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Research Firm Ranks DIY App Coding Tools

With skilled mobile app developers in short supply, many enterprises are slow to leverage opportunities provided by mobile apps and some are turning to low-code (or no-code), do-it-yourself tools to get more out the door.

Now, a research/review firm has ranked those DIY solutions with what it claims is a new approach combining traditional B2B research with newer consumer review services. The five-year-old, Washington, DC, company, Clutch, provides research on many industries, providing company snapshots, reviews and a "Leaders Matrix" similar to Gartner Inc.'s famous "Magic Quadrant" research tool.

Now Clutch has turned its attention to DIY tools that can put coding responsibility in the hands of non-developer business users to keep up with the demand for enterprise mobile apps that have empowered (and richened) mobile developers and forced companies to look at other options, such as offshore outsourcing.

"The research findings are based on an algorithm of factors that include breadth of platform features, ease of use, client reviews and market presence," Clutch said in a statement yesterday. Of more than 20 reviewed tools, Clutch listed the leaders as:

  • Como
  • ShoutEm
  • Bizness Apps
  • Appsmakerstore
  • GoodBarber
  • Appy Pie
  • GameSalad
  • Snappii
  • Apptive
  • Yapp
  • AppInstitute
  • Verivo's AppStudio

With names like Appy Pie and GameSalad, the tools may not garner much respect in the traditional development community, but are nevertheless making headway in the enterpise. Evidence of that is provided by recent research from Intuit Quickbase about how the "citizen developer" movement is transforming in the enterprise.

Top DIY Mobile App Builders Leaders Matrix
[Click on image for larger view.] Top DIY Mobile App Builders Leaders Matrix (source: Clutch)

The "State of Citizen Development Report" survey revealed "a new class of application developers" who weren't coding experts gaining more efficiency and speed, but rather less-skilled enterprise staffers teaming up with IT pros to crank out apps faster.

This growing approach can be a double-edged sword, however. A recent slideshow article by CIO Insight, titled, "Rapid App Development Creates Security Nightmare," reports on IDG and Lookout research titled "Buying into Mobile Security."

That research noted the security implications affecting enterprises stemming from the sheer volume of mobile apps hitting the market, opening up new attack vectors and increasing the risk of data breaches. "Adding fuel to the fire, off-the-shelf development tools enable organizations and individuals alike to essentially flood the market with new apps," the report said.

So, while the DIY tools researched by Clutch may help enterprises close the app gap, they might do well to conduct their own research into the security implications involved with DIY development.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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