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Mobile Development Platforms
August 2022
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Ameer Ali - PeerSpot reviewer
Executive Director at Ali 4 Solutions FZE
Real User
Creates applications quickly, is simple to use, has competitive pricing, and is easy to scale
Pros and Cons
  • "When I am developing any user UI, it gives me complete flexibility. I can manage in any way I want."
  • "When it comes to PowerApps, debugging can be difficult at times. It would be beneficial to simplify it."

What is our primary use case?

We are an IT consulting company. We provide IT solutions to other companies.

We have had a few different requirements, one requirement was to create a simple online form that can be used by the clinics. When patients arrive, they will be given a TAB, to complete the form, which will be printed directly to the receptionist, once they complete the form.

Another application was supply chain management. Using PowerApps, we replicated the entire supply chain management. The corporate users will send the requisition to the purchasing department for review and approval, after which it will be distributed to prospective vendors.

Vendors will then submit their quotes for review. Multiple quotes can also be reviewed concurrently. This is all done with PowerApps. After they have reviewed them, they can select a vendor and process the PO.

In the third scenario, we developed a public relations system that you would find here in the UAE.

PROs must manage and obtain visa permissions in the United Arab Emirates. We have documentation with a two-year expiration date. As a result, we've developed a document management system that uses a Power Automated workflow system to view the alert and process the documents for all employees.

These are the workflows that we have worked on recently and have been created using Microsoft PowerApps and Power Automate.

What is most valuable?

Because there is no need for lengthy code, applications can be created quickly. That's the beauty of PowerApps in general, whether I'm using Power Automate or PowerApps for UI development. And the UI is very user-friendly.

When I am developing any user UI, it gives me complete flexibility. I can manage in any way I want.

It is constantly being improved. I've been using it for three years and have noticed that upgrades are happening on a regular basis, and it's becoming more and more user-friendly, both for developers and for users.

We can now also share it on Microsoft Teams. As a result, it is becoming increasingly powerful.

It is very easy to use.

What needs improvement?

A web interface is one thing that I don't see. I can create an interface for mobiles and tabs but only for PowerApps.

If you can have something like Power Web with it, that will be a classic because we are developing user interfaces, but we cannot access those user interfaces using a browser.

If we can get into that mode of publishing for the public users, which is something different, and I am not sure how that can be done, but I'm sure we can come up with something.

We occasionally have some issues where we can't grant access until and unless a user is created in Active Directory. This is something that should be worked on, and when it is, it will be powerful.

When it comes to PowerApps, debugging can be difficult at times. It would be beneficial to simplify it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Microsoft PowerApps for three years.

We are working with the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any performance issues, or any other issues, because it is on the cloud.

We are completely satisfied with Microsoft PowerApp's stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because almost everyone uses Office 365, it is very simple to scale Microsoft PowerApps.

Our company has five developers among its users. Our clients, on the other hand, vary; we have one client who has over 500 users.

How are customer service and support?

I've spoken with technical support, and they're fantastic. They provide you with a very good response from the moment you launch your ticket.

On a few occasions, when I launched a ticket, I receive full support and they were able to help me with everything.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We use Office 365 online which includes Microsoft PowerApps, Power Automate, and Power BI.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is extremely simple for me. I am an IT professional, but it is easy, even for others.

I have worked with many who have been using other tools and when they were introduced to PowerApps, they expressed that it is amazing.

It didn't take long for me to install, only a couple of minutes, because I've been using Office 365 since 2013, but I've never used PowerApps before. I started only recently, in 2018.

One of my clients asked me to create a small app in PowerApps for him. That's where we began. I had a PowerApps application ready in a week.

We don't require any maintenance as it is on the cloud.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Microsoft's pricing is comparable with other similar solutions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I had evaluated Mendix. We prefer Microsoft, we have used Microsoft from the beginning.

What other advice do I have?

I am a VB developer. I began my career in 1995 or 1996. I'm a die-hard VB developer, and I love PowerApps because, I used to write a lot of code, but now with PowerApps, things are so simple and easy, we can have customized applications for end users in no time at all.

Aside from standard ERP and solutions, businesses still have a high demand for customized or tailor-made user interfaces. That is where I believe PowerApps is extremely useful.

