Click, Not Code: The Benefits of Declarative Programming vs. Imperative Programming

We live in a digital world. To keep up with employee and customer expectations, innovation through technology is increasingly becoming a nonnegotiable. Whether it’s a website to direct customers your way, an app to help improve their experience, or another project altogether, this naturally means that some kind of software development is needed.

To accomplish your goals, there are two types of programming you can turn to: imperative programming and declarative programming. Both have benefits, but how do you figure out which is best for you? First, it’s important to understand the difference between them.

Imperative programming, otherwise known as traditional or code-oriented programming, denotes the means of programming by using certain coding languages — such as C#, C++, Java, and so on — to tell a computer exactly how to perform an action. This requires a skilled developer with programming knowledge. This developer will build the application brick by brick using blocks of code, usually in a terminal window or some other highly specialized development environment.

On the other hand, declarative programming accomplishes the same results by basically telling the computer the end result and letting the computer figure out how to get there. In simpler terms, declarative programming denotes the kind of click or drag-and-drop solutions that allow someone without coding knowledge to build an application. The blocks of code are prewritten and packaged into components that you can just select as needed.

While there are certainly benefits of traditional imperative programming — experienced programmers prefer the freedom given by a more open source environment — most business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to create an application benefit from using those declarative programming drag-and-drop solutions.


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There is no need to hire a specialist coder or software developer.

If you are in charge of a small business or startup, you need to save money wherever you can. Every new hire counts, and when it might not even be for a permanent position, any way to avoid hiring can make all the difference. For one thing, you will save a lot of money on a full-time salary, as well as resources needed for hiring and onboarding. Furthermore, the savings will allow you to devote more time to other essential aspects of your job.

One other potential solution would be to learn how to code yourself, which is similarly avoided by using a drag-and-drop solution. If you are running a business, there is a good chance that you do not have the time to dedicate to learning a new programming language.

Declarative programming provides a much quicker turnaround.

Timing is everything in business; 76% of IT leaders say that speed of application or project delivery is a critically or very important KPI, and 67% of IT leaders say that improving the speed of development cycles is a critical or high priority. However, despite this, only 45% of IT leaders can design/prototype an app per business requirements in under a month, and just 47% can deploy an app in under a month. A drag-and-drop solution can dramatically decrease this turnaround, as most of the essential code is prewritten. From concept to completion, a declarative programming platform will allow your project to be developed much quicker than if you had to write the code yourself.

It is simple and easy to customize your project.

When you develop your project using one of these drag-and-drop platforms, editing and customizing things becomes easy. You are able to dip back into development and alter things without having to know complex coding languages. Though you may not have quite the level of customization as you would with imperative programming, most platforms still give you the same benefits that would usually require an entire department of IT.

Furthermore, many platforms will still allow you to opt for a certain amount of access to code if you have the resources and know-how to do so.

Declarative programming platforms provide other benefits.

As well as a quick turnaround in the initial development phase, declarative programming generally allows for quicker and simpler problem resolution. You can identify issues without having to dive into lines and lines of code and examine them closely.

Furthermore, these kinds of solutions also allow for scalability. Your platform or app can grow with you, however you need it to. Declarative platforms are often simpler and safer, so they are easier to maintain and grow as needed.

One such platform is the Lightning Platform from Salesforce. The Lightning Platform empowers business owners with all of the tools of a developer, without requiring an advanced skill set. Using the Lighting Platform, you can:

  • Personalize and build apps with a multitude of configurable components, allowing you to create pages and responsive, custom apps with simple drag-and-drop functions

  • Drive the productivity of your business and transform complex processes into apps with Process Builder and Lightning Flow, including point-and-click workflow and process tools

  • Use the Lightning Design System to save development time and create complex apps with design patterns, components, and the best user experience, maintaining consistency with new styles without manually updating your code

  • Build apps faster and quickly scale development with Lightning Components

In addition to this, Salesforce AppExchange provides a marketplace and ecosystem where you can find complete apps to incorporate. Salesforce offers comprehensive trust and security with its declarative programming platform.

Seventy-one percent of high-performing IT leaders view low-code/visual development as a critical or high priority, and 74% of IT leaders currently use or plan to use low-code development in the next 12–18 months. Whether your business is in a tech-related industry or something that could not be further from it, you will need technological innovation to keep up with your competitors. This doesn’t mean that you have to hire a dedicated development team; look into how the Salesforce Lightning Platform can help you to get there now.

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