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Best low code mobile app development platforms

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

The team from Kumulos present a list of the best low-code app development platforms for building apps quickly and easily

App development codingApp development moves at a lightning pace. Take too long developing an app and you could be beaten to the marketplace by the newest app developer on the block. Or, in the case of an internal app for an enterprise, entire workflows could come to a grinding halt while a team of developers work out the newest UI bugs. Who has time for that? This is why we, at Kumulos have reviewed what we see as the best low-code app development platforms for building mobile apps.

Picking from the best low-code app development platforms may make your life easier. They make it simple to integrate with existing enterprise environments without developers having to write their own APIs or integrations. Kumulos’ partnership with low-code and no-code platforms allows highly sophisticated mobile apps be built with little or no technical skills and at a fraction of the cost and complexity normally required to build apps. Database connections, user verification, directory services and more all bundled up into handy to use libraries. Simply drag, drop and you’re done. Many low code platforms even come with Google and iTunes app store integration, so you can immediately submit new versions of your app to the stores and get them out the door.

So, which of the many low-code app development platforms is best for your need? It depends – some of these platforms work best at the enterprise level with powerful built in integrations, some make it easy to quickly get a MVP out the door and some have their strengths in mobile and POS applications. So, we’ve tried to create a comprehensive list, with what we saw as the strengths of each of these platforms.

Let’s take a look at the industry leaders and some of our picks for the best low-code platforms for building apps out there in the marketplace.

App Press
We could list dozens of reasons—hundreds, even— to choose App Press, but we get that you’re busy. So, we’ve narrowed it down. Here are the 3 most important things you should know: App Press has been in your shoes, has experience you can count on, and is obsessed with technology. What makes App Press really stand out is their ability to keep abreast of the latest technologies and emerging trends, rather than building their platform on technology that is ten years old and approaching obsolescence. To that end, App Press offers an easy to use, low-code platform for users looking to create, deploy and manage apps, without writing a single line of code. Their web-based platform can build native apps for both iOS and Android devices. In addition, developers can also use the App Press platform to publish their apps as well. Apps can be published directly to users, for example, as in a corporate environment, or can be submitted to both the Google Play and Apple App stores through the App Press dashboard with the click of a mouse. Looking for app analytics? No problem. App Press offers an easy, one step integration with Google Analytics.

Betty Blocks
Betty Blocks sets its stall firmly out to attract Enterprise businesses requiring rapid mobile application development without the need to know how to code. The Betty Blocks platform is centred around the idea of reusing components and leveraging the integration with a variety of services to enhance its core product. Customers can either choose to take pre-made apps from the public ‘Block-Store’ or the option to build components themselves and store these in their private ‘Block-Store’. There is also the option to then commercialise these own build ‘Blocks’ by selling them to the rest of the Betty Blocks community. The big advantage of the Betty Blocks platform is its flexibility and the ability to quickly and easily build and rebuild apps using its Block Technology.

Betty Blocks is recognized as one of the leading low-code/no-code platforms. For example, Forrester recently recognised them as a Leader in Mobile Low Code platforms for Business Developers, demonstrating their strong offering and their strong strategic vision.

AppInstitute
Targeted a little more towards the less tech-savvy end of the app builder spectrum, AppInstitute offer a no-code solution to build both native iOS and Android apps and Progressive Web Apps. AppInstitute’s primary audience is the busy small business owner, whether that’s a restaurant looking to manage bookings or online food ordering, a coffee shop owner seeking an easy way to boost loyalty within their customer base, or a retailer looking for an affordable and manageable mCommerce solution. The platform is a drag-and-drop interface, that allows a user to either select from a range of business-oriented templates, or start from scratch.

There is a catalogue of free ‘tabs’ that can be added to the app with functionalities like food ordering, product shopping, loyalty cards and appointment booking. Publishing to the app stores is made simple with a step-by-step publish wizard, and there are 3 clearly defined plans to choose from, depending on budget and requirements.

If you’ve not got time to build an app with AppInstitute, they also offer a ‘hire-a-pro’ service, wherein one of their team will create it for you.

Simplicité Software
Simplicité (pronounced simplicit-hey – they’re French!) is a low-code platform that allows users to create business applications easily and quickly – up to 10 times faster than standard development cycles. That’s because with Simplicité, development is done via a visual modeller. Developers build data relationships with the click of a mouse or can choose from one of the many built-in templates to get started quickly. Simplicité makes it – ahem, simple – to find solutions without reinventing the wheel. Once the Simplicité platform is hosted on the PaaS or IaaS server, everything is done online. There’s no need to install heavy clients, .as long as you have a web browser it all works seamlessly. And because everything is in the cloud – you’ll always be developing with the latest version of the platform. Simplicité exposes all its parameters, rules and business processes directly via the layers of APIs natively present in the platform. As a developer, you’re, of course, concerned about security – so is Simplicité – which is why it supports OAuth2, SAML, SSO, SSL, LDAP and thousands of security APIs by default.

Cotham Technologies
Cotham Technologies believes that app development should be easier, faster and smarter and through this ethos are transforming and shaping the way apps are created. Their innovative, patent-filed FloFrame technology suite includes FloPro, a no-code integrated development environment (IDE). FloPro allows organisations to design frictionless user interfaces and experiences (UI/UX) enabling the delivery of smart native mobile solutions at speed and lower costs of ownership. For organisations in the business of developing apps the FloPro platform enables significant acceleration in the development life cycle process – from ideation to app store implementation. Cotham’s FloFlame platform is powered by their patented FloCore™ engine and developers can use it to write once and deploy a single FloFrame solution across multiple platforms (iOS and Android) and multiple smart devices (phones, tablets, wearables, Smart TV). Looking for integration at the back end? No problem. With FloFrame’s box architecture, apps can connect to applications, social media, databases, filestores, and IoT Devices (either on premise or in the cloud). FloFrame supports end to end app lifecycle management from ideation/concept to solution delivery. No more juggling development tools for different platforms. With FloFrame, you can create, integrate, and modify at breakthrough speed. And when it comes time to deploy, FloFrame includes a simple one-click app store upload.

