Alpha Software Blog

Mobile Development: Solving the Mobile Application Gap

How Does Alpha Anywhere Help Thousands of Companies Solve the Mobile App Gap?

Alpha Anywhere mobile application development softwareEnterprises everywhere want to mobilize their workforce to increase productivity and gain a competitive edge. However, most lack the development resources to meet their mobile application demands. App developers are hard to find, requiring a large amount of time to interview and hire - resulting in delays in building mobile apps. Alpha Anywhere seeks to solve the mobile app gap, not with manpower, but with a low-code, rapid mobile application development environment that enables developers to build a mobile app once and deploy it to as many devices and platforms as you want.Read the article on the Alpha Site here or scroll through the article below.

The Gap Between the Number of Mobile Apps That Companies Want and the Number They Have Actually Built is Huge

    • 61% of Fortune 1000 companies have built 3 or fewer mobile applications. (IDC May 2014)
    • 20 million enterprise mobile apps will be built by 2018. (Gartner)
    • 1.2 billion smartphones to ship in 2014, representing 19.3 percent growth over 2013. (IDC)
    • The mobile application platform market will grow 38.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 1.4 billion in 2013 to $4.8 billion by 2017. (IDC)

That's Why We Built Alpha Anywhere 3.0

The Solution to Solving the Mobile Business Application Gap

There are 5 major factors contributing to the gap

The current crop of cross-platform mobile application development platforms:

    • Are incomplete (lack all the necessary tools)
    • Address the front end (client) or back end (server) but not both
    • Miss the mark in terms being too code intensive or lack the ability to code when necessary
    • Fail to address the critical but challenging problem of being able to continue to work when there is no signal without massive cost/time
And, there is a shortage of mobile capable developers

Until Now, Building These Apps Has Been Very Hard, Time Consuming and Expensive Because of:

    • Limited screen real estate
    • The need for responsive design to adapt to different screen sizes/orientation
    • The need to run on multiple different mobile devices and the desktop web
    • The need to adapt to a new swipe/gesture user experience
    • The need to connect with backend data securely
    • Challenges resulting from non-existent or inconsistent connectivity

One Approach to Building Mobile Apps is Using Code-Centric Platforms and Writing Lots of Code

High Code Approach 1:
Code natively in Objective C, Swift, Java etc. Time consuming and results in single platform app.

High Code Approach 2:
Code using HTML5/CSS3/Javascript (there are 10x the number of web capable developers vs native developers according to IDC, 2014). BUT you end up having to write a lot of code and having to master code-centric frameworks like, Bootstrap, angular.JS, etc.
There are a lot of great code-oriented tools that are intellectually challenging to learn...but soon the technology stack starts feeling more like a warehouse!
And all you really want to do is get the job done, done right and cost effectively. A serious but humorous blog on this.

Also, This "High Code" Approach Requires Skilled Developers Who Are Hard to Find!

So If "High Code" is Going to Be Too Complex, Expensive and Time-Consuming...What About "No Code

At first blush, the "no code" options sounds great and the promise is that it will speed up development, but as you dive in, you find that you invariably "hit the wall" and can't complete the project because sometimes you really do need to code.
There is nothing worse for a developer than to get 95% of a project done, but then being unable to complete the mission because the platform they are using does not have the needed programmability to ensure ultimate success!

What You Really Want is a "Low Code" Platform that Requires as Little Code as Possible to Maximize Productivity, But Lets You Code When You Need To

Alpha Anywhere 3.0 is a "low code solution"
Alpha Anywhere was designed to do this. It eliminates having to learn a whole stack and makes sure that you don't get stuck in terms of not being able to get your apps built, and built in a timely fashion. Watch the Low Code Overview Video

In Addition, Mobile Applications For Business Involve Both The Back-End (Databases and Business Rules) AND the Front-End (Modern Mobile User Experience)

But, the vast majority of current mobile platforms are either front-end OR back-end.
The complete solution to acheive productivity and power tightly integrates the front-end AND back-ends like Alpha Anywhere 3.0.

Alpha Anywhere Includes a Complete Set of Built-in Tools to Ensure that You Won't Run Out of Steam

    • Role based security with mobile device management
    • Banded multi-pass reporting and charting
    • Scheduling
    • Mapping/geolocation
    • Video and image support
    • Seamless Adobe PhoneGap Integration built-in
    • Standards Based with seamless data integration (SQL, NoSQL, Web Services, HTML5, open architecture, extensible, Node.js, etc.)

Offline - The Elephant in the Room

"The hottest trend in mobile...Suddenly, the industry woke up to the reality that we can't always get connected."

-ComputerWorld May 2014
Connectivity in the real world can be unpredictable, intermittent, non-existent or slow. Which means that without offline support, you are unable to work.

According to VDC Research, 89% of businesses regard offline (disconnected) support for mobile applications to be either somewhat or extremely critical.

Many organizations specify "offline access" as a required feature of their app, but quickly remove that feature when the development teams responds with the estimate of what it will take to architect and build offline support.

With other platforms, adding offline support can TRIPLE the cost of development (Wired Magazine, June 2014) but in Alpha Anywhere, because offline features are built-in, there is no incremental time or cost to build offline mobile apps.

Offline issues that Alpha Anywhere addresses with its built-in functionality include:

    • Security and Compliance
    • Linking to Enterprise Databases
    • Conflict Resolution
    • User Control
    • Data Integrity
    • Persisting Local Data
    • Development Cost
Learn more About Alpha Anywhere's Offline Capabilities

So, If Your Are a Developer, Manager or Business Owner You Should Be Checking Out Alpha Anywhere Because it Gets You Equipped for the Mobile Era in the Fastest, Most Cost-effective Way Possible

And the result is apps built in days or weeks vs. months or years.

Ready to Get Started Building Mobile Apps?

Download Free Trial

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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.