and drop
- Pre-built templates
- Task scheduling
- SSL security
- Workflow configuration
- eCommerce management
- Third-party integrations
Knack uses automation to reduce errors in accounting and projects. It allows seamless integration with Teams. The platform has integrated CRM software to manage prospects, clients, and contacts and a project management feature to keep track of time and tasks.
The Bottom Line
With all its amazing features, Zoho Creator is a perfect tool for businesses that need an app creation tool to enhance their business operations efficiency. This tool offers solutions to all business needs without burning a big hole in your pocket. It provides various tools to build a web or mobile application for in-house or customer uses.