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App creation using a no-code platform and UX with AppMaster.io

App creation using a no-code platform and UX with AppMaster.io

Miguel Amado

The idea of no-code, especially for people that don’t want to see a “< >” ever again, is very appealing. There are lots of no-code options to build websites, web applications, mobile applications and many other tools. 

We talked with Oleg Sotnikov, CEO of AppMaster.io, to know more about his no-code platform and how it works.

Please present AppMaster.io to our audience.

AppMaster.io is a very special no-code platform for professional developers, backed by Code Generation. It’s the only platform that lets developers create backend, web and mobile applications with tight integration between components.

I have more than 10 years of experience in software development and every time I struggled with another project for a customer I used to wonder why we were struggling if we needed to write the same source-code for apps for every customer. So, 3 years ago we started the AppMaster project.

Our platform generates real source-code for the backend applications. Our platform compiles and deploys applications automatically using Go programming language. We use any PostgreSQL-compatible database as a primary database for the backend and can create panels and customer portals using Vue.js. We still don’t have a full-featured developed site editor for now, but we are working on it.

For mobile applications, we use our custom mobile framework, which is Server-Driven UI and logic. We deliver screens and logic in real-time to the mobile apps and this technology allows developers to change app result publishing updates to the app stores. Mobile applications generated by AppMaster are fully native and written in Swift and SwiftUI for iOS and Kotlin with Jetpack for Android.

In other words, we are trying to solve a big problem with software development for our customers and software agencies: how to create software without humans. Because everyone who knows this field understands that we lack professional developers and know salaries are growing fast.

There are many app creation tools on the Internet. Why should I choose AppMaster.io?

No-code is a buzzword right now, and we see it on a lot of no-code platforms. It’s confusing for most of our customers. In the beginning of our AppMaster.io journey, we saw that our platform can be some sort of no-code platform for everyone, including people without any technical background.

As we built the platform and made it more flexible and powerful, it became more complex. At some point, it became a professional tool with a lot of cool features and scalable options.

To make a long story short, if you need a production application with the ability to run on AWS servers, on your own servers, scalable with Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, with multithreading and transactions, hardware-accelerated cryptography and source-code, then AppMaster.io is your best choice.

We have a lot of professional stuff inside: external API designer, to integrate with any RESP API compatible systems, REST Endpoints, Webhooks, WebSocket Server, Scheduler, Automatic Database Schema Migrations, Global In-memory Variables and Structures, and state of the art business processes. Also, I’d bet we have the best business process editor on the market in terms of flexibility. And no technical debt ever!

Do I need a deep technical dive to understand your platform?

If you are creating your own product and hired software developers, usually as a product owner, you’ll typically change your requirements constantly. At some point, you’ll have a lot of old source-code. Usually, big companies with old products spend up to 40% of all budget and time not to create new features, but to fix old parts of the code.

Since we do code generation, and every time you change your requirements we generate an application from scratch, you’ll have a very new and clean source-code every time, which should save you at least 40% of your budget changing old parts!

But if you are not an expert and don’t have a big technical background, but understand the idea of coding and frontend design, you can use our tool to create a really production-ready application. We created AppMaster.io as a tool for citizen developers – people who are good at business logic and software architecture but have no programming skills at all.

While the platform generates source-code, there is no way for the developer to adjust it in any way. We comply with the idea of no-code everywhere in our platform. Unlike other platforms on the market, we are not trying to hide a real app architecture from the developer: we show database schema, all business processes, endpoints and middleware.

All these terms can sound a bit scary for unprepared developers, but they are just components of any software, no matter if it’s created by programmers or a no-code platform. Once you understand how you can create your applications on the AppMaster platform, you’ll understand how any software is usually built..

One of the biggest challenges when launching an app is to create an engaging experience that makes users come back. How does AppMaster help with that?

User experience is a crucial part of any application. The better it is, the higher the chance that the user will return to an application. Sometimes, I use FoodPanda’s application (it’s an Asian food chain) and it’s the worst app I’ve seen in my life! If a user doesn’t have any choice, he can wait outside a place for an order or use a lousy app. But if he does have a choice, then you’ll have to create a really cool user experience and features.

Recently, we released an update introducing client site business processes. This is a special type of workflow that runs in the browser and inside of the mobile application. It is a huge advantage in terms of flexibility and helps any AppMaster developer to implement a unique UX based on users’ actions and events inside the app.

So, you can create any application behavior that you want, including, for instance, working with sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, humidity levels. We are moving the boundaries of no-code development to a completely new level. It depends only on your capacity to create an experience, without any further limitations.

Do you believe every organization should have an app?

Yes. Almost every company needs this custom software. Every company and its business processes are unique. For a long time, a lot of software was developed around the idea of ‘one size fits all’. If you get any CRM system, you’ll get a bunch of stuff that you don’t need inside and will lack something. With no-code platforms, you can create custom software very fast with affordable budgets.

Apart from being well-fitted to you, they can drastically increase the organization’s efficiency because every single process and event of it can be programmed inside the software.

But not every customer and organization can (and wants) to make any software development. In some cases, it is a good decision to focus on the primary line of business and outsource software development to professionals.

To be able to help our customers, we have a partner program to help software agencies use AppMaster as a part of the software development process. We can reduce their cost and also decrease time to market. It is also very good in hybrid models, in which a part is developed in our platform and another part with classical programming.

We launched a partner program some weeks ago and share a part of our revenue with them. Since our product is new and we want to create a market presence, we offer many benefits to our partners.

What are AppMaster’s plans for the next 5 years?

We will grow as a whole ecosystem of applications factories. We’ll create software for all platforms, all operation systems and types of devices. We’ll add RPA (robotic process automation), microservices and IoT applications.

Our plan is to cover every single piece of software development, to be able to create any type of software for our customers. Many agencies, like Gartner, predict that in the next 5 to 7 years most software will be made with low or no-code platforms.

Just like autonomous vehicles will become standard, code generation will be the standard for software development. We don’t need to write program code anymore and need to be ready for the Era in which no developers will be allowed to write any source-code! They will create only the architecture of the application, visual styles and business logic. AppMaster will take care of everything else.

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