Xojo
For the last 20 years, Xojo has been enabling ordinary people to build extraordinary things with software. App development doesn’t have to be complicated and it shouldn’t have a huge learning curve, requiring an understanding of multiple programming languages and low-level details of each operating system. Xojo is a cross-platform development tool for creating apps for the desktop (macOS, Windows, Linux), mobile, web and Raspberry Pi. It’s modern, object-oriented and powerful, but also easy to learn – attributes rarely found together in one tool. Xojo lets you be ultra-productive, so you can develop your app about 10 times faster than with other tools. Development with Xojo is straight-forward – you drag and drop your user interface controls and use one simple programming language to implement your app’s functionality. The compiled applications are completely native to each platform and very secure. With 335,000 users worldwide and counting, Xojo is perfect for every level of developer – from hobbyist and citizen developers to professionals and beyond.

The best part? Guess what language Xojo was written in? Yep. Xojo.

Omnis Software
Omnis Software designs and sells Omnis Studio, a leading application development tool for creating enterprise, web and mobile applications. The Omnis Studio tool allows application developers and programmers to write application code and business logic once, and then deploy their applications on virtually any platform or device – including desktop PCs on Windows and macOS, as well as tablets and phones on iOS, Android and Windows. Support for a large range of client devices is enabled using the Omnis JavaScript Client – a unique JavaScript based technology for rendering the application UI and web forms in a standard web browser on desktops and mobile devices. The integration of data and services is available in Omnis Studio via REST based Web Services, and functionality can be extended within Omnis Studio by utilizing its powerful and flexible external components API. On the backend, Omnis can natively access all leading relational databases including Oracle, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL and more.

What was our favourite part of Omnis? The debugger. We’ve seen a few debuggers in our time, and we’ve concluded that Omnis has one of the best debuggers out there – debug code at any time, even during runtime, and then to edit it during debugging. What more could you ask for?

Pepper
If you want a customer-facing app for a coffee shop, bar, pub or restaurant, then Pepper’s solution is the clear winner. Their white-label, cross-platform mobile app development tool is dedicated to the needs of the restaurant and hospitality sector, enabling rapid creation and ongoing DIY management of own-brand mobile apps or the enhancement of existing apps by consuming Pepper’s APIs / SDKs. Pepper provides a true end-to-end solution built on years spent really understanding and aligning to this sector’s unique needs and challenges. Merchants using Pepper can activate any of the following features: location discovery, ordering, payments, loyalty, mobile marketing automation, data insight / analytics, customer service personalisation and the ability to connect into merchants’ wider tech ecosystem e.g. to their point of sale, CRM or business intelligence software. Many templated app builder solutions are having their apps removed or rejected from iTunes, while Paper enables high quality cross platform apps (both Android and iOS) that are held up as models of UX and UI excellence.

Servoy
With Servoy, you can easily and rapidly create world-class business applications. Servoy’s architecture is made of three tiers: data, logic and presentation. The data tier can integrate with just about any data source via the API: databases, web services, email, file systems and more. Servoy’s core engine (the logic tier) consists of a combination of events and modelling UI patterns. Here the business rules for the app are written in JavaScript. At run time, this JavaScript code is compiled into native bytecode that runs server-side for optimal performance and security. The last tier, presentation, supports various client technologies, HTML5, native desktop, native mobile and the omnichannel delivery capabilities of the platform, all from a single code base. The built in WYSIWYG editor in Servoy allows users to easily create and modify user instances – whether it’s a calendar, a chart, a graph or just about anything else. In addition, the Servoy platform can be easily extended with custom layouts and elements. Servoy can be deployed to both classic and modern environments, from your Mac Mini, a Windows Server, a local unix or linux box to any cloud environment: both public and private cloud. Servoy is deployed as a Java container so any cloud that supports Java containers can run Servoy – whether it’s AWS, Azure or IBM Softlayer. Want to get started with Servoy right away? Good, because you’ll find a plethora of preconfigured Servoy images to instantly fire up Servoy instances.

Agilepoint
Agilepoint NX allows developers to quickly build anything from simple eforms and workflows to complex, multi-tenant SaaS apps, IoT apps, and composite LOB systems – all without writing code. When it comes to deployment, Agilepoint more than lives up to its name. Agilepoint NX can be hosted on your own on-premises server, functioning as a regular SaaS deployment but keeping your data safe within your firewall. You can also host Agilepoint NX in a private or public cloud. No matter which deployment you choose, you can build, deploy, manage, and monitor all your AgilePoint apps from one integrated portal. Services contained inside Agilepoint NX include an application services layer, a database layer and a web-based application development UI for building apps. The platform contains more than sixty controls (including Telerik) with a simple configuration.

Best low code app development platforms
As you can see from our list above, there’s plenty of choices when it comes to picking the best low-code app development platform for building your app. Which of them you will choose will ultimately depend on what type of app and your audience you have in mind.

Kumulos’ partnership with low-code and no-code platforms allows highly sophisticated mobile apps be built with little or no technical skills and at a fraction of the cost and complexity normally required to build apps.

But that’s enough from us, what do you think of our choices? Any of your favourite low code platforms that we missed? Be sure to let us know on our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram page. If you’re curious about Kumulos mobile app performance management platform, sign up for a free trial!

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