App Development

  • Easily Include Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn Social Logins in your mobile apps

    ViziApps makes it Easy to add Social Logins to your mobile apps. Quickly enable your mobile app users to register and/or login with their Facebook, Google or LinkedIn user credentials!

    Social Logins are an easy way for end users to register and login to mobile apps. Instead of adding a username and password fields to your app, just add a button with the action of social login and you can get the name, email and profile picture of the end user to use in your app. Then, you can store the credentials for future logins.

    To add Social Login to an app's Button, just open the Button Property sheet and enter the properties for your choice of Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. That's it! Social Logins in your mobile app in about a minute!

    Social Login Button Property Sheet
  • A Mobile App Strategy for Businesses

    So you hear us talking a lot about mobile apps in this space, and perhaps you’re wondering why. With all of the other marketing vehicles available, what makes mobile apps so critical to businesses?

    First of all, let’s identify some of your other marketing options. They include websites, email campaigns and e-newsletters, webinars, blogs, and social media. All well and good, and each has its own particular value.

    But what sets mobile apps apart from the field is their immediacy. Mobile apps take your business’ brand and put it literally into the hands of your current and prospective customers immediately and on-demand. This gives you a tangible branding vehicle that sits at their very fingertips and pockets of your customers at any given moment.

    At MobiFlex, we think about this as POST – People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology – and here’s what we mean by that.

    When it comes to putting together a mobile app strategy for business use, you must first consider the people: who are your target users, what devices are they using, and how should your app get to them?

    Next, consider your app’s objectives: Are you looking to increase revenue? Increase customer loyalty and repeat sales? Reduce costs? Perhaps the goal is to close sales faster. Whatever the case, determine what data your business needs to get into the hands of its customers or employees.

    As for strategy, it’s critical to consider how mobile apps fit into your business’ overall marketing and sales game plan. Don’t build an app just for the sake of having one; build an app that’s going to bring benefit and value to your business. Then be sure to think about how you’ll pilot and test your app, and beyond that, how you’ll upgrade it when the time comes.

    Finally, put some thought into the technology involved. Will a native app orweb app best suit your business’ needs? What features will be most beneficial to your business? Does your app need location-based services? Will it use the camera? How should it be published? See our earlier post:The Differences between native apps and webapps to help you decide.

    Whatever your answers to these crucial questions, remember that withViziApps, it’s free to design and test your apps, and our publishing fees are the lowest in the industry. ViziApps apps can be published in mere days. When inevitable changes or new features are needed, they’ll be free to make and can be implemented in a matter of hours or days.

    And no matter what your business objectives are, before you start building your app, take the time to frame it out, and understand how you want your business to benefit from your mobile app strategy.

  • A New View on Mobile Apps

    Like most folks, we here at MobiFlex believe mobile devices, in all their different forms and languages, hold a certain power that, when effectively tapped, can help businesses work and communicate more efficiently and provide a far more effective forum for engagement with end customers.

    We do not believe, however, that the mobile device’s power should rest solely in the hands of specialized application developers knowledgeable in various elements of source code.

    Everyone – and every business – should be able to build their own mobile apps, and we are here to help.

    If you have ever stared down at that device in your hand and said, “This is pretty good, but I really wish my phone could do THIS,” than this is the place for you. The fact is, with a little work and a little help, your phone probably can do that, and you don’t need a degree in computer science to get it done. We have developed an interface-based platform that can help almost anyone build their own mobile apps without coding and at a minimal cost. Check it out and we think you will be surprised by what’s possible.

    If you’d like a second opinion, read John Brandon’s recent column in Inc. Magazine titled “Can You Make Your Own App?

    But the power to create your own business and personal apps also comes with a lot of questions, and that is the true reason behind this blog. How do you make the most from your new apps? How and where to publish? Native or web-based? How does one market and make money with your new app? These are the kinds of questions we will be addressing over the coming months, not to mention the more detailed technical questions that will inevitably come up.

