04-801-O3   No/low-code For Electronic Business

Location: Africa

Units: 6

Semester Offered: Spring

Course description

The coursework includes in-class discussions and a final course project: constructing and implementing a prototype of a no-code/low-code tool for a specific use case in a company. Students will group in teams of 2-3 students. It is essential to begin work on the course project at the start of the course. The students will be divided into teams of 2-3. Every team is required to build a prototype using a no-code/low-code platform for a certain enterprise use case and present their group work during the last meeting of the class.

Students will be provided access to a certain widely used no-code/low-code tool (e.g., Tulip). Each team has to make a proposal, which will be discussed in class. Then each team shall construct a prototype using the provided no-code/low-code tool. Aside from the technical realization, business aspects such as business process considerations, process documentation, and others are to be covered. The project and prototype will be presented in the last meeting. No-code/low-code tools enable companies to rapidly build portals, reuse interfaces, and tailor functionality to specific experiences for internal and external users.

No-code/low-code platforms provide employees the ability to build applications with an intuitive and easy-to-use design interface. This enables employees to build apps without any extensive programming knowledge (sometimes referred to as “democratize application development”). “Low-code” refers to a modular software development approach that picks and connects blocks of code to build an application. Low-code development platforms are the ones that demand a level of coding but make it extremely easy for the low-code and no-code app builders to develop new apps in the least turnaround time.

“No-code” development extends the low-code approach in a way that requires essentially no coding knowledge(usage of drag-and-drop). Applications are assembled with the help of functional, reusable building blocks. Gartner (2019) estimates that low-code app platforms would account for over 65% of development by 2024. Typical advantages of the use of no-code/low-code tools are rapid application development, cost-effectiveness, and enabling new revenue streams and business models. During the course, guidance will be given by the instructor (Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ostheimer, CMU-Africa) and an industry partner as well. Part of the course will be delivered in person at CMU-Africa, and part of the course will be delivered via Zoom.

Learning objectives

A structured way of thinking is essential as the students have to analyze an enterprise use case and develop a no-code/low-code-based solution. Students will gain the ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering. The prototype, which will be developed by the students in this course, is a real-world company example, students will gain an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of cultural and economic factors.

Students will gain an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences as there will be the integration of an industry partner in this course. As students will work in teams of 2-3, they will gain the ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives. During this course, students will develop a prototype, which will improve their ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions. As students will improve their knowledge on no-code/low-code platforms, they will be able to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


After completing this course, students will be able to do the following:

  • Explain the importance of no-code/low-code platform use in enterprises
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of no-code/low-code platforms in enterprises
  • Assess the business value of the no-code/low-code platform use
  • Analyze business processes concerning their suitability for the use of no-code/low-code tools
  • Develop a prototype using a no-code/low-code platform for use in an enterprise use case
  • Present and discuss their results with students in class, faculty, and industry partners

Content details

  • Overview of no-code/low-code platforms
  • Features of no-code/low-code platforms
  • Advantages and disadvantages of no-code/low-code platforms
  • Use cases for the application of no-code/low-code tools in enterprises
  • Analyzing a business process for the development of a no-code/low-code prototype
  • Development of a no-code/low-code prototype
  • Presentation and discussion of the results




Bernhard Ostheimer