Should There Be an App for That? When to Use No-code Solutions Instead of Apps

In recent years, Microsoft has been at the forefront of the no-code movement within its Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Microsoft Forms, no-code functionality that allows you to create custom forms and surveys effortlessly, is a great example. Whether it’s gathering feedback from employees or collecting data from customers, Microsoft Forms provides a user-friendly interface that streamlines the entire process.

Microsoft’s Viva Pulse is another good example. With Viva Pulse, you can create pulse surveys to gauge employee sentiment and gather valuable insights into the organizational climate. This means HR professionals and managers can design, distribute, and analyze pulse surveys without needing any coding expertise.

Overall, Microsoft 365’s suite of no-code tools demonstrates the power and potential of no-code development in enabling organizations to innovate and streamline processes without relying on traditional coding methods. By democratizing app creation and automation, these tools empower users across various departments to solve problems, improve efficiency, and drive business outcomes.

As the demand for digital solutions continues to rise, embracing no-code platforms like those offered by Microsoft 365 can be a real game-changer for businesses looking to stay on top.

Determining the Right Tool for the Job

With such great tools now available, companies often find themselves grappling with the decision of when to leverage no-code software versus app development. This confusion stems from the diverse array of project requirements, the varying levels of technical expertise among users, and the need to strike a balance between simplicity and advanced functionality.

While no-code solutions like Forms and Viva Pulse offer rapid deployment and accessibility, more advanced tools like Power Apps provides greater customization and flexibility. Understanding when to use each tool is key to optimizing productivity, minimizing development time, and ultimately achieving desired business outcomes.

Below, we’ve provided some clear guidelines on when to utilize no-code solutions versus app development to help you make the right decision:

Use No-code Solutions When:

  • You need a quick and easy way to collect data or feedback
  • The form or survey is straightforward and doesn’t require complex logic or customization
  • You want to empower non-technical users to create and manage forms or surveys independently
  • The data collected will be used for basic analysis or reporting purposes
  • The form or survey is a standalone project and doesn’t need to be integrated with other systems or applications

Use Power Apps When:

  • You require a more sophisticated and customized application that goes beyond simple data collection
  • The app needs to incorporate complex business logic, workflows, or data validation
  • You want to create a mobile or tablet-friendly application that can be used on the go
  • The app needs to integrate with multiple data sources, such as SharePoint lists, Excel files, or external APIs
  • You need to create a branded and visually appealing user interface that aligns with your organization’s design guidelines
  • The app will be used frequently and requires a higher level of performance and scalability

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, no-code solutions like Viva Pulse and Forms are ideal for quick and easy data collection or feedback gathering, especially when empowering non-technical users. On the other hand, Power Apps is better suited for more complex applications that require custom functionality, integration with multiple data sources, and a branded user interface.

By carefully evaluating your project requirements and considering factors such as cost,  complexity, customization needs, and user roles, you can make an informed decision on whether to use no-code solutions or opt for the more advanced capabilities of Power Apps.

And remember, it doesn’t have to be either/or — you can embed a form in an app, use a form or pulse as simple data capture and trigger a Power Automate flow, or capture data that is later leveraged in a Power App.

Let’s Talk!

Hitachi Solutions has a whole team of experts who live and breathe Microsoft, Power Platform, and rapid digital solution delivery. So please reach out if you have any questions about this topic. We are always on hand to help you unlock the full potential of no code, low code, and app development for your organization.