Low-code development and model-driven engineering: Two sides of the same coin?

Davide Di Ruscio*, Dimitris Kolovos, Juan de Lara, Alfonso Pierantonio, Massimo Tisi, Manuel Wimmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last few years have witnessed a significant growth of so-called low-code development platforms (LCDPs) both in gaining traction on the market and attracting interest from academia. LCDPs are advertised as visual development platforms, typically running on the cloud, reducing the need for manual coding and also targeting non-professional programmers. Since LCDPs share many of the goals and features of model-driven engineering approaches, it is a common point of debate whether low-code is just a new buzzword for model-driven technologies, or whether the two terms refer to genuinely distinct approaches. To contribute to this discussion, in this expert-voice paper, we compare and contrast low-code and model-driven approaches, identifying their differences and commonalities, analysing their strong and weak points, and proposing directions for cross-pollination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-446
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has received funding from the Lowcomote project under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 813884. The work has also been partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science (RTI2018-095255-B-I00) and the R&D programme of Madrid (P2018/TCS-4314).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Low-code development
  • Model-driven engineering
  • No-code development

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