    If you’ve decided to build your own mobile apps, you’re not alone. You are part of a growing community. To that, we say “Welcome” and hope you will bookmark the Rethink Mobile Apps blog to enjoy our ongoing commentary and education on mobile app creation.

  • Add RSS Feeds in your mobile app

    ViziApps now supports direct integration of RSS Feeds from your app with no coding. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a web standard for publishing frequently updated information in a standardized format using links. For example, you can use RSS to display a list of news items with links to web pages.

    RSS is now a new ViziApps field that you can add to any page. In the property sheet, give it a name, RSS title, the feed URL and one of two ways to display the RSS items:

    RSS Display with Title and Date
    RSS Display with Image, Title, Date

    Then, when your app runs and the RSS feed is displayed, the user can tap on one of the rows, and the associated link in the RSS feed is used to popup a web page.

  • App Publishing – App Stores or Direct?

    So you have a mobile app developed and ready to go. What comes next? How do you get your app into the hands — or, rather, onto the devices — of the people you want to use it?

    You may not realize it, but you have a few options. The one you probably thought of first is the Apple iTunes App Store, where — no surprise — you can publish iPhone apps. On the Android side of the spectrum, Google’s Android Market is the primary public option for Android apps.

    But other publishing options are emerging. Amazon, for one, has introduced its own Appstore for Android, and others are certain to follow. And alternately, web apps can be published directly from their source — think your website — because they’re primarily web pages that are being sent to people’s phones through RSS feeds.

    It comes down to this: the best way to distribute and publish your app depends on the nature of the app itself. If it’s for consumers, or if you want to give it away or sell it broadly to a whole range of public users, including B2B customers or partners, then iTunes and Android Market are attractive options.

    However, the requirements for publishing within each are different. Both iTunes and Android Market require you to have an app developer license. For iTunes, the license is free for an individual, but in most cases you’ll need a $99 per year company license. You apply through Apple.com, and you need to supply specific information about your certificate of incorporation or other evidence that you’re a legitimate business entity. It typically takes 30 or more days for Apple to approve new licenses of this type, so users should start this process right away when they want to get their app into the iTunes App Store. Click on this link to register as an Apple developer.

    Android Market works a bit differently. There, a developer license can be purchased for a one-time $25 fee, and you can typically get approval within 24 hours and be publishing your app immediately thereafter. Click on this link to register as an Android developer.

    So where do we come in? At MobiFlex, you create and test your app for free. When it’s ready to publish, we provide you with the app file, which you simply submit to Apple or Android Market just like a custom-developed app. Bear in mind: Apple does a very careful review of every app submitted. They’re looking for security backdoors and technical bugs, as well as objectionable material. These are all very logical and understandable criteria. But Apple also has other rules that you can see at the Apple developer site after you register as a developer. For instance, Apple can reject apps that they, in their sole judgment, believe are “only for marketing purposes with no intrinsic value” or that lack real commercial or entertainment value. This review process usually takes a week, but it can take longer. When apps are rejected, they need to be carefully restructured to address the issues before they’re resubmitted.

    On the flip side, there’s no review in the Android Market. Apps submitted there will typically appear within a few hours for access by users.

    But what if you’re not interested in sharing your app with the public? Say you’re a corporation and you have an app that you want to distribute strictly to your employees? Apple offers an option for “enterprise distribution.” This is for apps that are intended for a company’s internal users, and there are some authorization and authentication requirements.

    As you can see, businesses have a number of options for publishing their mobile apps, with others on the horizon. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how we can help you get your app into the market.

  • As Employees Hit the Road, ViziApps Provides A Better Way to Create Mobile Apps

    According to a new IDC report, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast, we can expect the global workforce to become increasingly mobile in the coming years.

    “Our forecast shows that the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from just over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015,” said Stacy Crook, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Enterprise Research program.

