What is custom application development?

Custom application development refers to the creation of software applications to fulfill specific business needs for a group of users in mind. The custom apps address specific needs for users to more conventional and standard software used by most people. Custom software is mostly developed to fill the gap with features absent in other available off-shelf versions.

Custom apps development is a requirement when one is looking to develop a unique app product idea OR launch their own app business. Using low code app platforms in such scenarios is never a good choice.

Advantages of Custom Application Development

• Customized Solution

Developing a custom app ensures that it suits you needs. During the development process, you can find opportunities to optimize your processes leading to higher productivity. The app developer analyzes your set of requirements that are needed to provide necessary custom solutions.

• Addresses Security Concerns

With custom apps, it is possible to have your security in-built in the software. Hackers exploit off-the-shelf software where they find vulnerable points of entry to harm your systems. With custom software, there are fewer chances of intrusion as the tools used are not familiar with hackers.

• Compatibility

It is expected that you or your organization are using several other tools. It is natural to want all the tools to communicate by building an interface that enables easier transfer of data from one app to another. It is difficult to obtain the functionalities in an off-the-shelf tool. However, you can build compatibility in a custom app.

• Return on Investment

In its initial development, the custom app development cost seems expensive as you invest a large sum of money, but it will give you good returns in the end. For example, with custom applications, you don’t incur license costs as you own the software. Also, since you can incorporate security in the app, you will prevent losses that can occur in the event of hacking or a malware attack.

• Advanced Software Support

Support services are excellent with custom software than readymade ones. Your contract with the app development company provides continuous support that will have a dedicated team to offer maintenance services for the software. Response and resolution period is quicker with custom application development, which can further be guaranteed by having Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in the contract.

Disadvantages of Custom Application Development

• Time Consuming

Designing, setting-up, and implementing custom software take a lot of time. The long process is disadvantageous to organizations that want short and instant solutions. The time consuming nature of custom applications increases chances for unpredicted complications. However, the time it takes for developing the app is worth it as it serves the business according to its unique needs.

• Support and Documentation

Sometimes, the original custom app developer is unavailable to provide support. This makes it difficult to find other people with similar abilities. This is unlike commercial software that has ready documentation resources and training; this greatly limits effective operations of research management systems on custom applications. But, this can be rectified by having one of your technicians sit in during app development and be trained on support services.

What is low code development?

Low-codes are sets of tools used by developers to custom app build software in a drag-and-drop visual interface, which includes complete user interface, data management, integrations, and logic. Usually, a low code platform contains:

• ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) software tools that facilitate development, debugging, deployment, and maintenance of software throughout staging, testing, and production.

• Visual Integrated Development Environment (Visual IDE) which is an app that enables a developer to custom app build the user interface (UI), application data, and workflow models. Even though a low code platform is drag-and-drop, you can also manually write code.

• Connectors for services and back-end that include storage, retrieval, and data structure.

Advantages of Low-Code Platform

• Reduced Costs

The capability to build more applications within a short time leads to decreased costs which is not the same with custom app development cost. Also, the low-code platform eliminates the need for additional developers, which reduces hiring costs.

• Change Easily

Changing applications and aligning them with new requirements is easy with low-code development. You do not have to perform complex coding as the platform facilitates instant change when needed. However, the changes must align with the low-code app and not your needs. This means that you customize your business needs to the app and not the other way round where you customize an app for your business.

Disadvantages of Low-Code Platform

• No Customization

Low-code platforms have modular components that limit customization of applications. What this means is that you will have to adjust your business processes to suit the low-code platform; this is one among many problems with low-code.

• Restricted Integration

Low-code application creates integration issues afterwards, which is not something you can risk with your business’ core systems. All your business systems have to integrate into the app.

• Security

When working with a custom code, you are assured of its reliability since you wrote the code. However, with low-code, you do not have absolute control of the app as you are not the developer. This vulnerability can be exploited by hackers to access your system and cause you harm.

• You are tied to the Platform

Problems with low-code platforms include locking the user to their cloud. This makes it difficult to enlist the services of software engineers to customize your app in the future. Although the drag-and-drop platform is easy, you will have to look for custom code when you need to add a special feature. Integrating a custom code into a low-code platform can be more costly than an originally fully customized solution.

Why Choose Custom Application Development over Low Code

A low-code platform allows inexperienced users to make important decisions, which is risky. Users should be aware of the challenges and risks that present with the platforms. But with custom application development, a custom app developer interacts with the custom app with adequate knowledge of what they are doing. When challenges occur, they are resolved fast as the developer is only a call away or in the business premises.

Custom app development is best suited for organizations that handle sensitive information and data because of its security. It is possible to integrate your system security with custom applications, which is not possible with low-code development.

With low-code applications, your organization may not achieve its desired functionality because of restricted customization options. Flow options and user interface (UI) are very restricting which makes low-code platforms unsuitable especially where expectations are high as with user interface and user experience (UX). Therefore, custom application development is the better choice when you need a unique and high-quality application that will suit your business needs.

Amit Tiwari is a member of JumpGrowth’s marketing team, and spends his free time to writing and publishing the tech news.

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