Sunday, June 28, 2020

Four Must-Have Features for an App Platform

App platforms and app builders have been on the rise as a common way to build an application for your next business use case. App building software can be a great alternative to building an app from scratch. You will save time and money, to say the least. App building software has many benefits as to why you may look into it. There are some key features we highly recommend making sure your next mobile app builder should have. When it comes time to scale your business, change the user experience, or you have other unforeseen ideas or goals in the future – you don’t have to go and build an entirely new app. I’ve seen and heard about too many people getting burned by developing a native mobile app because it was flexible enough to change over time with the company. Let’s look into some of the best app builder features that will keep you and your team happy over the long run.

1. Cross-functionality

One of the reasons you may have started to look into app builders in the first place is the fact some of them are able to work across operating systems and across devices. If you’ve done your research you’ve realized that when building a native app you have to build for different operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows). But with some app builders, you are able to build an app that works across all operating systems and devices. For example, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) allow your team to build an app once and be used by all devices and operating systems. It will cut down on the cost of building multiple apps to work across devices. Even when using an app platform to build a native app, such as an Android app builder, it is imperative to make sure it will work on the latest phone versions as well as older versions such as an iPhone 6 along with the newest version of the iPhone and across tablets, wearable devices, etc.

2. Security Measures

Whether you are building an enterprise app (that will store company confidential information) or are building a consumer-facing app (that may store consumers’ confidential information) it’s crucial you make sure the app platform you will be using provides the correct amount of security. Will your app have the ability to build in double authentication for users? Will you be working with more regulated industries that are going to ask for security audits such as SOC2 audits. It’s important to know what security measures you will need available for your app to be used correctly by every target audience. Make sure you know what security evaluations and audits your teams will require from an app platform prior to starting to build your next app. 

3. Integrations

Some app building platforms have a handful of integrations for you to use with the app you build but others may make you develop your own integration (this will add time to your project and you’ll need a developer on the team.) If you don’t have a developer on your team to help with integrations or don’t have the flexibility of a longer time to market it will be imperative to make sure the app platform has integrations to the tools and other technology you’ll need to be connected. What other technology or applications are you going to need your app to be integrated with to have the full functionality you want? For example, will you need YouTube, Vidyard, Facebook Messenger, Drift, etc? Is there a customer relationship management tool (CRM) or analytics tool you want to pull data into the app along with capturing data to send back to your CRM? When going into a sales meeting or demo your team should understand what integrations you are looking for and make sure the app building platform can make that available. 

4. Scalability

Gartner describes scalability as “the measure of a system’s ability to increase or decrease in performance and cost in response to changes in application and system processing demands.” In simpler terms – it is the backbone of software that allows the system to grow with your business. Today you may only need one app with a handful of users but next year at this time what if your company has expanded and instead of needing thirty user logins you now need one-hundred and fifty logins? It’s important to make sure you are looking into the scalability opportunities of the app platform you are looking into building on. 

There is a lot that is involved with building an app but luckily app platforms can help get the ball rolling and allow you to build your next app at a lower cost and a faster time to market.