The traditional software development approach is to develop in-house with your own team, or to procure a bespoke solution from external providers. While both approaches produce software products that provide an absolute fit with business requirements, this comes at high build costs with long timelines. Unfortunately, there really was no other option; building software with minimum coding or without any coding at all was considered futuristic.
But that futuristic approach is a reality today. We can now build efficient apps that map closely to business requirements using low code / no code approaches. This is truly revolutionary. Feature-rich composers give developers the power to design and build an app or solution with drag / drop functionality and a few clicks. SAP iRPA or CAI or Workflow are excellent examples of such low code / no code tools from SAP.
Pros and Cons of Low-Code/No-Code Development Platforms
There are clear business benefits to using these platforms, including:
- Business requirements are fulfilled with lower development costs and build timelines
- Fewer niche skill requirements
- Enables users to quickly build applications and reduces strict technical training requirements
- Faster application enhancements to incorporate new features.
Though low code / no code platforms provide a faster and more cost-effective application build opportunity, they do come with a few limitations:
- There is still dependency on skilled professionals if development involves low coding
- Some critical UX requirements might need advanced enhancement requiring coding by skilled professionals
- Strict dependency on the low code / no code platform without much flexibility on underlying technologies.
- Limited native features in the apps when compared to iOS / Android native apps.
SAP Tools for Low-Code/No-Code Developments
If you are a SAP user or developer, you are in luck. SAP has developed or acquired many low code / no code tools covering a range of developments, such as:
- SAP Business Application Studio (BAS) – The evolution of WebIDE, this is a central place for most of the SAP BTP based extensions & developments. It provides powerful no / low-code capabilities for quick development, along with a full-fledged pro-code option.
- SAP iRPA – SAP acquired automation platform that allows you to quickly design and develop automation BOTs.
- SAP Cloud Workflow – The process automation capability based on Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) within a graphical no-code editor. It is flexible enough to design a complete process with REST services, user discussion interfaces and many logical branching capabilities.
- SAP CAI – SAP acquired this chatbot designing platform to enable developers to quickly design and integrate BOTs. It also enables to integrate BOT with wide range of frequently used digital assistants with ready to connect configuration steps.
- SAP Process Automation (SPA) – A newly introduced low-code platform with the combined capabilities of Workflow and iRPA. A single automation platform for hyper-automation.
- SAP MDK – a powerful mobile app development platform based on metadata and native script. It was the only Low Code / No Code mobile application development platform from SAP.
Which brings us to Appgyver
SAP’s recent acquisition of Appgyver adds one more highly efficient low code / no code mobile app development tool to their offerings. Replacing SAP Mobile Development Kit (SAP MDK), it provides far greater flexibility. The advanced editor of Appgyver enables developers to build highly efficient hybrid mobile apps very quickly for both Android and iOS.
While all earlier app development tools required at least a basic level of app programing knowledge, Appgyver can be used by any developer (non-IT) without any prior app development experience.
Some key features offered by Appgyver that strengthen the no-code app building capability include:
- Multiplatform support – Appgyver apps supports Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows platforms
- Multi-device support – Appgyver apps can run on desktop, laptop, mobile (Android / iOS), tablets (Android / iOS), and TV
- Offline capability – Appgyver offers apps to support limited offline features with local caching
- REST service support – Appgyver supports REST services to be integrated with the apps
- Add-on library – Appgyver offers an advanced UI add-on library to add new UI elements to advanced composer
- Rich composer – Appgyver offers a feature-rich composer to design and build apps
- Theming – Appgyver supports application themes and provides a theming tool to adjust colors and branding standards based on requirements
- Debugging – a quite complete debugging console is offered with Appgyver to help developers track down issues.
Further details about Appgyver can be found at https://www.appgyver.com/.
Appgyver Adoption Use Cases
Because of its sophistication, ease of use, and features, Appgyver supports many use cases. A few worth considering for their clear value include:
- Appgyver can be considered as a quick prototype tool or pilot application to evaluate the advantage of mobile business applications and the adoption of mobile apps for business users
- Appgyver can be adopted to quickly mobilize business applications
- Appgyver can provide an alternative to the existing mobile application strategy for organizations
- It offers an alternative to SAP Fiori if an application needs to use native features and offline capability.
With the acquisition of Appgyver, SAP offers a very strong low code / no code platform, especially for hybrid application development. This is the next generation platform for the SAP landscape, allowing users to quickly build prototypes or fully functional business application in SAP BTP. SAP MDK’s the earlier such platform from SAP, but Appgyver will provide more flexibility over MDK based apps. Appgyver is a strong alternative to mobile application development platforms in the SAP BTP offerings.