There’s a lot of buzz in the low-code/no-code space. And where there’s buzz, marketing hype and misconceptions are sure to follow. This is especially true with technologies as rapidly evolving as low-code/no-code. The emergence of Codeless Architecture adds even more potential for confusion.
This guide aims to unmuddy the waters and provide a north star for anyone curious about this new codeless frontier.
In short: Codeless Architecture is a technological paradigm that empowers enterprises to overcome long-standing development challenges, such as:
- Never-ending backlogs of requests from the business
- Managing increasingly complex, disparate digital ecosystems
- Ineffective collaboration with non-technical colleagues
Codeless Architecture isn’t some theoretical future state. Right now, some of the world’s largest organizations are “going Codeless” to secure and gain a digital advantage in the marketplace.
READ: Codeless Success Stories
You’re probably reading this guide because you’ve heard about Codeless Architecture and want to learn more. Or perhaps you aren’t sure if it’s applicable to your organization. We’re here to help. In this guide, we will:
- Define Codeless Architecture
- Explain who it’s for, and how it differs from low-code/no-code
- Explore the ways codeless overcomes three long-standing challenges to enterprise development
- Document innovative, enterprise-grade solutions built using codeless
- Show you how quickly you can get started with codeless
What is Codeless Architecture?
Codeless Architecture is a developing open standard for building complex, enterprise-grade software, including integrations with virtually any legacy and third-party system—all without writing, managing, or even seeing a single line of code.
Inspired by Serverless Architecture, Codeless Architecture takes the power of abstraction to the next logical step.
Whereas Serverless Architecture makes it easy to tap into the cloud without purchasing, setting up, or maintaining any servers, whether physical, virtual, or container, Codeless Architecture makes it easy to build & manage applications via a streamlined, intuitive interface so that you can focus exclusively on application logic.
Codeless Architecture goes the next step by abstracting any piece of code into a reusable element. As a result, you can compose complex workflows and enterprise-grade applications within a simple, visual drag-and-drop interface. Not only can you focus all your attention on application logic, but you now no longer have to translate that logic into code.
And no, this is not some future state. Enterprises are already building mission-critical solutions with codeless.Want to go even deeper into the tech? Check out this the codeless whitepaper
Demand for modern enterprise applications is growing, and yet it actually takes longer to build them today than a decade ago. Meanwhile, there are not nearly enough engineers to meet this accelerating demand. And developers you do have on the payroll are spending a third of their time managing the technology that already exists.
Codeless addresses all these challenges by accelerating development, expanding the potential pool of developers, and reducing future tech debt by eliminating net-new, manual code.
Dev hours per app, 2010s vs. 2000s1
Number of unfilled IT jobs2
Developer time spent on tech debt3
Who benefits from codelessBy making development 100% visual and composable, codeless serves everyone with a stake in enterprise application development, including:
- Developers. Free yourself from “cruft” (boring, repetitive, and mundane tasks), and spend more time on more creative, rewarding work
- Tech leaders. Focus more on innovation and less on managing backlogs and tech debt
- The business. Get the modern applications you need to stay competitive 3X faster
Low-code vs. no-code vs. Codeless Architecture
The market is filled solutions that promise to lighten the burden of traditional coding, or even get rid of it all together. But they are not all created alike.
“No-code” website builders
- Who they’re for: Small businesses needing brochure websites & basic commerce
- Examples: Wix, Squarespace
- Limitations: For websites only
Niche low-code workflow management tools
- Who they’re for: SMBs needing to solve niche business problems
- Examples: Airtable, TrackVia, Retool
- Limitations: Complex & code-based customization. Limited integrations. Updates on vendor schedule.
- Who they’re for: SMBs that want to reduce lower coding burden
- Examples: Pegasystems, Outsystems, Appian, Mendix
- Limitations: Proprietary languages. Limited support for advanced logic and business rules. Lack of legacy integrations. No custom styling.
Codeless/Enterprise no-code platforms
- Who they’re for: Any organization with any business problem, even with complex governance and compliance req.
- Examples: Unqork
- Limitations: Virtually none
Who is Codeless Architecture for?
Codeless isn’t a tool that allows inexperienced developers to "catch up" with seasoned engineers. In fact, developers with years—even decades—of experience regularly use these tools to eliminate “cruft,” so they can focus on the cool stuff.
By making development entirely visual (think Visio), business users can:
- Actively participate in development, rather than handoff requirements
- Build straight-forward applications and add/change functionality
People new to development can begin composing complex, enterprise applications within weeks, because Codeless Architecture:
- Doesn’t require learning a new coding language
- Makes building workflows and apps entirely visual, including integrations and data management
By eliminating large amounts of “cruft,” seasoned developers can focus on high-level functions like:
- Quality control
- Security and governance
- Management of mission-critical legacy systems
Codeless vs. cruft
Here is a list of some of the costly, time-consuming, repetitive tasks that codeless takes off your place across the application lifecycle.
