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Choosing Web & Mobile Application Development Platforms

What to know when choosing a mobile app development platformWhen considering a mobile app development product, don't only look at technical features or the ease of drag-and-drop solutions.  Consider how software licensing and deployment could make it the right -- or not right -- solution for your organization.

Demand for mobile enterprise apps continues to grow. Native application development won't allow companies to scale, so low-code mobile app development is the 

Businesses seeking to mobilize their workforce turn to a variety of mobile and web development platforms to help them get the job done. Careful consideration is required when evaluating platforms for building mobile apps. When looking at platforms for building mobile and web business apps there are a number of key considerations:

  1. Does the platform have the fundamental capabilities to get the mobile app built?
  2. Does the platform have the fundamental capabilities to get the mobile app built?
  3. Does it do cross-platform mobile app development for multiple platforms and operating systems (iOS and Android)?
  4. Does it build mobile apps with outstanding user experiences?
  5. How long will it take to get the app built and does it truly speed development time?
  6. Does the software development platform make it easy to deploy apps to the app stores?
  7. What will it cost to get the app built in terms of application development resources (people and money?)
  8. What will my ongoing licensing costs be?

In many places on the Alpha Software website we explain how Alpha Anywhere offers real benefits to develop mobile and web applications. The Software delivers on all of these 8 factors. 

Next, let's look at the licensing costs for mobile app development solutions, and where they can benefit or hurt organizations. 

 

The Two Different Licensing Models for Mobile App Development Tools

  1. A user-based or named user pricing model. This model is used by SalesForce and most of the other mobile development platforms.
  2. A server-based or concurrent user pricing model. Alpha Anywhere uses this model.

Understanding a User-based Licensing Model for Mobile App Development Tools

Understand the costs to add users to your mobile app development platformOnce your app is built, there is a monthly (or yearly charge) for each user on the system, regardless of how often (or infrequently) they use the system. Each user needs a license and the mobile app costs tend to add up quickly (even if the monthly charge/user is low) when you begin scaling your app(s) to serve larger sets of business users.  

For example, let’s say you build an app for an alumni association of a university. There could be tens of thousands of people who will use the app, but most of these people will not be using the app (or more precisely hitting the server) at exactly the same point in time. In a user-based pricing model, it does not matter that most users will not be putting load on the server at any given time.

In this model, you would effectively end up being charged simply for providing users with the right to use the app, independent of how often they used the app or what load they put on the app.

The other problem with this model is that it tends to work for internal apps in a company or organization where users can be authenticated. The model breaks down for external or public-facing mobile or web apps because you don't know how many people will access it and counting and identifying could be problematic.

 

Understanding a Server-based Licensing Model for Mobile App Development Software

Costs are a key aspect of mobile app development platformsIn this model, it does not matter how many people in total use the app at some point in time. All that matters is how many users are on the app at exactly the same time, i.e. concurrent users. When the number of concurrent users exceeds a certain threshold, you will then add additional servers. This will help to handle the increased server load and therefore maintain performance, without incurring additional costs before you need to.

Firstly, these customers pay only for the actual usage of the system. Therefore they are not bound by a fixed ​number of licensed users. This allows the business to scale at a much more reasonable cost (assuming the server license is reasonable).

Secondly, if the mobile or web app is also intended for use by persons who are external to the company, then this model is the only practical model because it easily scales in either direction with the normal ebb and flow of load on the system at an affordable rate.​ ​In summary, when you are evaluating application development platforms, be sure to look carefully at the licensing model to see which model will work best - now and in the months to come.

 

A Better Way: Alpha Anywhere, The Best Mobile App Development Platform

Community Edition Mobile App Development SoftwareCreate Apps for iOS and Android  with Outstanding User Experiences

Alpha Anywhere builds apps that work on any mobile device like native mobile apps. Instead of having to do iOS and Android development for each app, the software produces cross-platform apps that run on any operating system or mobile device like native applications. Users don't need to know multiple programming languages but can build apps with mapping, photo capture, push notifications, and more from the low-code user interface.

Alpha Anywhere Community Edition allows you to prototype, test, and build cross-platform iOS and Android apps at no cost and with no obligation. This gives organizations the ultimate freedom and flexibility to take all the time they need to scope, develop, test, and optimize an app, prior to putting it into full production.

Developers only pay when it's time to deploy their application to a wide base of users. Alpha Cloud plans start at just $99 per month, and the software takes care of server licensing, redundancy, monitoring, DevOps tools, and more.

Build Mobile Apps for Free with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition

Alpha Software Corporation accelerates digital innovation and eliminates the bottleneck traditionally associated with developing business apps by enabling line of business users and IT developers to work in parallel to build business apps. The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment platform with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components.

Using the 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 the built-in programming language. IT developers can use the low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows, and add additional security requirements to protect corporate data. 

Further reading: Progressive Web Apps are Heating Up

Understanding the Use Cases and Benefits of Offline Applications
Jumpstart Business App Development with Alpha Anywhere's Built-in Quick Start Mobile Templates

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 www.tubifi.com.


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.

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