    The report predicts that the region that includes the United States, Canada, and Latin America will have 212.1 million mobile workers in 2015. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) will see the largest increase in total number of mobile workers, with a jump from 601.7 million mobile workers in 2010 to 838.7 million in 2015. IDC attributes much of that increase to strong economic expansion in China and India, the two most populous nations in the world.

    Although those numbers may be daunting, businesses cannot afford to ignore them. Instead they need to find ways to turn the increasingly flexible way the workforce operates into a business driver.

    How? By assessing what their employees will need to take advantage of rapidly changing mobile technologies. Both enterprises and small businesses need to ensure that their mobile workers are not merely moving more than ever, but that they also have all the tools they need to access key business data and stay productive, wherever they are.

    Some of the most important resources they will require to do that are mobile business apps, designed to provide the types of up-to-date data, reporting capabilities, and decision making tools they would use if they went into the same office every day.

    ViziApps was launched to help businesses meet just that need. In significantly less time than it takes to build software applications using traditional methods, the ViziApps online tool enables non-programmers to develop custom, branded native apps for iOS and Android devices and web apps for any mobile device with a full browser. Because the tool provides a drag-and-drop approach that uses widgets and requires no coding, much of the technical expertise and time-consuming challenges of a software engineering project can be avoided.

    Companies in a number of vertical markets are using ViziApps to develop innovative mobile apps. Employing a do-it-yourself approach that requires the same types of computer skills needed to convey information in a PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet, they are addressing the growing demand for apps that not only promote worker productivity but also engage customers and partners in new ways.

  • AT&T posts Tutorial for using ViziApps to Rapidly Build Mobile Apps for IoT Connected Devices

    AT&T M2X (https://m2x.att.com/) provides time-series data storage, device management, message brokering, event triggering, alarming, geo-fencing, and data visualization for Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) products and services. ViziApps has worked with AT&T to integrate ViziApps with M2X to provide Visual Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) for industrial IoT. Check out the Tutorial AT&T just posted in the AT&T M2X blog: https://m2x.att.com/developer/tutorials/viziapps

  • Build Apps Optimized for the iPhone 5′s Larger Screen

    The new iPhone, with its taller screen, provides a larger canvas for the mobile business apps you’re building with ViziApps. To help you make the best use of that space, ViziApps now provides iPhone 5 support.

    Rest assured that apps you’ve already built with ViziApps for the iPhone 4 and 4S will run just fine on the iPhone 5. Now you can build an app for the iPhone 5 and know that when your users download it from the App Store, it will automatically be resized to fit their screen, whether they run your app on an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5.

    For more on how to build an iPhone app, take a look at the ViziApps approach to mobile app development and sign up for a free account.

    iPhone 5 alternative
  • Build Mobile Apps In-house or Outsource Mobile App Development?

    According to a recent survey by Zenprise, 81% of organizations will deploy mobile apps in the next 12 months. As for where they will get those apps, there will be an even split between enterprises that build their apps in house (41%) and those that use mobile apps developed by third parties (40%). (See Zenprise’s Infographic, Mobile Gets A Promotion, for highlights of the results of the company’s survey, which asked 501 IT executives about their enterprise mobility strategies.)

    With ViziApps, enterprises can take either approach – make mobile apps in-house or entrust ViziApps experts to build them. Or they could try both, depending on their resources and the number of apps they need.

    Each approach takes advantage of ViziApps drag and drop, no-coding process for building mobile apps that incorporate business data from a Google Docs spreadsheet or an SQL server. In significantly less time than it would take an organization to build mobile apps using a traditional coding process, ViziApps customers can get the mobile apps they need to drive employee productivity, enhance customer relationships, and support critical enterprise mobility initiatives.

  • Build Native iPad and Android Tablet Apps with ViziApps

    You can now use ViziApps to build both native and web apps for the iPad. Newly integrated functionality for native apps allows for use of the impressive iPad display in mobile business apps. Native apps allow apps to take advantage of iPad native functions like the camera and GPS.

