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Saturday, 30 May

Rapid App Development

Developing and deploying the right business apps are a proven way of helping companies become more efficient and profitable.

Business apps that integrate with existing IT infrastructures or provide new applications can either help management teams and employees run their operations more effectively or can be a really effective way to engage with customers or personnel to boost growth.

To date, the creation and implementation of quality and high functionality apps has been considered challenging, resource intensive and expensive. Many companies have been deterred because of concerns about the speed and cost of development, how to cope with multiple device types, the integration with different databases or existing systems, changing business requirements and technology; and how to ensure growth potential and flexibility in to the future.

 

Evoke

BlueFinity International has provided a solution with the release of Evoke, a new Rapid Business App Development platform. Evoke delivers web, hybrid and native apps, it integrates with all major SQL and MultiValue databases and can be deployed across multiple devices and platforms, all from a single design project.

It offers all the major features of a typical RAD environment, including menu creation, integration of device specific features, styling and data management, along with a WYSIWYG screen designer.

Evoke offers an extensive array of UI widgets, dynamic adaptations and industry standard component integration to support the deployment of apps across all major platforms and devices, all from a single design and code set. All the major devices including the iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows phones and tablets, plus Windows, Linux and Apple desktop are supported and can dynamically adapt a single user interface design so that multiple screen sizes and operating systems of these various devices are provided for and the users of each device is presented with optimum visual displays.

The cloud-based development process means that management and business users can be fully involved by reviewing the app at various stages of its build.

 

Paradigm Housing delivers digital transformation with a low-code development platform.

Paradigm Housing has delivered the next phase of its Digital Transformation Programme – a Customer Portal and a mobile workforce solution - using LANSA’s low-code development platform. These elements form part of a broader digital transformation drive towards customer self-service, efficiency improvements and costs reduction. These latest additions integrate tightly with Paradigm’s existing housing management system, also built using LANSA.

By choosing to build in-house, using LANSA’s single-language solution, Paradigm has been able to create the specific business applications it needs at a fraction of the time and cost of using packaged applications or of building with traditional development methods.

Requiring only two developers, Paradigm IT has delivered back office, mobile and web based applications without the need to master the plethora of skills such projects would normally demand. Commenting on the choice, Mike Silk, Head of IT at Paradigm said, “LANSA insulates us from changing technologies and lets us focus on business need. Being able to deliver solutions in a very short time is critical to the business. It drives efficiency changes and allows us to re-invest in more homes for more people.”

 

Customer Portal

The Customer Portal was built in only 20 days. Customers can review their account balances, pay their rent (the LANSA based solution is integrated with Capita’s payment system), provide feedback to Paradigm and request property repairs.

The portal makes full use of LANSAs responsive design capabilities, whereby whichever device the portal is accessed on, the app presents appropriately for that screen size.

 

Mobile field service – online and offline

The Mobile solution, built in only 15 days, delivers fully optimised job schedules to 100 mobile field service engineers – plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other trades on their mobile devices. They can log work executed, either online or offline and report back to Paradigm’s systems.

Other integrations included those with a customer text messaging system, bank account verification software, post code look-up software and the Out-of-Hours support system run by Mears.

Silk added: “I’ve tried lots of third party app dev tools for mobile and they are fine for simple apps but if you really want to build anything reasonably complex, they tend to fall apart. Very soon you have to drop out of the tool and start coding. With LANSA we could do it all with one skillset and LANSA offline is invaluable.”

 

Core systems

Paradigm’s core systems, comprising full property management, from building and acquisition, through property rental and managing the rental account, are completely written using LANSA. The solution includes a full 360o view of the customer allowing all correspondence with the customer to be viewed in one place.

Picture: Graph functions within Evoke

 

Article written by Robin Snow

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