Building Apps Without Code: 7 Options For Your Enterprise - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Data Management // Software Platforms
News
8/23/2015
12:06 PM

Building Apps Without Code: 7 Options For Your Enterprise

Application building no longer means learning to code. Here are seven products and services that can help you develop apps without developing programming skills.
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App Press

App Press is all about the presentation. Specifically, it's about designing and deploying apps (for iOS and Android) with rich media content that can be tweaked with Java or HTML5 but require no coding to get up and running.
The 'up and running' piece of that statement is important. One of the things App Press focuses on is helping organizations deploy, host, and manage their apps. The apps are designed to be either internal or customer focused and can be presented to users on your website, the Apple Store, or Google Play. In all the cases, though, App Press hosts and manages the apps, so that successful campaigns don't hit your servers.
Pricing varies widely, from $30 per month for individuals looking to learn about app creation and publish a single app to $460 per month per user (developer) for those intending to build a business around multiple high-volume apps. If there's a business unit that wants to be in the app business and doesn't know how to start, App Press could very well be a conversation worth having.

(Image: App Press)

App Press

App Press is all about the presentation. Specifically, it's about designing and deploying apps (for iOS and Android) with rich media content that can be tweaked with Java or HTML5 but require no coding to get up and running.

The "up and running" piece of that statement is important. One of the things App Press focuses on is helping organizations deploy, host, and manage their apps. The apps are designed to be either internal or customer focused and can be presented to users on your website, the Apple Store, or Google Play. In all the cases, though, App Press hosts and manages the apps, so that successful campaigns don't hit your servers.

Pricing varies widely, from $30 per month for individuals looking to learn about app creation and publish a single app to $460 per month per user (developer) for those intending to build a business around multiple high-volume apps. If there's a business unit that wants to be in the app business and doesn’t know how to start, App Press could very well be a conversation worth having.

(Image: App Press)

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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 10:45:20 AM
Re: Programmer's Perspective
@Somedude8: I have been using the Zoho environment for quite some time now, frankly because I didn't want to develop web apps by hand, i.e. I thought wasting time on simple projects is really unnecessary, and that is why I sought Zoho's help and you should know that it is not completely useless. 
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 10:44:04 AM
Re: Programmer's Perspective
Exactly! I am often the first to question the ROI of having simple things programmed from scratch when there are OTS tools available that fit the bill. I suspect that that most non-IT departments still have the scars from IT smacking their fingers with rulers for so many years at the mere mention of doing something without their blessing, so relish the 'freedom' they mostly have these days. A middle ground like you describe is exactly what I believe needs to happen for the most effective results to be achieved.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 10:43:10 AM
Re: Programmer's Perspective
@Curt: I don't think IT has anything to do with thinking itself to be an "integrated system" because it is not. Support and side development is all what I manage to picturize when thinking about IT. Core computing and core development cannot be classified into IT, IT as we know is Information Technology but in real life IT means backup and support. Having worked in an IT firm for 2 years I have learn't the use of many tools and how to solve problems with these tools at your disposal. 
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
8/24/2015 | 10:40:06 AM
Re: Programmer's Perspective
@Somedude8, I think your experience is why IT needs to be involved, even if IT staff isn't doing the "front line" app development. If you were involved in the selection of tools and "consulted" on program design, it might well maximize the effect of your time while allowing the business unit the control (and speed) they're looking for.

I hear from more and more executives that enterprise IT needs to think of itself as an internal system integrator rather than the only team allowed to touch application development. Picking the right tools and developing the right process for using them are steps that (it seems to me) IT should work on if they want to retain both influence and sanity.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
8/24/2015 | 10:31:21 AM
Re: Shadow IT
@Gigi3, thanks so much for your comment. I'm curious about your experience with Kepler: Do you find you can do everything you need just by dragging and dropping components, or do you have to hand-code specific routines? Most of the examples I found allow you to drag-and-drop for straightforward projects but admit that, for specific, high-demand cases, you would either need to code routines separately or choose another tool. It seems like that might crop up a bit more frequently in the scientific and engineering fields, but I'll admit that I could be wrong on this!
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 10:24:35 AM
Programmer's Perspective
As a programmer, freelance for the last few years, I have mixed feelings and experiences regarding build-the-application-without-a-programmer applications.

When directly exposed to them, its usually because their programmer-less program has reached some sort of capability or practicality ceiling, and now they need a programmer to 'extend' what they have 'built'. In theory, this can be done with some of these DIY applications, but in practice have never seen one that didn't require a complete rebuild. Its not a total loss though if lessons were learned about the business rules needed. But usually, its a disaster by the time I get called in.

The indirect exposure I get to them is almost always hearing about things that were built with zero input from IT. Sometimes these applications come to light because they are melting a server, or have been hacked, etc.

I guess I have an off center persepctive, as I don't usually get exposed to these applications until something goes pretty badly wrong. But that is part of the problem, the complete shutting out of IT in IT related matters.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 1:56:22 AM
Shadow IT
Kurtis, that's for leading an insight to such programming model. I think Canvas is almost similar to Kepler work flow; where building blocks can be drag and connect to form a programming model. We are using Kepler workflow models for engineering and scientific application developments.
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