What Every Good Web App Builder Needs to Have

KiSSFLOW

August 31st, 2018 RAD  

Viola recently took up the job as the head of the IT department. But she’s been having issues with task mismanagement. Device requests, audits, application requests–all of these are piling up in her department, and there’s no structured method to tackle all of them. She was able to handle the immediate problems, like software authorization requests easily. But the constant stream of custom application requests was weighing her department down. Viola can’t ask for a fresh round of hiring, since HR already said they can’t hire with the current budget crunch.

Since she couldn’t hire more developers, Viola needed some way to make her existing developers work faster. She could use an app builder–it worked fairly well in her previous organization when they faced a similar situation–but the stakes are bigger now and she’s not convinced that app builders are up to the challenge.

It turns out that app builders have developed greatly in the last few years and IT leaders like Viola can start using them to tackle some of their most pressing needs.  

What Online App Builders Have to Offer

Designed to make software development easier and faster for developers, online app builders have some standout features when compared to regular development environments.

A Scalable Solution

Online app builders can be scaled up depending on the requirement at hand. If your apps have a higher user requirement, those apps can be scaled up to meet the need without building something from the ground up. This method makes scaling up much more cost-effective than building something entirely new when you have a bigger user requirement.

When compared to hiring new staff each time you have a bigger development need, app builders are cheaper. New hires are expensive in many unseen ways, but an app builder is either a one-time purchase or a cheap monthly subscription.

Secure and On the Cloud

With online app builders, all your code is stored in the cloud, which makes development easy to share on the go. If you have different offices in different physical locations, development is even faster. You don’t need to set up a private network with network keys to share a production database. There’s a single central location for all your offices, regardless of how many branches there are.

The security of your online app builder depends on the vendor. The top providers will offer better controls than you could manage with on-premise options, but you need to do some background research before choosing the right vendor.

No Backups

With manual app building through hand coding, you’ll need to be prepared for hardware failures, and take constant backups.  

But with a credible online app builder, backups and versioning are nothing to worry about. All of your apps are updated and the most current version is ready to use by everyone.

What to Look For in an Web App Builder

Best app builders will have most, if not all of the features listed below. These features make app development much easier.

Easy Interface

The app builder’s interface should be easy enough to understand, but should also house all the functions and features you need to build your app with all the functionalities you want.

Most app builders have a fairly easy-to-use interface, but not all of them have been updated based on current usability trends in UI. Try out a few app builders to see which interface meets your needs.  

Templates

Another thing to note when buying an app builder is the number and quality of pre-built templates available on the app builder’s store. The more templates you have, and the more useful they are, the less chance you’ll have to build an app from scratch.

Vendor Support

Vendor support is crucial for an app builder. Without proper support, any hiccups you encounter can be difficult to overcome. If you have a functionality that isn’t available in their templates and functions, ask if the vendor can help you code the implementation. If they can’t, see how much effort it’ll take to do it yourself. These are situations you’ll want to anticipate before you purchase or subscribe to an app builder.

How RAD can be Used to Create Engaging Apps

RAD, or rapid application development, is a method of developing apps quickly without the usual delays and cycles of traditional development models. RAD’s strength lies in speed and  direct feedback from the end user.

When it comes to creating apps which engage users, rapid application development is the perfect development model. One of RAD’s core features is user feedback, taken at the end of every development iteration. After developers receive the feedback, they work on the next prototype. This prototype follows the feedback the end user provided about the previous prototype.

This tight loop of user feedback and quick development allows developers to program apps which users engage with easily. An online app builder hastens RAD’s development cycle. With faster prototypes, you can get quicker feedback to improve your app.

If you’re going to use an online app builder to build an app which users will want to engage with, the RAD model is your best bet.

Conclusion

With some in-depth research and trial and error, Viola was able to find an online app builder that suited her requirements. It provided an easy development platform for her team to work on, enabling them to develop apps faster than they could with manual hand coding.

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