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No-Code/Low-Code Use Cases in the Enterprise

This is an article from DZone’s 2022 Low Code and No Code Trend Report.

For more:

Read the Report

In a world of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other ubiquitous, individual-user applications, enterprise applications have taken a quiet background role in the minds of average users and even many software developers. Despite being underhyped, enterprise applications are the foundation that underpins many of the necessities and amenities that we take for granted in our lives. From hospitals to municipal governments and businesses, enterprise applications are at the heart of what drives our economies and non-profits. 

As no-code and low-code automated testing have increased in popularity over the last few years, they have fit hand-and-glove with many enterprise applications. In this article, we will explore why no- and low-code automated testing is such a natural fit for enterprise applications and some use cases that will allow us to maximize the benefits of this effective testing approach. 

Working in an Enterprise Environment

While individual-user applications have taken the forefront in the minds of average users, enterprise applications are an essential part of the software development world. Unlike their counterparts, enterprise applications focus on providing a software product to an organization or set of organizations. These organizations are usually businesses, municipalities, schools, hospitals, non-profits, and a host of other pervasive groups.

Examples of enterprise applications include: 

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) 
  • Backup and recovery 
  • Payment processing 
  • Video conferencing 
  • Cloud and storage services 

Since these products are targeted to organizations, enterprise applications have a few unique characteristics: 

  • They have a central purpose. 
  • They have numerous stakeholders who often wish to be involved in defining use cases. 
  • They are usually large systems that need to scale. 
  • They have a well-defined interface (possibly visual). 

These traits directly affect the way that we test our enterprise applications. Due to stakeholder involvement in use cases, we must have a testing environment that allows non-technical personnel to create end-to-end (E2E) tests. 

Additionally, since the end-user will interact with the system through an interface — likely a graphical user interface (GUI) or application programming interface (API) — we must have an environment where stakeholders can create tests that interact directly with these interfaces without dealing directly with code.

We must also allow tests to change rapidly when new features are introduced or existing features are modified. This is an ideal scenario for no- and low-code automated testing. Not only do no- and low-code tests abstract the code of our system, providing a mechanism for non-technical stakeholders to create tests, they also allow us to easily create new tests and modify existing tests that interact directly with the end-user interfaces of our product. 

No-Code/Low-Code Enterprise Use Cases

Code-based testing still has its place, even for more abstract tests, such as E2E and system tests, but no- and low-code automated testing frameworks can be helpful for three main use cases: 

When to UseWhen Not to Use
1. Involving non-technical stakeholders1. Testing low-level code
2. Testing visual workflows2. Testing simple system or E2E workflows
3. Testing rapidly changing workflows3. Incorporating with highly technical build or deployment pipelines

Involving Non-Technical Stakeholders

For most enterprise products, a handful of organizations will become the main drivers for which features take priority (sometimes called priority or critical customers). In many cases, these priority customers will want a say in which features are added or improved in the product. Ideally, the stakeholder creating a use case should also create basic E2E tests that ensure the product meets the specification of the use case, but, unfortunately for development teams, many of the priority customers driving the use cases are non-technical. 

This is where no- and low-code automated testing frameworks shine. Instead of having a developer attempt to interpret the needs of the stakeholder and create code-based tests for the product — watering down the direct influence the priority customer has in the product — non-technical stakeholders can create their own tests directly using the no- or low-code testing framework. This allows stakeholders to: 

  • Create new tests
  • Modify existing tests 
  • View reports, including performance and complexity of tests 

In many cases, we do not want to give a stakeholder unfettered access to our E2E tests, so we can apply access controls and even institute an approval process. Even when such restrictions are added, the stakeholder is still given the privilege of creating tests, which ensures greater buy-in and more direct involvement in the development of the product. 

Testing Visual Workflows

Given the organizational nature of the end-user, many enterprise products will include a GUI that allows the user to interact with the product in a human-friendly way. While these interfaces are well-suited for human interaction, they can be difficult to automatically test. Fortunately, many no- and low-code test frameworks include features that allow us to exercise visual components. This ensures that we do not have to: 

  • Have intricate knowledge of the GUI code to create tests
  • Support complex code-based libraries to test visual components
  • Alter tests when the visual traits of components (such as position or color) change

While there are numerous code-based automated testing frameworks for GUIs, they require us to have an intricate understanding of the UI components — including Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) IDs and classes — and they are not created by exercising the GUI in the same way a user would (i.e., we create code rather than clicking buttons and entering text on the GUI like the user would). These code-based frameworks have their place for GUI testing, and it is unlikely that no- and low-code frameworks will completely replace their code-based counterparts, but no- and low-code tools can be a worthwhile addition to many large-scale enterprise applications. 

Testing Rapidly Changing Workflows

Even the most central features of an enterprise application grow over time, and this growth sometimes changes how a user interacts with a product. For example, if a feature adds a new set of options, a user may have to interact with a new page in our GUI to select his or her options before completing the remainder of the workflow. In many code-based automated testing frameworks, this could throw a monkey wrench into an existing E2E test. 

On the other hand, many no- and low-code automated testing frameworks segment test cases into discrete steps. For example, a button press or entering specific characters into a field may be considered a single step. These steps are then chained together to create a single test case. Many of these no- and low-code tools allow us to reorder, remove, or add new steps to a test case. This can be useful for adapting our tests to changing workflows, especially for workflows that are rapidly changing (such as a new or prototype feature). 


In an era where individual-user software applications — such as Facebook and YouTube — dominate the conscience of average users, enterprise software has quietly taken a backseat. Despite this, enterprise software still underpins a large portion of our software-driven world, and no- and low-code automated testing is becoming an essential aspect of enterprise development. While code-based testing will likely stick around, even for E2E and system testing, no- and low-code frameworks can provide enterprise application developers with a critical tool in their toolbox that reduces development time and drives greater profit growth through increased stakeholder involvement.  

This is an article from DZone’s 2022 Low Code and No Code Trend Report.

For more:

Read the Report

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