low-code and rapid application development

With the advance of the digital transformation, companies need to develop business apps faster and faster in order to meet customers’ requests. Having a rapid availability of the apps allow to make changes in a simpler manner and to adopt strategies that better fulfill business goals. In this sense, we find two important technologies dedicated to the app development: low-code and rapid application development (RAD).

These two solutions are platforms designed to solve different problems, so it’s pretty important to have clear their characteristics to understand which one could help you to improve and scale your business. Let’s see their main features!

Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Rapid application development is an agile software development approach that focuses on ongoing software projects and user feedback. Through this approach, developers can make multiple iterations and update to a software rapidly without needing to start a development schedule from scratch each time.

RAD methodology is composed by 4 steps:

  • Define the Requirements
  • Prototype
  • Receive Feedback
  • Finalize Software

During the first step where there’s the definition of requirements, the client provides his/her vision for the product and comes to an agreement with developer on the requirements that satisfy that vision. These requirements can be changed at any point in the developing cycle giving the possibility to modify the structure of the project in an easier manner. Once the requirements are set, developer’s goal is to build a prototype to show to the client, a prototype which can satisfies all or only a part of requirements.

Then, we have the phase of absorbing feedbacks where client may change his/her mind and asks to add or remove some features. Therefore, developers return to some form of step 2: they continue to prototype. If feedback is closely positive, and the client is satisfied with the prototype, developers can move to the last step: finalizing the product where developers can optimize their implementation to  improve stability and maintainability. Furthermore, features, functions, aesthetics, and interfaces of the software are finalized with the client.

RAD Advantages

Talking about RAD advantages we can define them in terms of speed, costs, and developer satisfaction. As a matter of fact, reviews are quick, development time is drastically reduced and time between prototypes and iterations is short (for what concerns speed). Additionally, with RAD you have more productivity with fewer people (cost reduction) and the client is there every step of the way, so the developers have the chance to present their work frequently. This gives them the confidence that when the final product is delivered, their work receives appreciation (increase of developer satisfaction).

low-code and rapid application development


On the other hand, we have low-code, which is a technology accessible to everyone, even for those who don’t have a programming background (the so-called citizen developers). This approach lets standard off-the-shelf ERP or CRM systems be enhanced or customized. With low-code you don’t have to take care of the syntax of the apps, but you can focus on their aesthetics and functionalities, by using visual models to build your solution.

Through the use of drag-and-drop features, the low-code technology is ideal for designing prototypes and deploy simpler, smaller applications. This kind of approach is accessible to anyone, so let’s get deeper and see what kind of advantages it can bring.

Low-Code Advantages

We have several advantages using a low-code approach. First of all, developers can quickly build minimum viable products (MVP) to validate ideas and customer requirements before wasting resources on features and functionalities that customers may not value. According to this, Joshua Davidson of ChopDawg.com and member of Forbes Technology Council says that “I love the idea of people quickly building an MVP, get feedback quickly, adapt on the fly and not escalate costs to do so. I predict that solopreneurs are going to be able to benefit from this”. 

Then, another big advantage concerns the accessibility that only low-code can offer. Actually, the final users of these apps become the developers, who have a deep knowledge about the business needs. This allows to have more specific and pertinent applications because they now collaborate with IT department. Moreover, the launch of new ideas can be iterated more quickly.

Add to this, we gain benefits in terms of rapidity and support to the digital transformation of the company itself. In fact, as the development time is reduced, the availability of the apps is very fast. A survey performed by Forrester showed that low-code development platforms accelerated development by 5 to 10 times. Even the time to be spent on the maintenance is reduced, since components are standardized, pretested and ready-made, so there are fewer bugs and integrations issues to deal with than the past.

Eventually, low-code provides a significant boost to companies by reducing the time needed to be spent on troubleshooting and by offering more customized solutions according to the economic environment changes. Adopting this technology which allows you to be more agile can make a huge difference in the economic context.

low-code and rapid application development

How TDox supports your workforce activities with a
Low-Code approach

We made clear the difference between low-code and rapid application development and despite RAD can bring various benefits, what low-code can do is without any doubt faster and simpler. In a world where time is never enough and organizations require more and more customized solutions, low-code technology represents the perfect approach to adopt.

TDox is a clear example of low-code approach. As a result of this, TDox is a multi-experience development platform (MXDP) which allows you to digitize business processes in low-code mode, by making them available both on webapp and on Android and iOS mobile apps (the next implementation will be on smart glasses, see our road map).

TDox has a particular attention to the employees. In fact, the multi-experience feature can be found in the way the workforce receives and performs tasks. We explain better: with TDox you have access to planning and managing employees’ activities tools through which you create workloads (read the full guide about TDox Workloads here) and you assign them to your operators. They’ll receive these workloads on their smartphones or tablets, so they can get rid of other dispersive communication tools like emails or instant messaging software, because they have all in one single platform.  

In addition, you have access to various functionalities like:

  • Dashboards. Useful tools to manage all the activities from your pc, allowing you to intervene promptly in case of inconvenience. An example? If you work in the building construction sector, you can manage all the building sites, by checking the working progress of every site. A timely answer will allow you to avoid disruptions which can make you spend more time and money.
  • Camera IntegrationTDox is integrated to your camera device (smartphones or tablet) so you can take pictures to make more detailed reports. These pictures can be easily attached to the form and thanks to the time stampTDox is able to record the exact moment when the picture is taken and with the GPS detection, also the address. This integration also makes possible to read barcodes, a helpful tool that can support, for instance, your warehouse workers for what concerns the picking activities. 
  • Native Offline Feature. Another significant function is the possibility to use TDox offline. Actually, its engine is native offline, that means it is set on your mobile device. Consequently, if your employee has to work in places where connection is low, he/she can keep doing it without any fear of losing data or without speed complication. It will be enough synchronizing data as soon as he/she gets access to an internet connection.
  • Cloud Archive. All your documents can be saved on TDox cloud (XP Cloud) which is managed by our team, freeing you up from updates and other problems. Otherwise, you can use your cloud (Private Cloud) to get your own customized version of the software hosted on your cloud.

Eventually, TDox uses automation for what concerns data collection and communication. A clear example is the case of the maintenance works where the technician has to send a report to the client or to the office after he/she has performed a specific task. A prefilled email with the attached document will be sent in automatic, so it will avoid the tedious process of downloading the file and writing a new email. The adding plus is that this procedure can be done by smartphone or table, so essentially with a click.

As you can see, between low-code and rapid application development the choice is easy to make. Low-code is the next generation of app development and the fundamental step that enterprises need to make.

If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact us to know more about TDox and what it can do for you. Furthermore, if you are interested in seeing what TDox looks like in action, request a free demo, and discover a new world of opportunities. 
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