Birth of a Platform RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I am a windows developer by profession, like most of you out there. As all of you know, completion of a project requires a lot of leg-work to be done like creating professional looking UI, creating the ORM layer, etc. Doing leg-work doesn't sound like a problem, but doing the same work again and again for different projects is a problem because you always missout certain aspects. As Larry Wall once said - "The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris."

    I was lookin for a job change, found this company (Incognito Technologies Pvt Ltd), met Adi, he told me about the platform (Appfloat) they were using for software development. All these problems were fixed up as Appfloat generates applications with a built in ORM, caching service, access rights manager, auditing module, professional looking UI and many more desired features to deliver a polished LOB application in much less time as Appfloat handles all the leg-work which a developer has to do. The code generated by Appfloat platform is also well structured and has a high mentainability index. So we thaught, lets ease life of other developers out there and make Appfloat usable for general public. We came up with a cross platform solution, the datastory builder (runs over Mac and Windows in browser): tool for designing datastories (basically a datamodel constrained to Appfloat rules), managing projects, generating and downloading source code and executables. Source is always there to etend and modify generated application. Now it is easy for me to design my application datamodel and hit generate button, and Appfloat generates everything for me, source, executbles just in a couple of minutes. Thats whai i was looking for, so you people, developers like me, may also ease your lives with Appfloat.

    Now let me tell you some cool features, it will start making sence and you will know, why shall you start using Appfloat.
    • Build cloud based applications: Cloud based software applications reduces your hardware, networking management and overall IT expenses. In addition, with cloud computing, you pay for what you use. You can scale as and when you need rather than having to invest upfront. Moreover, users can access the application from wherever. With Appfloat you have the option to build such cloud based applications without getting too technical.
    • Reduce development time: Coding can be a lonely and boring job, especially if it involves writing
      similar code segments repeatedly. To keep your talented developers motivated by reducing repetitive tasks as Appfloat automatically produces all the repetitive code blocks your applications will ever need. Rushed software development usually leads to defective products as people start cutting corners. This will leave enough slack in the schedule.
    • Design professional applications: Appfloat intelligently designs the user interfaces, drastically reducing the number of errors and their related costs. If users find a software application usable, then the possibility that they use the application again improves drastically. Many support calls and more expensive support consequences (such as application failures) are caused because of inadequate usability design.
    • Increase after-sales support: Often it is not the initial development of the software that is difficult. It is much trickier to keep up with their changing and make appropriate changes in your software application. With high attrition rate in the software industry this is scary, as once the software is built it is generally best supported only by the developers that built it in the first place.

      Knowledge transfer to avoid after sales problems is very time consuming and expensive. With Appfloat you can get the flexibility and code separation from business logic to make sure you can give your customers unparalleled after sales support.
    • Build on top of a solid foundation: Poka-Yoke is application of a Japanese manufacturing technique to software development Software. Applications built using Appfloat employ the Poka-Yoke design. Poka-Yoke (mistake-proofing) is a design approach which seeks to prevent problems by making applications less prone to miscoding.
    • Increase profitability: A professional looking, bug-free and robust application with advanced features which is supportable results in easier sales cycle. Appfloat also makes it possible to develop such applications atlas 5x faster reducing development costs significantly. All this along with a great after-sales-support will no doubt result in increased sales and profitability for your organization.
    • Keyboard based navigation: In a business environment the software users can reach speeds of more than 100 words a minute. Therefore, if the entire software can be used without touching the mouse the speed of data entry can be increased phenomenally. Certain keys are configured to perform specific repeated tasks using Appfloat built software. Such shortcut keys allow users to perform useful functions. This enables users to use the software with much more ease than using the mouse to navigate through menus and click icons.
    • Declarative business logic: Declarative Business Logic separates the business definition from its code counterpart, making the business application survive beyond current technologies. This provides more freedom for customers. Moreover, you can keep up-to-date with the changing needs of the business your application is supporting and provide with better after-sales support.
    • Completely customisable: Once Appfloat framework generates the application, developers can download the source code and extend the applications much as they need to in order to fulfil the business requirements. All code written is very clearly formatted, easy to understand and extend. Developers can also utilize extensive library of videos that will explain the source code and help them in customization. Once all necessary reports and customizations have been implemented the application can be deployed for the end-users to use.
    • Multiple themes: Developers can customize the look and feel of the application by changing the themes by either selecting the available themes in the Appfloat applications or by specifying individual colours. This way they can offer aesthetically pleasing applications to their customers as per their liking.
    • Audit trail: Audit trails are useful both for maintaining security and recovering lost transactions. It serves as electronic evidence that can be used to trace transactions and verify their validity and accuracy. Applications generated using Appfloat platform comes with an in-built audit trail feature that can be filtered by User, Module, Action Type and Dates. This can be used further to generate advanced Audit Reports for compliance.
    • User access rights: Developers and application administrators of Appfloat based applications can configure multiple levels of security for their users. They can give as much or as little access to each user for each module. The modules for which users do not have "no rights" will not appear in the application. This means the sections and menus auto-configure based on access rights of the users.
    • Excel import & export: Data migration is a key element to consider when adopting any new system. Although migrating data can be a fairly time-consuming process, the benefits can be worth the cost and might mean "live or die" for your application. Additionally, old applications need not be maintained if all legacy data is ported. Appfloat generated applications have Excel Import feature built into them which can be used to put data in exported templates and imported back into the new application. This can save hundreds of data-entry hours for your end users.

