What Is Application Development?

An app is the common term for a software application or software program that can be run on a computer device to accomplish a task easier and more efficiently than we could do it ourselves as mere mortals. If you have a smartphone or computer tablet, you probably have used some game apps, news apps or even map apps to help you find the local coffee shop. Application development is the name of the profession that employs people who design, develop and deploy these computer applications. As you might imagine, the reason it's called application development instead of just computer programming is because there are many more steps involved before and after the actual writing of the computer program.


Custom Application Development

Custom software development is the designing of software applications for a specific user or group of users within an organization. Such software is designed to address their needs precisely as opposed to the more traditional and widespread off-the-shelf software. Such software is typically created just for that specific entity by a third-party by contract or in-house group of developers and is not packaged for reselling.


Why Custom Application Development?

Do you live and die by the cutting and pasting between a dozen apps? Every off-the-shelf application has its limitations. In fact, many industries just don’t have off-the-shelf software that can meet their needs and accelerate workflow. A few examples include logistics & transportation, warehousing, construction, education, healthcare, retail, and large-scale food service and catering companies. For service companies, cross-department involvement on bids and project delivery presents a unique challenge. It usually involves a collection of spreadsheets, databases, documents, and invoicing. A custom application can bring all of the functionality you need into a single place so you can operate efficiently.

When you buy an off-the-shelf solution, you’re building your business on software being built by someone else. That company may change their software, change directions, or even go out of business. This can leave a lasting impact on your business. If you have specific requirements for the software that

powers your daily operations, having your own, custom application could be a critical strategy for your business.

 The pros of custom software development

The benefit to custom software is the simple fact it provides features off-the-shelf software doesn’t. Designing an application with your organization’s needs in consideration implies an increased level of productivity.

If you have a software application designed to increase productivity or address an internal need, the cost of it is offset by the promise of increased efficiency. If your organization has a need unique, enough to warrant for custom software, then customizing a solution rather than settling for an off-the-shelf application becomes a smart course of action.

 The cons of custom software development

Whereas you can purchase an off-the-shelf software application for dollars, customized software requires significantly more resources to design and thus comes with an inherently high amount of costs and risks. When a business decides to begin development on custom software, it has to cover all costs associated with the development process. In the end, cost alone can amount to the five-figure range. Off-the-shelf software can afford a low price point because the cost is being distributed between many different users, whereas custom software is created for one user: YOUR COMPANY.


Agile Application Development

Agile development is a methodology that uses an iterative development approach. It is useful in situations that are expected to experience requirement or scope change. Each development iteration is called a sprint and will last a specific period of time. For example, a project may be comprised of many six-week sprints. Each sprint will go through all of the SDLC phases, however, because an agile sprint is much shorter than a typical waterfall project; each phase is completed much faster and sometimes multiple SDLC phases might be completed concurrently.


Mobile Application Development

A software application development that goes through complete process of creating all of the designs, assets & codes that runs on a mobile device and all of its supporting services that are accessed from the mobile application via the a network connection and run on remote computing resources.

Currently, there are TWO major dominant platforms in this technological era of smartphone market. One is iOS from Apple Inc. and the other is Android from Google. iOS runs only on Apple phones and related devices whereas the Android operating system is used not only by Google designed devices, but is also used by many other OEMs for their own smartphones and for other types of devices.

Types of Mobile Applications

While there are many different ways to develop applications to run on mobile devices, there are four main categories of mobile applications development approaches:

Native Mobile Applications: code are written in the platform and framework provided by particular platform owners such as iOS and Android and they run on their device only

Hybrid-Native Applications: code can be written in any language; however they will run on native platform and device only

Hybrid-Web Applications: can be written in any language or framework, but runs on web-container of that device only

Progressive Web Applications: these are typical application code written in HTML5, CSS, JQuery etc. and runs on mobile device compatibility mode


Enterprise Application Development

The advanced and enterprise version of custom application development; an enterprise applications are large multi user, multi developer and a multi component applications  that can work on large chunks of data and utilize extensive parallel processing, network distributed resources and complex logic. These applications can be deployed across multiple platforms and operate simultaneously with many other applications. Enterprise applications are business oriented and deployed to meet specific business requirements. They encode business policies, processes, rules and entities and are developed with specific business requirements in mind. Hence, these applications require special tools in the form of enterprise application development software to cater to their unique needs.


Business Needs: Reporting & Business Intelligence (BI)

Reporting shows you what happened so far and what the status is. Reports often use standard or well-known formats to help people do their jobs better or more easily on a daily (or weekly, monthly, etc.) basis. They may also focus on one specific set of data or records. For example, a daily report of all the customer orders that must be shipped by the end of the day will show the shipping department what it must do to meet current business goals of prompt delivery.

 Business intelligence (BI) shows you why things happened and how to improve business performance in the future. Often using multiple sources of data, BI lets you discover data relationships you never knew existed and explore new business possibilities. For example, by analyzing shipping performance over time, customer satisfaction surveys, and seasonal variations in demand, you might gain insights into when and how shipping teams should be increased to maximize profitability, competitiveness, and customer loyalty.