    Using the same drag-and-drop approach you’d take to build an app for an iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphones, you can now use ViziApps to produce apps that take advantage of 10-inch screens on tablets running Android 2.2 or later.

    If you have already created an iPad app with ViziApps or have been considering one, you now have more choices: you can build an iPad app, an Android tablet app, or both.

    Tablets offer a number of advantages for business apps. For sales presentations, they provide a way to display information in visually compelling ways. A 10-inch screen is ideal for displaying business data, product schematics, videos and other types of content that would overwhelm a smartphone screen.

    Also, if you have designed an app with ViziApps for a smartphone, it will now look good on both iPads and Android tablets without any design changes. The design will scale up proportionally but keep the crisp edges of fonts in HD.

  • Building Mobile Business Apps for Tablets

    Enterprises and small-to-medium-size businesses tend to first think of smartphone apps when considering a new way to increase user productivity or strengthen customer bonds. And of course, smartphones apps can address those needs very effectively.But now it’s time to also provide apps for tablets, to accommodate business users who enjoy working on the iPad or an Android tablet.

    Smartphone use for business is exploding. Users view them as essential personal devices that can easily handle work as well as personal tasks. As a result, smartphones often are selected and purchased by individual users and supported through their employer’s BYOD program. Tablets for business apps, on the other hand, are more likely to be selected and supplied by employers.

    According to Gartner, the number of tablets sold in 2012 will hit the 119 million mark. That’s nearly twice the 2011 level of 60 million units. Tablet sales will continue to rise, the research firm predicts, with 450 million tablets sold annually by 2016. By then, enterprise purchases will account for 53 million units.

    As the popularity of tablets in the enterprise skyrockets, employees, customers, partners and suppliers will need apps specifically created to run on tablets, taking advantage of those devices’ formats and superior presentation features. So businesses will have to find a way to build new custom tablet apps quickly and cost effectively. They will also need to be able to quickly update and maintain them throughout their life cycle at low cost.

    The ViziApps mobile app development tool meets those requirements. With its drag and drop approach to design, ViziApps enables business people without coding experience to create apps for iOS and Android tablets. Moreover, the tool’s visual design capabilities allow app builders to create graphics once for use in a tablet app and deploy those graphics across multiple mobile platforms. As a result, business people can plan and implement tablet app development projects in days or weeks, rather than months, and use expense reports to handle app subscription fees.

  • By 2017, 2.4B Workers Will Use Smartphones

    Forecasts on the use of smartphones in the enterprise highlight the need for mobile business apps – to meet current and future demand.

    In 2013, smartphones will comprise 54% of all global cellphone shipments, according to the IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications market tracker report. That will mark a significant milestone: for the first time smartphones will account for more than half of cellphone shipments worldwide. And that milestone will be reached two years earlier than was previously estimated.

    The growth of smartphone shipments can be attributed to several trends in the market over the past year. Specifically, IHS iSuppli reports, smartphones have become increasingly affordable while the availability of a wider range of models has provided consumers greater choice. In Asia-Pacific, those trends have translated into growing sales of low-end smartphones, while in the U.S. and Europe sales of midrange and high-end smartphones have jumped.

    The popularity of smartphones has, and will continue to have, repercussions in the enterprise, where employees have enthusiastically adopted mobile technology. ABI Research, for example, predicts that smartphones will continue to be important to the global workforce, and that by 2017, 2.4 billion employees worldwide will use those devices for work. That type of growth, says ABI Research Enterprise Practice Director Dan Shey, underscores the need to provide all employees with tools, apps and services they can access and use with their smartphones.

    As reported in an earlier ViziApps blog post, most companies are supporting BYOD in some form, and according to the results of an AppCentral report, employers are making one or more custom mobile apps available to their workforces. In addition, non-employees, such as partners and contractors, are also being supplied with mobile apps tailored to a particular business need.

