No-Code, Low-Code and Full-Code: What’s The Difference?

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Simone Leckning
May 10th, 2021

No-Code, Low-Code, Full-Code: What’s The Difference?

Low-code & no-code are often lumped together. But there are differences. Understanding what these differences are is the first step in choosing the right no-code / low-code platform.


No-code basically does what it says – it allows people without coding skills to build applications without code. These platforms use pre-built components and templates to create applications. There are advantages to this approach. It allows for faster development, it’s easier to change apps, and people don’t need to know programming to build apps. However, this approach also comes with limitations.

No-code limits the customization and integration options of applications. If it’s not provided as a pre-built component in a no-code platform, you can’t do it. Speed and simplicity of development comes at the cost of complexity. In addition, when using a no-code platform you may not be able to build what you need, as it is not possible for one platform to cater for every possible solution that may be needed by every business.


Low-code development lies in-between no-code and full-code. It uses pre-built components to speed up development, but also comes with the ability to add full code to the application. This means you can customize some elements to make your application suit your purposes. In terms of benefits and limitations, it’s again between no-code and full-code. It allows for increased complexity in applications and customizability compared to no-code, while still being faster and requiring less resources than full-code. It does require some programming knowledge, so it’s not a tool for everybody, but does not require as much programming knowledge as full-code.


Full-code development uses traditional coding to create applications. This requires the expertise of software engineers, and requires more time, money, and resources than no-code or low-code. And the applications can be difficult and complex to build and maintain. However, on the other hand, full-code can be used to create unique, robust, and complex applications that suit individual and advanced business needs. Full-code also allows for complex integrations, which is particularly important for companies with essential legacy systems.


No-Code Low-code Full-code
Users Business and non-tech Developer or tech-minded business users Trained developers
Coding Requirement None Reduced High
Application Complexity Low High Very High
Customizability Low High Very High
Main Advantage Ease of use Development speed & increased developer productivity Build whatever you need
Learning Curve Days Weeks Months to Years


How Five Puts Them All Together

Five doesn’t restrict developers to just one tier of coding. Using Five, developers can step across to a different tier whenever it suits them and move back just as easily. Use no-code to rapidly get development up and running, and then switch to full-code to extend and customize the application. In addition, Five does not use any proprietary languages. Developers can use languages that they are familiar with, such as JavaScript, TypeScript, C# or SQL.

With Five, you can combine the speed and simplicity of no-code with the complexity and customizability of full-code by changing tiers based on what you need. Don’t be restrained by the limitations of each tier, use them all to your advantage when developing with Five.

TL; DR: No-Code, Low-Code and Full-Code: What’s The Difference?

No-code, low-code and full-code each serve a different purpose and are made for different user groups. No-code platforms are designed for people without coding skills. Low-code platforms, on the other hand, are best used by skilled developers and come with many features that are too advanced for “citizen developers”. Low-code platform’s ability to support full code means they are much more suited for use by experienced software developers who look to automate the more tedious tasks of development, without losing the flexibility and control that full code offers.

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