As an IT company, I would strongly recommend this solution to anyone who is interested. It is one of the best tools available. If you are a Microsoft fan, you will definitely enjoy this product.

As IT consultants we have provided support and trained a couple of customers who are using it and also enjoying it.

I would rate Microsoft PowerApps a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Owner at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
Versatile with great scalability and great technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "There is literally a ton of stuff it can do. It's very flexible."
  • "The solution is costly."

What is our primary use case?

One of our clients is a union, like a labor union, and therefore they're using it to develop an engagement-type app, for member engagement applications.

What is most valuable?

Overall, it's a very nice solution.

The fact that you can run it on a lot of platforms is great. The client's goal is to create a mobile application that a lot of platforms, a lot of the old enterprise type platforms cannot do. The client wants to create something that you can put in every member's hand to engage with that member. The platform they were using before, for sure, cannot do that. This solution is very versatile in that sense.

There is literally a ton of stuff it can do. It's very flexible.

The scalability is very good.

The stability is great.

They have very good technical support.

You can run it on their cloud platform or you can run it on your own cloud platform. It's your choice where you run it. If you don't like their cloud, then you can go to somebody else's cloud and run it there and they will install it on there for you.

What needs improvement?

The solution is costly.

The solution is still very new to me, and it's therefore hard for me to discuss missing features. I'm still learning and discovering.

For how long have I used the solution?

I haven't been using the solution for that long. It's very new to me. It's likely been about two short months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. I haven't run into any issues at all. The performance is reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is much better suited to enterprise-level organizations.

The product is definitely scalable. You can go from, for example, 10 users to a million users. It's just a matter of how much hardware you put behind it. Everything runs on the cloud. Therefore, you just keep throwing more memory, more disc space, more processing power, et cetera. It's not a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is very good. They have online support and they have a support number as well that you can call. You can initiate a support case and they usually get back to you probably within three to four hours, maximum. They are very, very helpful and responsive. We are quite satisfied with the level of service.

How was the initial setup?

I didn't do the setup myself. That was actually done by OutSystems. I can't speak to how easy or difficult the process is, or how long the deployment takes. I don't have any insights in that sense.

What about the implementation team?

We had OutSystems handle the installation for us. We did not handle the process on our own.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost of the product is very high and would price out smaller organizations.

My client pays for the solution. Therefore, I have no visibility of the cost. I can't speak to the licensing or the pricing, or the terms of use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've also looked at Mendix and Vinyl. We looked at Gartner and compared them with this product.

What other advice do I have?

I'm an external consultant. I have a few different clients. I have no relationship OutSystems directly.

I played a little bit with OutSystems. I have one of my other clients on an OutSystems user. I'm in the process of just learning. I am trying it out. I have a computer consultant that is helping me. There are certain things that I'm looking at, in general. 

The OutSystems platform is really nice, however, it's very expensive for small to medium-sized businesses. I have one customer that's an enterprise-sized organization that can afford OutSystems, however, there are a lot of my other clients that are not that large. Vinyl might be a better solution for them.

I'd recommend the solution, however, I would suggest those considering the solution to do their homework first. Look at Gartner and other opinions. Understand what you are getting into, and then decide.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ayaz Ahme  Salam - PeerSpot reviewer
Assistant General Manager - Head of Messaging & Collaboration at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good security and great integration capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "The pricing is excellent."
  • "Recently, IBM sold the product to HCL. Since Pakistan and India have some problems on a domestic level, we were actually considering replacing it with Indian products from the organization. We're just facing some regulatory issues."

What is our primary use case?

We have developed 100 plus applications on this platform. For instance, the entire HR solution is built on that solution. Our HR management system is on Notes and Domino. The leave management system in Notes and Domino as well as the employee attendance system, performance reviews, and the reimbursement management system. Any area of HR and sub-service of employees is developed on Notes and Domino. 

We have developed some sort of interface with the procurement management system that is eventually integrated with Oracle Financials. There are so many other processes of our core banking system that are developed on Notes and Domino. They all are connected to our core banking systems, our Oracle Financial, and other systems. The main focus is that any process that requires any approvals or any workflows, is developed on Notes and Domino.