    Today it’s no longer necessary to single out “mobile” employees. Smartphone users in all areas of the enterprise can now be considered mobile since they carry considerable computing power wherever they go. That’s why all employees could benefit from mobile business apps. They need a full range of mobile business apps to meet their needs – from simple productivity tools to more complex apps that can access and deliver critical business data. Those are the types of mobile apps our customers are creating with ViziApps.

  • Choosing Between Development Platforms for Your Mobile Apps

    When it comes to creating a mobile app, you have a number of different kinds of development platforms to choose from. Terrific, right? Well, only if you understand your options.

    For starters, there are platforms that allow mobile software engineers to code their apps in a structured and efficient way. These platforms are essentially software development kits — SDKs — for engineers that provide a library of functions, thereby eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel for basic app functions.

    One such platform is Titanium Mobile from Appcelerator. Titanium Mobile provides a set of tools for engineers to develop mobile apps using languages and tools such as Javascript, CSS, HTML, and Ruby. Another coding platform solution for mobile software engineers is provided by PhoneGap. This option is an open-source set of tools, based on HTML5, that leverages web technologies HTML and JavaScript in a free, open-source framework to give access to a smartphone’s SDK APIs using standards-based web technologies to bridge web applications and mobile devices.

    The second major category is that of non-coding solutions for native apps. Of course, you already know one of the key players here: MobiFlex’s ViziApps, which provides a visual means for building and creating native apps that run native features on iPhones and Android phones; and web apps that run on any mobile device with a full browser. With ViziApps, users can design and test the apps for free; publishing them involves a modest monthly subscription fee or, is even free in some cases.

    Another company that offers a non-coding solution — though it may require coding in some cases — is Pyxis Mobile. Pyxis provides a toolkit for creating apps that is downloaded to the user’s server and runs within the user’s site. While a robust solution, it is also very expensive: license fees can start at over $50,000, and the complexity of the system often requires users to take training courses costing thousands of dollars.

    The third major category of platforms includes those that enable the user to create web apps, generally without coding. Some web-app solutions require HTML or Javascript, but many web apps can be created without coding, and there are a number of startup companies offering such services. These web app suppliers provide a means for reformatting web pages to fit the mobile form factor. Web apps are typically inexpensive to create and publish; they can also be created and published quickly because they generally use existing content available on the user’s web site or other marketing materials. Web apps can be published directly from the user’s web site, rather than going through the app market and store review and publishing processes.

    MobiFlex’s ViziApps recently added web app capabilities, making it the first and only no-coding solution for creating both web apps and native apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones in the same integrated ViziApps Studio. Web apps created with ViziApps are available for immediate use on any of the more than 5,000 mobile devices that support full browser capabilities.

  • Connecting your Workflow Databases with ViziApps

    So what databases can ViziApps mobile apps work with?

    Databases including SQL Server, MySQL, 35 other SQL databases, and QuickBase, and even Intuit QuickBooks, Google Sheets and Salesforce can all connect to your mobile apps built with ViziApps with no coding.

    So, why this is important?

    Databases are where all of your key business process information is updated and stored. But most databases (even SaaS databases) are not very mobile friendly. With mobile changing the way your workforce, partners, and customers do business, it is vital for you to connect to these databases in your business mobile apps.

    Now, with mobile apps, there are some functions that can only be performed by the phone (e.g. taking a photo of a damaged product). Without ViziApps, if you need to store that photo as a database record, you need to write code to the API for the database. The beauty of ViziApps is that it has already created the connection between your mobile app and the record in the database with no coding. Just take the photo, and it will be there in your database.

