The Top 5 Features to Look For in Rapid Application Development (RAD) Software

Jeremy Francis

July 9th, 2018 RAD  

What makes a piece of RAD software (Rapid Application Development software) stand out? What propels great RAD software? Is it all about the speed of app development, deployment, and modification, or is it about quality? Or is it the pricing?

We’ve taken a look at the top-rated RAD tools from trusted review sites like G2Crowd, TrustRadius, SoftwareSuggest, and more. Poring through volumes of bias-free reviews, we’ve narrowed down the top features that earn these tools the best ratings, leaving out branding and marketing that don’t impact the product.

Bonus: At the bottom of this list, you’ll find a table comparing the best tools rated according to these features!

⋙ App development doesn’t have to be slow! Here’s how you can speed it up with RAD frameworks.

Feature 1: Pre-Designed Application Templates

Rapid application development is all about nimble, quick development and modification. That’s why it’s handy to have a tool that provides app templates.

App templates are customizable apps that represent the most popular use cases. For example, a commonly app-ified business process is the leave request process. A great rapid application development software can provide a basic ‘leave request’ app that you can customize instead of creating your own from scratch.

Now that is a surefire high rating-earning feature!

Feature 2: Visual Development Support

Often using a low-code or no-code / zero-code approach, the best RAD software development tools let you bypass writing lines of code.

How is this done? Through a visual approach, which lays out the data operators through shapes on the screen linked by arrows that represent the flow of data. Yes, it is rather like creating a flowchart to represent what the app will do, before actually building it.

Except for one thing: the visual representation you create–that’s the app itself! This lends itself perfectly to the quick rendering and deployment that rapid application development software demands.

Feature 3: Lifecycle Management

With RAD software development, the first version of the app is never what the final version will be. The first version is primarily for observation and figuring out how the solution stack will be built.

If your RAD software lets you customize processes and organizational models throughout the lifetime of the app, then that’s what you need.

Rapid application development tools with the capability to drive this object-oriented way of programming through repeated prototyping, are winners on review sites.

Feature 4: Cross-Platform Compatibility

It’s not just about the developer; the end user of RAD software-created tools matters too.

Business users today work on a number of platforms–offices provide desktops, laptops, and even handheld devices, or let employees bring their own devices. This means that any given employee may be using the app you create using: computer browsers, dedicated desktop programs, cloud service, or mobile devices.

Cross-platform functionality is a highly-rated rapid application development feature, for this very reason. If the rapid application development software you use lets you to create apps that can be used across a variety of mediums, you have a winner on your hands.

Feature 5: WYSIWYG Form Designers

Like we’ve mentioned here, form designers in 2018 have no excuse for being anything short of spectacular.

If a rapid software development tool is going to be used to create apps that involve data collection through forms, the drag-and-drop features of a WYSIWYG designer tool are more necessity than a luxury.

The top rapid application development software on most review platforms all include this feature, helping them stand out from others that don’t.

From a thorough study of the top review aggregation sites, it’s easy to see which features rapid application development users are looking for. Now that we’ve gone through these, time to get to our bonus: the 5 rapid application development tools that dominate ‘top rapid application development tool’ lists.

Software Pros Cons Pricing
Zoho Creator
  • Enables non-IT business users to create apps
  • Quick creation, deployment
  • Lacks scalability
  • UI not well-received
$15/user/mo
KiSSFLOW

(Try for Free Now)

  • Simple, easy-to-use interface
  • Templates
  • Helpful support team
  • Must run apps on the KiSSFLOW platform
  • No access to the source code of apps
$9/user/mo
Outsystems
  • Designed for RAD methodology
  • Integrates easily with other tools
  • Not for big dev teams
  • Merging and deploying can be hard
$5,400/mo for 100 users
Bizagi
  • Intuitive modeler
  • Serves BPM + RAD needs
  • Exports limited to Bizagi Engine
  • Windows only
$26/user/mo
Appian
  • Quick, easy development
  • Seamless integration
  • Inaccurate error reports
  • Expensive
$90/user/mo

Create Custom Business Apps With
# 1 No-Code Platform

Join 10,000+ Companies Using KiSSFLOW

Disclaimer: All registered trademarks, company names and brand names used on this website are the property of their respective owners.