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What is application development software?
Application development software aids the development and deployment of software applications by managing all aspects of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Using these systems' powerful visual tools, software developers can easily assess the progress of development projects and allocate resources to different steps in SDLC. Application development software platforms work with a variety of common programming languages and software programs.
The benefits of application development software
- Ease of coding: Application development software replaces traditional keyed coding with a drag-and-drop graphical interface. This allows users of varying technical backgrounds to contribute to in-house software development projects without having to rely on third-party development.
- Quality control: By utilizing automated debugging, the software can detect coding errors and automatically present them to the user for correction. Application development software also proactively assesses how an app will run on multiple device types and operating systems before it is deployed.
- Better collaboration: Application development software allows you to create development project teams and assign permissions, controls, and task lists to team members. It can also integrate with existing ERP or CRM packages to allow collaboration with end users, customers, and administrators outside of the development team.
Typical features of application development tools
- Graphical user interface (GUI): Provides a visual way of interacting with the software by using items such as windows, icons, and menus.
- Integrated development environment: Combines source code editing, compiling, and debugging into one application development software.
- Access controls/permissions: Allows users to define levels of authorization for access to specific files and folders.
- Debugging: Automatically detects coding errors and notifies the programmer.
- Compatibility testing: Provides a preview of how the app will function on multiple device types and operating systems.
- Code-free development: Uses a drag-and-drop/visual interface that allows non-tech users to build without writing code.
The application development tools directory lets you filter by feature(s) to view only options that meet your business needs, which can help you narrow your software shortlist.
Considerations when purchasing application development tools
- Multiple application development methods: Application development platforms can support a variety of different programming methodologies. For example, some apps are designed specifically for software development lifecycles (SDLCs) that use Agile or rapid application development (RAD), whereas other apps may be better for managing projects that use the Waterfall development lifecycle. Make sure the app you choose works best for your company's development environment.
- CRM and ERP integration: It's possible that your current CRM or ERP system comes with application development tools built in (or available as an additional module). Such integration provides the added benefit of connecting development teams to additional project members that may not necessarily be a part of the SDLC. Additionally, CRM integration allows developers to communicate directly with customers during application testing.
- Keep your coders happy: With so many offerings on the market, it's important to choose a product that best suits your coding team's intended output. For example, some application development tools are better suited for the development of Android apps, while others excel in the iOS development space. Additionally, some packages attempt to replace hard coding with GUI-driven programming.
Relevant application development software trends
- The conversational user interface will change how we code: Considering that 68% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are using, or plan to use, conversational user interface technology within the next one to two years, it's important to consider how this trend will affect how we code. Software developers will increasingly move toward code-free, object-oriented programming that uses a combination of graphical and conversational input.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) will make automated debugging more powerful: With 53% of SMBs planning to implement AI technology in the near future, there's no doubt that we will see advances in "smart" debugging in the application development software space. Application development platforms will not only use AI to identify bugs automatically but will also be able to correct them and create protocols to automatically patch software across user groups.