    Now, you might be a company that is in that hybrid phase, where some information is in the SaaS environment and some critical information in an on-premise Oracle database. Wouldn’t it be great if you could connect the two databases together via the ViziApps mobile app – keeping all of the information required in their respective places but sharing it too? An example of this, say you have to maintain a vacation calendar of you employees so that you can pay them accordingly. In QuickBase, there is an app that allows for an employee to update their vacation dates. In Oracle, on premise database stores all of the PII and pay information. That needs to be updated when an employee requests time-off. QuickBase and Oracle are not connected. Wouldn’t it be great that an employee could just enter their info on a mobile app that updates the calendar in QuickBase and then that updates the info in Oracle, as well? With ViziApps you can do that. Create an app that points to QuickBase info. When info in the QuickBase connected app is updated, it triggers a sequence of events that tells another app in Oracle to update the vacation dates. All of this connectivity and the triggering are done by ViziApps.

    As always, the ViziApps Visual Rapid Mobile App Dev Platform gives you the User Experience flexibility, security, database support, and ease of customization to make your mobile apps a big success with your users.

    ViziApps makes it work. Give it a try!

  • Create A Compelling Mobile Business App

    In an interview with Information Week, ViziApps CEO George Adams recommended 5 steps SMBs can take to ensure that their mobile apps will get used.

    “You need to have an immediate value or hook to the app,” Adams said. In other words, what’s going to make this app stand out from the dozens or even hundreds of others you’ve downloaded?

    It’s critical that you “show a compelling reason to have that other app.”

    This advice holds for SMBs, as well as enterprise business groups developing their own mobile apps.

    Providing the ability to make in-app payments and geo-location services were just two of the features Adams suggested for engaging app users. He also advocated ways to take advantage of the versatility of tablets like the iPad to reduce paperwork and enhance customer presentations.

    This is the same advice Adams offers users of the ViziApps online tool, which enables anyone with minimal computing skills to create a data-rich mobile app. Without doing any coding, ViziApps lets you create a mobile business app online, providing the type of functionality users – whether they are customers, employees, or partners – require to work productively or engage with a business. ViziApps allows non-programmers to build apps that are not only visually engaging, but also allow apps to access data from backend sources such as Google Docs spreadsheets and SQL databases to enable users to make timely, informed business decisions. ViziApps can be used to build apps that run on iOS and Android devices.

    As you plan your next mobile business app, make sure that it offers a compelling user experience. According to research by Localytics, 26% of mobile apps are used just once after they are downloaded. So if you’re planning to build a mobile app for your business, getting users to download it will be just the beginning.

    The importance of engaging your target users cannot be overstated. Localytics found that users who are highly engaged with an app are more likely to make in-app purchases. In fact, 44% of the study sample who made an on-app purchase only did so after interacting with the app at least ten times.

  • Create Custom Mobile Apps for QuickBooks Online

    QuickBooks Online is the rapidly growing cloud version of the world’s most popular accounting program. But when it comes to mobile apps, QuickBooks Online has been constrained to a standardized one-size-fits-all mobile app, and a few special-purpose solutions available through Intuit App Center.

    QuickBooks Screenshot

    Now ViziApps removes all the constraints! You can build the mobile app that exactly suits your business processes, or for your QuickBooks online clients. ViziApps enables you to directly read data from and write data into your QuickBooks Online account. You can use data from other sources to eliminate the inefficiency and mistakes that can occur when a user has to access multiple apps to use different systems. You can empower your workers to be highly productive anywhere, anytime, using exactly the workflow needed to get tasks done quickly.

    And using ViziApps Studio, which doesn’t require coding, you can build your custom app quickly, inexpensively, and without involving a large team of developers. And you can update your app at any time, immediately pushing the new version to your users.

    Find our more about Building Custom Mobile Apps for QuickBooks Online.

    Secure Mobile Apps

    When you create a custom mobile app with ViziApps for QuickBooks Online, every user must log in to the app with their QuickBooks Online account and password – a process that happens directly with Intuit, bypassing ViziApps and your app. Your app communicates directly and securely with Intuit’s servers, keeping your data safe.

