Here’s the question of the day: can you program without code? To even attempt an answer, we need to dig a little deeper. What is code, when you get right down to it?
“If you think about it, programming language — code — is really just a means to an end. It is a tool that one would use to express logic. Logic is everywhere, and with all the IoT services and mobile devices and all these forms of communication, you can see services running pretty much everywhere,” says Mark Piller, Chief Architect of Backendless. “For example, whenever you ask Alexa a question, it sends a request to a server where some service runs and processes your question and sends a response. We thought, wouldn’t it be cool if you could create a custom Alexa skill without writing any code? Right now, you have to know a programming language to create an Alexa skill.”
Codeless by Backendless is a new server-side PaaS with a visual interface that allows you to make an API call to query a database, save information in a database run, upload a file, publish a push notification, and register a user, among various other tasks. The platform also handles scaling out the servers and keeping them up and running. It is designed to create complex business logic — whether it’s an API service or event handlers or logic executed according to a schedule — without knowing any programming language.
The platform uses an app called Blockly. Individual elements are presented visually as puzzle pieces that can be snapped together to create your logic. Code is written automatically, which you can view if you’re interested. You can also run tests and deploy it as an API service. Once you have created your Codeless service, it’s represented by its own block, and you can start building composite services as well.
In other words, by Piller’s definition — yes, you can program without code.
Codeless is included in the free version of Backendless. For a more in-depth introduction to Codeless, check out the video library here, starting with the video below.