All automation tools are not created equal. Some require great technical skills to build and manage automation, leaving many business users unable to reap the benefits of this advanced technology. However, there are tools and solutions that enable anybody to set up automated workflows that boost productivity and save time. These no-code and low-code tools bring automation to everyone—no matter their skill level.
What is No-Code Automation?
No-code automation tools allow business users with limited technical experience—known as citizen developers—to easily build automation. No-code automation tools deliver features that allow users to easily build workflows through a more visual experience—without writing any code—while the tool takes the technological work of coding behind the scenes. These features can include:
Drag-and-Drop Task Builders
Using the automation tool’s GUI, users can visually drag-and-drop pieces of a workflow together to build powerful automation.
Desktop and browser screen recorders bring robust UI automation to life, simply by capturing a user’s mouse and keyboard actions while following the steps of a workflow they wish to automate.
Native actions allow users to integrate common applications like Microsoft tools, AWS, VMware, cloud applications, databases, and more—making queries easier to perform for the citizen developer.
The downside to a no-code automation tool is that you’re limited to the features and native actions present. When evaluating solutions, be sure to know what features your citizen developers require, and the applications they’re looking to automate.
What is Low-Code Automation?
Low-code automation tools have features that allow for easy, rapid development, while enabling more technical users to add their own coding. This allows users to take advantage of no-code options in tandem with their coding and technical expertise to develop automation faster. With low-code automation, technical users can use a drag-and-drop task builder or screen recorder to supplement their own code, as well as customize the pre-built options with their own code. Low-code automation tools feature:
The right API integration kit can mask the complexities of working with APIs to develop automations that go beyond the UI. By making APIs easier to work with, technical users can spend more time improving processes and less time integrating applications.
Pre-Built Bots or Connectors
Some automation tools feature digital marketplaces that feature pre-built bots or connectors that are ready to download. These connectors speed the development process by sharing the building blocks of automated workflows.
With low-code automation tools, beware of being too limited in what your technical users can choose to code. The key is finding the right mix of easy-to-use features and the ability for customization.
Differences Between No-Code vs. Low-Code Automation
No-code and low-code automation share a lot of similarities because at the end of the day, they’re both designed to bring the benefits of automation to more people in your enterprise. But the main difference is in what each tool allows each type of user to do.
With strictly no-code automation, citizen developers without any coding knowledge or experience can easily build automated workflows using the features described above. This allows for business users to get more done in their day, and not rely on IT to build and develop applications to automate tasks.
Low-code automation is aimed at more experienced IT users and gives them a mix of automation capabilities that allow them to develop automated workflows using some code. Easy-to-use features as described above speeds up the timeline of development by simplifying the repetitive parts of coding. All while allowing users to still build and utilize their own code.
Benefits of No-Code and Low-Code for Users
Both no-code and low-code automation share the benefits of automation—like boosting productivity, optimizing resources, and improving accuracy. But one big benefit these tools bring to an organization is helping to end shadow IT. Business users get the option to develop automation outside of IT, and IT is still able to maintain oversight. More specifically, here is how they help each user group:
- Citizen Developers
- Brings automation directly to the people who know their business processes best.
- Business users don’t have to use developer resources to build out projects—and can start automating faster.
- Easily update automation as your applications and processes change.
- Technical Developers
- Gives more time back to the IT team to spend on more critical issues.
- Streamlines and simplifies the repetitive parts of building automation to spend more time on writing custom code.
- Developers can deliver faster results to stake holders relying on them to build automation projects.
Where to Use No-Code vs. Low-Code Automation?
As with all forms of automation, there are many processes to automate using no-code and low-code . However, they each can make a vast difference in two key areas.
No-Code Automation Use Cases
No-code automation is great for automating front-end tasks that business users are likely to perform. These tasks are heavy on user interactivity and include web browser tasks, data scraping and extraction, and report generation to name a few.
Low-Code Automation Use Cases
Low-code automation is great for automating the back-end processes that keep your business running. These processes leverage APIs and include file movement, database processing, and more.
Why Choose Automate for No-Code and Low-Code Automation?
Looking for a solution that can handle both no-code and low-code automation—and beyond? Turn to Fortra’s Automate, a top-rated robotic process automation solution, to bring employee-driven automation to your organization. Automate is built with the citizen developer in mind but is flexible enough for more technical users. Quickly build automation with our drag-and-drop task builder featuring 70 plus native actions, a robust step recorder to accelerate UI automation, and a powerful API integration kit. Plus, our Automation Connector Hub provides free, pre-built connectors to integrate key applications with Automate.