What is most valuable?

It is a wonderful tool. 

It offers a very stable environment. 

The security is very good.

The integration capabilities are great. 

It is a beautiful platform for low-code and no-code developments and offers comprehensive solution development.

The pricing is excellent.

HCL is doing a wonderful job. I appreciate HCL. Whatever they are introducing in terms of new features has been great. I've got 20 years of experience on Notes and Domino and I love their way of working. They are improving the product continuously. That's the reason I'm trying my best to get approval from our regulator to keep the product intact.

What needs improvement?

Recently, IBM sold the product to HCL. Since Pakistan and India have some problems on a domestic level, we were actually considering replacing it with Indian products from the organization. We're just facing some regulatory issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 20 years or so at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. In 20 years, I don't think we've had even five minutes of downtime despite all the upgrades, parallel activities, patch management, et cetera. Everything was done in parallel and we have never, never, ever had even five minutes of blackout for users.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately 13,500 to 14,000 users on this solution.

We might switch to another solution. It's not clear yet if we will.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We find the price to be quite reasonable. It's not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated SAP, Oracle ERP, and IBM BPM, as well as SharePoint. We were planning to migrate the entire solution on the platform known as Xpage. Xpage is a wonderful web interface for Notes and Domino on which when you design an application, it seamlessly works on the client, web, and mobile. You design once and use it anywhere. That's the concept. We've also looked into Mendix. 

SharePoint is a good tool, however, it cannot handle complex scenarios. The stability is also a challenge in SharePoint as Microsoft does not provide a clear roadmap on its product. If you develop an application on this platform, tomorrow they'll bring a new version and they don't provide the upgrade. We need to rebuild everything on the new product as we have already developed so many systems on VB6, then we were planning to switch them on .NET. And eventually, the .NET version one was introduced for a short time, and then the new language was introduced, C#.

It's really difficult to migrate the entire system from one language of one platform to another. Just like if you spend one year building an application and this application is discontinued by the product owner.

That's the reason we prefer Notes and Domino. We are using few applications that we developed 20 years ago. We upgraded Notes and Domino on four major releases, however, a 20-years-old application can still work fine. We don't need to modify this application. We don't need to upgrade this application. Backward compatibility is marvelous on Notes and Domino.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users.

We have not received the approvals to upgrade the solution on 11, which is why we are still using the last version released by IBM.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. I've been extremely happy with its capabilities.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Managing Partner at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
A good integration layer and responsive support
Pros and Cons
    • "I would like to see full integration with AI."
    • "In many cases, they make choices where flexibility is a little bit degraded, but if you leave everything open and the flexibility is great then the usability is a little bit less."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are implementors. We advise our clients on building applications and doing innovation.

    We have a strong belief that no-coding is the future. Betty Blocks is a Dutch no-code platform provider, with a similar background to Mendix, and OutSystems. 

    In our view, they are very promising because they really go to the no-coding promise, which basically means that a business user could use the platform to build its own applications.

    Betty Blocks is taking this concept one step further than Mendix and OutSystems. 

    What is most valuable?

    All these platforms have different areas, you have an integration layer, you have the forms and you have the back-up. 

    I think the sense of Betty is that they perform, having all of those elements pretty well, and I think that the most crucial one is the front apps. 

    To have an application look good with something that more or less comes out of a box, that is quite complicated.

    If you look at Pega, they are very strong in integrating new technologies such as AI in-depth.

    Betty Blocks is sitting within the Microsoft Azure environment.

    All these components are separately tuneable, which makes it a very strong platform, and we believe that this should be considered in the enterprise market.

    What needs improvement?

    In my opinion with all platforms, you will have to make a consensus, because not every functionality will work for every client perfectly well. 

    In many cases, they make choices where flexibility is a little bit degraded, but if you leave everything open and the flexibility is great then the usability is a little bit less. 

    It's a better trade-off from Betty Blocks. Also, it's clear the no-code promise will surely decrease the flexibility that you will have. There are some back doors to solve that system.

    I would like to see full integration with AI. 