      Almost all data that you see on your application can be filtered and exported to Excel as well. You can therefore leverage a familiar, powerful tool to analyse and report on your results.
    • Workflow: Workflows in Appfloat based applications enable end-users to reduce the amount of unnecessary interactions between people as they perform business processes.
      For example, to reach a decision, groups typically follow a series of steps, representing a business process. The number of human interactions that occur in business processes can inhibit speed and the quality of decisions.

      Our in-built workflow simplifies and manages this "human workflow" enabling automation of interactions among users who participate in the process.
      This results in more speed, overall effectiveness of the interactions, and often a reduction in errors. All workflow actions like Submitting a record
      creation or updation for Approval, Approving a Request or Rejecting one are also maintained in the Audit. Requests pending approval for a long time, can also be Escalated.
    • Powerful search: Search is a core component of the Appfloat based applications, providing powerful search functionality. All modules have a Search-grid at the bottom which helps users type regular text in the search box and perform search across all records in the module. Moreover, users can search based on Exact or Partial Match on All or Specific columns of the grid. We know that empowering the end-users to quickly and easily find the specific information they need, when they need it, is one of the most critical benefits provided by any application.
    • Repository: Appfloat based applications have a file repository in-built using which users can stores documents against records of specific modules. This repository feature can be turned on for specific users of the applications for specific modules by the developers very easily. While a repository may sound like an upgraded file system, it is much more. The entire lifecycle of your documents can be managed with a good document repository system in place. Benefits of document repository are access control, improved document search and compliance.
    • Module search: You cannot just easily search for data within modules in Appfloat based applications, you can just as easily search for the modules themselves. This might not sound a lot for smaller applications but for larger applications that have hundreds of modules in them users tend to forget the module location i.e. under which menu and sub-menu does the module appear. With module search you can easily search for the
      modules using "partial text" search.
    • Favourites menu:Users of Appfloat based applications can also mark the modules they work on as favourites.
      When marking "favourite" the module can also be given a friendly name for the user to remember.
      The marked modules now will also appear on the "Favourites" Menu for easy access.
    • Package and publish to third party: Once your application is completely built it can be published for third
      party use using our App Gallery.
      You can configure the payment details as well so
      that your clients can use Appfloat's App Gallery to purchase your
      application license.
      We will credit your account after deducting the
      App Gallery hosting charges when we receive the payments from your
      Users will be able to write comments about your
      applications as well as rate them on our App Gallery.
    • Pay as-you-go pricing: Appfloat gives you a pay-as-you-go pricing option where you pay monthly
      on a usage basis and can create unlimited applications with unlimited
      We also work with our customers to co-create
      innovative pricing models to accommodate large user base and help them
      offer a strong value proposition to the end user.
      With us you have the ability to start small and
      yet dream big without any upfront investments.
    • Easy billing: In the "My Appfloat" section developers will be able to get the exact
      break-down of the hosting charges by Application and their Versions.
      This is useful for developers that build
      applications for third party as they can use this information to charge
      their clients.
    Last but not the least, their is also an exception reporting module in the datastory builder which will help you to monitor any exceptions on end-client's machines regarding your application. It provides you with all the necessary details required for debugging as a developer like stack traces, exception details, etc.
    So now we have got a couple of reasons to switch to appfloat. Stay tuned and happy coding.
    Friday, July 13, 2012 9:41 AM