App development software comparison

Category overview

Enterprise app builder

Fliplet makes it easy for businesses to create, launch and update professional apps. The primary users are non-technical and semi-technical staff. Minimal training is required. Technical staff can easily extend Fliplet with code snippets to get fully custom apps. Costs are linked to app users not calculated on a per app basis.

Advantages

  • Creates professional high quality apps
  • Can be used by non-technical staff
  • Offers the high customization required for professional apps
  • Fast to create and update
  • Highly scalable. Enables multiple app use cases
  • Full access and security controls
  • Full integration features

Challenges

  • Highly customizable but certain features are not editable
  • Focussed on end user applications not backend applications

Developer tools

eg. Xamarin, Outsystems, Mendix

Developer tools are designed to assist software developers create unique apps. Deep domain knowledge is required. Costs are high due to the need for dedicated technical staff and multiply with the number of apps created. Apps are not automatically maintained so there are often ongoing resource and software costs after an app is launched.

Advantages

  • Creates professional high quality apps
  • Offers the high customization required for professional apps
  • Full access and security controls
  • Full integration features
  • Good for backend processing

Challenges

  • Requires dedicated developers
  • Longer time to delivery
  • Cannot scale as additional developers are required with new apps

Simple app builders

eg. Power Apps, BiznessApps, Appypie

Simple app builders focus on pre-built templates, allowing users to swap in their own content. They are great for creating quick and simple apps. However, they typically struggle to accommodate apps with custom features. Initial starting prices are low but ramp quickly with additional features and users.

Advantages

  • Can be used by non-technical staff
  • Fast to create and update

Challenges

  • Limits on the quality of the apps produced
  • Limited customization and functionality
  • Limited security features

App quality

High quality professional apps with a wide range of features, designs and interfaces

High quality professional apps with a wide range of features, designs and interfaces

Limited features and designs sometimes leading to user frustration

Typical user

Non-technical / Semi-technical

Software Developer / Technical

Non-technical / Semi-technical

IT resource required

Signoff and governance

App development team

Minor signoff

Customization

Yes
Highly customizable

Yes
Highly customizable

Maybe
Limited customization of features

Can add new features

Yes
Code snippets can be added to create bespoke features

Yes
As you are building apps from scratch they can be extended with more code

Maybe
Partial extension of certain features is possible

Security features available

Full. Suitable for enterprise
Meets all internal or public app security standards

Full. Suitable for enterprise
Some security may be available out of the box, others will need to be implemented

Partial
Many simple app builders do not meet enterprise grade security requirements

Time required to use security features

Low
They are easy to configure

High
May not be available out of the box. They can be labor intensive to implement

Low
If available, they are usually easy to configure

Integration with databases

Full
Integrates with SQL and non-relational databases

Full
All integrate with various databases but integrations may have to be created with code

Limited
Most do not integrate with databases

Integration with APIs

Yes
Integrates with MDM (mobile device management) software

Yes
Most include integration with MDM (mobile device management) software

Limited
Most will include integration with common cloud APIs e.g. Google, Facebook, Dropbox

Device support

All - Mobile, tablet and desktop
One app created then deployed to different devices

Possibly limited
Not all devices natively supported, development work required for compatibility on different devices

All
One app created then deployed to different devices

Cost base

Medium
Fixed fee per year for individual or unlimited apps

High
Salary of developer resource plus software cost

Low
Priced per app per platform but often increases steeply for multiple apps

Ongoing cost

Low
Non-technical staff required

High
Generally require technical staff for updates and feature changes

Low
Non-technical staff required

Additional costs

Number of end users
Support & SLA

Number of end users
Servers & infrastructure
Professional
Services & training
Support & SLA

Number of end users
Features
Support

Time to create initial app

Low to Mid
Customize existing features or components, developers can produce new features

High
Depends on the skills of the developer team and complexity of the app project

Low
Customize existing features or components

Time for ongoing app maintenance

Low
Content is maintained by customer. Supplier maintains code and compatibility

High
Content is maintained by customer. Supplier or customer maintains code and compatibility

Low
Content is maintained by customer. Supplier maintains code and compatibility

App development software comparison

Enterprise app builder

Fliplet makes it easy for businesses to create, launch and update professional apps. The primary users are non-technical and semi-technical staff. Minimal training is required. Technical staff can easily extend Fliplet with code snippets to get fully custom apps. Costs are linked to app users not calculated on a per app basis.