Infrastructure planning & management
Codeless to the rescue
By taking so much cruft off your plate and making application building entirely composable, Codeless Architecture helps you solve three of the most intractable problems tech teams face.
Challenge #1: A never-ending backlog of requests from the business
Demand for new apps is exploding. Code-based development is actually slowing. There are not nearly enough experienced developers to keep up. And talented developers spend more than one-third of their time managing existing code.
Why codeless makes the difference
- No tools to choose.
- No need to build and manage a platform
- No need to understand the underlying code
- No new code to write.
- No new code to maintain
- Up to 600x reduction in bugs
Challenge #2: Inability to collaborate effectively with business colleagues
Developers must turn business requirements into code, and something always gets lost in translation. And because of complex dependencies, a seemingly minor change can take days and dozens of hours of precious developer time.
Why codeless makes the difference
- A shared visual language. Because codeless development is entirely visual, business people can often sit side-by-side with developers, follow what they’re doing, and collaborate in real-time to get things right the first time.
- Iterations on the fly. By speeding or eliminating so many steps in the development process, codeless enables you to build POCs faster, make changes quickly, and deliver an MVP at least 3x faster.
Challenge #3: Painful integrations and upgrades
Today’s ecosystems are held together by a complex spaghetti of APIs and other connectors. And too often, they are poorly documented. Integrations must be painstakingly maintained, and you have to settle for the lesser of two evils—stuff breaking because you didn’t upgrade, or because you did.
Why codeless makes the difference
- Modular integrations without a single line code. Create, authenticate, and centralize APIs, gateways, and reusable microservices within an entirely visual tool. Unqork’s codeless platform even generates API documentation automatically.
- Upgrade. Or not. You choose. Keep legacy systems that work well enough, but simply upgrade interactions with both users or other systems via the API engine. Avoid the hassles of forced upgrades if that is the best option. If you do upgrade, there’s no need to refactor code. No matter how you execute it, the logic remains untouched.
Codeless case studies
Creating high-quality, quick-to-market software with codeless
FOXO Technologies’ Tyler Danielson (CTO) and Taylor Fay (Director of Product Management) discuss a complex re-insurance administration solution built at speed on Unqork’s codeless platform.
“It's faster, it's cheaper. And even for complicated systems found in insurance or banking, it's everything that you could possibly imagine, but were never able to get before,” says Danielson.
Unifying business and technology to transform placement and policy servicing
Marsh’s Andreas Wetterwald (Global Marsh Deputy Chief Information Officer/CIO Marsh Americas) and Kathleen Kreuzer (Chief Business Officer for Global Operations) discuss how they used no-code to build a digital workspace, so Marsh’s brokers—and their insureds—can quickly and accurately perform key services.
“Within days, we had a working POC. That was impressive,” says Kreuzer.
Remediating EUCs with codeless
Brett Krasner, Principal Digital Engineering Consultant at Capco, speaks with Satya Addagarla (Vice President, Lender & Servicer Technology and Enterprise Cloud Migration) and Elton Fernandes (Senior Manager, Lender & Servicer Technology and EUC Cloud Migration) of Fannie Mae discuss how codeless has helped them increase security, lower development time, and digitize and automate manual processes.
“This intuitive interface allows business users to be easily trained on the Unqork platform and build their own applications under proper testing and design guidance,” says Krasner.
Rapidly develop innovative wealth management products
Broadridge Financial Solutions’ VP of Wealth Product Innovation Joseph Lo discusses how Unqork’s codeless platform enabled his company to build a secure, robust private market hub from the ground up built at unprecedented speed.
“Unqork allows me to take my ideas and what we are hearing from our clients and bring them to life,” says Lo.
Academy & Community Hub
With Unqork Academy, Creators can master no-code in no time with robust guided curriculums, certification assessments, courses, and resources. The Unqork Community Hub is an active, self-sustaining community of Creators for continued support, education, and feedback.
Using the Unqork Marketplace, users can easily surface and integrate enterprise-grade pre-built snippets, templates, integrations, and accelerators designed by industry experts, Unqork technology partners, and fellow Creators to further expedite your application development.
If you need to get up and running right away, assistance is available. Accelerate the delivery of your solutions by partnering with Unqork Digital, Unqork’s own professional services team, or one of our Certified Implementation Partners with deep industry and Unqork expertise.
Take advantage of Unqork's expanding partner ecosystem and easily integrate specialized third-party functionality into your applications. Unqork's API functionality empowers Creators to seamlessly add new external services to existing workflows and business processes.
1 Long Term Trends from 40 Years of Completed Software Project Data. (2021, November 2). QSM SLIM-Estimate. Link [back]
2 Liu, J. (2019, November 6). The US has nearly 1 million open IT jobs—here’s how much it can pay off to switch industries into tech. CNBC. Link [back]
3 Omeyer, A. (2021, July 28). The Cost of Technical Debt. dzone.com. Link [back]