Alpha Software Blog

Criteria for RMAD selection:Building apps that behave like mobile apps

Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) can help businesses speed digital transformation by making app development possible for more employees.

As companies realize the real benefits of building custom, offline-capable mobile solutions for their workforce who work primarily standing up (medical personnel, inspectors, technicians, construction workers, salespeople, market researchers, production workers, quality control workers, Oil and Gas workers, warehouse personnel  etc,), the pressure to deliver CRUD mobile apps that connect to back end databases and systems is growing.

Factoid: 60% of workers worldwide work standing up (2.6 Billion people)
Organizations have been thinking and planning for the day  (within 5 years,) when 50% of enterprise apps will be mobile (according to Gartner) but they are also realizing that the time to act is now if they want to maintain their competitive position in the market.

Traditional approaches like building apps using the native Apple and Android and Microsoft tool-kits present three problems:

  1. They require highly skilled developers who are often simply not available at rates that confirm to HR guidelines.
  2. Apps have to be built for each hardware platform.
  3. Apps take a long time to build and are expensive.

Points 1 and 3, and to some extent point 2, also apply to MADP (Mobile Application Development Platform), such as Xamarin, which are very much coding-centric.

As a result of this problem, certain software vendors have introduced RMAD (Rapid Mobile Application Development - a Gartner term) platforms that can be used by a much broader base of developers and even analysts and power-users in line of business. Forrester calls this category "low code" and we call it "coding-optional"

Analysts have written extensively about this topic and have started to classify RMAD platforms as either "simple or sophisticated." Most of the RMAD tools or platforms fall into the "simple" category and the number of "sophisticated" products is much smaller. See the picture below from the Gartner AADI conference.

Gartner discusses RMAD selection.

The key difference between "simple" and "sophisticated" is the ability to write custom code if need be to ensure the project can be 100% completed, although the objective is to minimize this as much as possible to achieve productivity and to broaden the base of people who can develop using the platform. As you can see Alpha Anywhere is in the "sophisticated" bucket and its strength is recognized by its InfoWorld 2016 Technology of the Year Award and by its #1 ranking by enterprises on Gartner Peer Insights.

There is another very important consideration in selecting an RMAD platform.

Typically you want the app to be able to run as a web app on desktop computers and as true mobile app on mobile devices. What this means is that you want the mobile app to be indistinguishable from a native app and be more than simply being a responsive web app that adjusts to screen real-estate of mobile.

Alpha Anywhere is in fact the only sophisticated RMAD that meets these increasingly critical criteria which is driven by the rising User Experience expectations of the users of internal (b2b and b2e) business apps.

Get a demo or contact to learn more.
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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.