Advantages

  • Creates professional high quality apps
  • Can be used by non-technical staff
  • Offers the high customization required for professional apps
  • Fast to create and update
  • Highly scalable. Enables multiple app use cases
  • Full access and security controls
  • Full integration features

Challenges

  • Highly customizable but certain features are not editable
  • Focussed on end user applications not backend applications

App quality

High quality professional apps with a wide range of features, designs and interfaces

Typical user

Non-technical / Semi-technical

IT resource required

Signoff and governance

Customization

Yes
Highly customizable

Can add new features

Yes
Code snippets can be added to create bespoke features

Security features available

Full. Suitable for enterprise
Meets all internal or public app security standards

Time required to use security features

Low
They are easy to configure

Integration with databases

Full
Integrates with SQL and non-relational databases

Integration with APIs

Yes
Integrates with MDM (mobile device management) software

Device support

All - Mobile, tablet and desktop
One app created then deployed to different devices

Cost base

Medium
Fixed fee per year for individual or unlimited apps

Ongoing cost

Low
Non-technical staff required

Additional costs

Number of end users
Support & SLA

Time to create initial app

Low to Mid
Customize existing features or components, developers can produce new features

Time for ongoing app maintenance

Low
Content is maintained by customer, supplier maintains code and compatibility

Developer tools

eg. Xamarin, Outsystems, Mendix

Developer tools are designed to assist software developers create unique apps. Deep domain knowledge is required. Costs are high due to the need for dedicated technical staff and multiply with the number of apps created. Apps are not automatically maintained so there are often ongoing resource and software costs after an app is launched.

Advantages

  • Creates professional high quality apps
  • Offers the high customization required for professional apps
  • Full access and security controls
  • Full integration features
  • Good for backend processing

Challenges

  • Requires dedicated developers
  • Longer time to delivery
  • Cannot scale as additional developers are required with new apps

App quality

High quality professional apps with a wide range of features, designs and interfaces

Typical user

Software Developer / Technical

IT resource required

App development team

Customization

Yes
Highly customizable

Can add new features

Yes
As you are building apps from scratch they can be extended with more code

Security features available

Full. Suitable for enterprise
Some security may be available out of the box, others will need to be implemented

Time required to use security features

High
May not be available out of the box. They can be labor intensive to implement

Integration with databases

Full
All integrate with various databases but integrations may have to be created with code

Integration with APIs

Yes
Most include integration with MDM (mobile device management) software

Device support

Possibly limited
Not all devices natively supported, development work required for compatibility on different devices

Cost base

High
Salary of developer resource plus software cost

Ongoing cost

High
Generally require technical staff for updates and feature changes

Additional costs

Number of end users
Servers & infrastructure
Professional
Services & training
Support & SLA

Time to create initial app

High
Depends on the skills of the developer team and complexity of the app project

Time for ongoing app maintenance

High
Content is maintained by customer, supplier or customer maintains code and compatibility

Simple app builders

eg. Power Apps, BiznessApps, Appypie

Simple app builders focus on pre-built templates, allowing users to swap in their own content. They are great for creating quick and simple apps. However, they typically struggle to accommodate apps with custom features. Initial starting prices are low but ramp quickly with additional features and users.

Advantages

  • Can be used by non-technical staff
  • Fast to create and update

Challenges

  • Limits on the quality of the apps produced
  • Limited customization and functionality
  • Limited security features

App quality

Limited features and designs sometimes leading to user frustration

Typical user

Non-technical / Semi-technical

IT resource required

Minor signoff

Customization

Maybe
Limited customization of features

Can add new features

Maybe
Partial extension of certain features is possible

Security features available

Partial
Many simple app builders do not meet enterprise grade security requirements

Time required to use security features

Low
If available, they are usually easy to configure

Integration with databases

Limited
Most do not integrate with databases

Integration with APIs

Limited
Most will include integration with common cloud APIs e.g. Google, Facebook, Dropbox

Device support

All
One app created then deployed to different devices

Cost base

Low
Priced per app per platform but often increases steeply for multiple apps

Ongoing cost

Low
Non-technical staff required

Additional costs

Number of end users
Features
Support

Time to create initial app

Low
Customize existing features or components

Time for ongoing app maintenance

Low
Content is maintained by customer, supplier maintains code and compatibility