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Low-code vs high-code | The key differences

22 April 2024 • Blog

Low code vs high code

When building software, you often hear terms like expensive, difficult and time-consuming. These are important reasons why we work with Mendix low-code at Bizzomate. With this visual way of development, software creation becomes more accessible, faster and cheaper. That method is quite different from the traditional, high-code way of creating software, where you write lines of code in a programming language, but there are other differences. The challenge lies in choosing the method of coding that best suits the specific needs and goals of the organization. Read in this article the differences between low-code vs. high-code.

What is low-code?

Low-code work involves working in a visual interface where you create software using building blocks. As a result, it requires less technical knowledge and works a lot faster compared to the traditional high-code way of development. Furthermore, low-code platforms offer standard instantly usable functionalities, such as login and Single Sign-on (SSO) that you can implement directly in an application. The largest low-code platforms, such as Mendix, additionally have a marketplace where you can download those features and use them in your own app, or rather share them with others.

You can find more background on the page “What is Low Code?”.

What is high-code (traditional code)?

Totally new to coding? We also briefly explain high-code here.
The traditional way of programming, where applications are written with lines of code in a programming language, has also been called high-code since the advent of low-code, simply because you have to program (aka code) to create an application. There are many different programming languages such as Javascript, C++ or Python, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. An important similarity between the languages is that programmers of these applications write instructions in the programming language or “code” of the application. The amount of code in an application is often specified in lines, where applications can consist of thousands of lines of code.

What are the advantages of low-code vs high-code?

Although you can create many applications with both low-code and high-code, there is quite a difference in the way they work. We have therefore listed the main differences in low-code vs high-code.

InterfaceA visual, user-friendly interface with ready-to-use building blocks.An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in which you add functionality by writing lines of code.
SpeedReady-made building blocks can be linked together in a visual way. As a result, you don’t have to completely build many time-consuming elements of your applications yourself, allowing you to build a working app very quickly. In addition, the low-code platform keeps those building blocks up-to-date, which saves a lot of time maintaining your applications.The complexity and many lines of code in high-code mean that it often takes a long time before a first version of an application can be tested. The big advantage of high-code, however, is that you have complete control over every aspect of your application. In addition, application maintenance takes more time, for example, because used libraries have breaking changes that you have to accommodate yourself in the app.
FeedbackBecause you can build an application quickly, you have more capacity to make proposals that also add value to the business and get feedback faster and more focused. Less complexity also ensures that conversations are more often about that value, rather than a focus on technology.


Because many lines of code are understood primarily by programmers, feedback can often only be retrieved on a first version. If major changes are then needed, it often takes a lot of extra work and time.
Learning curveLow-code is quick to grasp thanks to its visual way of working, so it takes novice developers little time to create their first application. With more experience, that speed only increases.Learning a programming language and its specific capabilities requires a lot of time and experience, with a novice high-code developer often working at a fraction of the speed of an experienced developer.

The limitations and considerations?

In many ways, what makes low-code a good alternative to high-code is its flexible, accessible and efficient way of developing applications. Still, there are some situations where high-code is more appropriate.

High code more suitable at full control of each feature

In some situations, working with huge budgets and where complete control over every feature is essential, high-code represents a better choice than platforms such as Mendix. Although Mendix offers a lot of “out of the box” functionality for general applications, which can provide great speed gains, high-code is a better fit for projects where intensive control is needed and sufficient budget is available to implement it. This approach provides the precision and flexibility needed for very specific requirements, such as managing a huge user base in the case of apps like Instagram, for example.

In most situations, however, low-code is faster because low-code platforms themselves take some of the work off your hands. This comes at the expense of a little control, but fortunately not flexibility. Low-code applications are also easier to maintain, in part because much complexity has been abstracted away and consists of standard components. Consequently, applications in Mendix tend to be a lot easier to understand and less technically complex. At Bizzomate we know both techniques, so we can always give clients the best fitting advice.

Choosing between low-code or high-code

The advantages and disadvantages of both methods are clear. In high-code, technology allows companies to have control over every feature . A simpler and faster way of building apps leaves room to focus more on the value of the app for the end user, for example. In the process, part of the control over the features is surrendered. However, there are also many similarities between low-code and high-code. In either case, code must be reusable, easily understandable and well-documented.

In addition, the low-code market is still relatively unsaturated so new applications are being developed in abundance. We do the same at Bizzomate. Our DevTools application, for example, this is a collection of tools that developers can use when checking application security, or visually searching your database. Ultimate Gantt and Ultimate Scheduler are also add-ons recently co-developed by us. The high-code market is already more saturated so there is less innovation.

Need advice on high-code or low-code?

Are you unsure whether low-code or high-code applications are the best fit for your organization? Then contact our experts. We would love to help you!


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