In my last blog post, I explained what it takes to make a successful mobile app. In this post, I’ll discuss why Visual LANSA is well suited for building enterprise mobile apps and call attention to particular capabilities that help accelerate (mobile) app delivery.
Visual LANSA is a powerful low-code, rapid application development platform that allows enterprises to build a variety of apps across a wide range of operating systems, platforms and devices. Mobile apps are a critically important element of the Visual LANSA platform and there are a number of key capabilities designed to help build successful mobile apps for enterprises.
One development platform for mobile, web, desktop and cloud
Visual LANSA provides a single integrated development environment (IDE) for building desktop, mobile online, offline and hybrid apps. Visual LANSA equips developers to build applications for mobile, web and desktop using one platform and one set of skills for the front-end, back-end, and database. Put another way, Visual LANSA enables developers to become ‘full-stack’ developers without having to learn all the languages, frameworks and plug-ins required for mobile development.
Modern design and user experience (UX)
Visual LANSA includes Material Design controls that help developers who are not UX experts build modern, consistent user interfaces that contribute to great UX and user adoption. Rather than a custom design approach, the use of Material Design controls allows apps to be built with UI that users are familiar with and already know how to operate and navigate. Having access to this standard set of UI/UX elements can be a huge time-saver when building mobile apps. Given that UX experts are difficult to find and expensive to hire, the inclusion of Material Design controls can be an important cost saver.
Low-code without limitations
Visual LANSA allows mobile apps to be built in a fraction of the time compared to traditional development methods. Typically, developers report building applications 3-10 times faster. Unlike other low-code platforms where limitations require you to resort to traditional development methods to process complex logic or deliver integration with external systems, Visual LANSA apps can be built without ever having to leave the development environment.
Native, hybrid or online apps
Visual LANSA supports different models of mobile app design. Native apps with full access to the device’s capabilities (camera, security etc.) can be built. So too can fully responsive web apps that can work across device types and where necessary, hybrid apps are also possible. Visual LANSA takes care of local and central data exchange and database synchronization so that however users need information, every type of app can be built to support them.
Easy prototyping of new apps
Visual LANSA provides extensive prototyping tools designed to work when sitting alongside business people. As a result, developers can understand and build exactly what is required by the business. Rather than being only used to visualize ideas and then thrown away, these prototypes can be turned into production and rapidly accelerate the delivery of finished mobile applications to users.
‘Any-to-Any’ powerful integration options with existing systems
Visual LANSA provides extensive options for integrating with existing systems and databases. Unlike other platforms that often require custom development to build integration APIs, Visual LANSA supports integration using RESTful APIs and other web services, direct database access, transport protocols, messaging and direct access to different data formats and file types. As a result, integration with more systems is possible without additional, costly and lengthy development.
Easy app maintenance
Visual LANSA includes a powerful Business Rules Engine and Data Services Layer that makes it easy to externalize business rules and data formats from the apps themselves. This means that whenever a rule needs updating, a single change in the Rules Engine will be reflected in every app that uses it. This makes app maintenance much easier and significantly reduces the amount of code that needs to be written. Along with the low-code development tools, easy prototyping support, and easy any-to-any integration options, maintenance is made much simpler and faster. For mobile apps in particular where frequent updates are required and expected, this makes it much easier to continually develop and update applications as necessary.
Easy deployment of apps
Visual LANSA includes extensive DevOps capabilities using integration with Git and GitHub to provide easy deployment options of apps to different target environments, including on-premise, public or private cloud.
There are many good examples of enterprises benefitting from these capabilities to build successful mobile apps. Here’s one… Braum’s Ice Cream quickly proved to its district and area managers the value of mobile. The only way managers could access back-office admin and sales reports were from a PC. Braum’s built a mobile app designed to extend reporting and knowledge-based information to the managers, no longer confining them to a desk. You can read more about their mobile app here.
Taken together, these capabilities ensure Visual LANSA is the ideal platform to build both greenfield mobile apps or mobile apps for modernization of existing systems.