    Mobile-First Workflow

    Mobile device users need to get specific tasks done quickly, and with small screens and touch input, demanding the user experience to be optimized in a different way than for web applications. ViziApps Studio uses a page-based organization with free-form layout, enabling you to express the exact workflow for workers to get their tasks done quickly and accurately.

    Mashups with Your Backend and Cloud Data

    In addition to QuickBooks Online, ViziApps can connect your app to Google Sheets, Salesforce.com, Intuit QuickBase, and SQL servers. Need to pull product pricing or inventory data from a Google Drive Spreadsheet, SQL database, or QuickBase? Need to check customer data from Salesforce.com? ViziApps makes this all possible within a single mobile app, and much more.

    True Mobile User Experiences

    ViziApps gives you access to critical smartphone features including GPS, camera, and audio recording, but also extends with important mobility features such as barcode and QR scanning, signature capture, and push notifications. So your custom mobile app becomes a true productivity tool that can transform your business.

  • Create Mobile App Graphics Once For Different Screen Sizes Platforms

    ViziApps allows mobile app builders to incorporate graphics such as photos, logos and icons in their mobile applications without tailoring those images for different platform screen sizes. For example, a business manager could create a logo for use in an iPhone 5 app and use it in ViziApps to build apps for that Apple platform, as well as the iPhone 4 and iPad. That logo could also be used undistorted in select Android smartphones and tablets, as well.

    As a result, mobile business app creators can use ViziApps to quickly and easily use graphics in their app designs to brand their mobile apps for different devices and incorporate images in a way that enhances the user experience on several platforms. This capability is just another way that ViziApps eases and streamlines the mobile business app development process.

    For help building mobile applications for smartphones or tablets, see our tutorial videos. They include tips on topics such as designing tables; incorporating HTML panels; using the camera, picker, and GPS field; and adding JavaScript.

  • Demand for enterprise mobile apps to drastically outstrip supply

    ViziApps is pleased that the need and value of Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) platforms like the ViziApps Visual RMAD have been recognized in the fast paced mobile industry.

    Chris Nerney is a technology writer who covers mobile technology, big data and analytics, Android, data centers and cloud computing. Here’s an excerpt from one of his posts in CSC Blogs:

    Even the best of the best mobile apps development best practices may not be enough to enable enterprises to meet the expected demand for serious business apps, according to a new report by technology research and consulting firm Gartner:

    By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them. Gartner forecasts mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will fuel demand for apps in the enterprise that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.

    The driving force behind the growing demand for mobile apps by enterprise users is the increasing number of devices employees are expected to use in the workplace, including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other wearables. The Internet of Things also will generate more demand for mobile apps.

    Gartner recommends four specific steps enterprises can take to offset mobile apps development challenges:

    1. Prioritize app development

    Rather than develop apps for whomever asks first or the loudest, “mobile development teams need to formulate a process of mobile app prioritization that involves understanding the needs of business stakeholders,” Gartner says.

    2. Adopt a bimodal IT model

    Gartner urges the scrapping of the “traditional IT development approach” with a bimodal approach that delivers apps more efficiently and quickly. Bimodal approaches consist of two modes: “Mode 1 drives the creation of stable infrastructure and APIs to allow apps to retrieve and deliver data to back-end systems without impacting those enterprise applications, while Mode 2 uses high-productivity, agile approaches to quickly deliver front-end app features required by the business.”

    3. Deploy RMAD tools

    Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools enable enterprises to turn out apps much faster. Examples include drag-and-drop codeless tools, model-driven development and other approaches that allow non-developers and people in business units to get involved in creating mobile apps.

    4. Used a mixed-sourcing approach

    While Gartner says enterprises eventually will upgrade their in-house mobile development, only 26% of organizations now use in-house-only development, while more than half (55%) are “successfully delivering apps using mixed sourcing.”

    The bottom line, if Gartner’s forecast is accurate, is that enterprises need to ramp up mobile apps development in a strategic way. If they don’t, they may cede market opportunities to their competitors.

