The 5 Best Application Platforms


Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mobile app building has become a significant part of the IT world, so professionals need to make sure they're using the best possible platforms for this. Here is our guide to the top choices.

Article 3 Minutes
The 5 Best Application Platforms

With mobile growth showing no signs of slowing down, it is no surprise that the tech world is becoming more focused on app development. Thanks to application platforms, this has become a more cost-effective and efficient process that rarely requires extensive coding knowledge or development experience.

Everyone who's tried their hand at app development likely has their favorite platform, and working out which is the best amid a sea of recommendations can quickly get exhausting. Here is our guide to the best application platforms out there.


OutSystems is a versatile platform - but still easy to use - and offers a drag-and-drop interface with the option to add your own front or back-end code. It also features integration with SOAP web services and REST APIs without the need for additional coding.

The major selling point of OutSystems is its advanced enterprise features, offering scalability, security and flexible deployment built into the platform. This gives it a great deal of flexibility, enabling you to build everything from small internal apps to offerings designed for millions of users. The platform has a free plan, but the most advanced option will cost $4,600 per month.

This platform has become very popular as a starting point for app development. It runs in the cloud and includes integrated back-end services, making it possible to create a basic app in minutes for Android, iOS or Windows Phone. The platform comes with built-in support for popular frameworks like Apache Cordova (a.k.a. PhoneGap), Ionic, and jQuery Mobile, allowing for hybrid apps that run on a range of operating systems.

The editor is very visual, incorporating a drag-and-drop interface. Appery comes with plenty of available plugins, but can also connect to any RESTful API if you want to customize your app further. The platform comes with a 14-day free trial, and costs between $60 and $200 per month after that.

Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is marking the 20th anniversary of its first release in 2017, and its endurance is testament to its powerful tools and variety of options. The latest version, Visual Studio 2017, offers a wide range of updates and lets you create applications for Windows, Android, and iOS using any of several languages.

Support for C#, JavaScript, C++ and Visual Basic allows developers to create native and hybrid mobile apps with high performance and cross-platform capabilities. Visual Studio's Mobile Center provides a central platform for continuous integration, automated testing, distribution, and feedback capabilities in order to deploy high-quality cloud-powered apps quickly and easily.

Adobe PhoneGap

This platform is a good option for developers with a solid background in coding, as it is designed to allow for the creation of hybrid apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. PhoneGap is open-source - much like Apache Cordova, another platform made by the same team - meaning there's an abundance of third-party tools and plugins you can use to aid your work.

Adobe also offers a PhoneGap Build service, which allows you to upload your assets to the cloud, where they will be compiled for you. You won't need to worry about maintaining an up-to-date SDK, as this is taken care of for you. Perhaps the best aspect of the platform is that it is completely free to use.

Google App Maker

Built on the same platform that power Google's G Suite of applications, App Maker allows organizations to easily and securely create custom solutions and, as it is a low-code development tool, it's ideal for users who don't have prior programming knowledge.

With a simple drag-and-drop user interface editor and the ability to quickly deploy an app across the entire company without the need for servers, administrators, or provisioning, Google claims it can cut development times from months to days, which could transform how many organizations approach their IT environment.

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