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Guide | September 23, 2022

Low-code versus no-code test automation - which is right for your business?

It’s long been the case that to develop software, you need software developers, but that’s changing thanks to low-code and no-code approaches. It seems like a given that companies need people with in-depth coding language knowledge to get their products made and shipped. However, the foundations are shifting underneath our feet and what was once an accepted truth is rapidly becoming outdated.


low-code and no-code development are movements that are lowering the barrier for entry when it comes to skills in software development. They’re allowing companies to have employees without sophisticated skillsets work on projects that previously would have required a developer in charge. Such projects include test automation, something that’s crucial in the development process. But just what are the advantages of low-code and no-code testing? And for that matter, which is the right choice for your testing needs? Let’s find out.


What is low-code test automation?


As you might expect given the name, low-code test automation requires some coding knowledge, but not a great deal. low-code automation platforms typically include visual elements to test applications to circumvent the need for high-level coding knowledge to prepare automation tests. However, this does mean some coding skills will be needed for more complex tests, where a script will need to be written. Overall, however, low-code automation considerably widens the available pool of people who can get involved with automation testing, as fewer skills are needed to create, run and manage tests.


One of the most popular low-code platforms on the market today is Appian. This platform uses drag-and-drop tools combined with native AI services to provide a combination of intelligent automation alongside no-code development capabilities.


Interestingly, some of the top companies in Thailand are increasing their investment in low-code development. For example, the Siam Cement Company Limited has announced ambitious plans to upskill employees by moving to the low-code platform OutSystems. Moving to the low-code platform helped the company create more than 10 new apps in just a single year.


What is no-code test automation?


Unsurprisingly, no-code test automation means performing automated testing without writing any code whatsoever. A no-code test automation platform can be used by non-technical people to run tests, typically for quite specific use cases.


Once again, a no-code testing automation platform will likely use a graphical user interface in place of lines of code, making preparing tests more intuitive for the less code-savvy among us.


Bubble is one example of a no-code development platform. A drag-and-drop interface is again the order of the day, allowing users without coding skills to have a great degree of control over design elements. The extensive number of YouTube tutorials created about the platform also contributes to how user-friendly it is and goes some way towards showing how popular it has become.


Low-code or no-code - what’s right for you?


Now we know what low-code and no-code automation testing are, it’s time to figure out which approach is right for your business by comparing and contrasting the two approaches.


Similarities


Unsurprisingly, low-code and no-code testing automation have more in common than they do differences, but it’s still worth pointing out what they share.

 

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Low-code and no-code aren't mirror images of each other, but they do have similarities.

 

Cost: Unspsursingly, using less sophisticated technology that requires less sophisticated users will cut down on your costs. Maintenance and infrastructure costs should also be slashed, while you should also be able to roll out your testing at a faster pace than writing all that code yourself. As we all well know, time is money.


Democracy: As users don’t need to be highly skilled to get involved in low-code and no-code development, both approaches naturally widen the array of people who can participate in the development process. This means less need for expensive and scarce technological experts.


Productivity: A less complex development approach means development can be carried out at a greater pace, so with both low-code and no-code, your automated testing will be completed at a greater pace.


Consistency: Using either low-code or no-code means using a centralized platform for your automation testing, so your design and coding approach for the testing will be consistent. This should make adjusting the tests simpler and the results easier to grasp for all involved.


Collaboration: As explained above, both low-code and no-code democratize the testing automation development process. Therefore, the different stakeholders and teams involved with testing should be able to more easily collaborate than if the testing was code-heavy and prepared by specialists. Your marketing team might even understand how low-code and no-code testing work!


Differences


The devil is in the details, and the details of the differences between low-code and no-code development for automation testing should help you decide which would work best for your business.


Users: While both low-code and no-code don’t require highly skilled developers involved in the testing automation process, the skill levels required between the two do vary a bit. Low-code is meant to be used by those with some coding skills, while no-code platforms are typically for business users who lack the savvy to write code manually. No-code can even be used by non-IT teams.


Speed: While both low-code and no-code testing automation can be rolled out more quickly than traditional approaches, no-code is the slightly faster approach. Low-code will require more time for training and deployment, perhaps event customization, whereas no-code should be pretty straightforward to plug and play.


Security: As low-code automation testing requires some coding knowledge to make work, any organization that uses low-code for its testing automation will likely run it out of an IT department. In contrast, no-code testing automation can be carried out by any department. This means that no-code can bring increased security risks, as the teams using the platform may not be as diligent with security as their IT counterparts.

 

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Security is important in all aspects of eCommerce.

 

Scalability: The greater degree of customization available on a low-code platform gives it the edge over no-code when it comes to scaling. Custom plugins and custom code can give you a broader array of testing capabilities, whereas with no-code testing automation you’ll likely be limited to what the plug-and-play platform can offer.


Decision time


As with anything technology, the answer to whether low-code or no-code is right for your business is found on a case-by-case basis. If speed is more important to you than scalability for example, no-code automation testing may be the way to go.


We’re big advocates of testing at SmartOSC, no matter which testing automation approach you want to take. That’s why we've put together a testing automation checklist to prepare you for the high season. Download it here.


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