    It can be integrated but it's not something that comes out of the box. You can't just switch on the machine learning in one of the components of the platform.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been acquainted with Betty Blocks for a year and a half.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have scaled this solution. We had a client with a large volume on a real-time basis that we fully scaled. It's definitely scalable.

    It is feasible because the application components are in Azure. From what I understand, you can tune the components instead of the total platform, which makes it very suitable to tune some of the elements of the platform while others are the default.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have contacted technical support and they are very responsive.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very straightforward.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Licensing is on a yearly basis.

    There are several pricing structures at the moment. The pricing structure that we have been working with was based on a number of blocks. (A number of blocks, is a translation of what you use in the platform).

    It's a calculation based on how much you put on the platform, and not depending on the number of users or the volume of data, although that is now also possible, especially for the larger clients, where they can have a user or data, based pricing.

    Pricing could always be better. 

    We are struggling sometimes a bit because if you look to a lot of the older shelf solutions, they provide a full solution where a platform or a toolbox is slightly different, but in most cases, it's just as expensive, and you still have to make your own applications.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have evaluated several solutions but Betty Blocks is our preference. They are a real challenger, and they go one step further and really go for this no-coding. We are strong believers in business users having a platform to make applications.

    What other advice do I have?

    I can recommend this solution to other users.

    I would rate Betty Blocks an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Application Developer Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Top 5
    Helpful dashboard, supports offline capabilities for SAP, professional support, and a simple pricing model
    Pros and Cons
    • "I believe that this is the only product in the market that truly supports offline capabilities in an SAP environment."
    • "The modernizer element should convert a higher percentage of the ABAP code, moving it from approximately 75%, closer to 100%."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use PIllir's EdgeRead Cloud to create new applications, as well as to modernize our SAP customization and make them into mobile-friendly apps. Our environment is a very complex SAP, integrated with several other systems. 

    As part of our S/4HANA migration plans, we evaluated our existing customizations that were created to support the business and we were debating the best way to migrate them. Using PIllir's solution, we've basically converted some of the more heavily used business processes, and we're in the process of implementing the rest of them.

    In addition, deploying the SAP enhancement pack was very slow because of the need to test all of the custom code. Using Pillir, we now can easily deploy SAP security patch without having to go and re-test all custom objects

    How has it helped my organization?

    So far, we've used Pillir in a few processes. One of them is Payroll, where especially in our remote locations, some of the processes were done manually and this has saved us about 95% of the costs.

    Another was in our inventory and receiving goods process, where it allowed us to upgrade the process while running it on Zebra and tablets.

    We are now evaluating several processes to be modernized using Pillir.

    Pillir gave us a dashboard that maps all of the processes and objects and allows us to see which ones cost us the most in terms of technical debt. This is our area of focus.

    What is most valuable?

    I believe that this is the only product in the market that truly supports offline capabilities in an SAP environment. We have people going through all of their shifts without connectivity, yet it automatically later synchronizes well with SAP, without creating extra documents or anything like that.

    The ability to take ABAP code and automatically convert it to a mobile app and then adjust it to our needs is something that I haven't seen in any other low-code solution on the market, and it has been life-changing for us.

    I love how easy it is to manage the design of the process using drag and drop. I know they are working to make the developer experience even better, and I'm very excited about it.

    The modernizer element that converts existing ABAP business logic to the cloud-native mobile-friendly solution is a very powerful tool that I haven't seen in the market.

    What needs improvement?

    The modernizer element should convert a higher percentage of the ABAP code, moving it from approximately 75%, closer to 100%.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Pillir for approximately eight months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a very stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is highly scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Love them, very professional and prompt.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Previously, we just had ABAP custom development solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    I've worked directly with Pillir's team.

    What was our ROI?

    With just the first process, we probably returned the investment in about two months!

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I love how simple their pricing model is. It is straightforward consumption based on the number of end-users. There are no hidden costs for infrastructure, as I've seen in some of the other solutions.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Mendix before choosing this product.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Buyer's Guide
    Mobile Development Platforms
    August 2022
    Get our free report covering Microsoft, OutSystems, Appian, and other competitors of Mendix. Updated: August 2022.
    634,550 professionals have used our research since 2012.