Today, let’s address a current trend that’s been building steam over the past few years: The increased use of web application development platforms.
Why are web applications development platforms becoming more popular? Because they address many of the growing issues surrounding CIOs and IT leaders these days. For instance, development platforms help CIOs and IT leaders…
- Automate the development of mobile web applications that work across all devices and platforms.
- Give end users the self-service options they require while giving IT full control over the data and user access.
- Bring the most up-to-date and cutting edge development skills to their current staff.
However, while all of those advantages sound great, there’s a problem that make some businesses shy away: Many developers and IT leaders hold a misguided view of web application development platforms. Some confuse them with code generators. Others think of them as IDEs. Worse yet, others make assumptions about development platforms based on their own bad experiences with past code generators or IDEs. For example, many (falsely) believe one or all of these development platform myths:
Myth 1: Development platforms generate sloppy, inefficient code
Based on past experiences with code generators, many developers believe that development platforms create sloppy, cryptic, and inefficient code. They fear this code structure harms application performance and creates difficult application maintenance. In reality, modern web application development platforms create clean, commented code that’s easily maintainable.
Myth 2: Development platforms lock down the generated code
Again—based on past experiences, many developers believe that development platforms don’t provide full access to the generated code. They deliver a compiled program, but lock down the underlying code. In reality, while this may still be an issue with some older tools, current platforms provide full access to the generated code. Developers can access and edit the source files as necessary.
Myth 3: Development platforms tie companies to one vendor
Many fear that development platforms will tie their company to a single vendor. It’s a valid concern when using tools that lock down parts or all of the code, or use proprietary code. If that vendor ever went out of business, all of that locked down code is worthless.
In reality, while some development platforms still generate proprietary code that locks a company to a single vendor, that’s not the case with modern platforms. They generate applications on open source code and frameworks, which means your company can still use and maintain your applications outside of the development platform itself.
Myth 4: Development platforms restrict the developer
Some developers fear that a development platform will limit their capabilities. They believe that development platforms lack customizability and force them to work within the confines of the tool’s pre-set structure. In reality, enterprise-class development platforms let developers dictate preferences and rules.
For instance, enterprise-class development platforms let developers write and include their own code (in any language) in their applications. These platforms even let developers teach it to generate applications to their exact business requirements, or in a completely different programming language.
Contrary to what some may believe, a web application development platform is far more than a simple code generator or IDE. It is software that companies build their entire application strategy around. While development platforms do improve development speed (like a code generator), they also solve many strategic tech problems facing companies today.
If your company is considering a web application development platform, we’ve put together something that might help. It’s a list of 7 essential elements of a good development platform. I hope you find it useful.