Businesses need custom apps that fit their data sources and their business model. Hiring coders, however, often costs more than a company can afford, leading firms to depend on in-house PC-based apps that do not integrate well with other services. Even when businesses have access to current apps, they struggle to keep pace with demand. Fortunately, companies of every size now have access to powerful apps for creating business software without coding. We will look at AppGyver’s Composer 2 and Microsoft’s PowerApps software that can help you create web-based and mobile business apps without having access to programming expertise.power-apps

AppGyver’s Composer 2 in a Nutshell

First developed as a drag-and-drop app building tool for creating HTML5-compliant apps, the second version of AppGyver Composer puts power in the hands of small businesses and enterprises by letting them build internal business apps without knowing a programming language. Software created with Composer 2 can run on the Web as well as on iOS, and Android devices.

The Composer 2 Creation process

App creation with Composer 2 begins with defining a data source such as a database, SaaS service, Oracle database, Salesforce, custom web hooks or data entry forms from apps or websites. After defining a data source, users can add interactive features such as buttons, text fields, chat, graphs, or mini feeds and use pre-built functions to speed development. Composer 2 provides access to smart rules that automate repetitive tasks to reduce user error and speed productivity. Users can use smart rules to create simple to complex rules that can make simple job assignments or define complex workflows.

As an app takes shape, creators can customize its appearance with colors, logos, and other design options. With a completed interface, Composer 2 users can add user management and data permissions to secure their app. Composer 2 can even build apps that use Facebook logins that make creating a business-to-consumer app possible.

App Store or Google Play as iOS and Android versions

With the standard plan for internal business-to-business and business-to-employee apps, businesses can begin app development by creating a free Appgyver account. After developing an app, users can test it for thirty days and then pay a monthly per-user fee.

Users who create public business-to-consumer apps can develop their apps for free and then pay a $99 fee that allows an unlimited number of end users to use the app.

Businesses can contact AppGyver for an enterprise version of Composer 2 for building either internal or public apps with additional features and support.

Composer 2 also has coder options available that can further enhance app development:

  • UI module creation using Steroids and Supersonic
  • JavaScript APIs
  • JS/CSS libraries

AppGuver customers also have options to partner with the company to sell custom-made solutions.

Microsoft PowerApps in a Nutshell

In recognition of the lag between business needs and the capabilities of available apps, Microsoft created PowerApps, a non-coding framework for app development. In concept, PowerApps has similar capabilities as Composer 2 that enables business users to create and deploy apps that meet their needs. PowerApps authoring tools work in Windows, MacOS, and Web browsers and create applications that run on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Built-in connections to services such as Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Dropbox, and OneDrive allow users to create fully functional apps that they can share in a way similar to document sharing.

Microsoft has three different plans for users of PowerApps:

  • Free: Users can create and use an unlimited number of apps that can access two SaaS data sources per user using a shared infrastructure.
  • Standard: The standard plan allows the creation of apps that can access unlimited connections to SaaS data sources using a shared infrastructure.
  • Enterprise: The enterprise version expands on the standard plan by adding custom APIs, dedicated infrastructure, app governance and access control, reporting, and API management.
  • Right now, Microsoft and other developers have formed teams to build connectors for their applications and data stores.

The PowerApps Creation Process

With Power Apps, users can begin from scratch, using templates, or with a data source. From there, users can add an assortment of controls and data sources onto a form-based user interface. Using Azure API Apps and custom APIs, creators can trigger events and automate tasks using Logic Flows and controls that include buttons, text boxes, media, charts.

Although PowerApps mainly helps businesses with no programming expertise deploy applications, the product gives coders the ability to develop APIs on the Azure API App platform and manage the deployment of apps and APIs using Azure Portal.

BIO: John Porter is a Southampton-based freelance writer and a techie especially interested in all sorts of mobile apps and gadgets.

Twitter: John Porter@johnpourter