  • Differentiate Your Customer Service With A Data-Rich Mobile Business App

    If you’re looking for a low-cost way to enhance the service you provide your customers, consider a mobile business app. With ViziApps, it’s free to design, build and test a mobile app. Then, for modest fees for cloud-based services to maintain your app, your company can provide a branded mobile app that provides customers valuable information wherever they need it.

    And because many companies don’t yet have mobile apps tailored to meet their customers’ data needs, you have the opportunity to clearly differentiate your business.

    That’s right. Today you can still make your business stand apart from your competitors with a data-rich mobile app. But that climate is changing. Offering a mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, and/or Android devices is rapidly becoming more than a nice-to-have option for companies. Soon mobile apps will be mandatory for a successful business.

    Forbes contributor and CRM consultant Gene Marks makes a strong argument for the value of mobile apps for businesses of all sizes in his recent post titled “Your Business Checklist: A Website, A Phone Number, A Mobile App.”

    “It’s time to stop playing games,” Marks writes. “Smart, boring, conservative companies are getting serious about mobile applications. Slowly but surely, they’re waking up to the potential..no, the need…to utilize these applications to develop more business and keep their customers coming back.”

    A cornerstone of his argument is the fact that businesses can provide mobile apps that provide access to the types of data needed to do business – and with minimal investment.

    “Think about it: we can all save whatever files, music, videos and photos, for next to nothing on Amazon, Dropbox, or other such services… [People are asking] Why can’t I view product specs, safety information and environmental releases about the products I’ve purchased” on my choice of mobile device?

    It’s a fair question. But not every mobile app development platform provides easy robust data access. ViziApps does. With ViziApps, you can easily create a mobile app that provides the data your customers need. And it won’t require an expensive, months-long engineering project.

    ViziApps provides a drag-and-drop approach to building a data-rich mobile app for free. (Ongoing maintenance starts at $29 per month for web apps and $49 per month for native apps. See pricing details here.)

    What makes ViziApps different from other app development platforms is the way it allows the integration of databases, web services and Google Docs spreadsheets for mobile apps. Without doing any coding, people with minimal computer skills can create mobile apps that make use of backend data resources to provide a rich user experience. The online ViziApps tool can be used to create mobile apps for the iPhone, iPads, and Android phones and tablets, and to build web apps for any device with a full browser.

    Start thinking about building a mobile app for your business now. Because, as Gene Marks says, “every business should be thinking about building mobile applications today. It’s not a fad or a passing trend. It’s customer service.”

  • Don’t Overcomplicate Mobile Business Apps

    Facing a highly competitive market, mobile app creators may welcome advice from successful entrepreneurs. Often the type of advice they hear is designed to help them navigate their way through complex business issues. But sound counsel can also suggest ways to eliminate unnecessary complexity.

    Fierce Wireless attended Web Summit 2012 in Dublin earlier this month and summarized advice speakers and panelists offered to mobile app developers. That advice included ideas that go beyond the typical guidance conference attendees might have expected to hear.

    In an article titled “Seven mobile developer success strategies from Web Summit 2012,” Shane Schick highlighted one strategy might surprise mobile app creators:

    Don’t ignore the one-off apps.

    That’s a very straightforward suggestion, but it might not be obvious to everyone planning to create a mobile business app.

    From Schick’s article:

    “Tomer Kagan, the co-founder and CEO of Quixey, focuses on a discovery service that helps users find other apps. He told the Web Summit crowd that not all developers need to wrack their brains thinking of ways to get users coming back to an app over and over again once they’ve installed it. He gave the example of a consumer app created by a grocery store chain, whose goal was to increase sales by 10 percent by offering information and discounts to customers that were already spending money in the store. It worked.”

    Another recommendation from the same event: Leave room for non-social behavior.

    For some other interesting ideas for mobile app developers, read the entire article.