How to use Cloud Application Development

According to Google, there are approximately five million downloadable apps out there. These offer a variety of products, from weather forecasts, to gaming, to education, to business solutions. With such a phenomenal number of apps available, there must be something for every conceivable situation, mustn’t there? Unbelievably, the answer isn’t an automatic yes.

Despite there being an estimated 300 million registered businesses across the globe, because the business world is made up of so many different entities, no two businesses are exactly alike. So, when they’re looking for a very specific app solution to solve a very specific problem, there’s a very real possibility that app doesn’t exist. But it could do by using cloud application development.

What is Cloud Application Development?

Cloud application development is the natural next step from conventional app development. Using cloud services removes the need for detailed training and expensive tools, as it builds and runs applications in a much more efficient and scalable way. Its many advantages include:-

Location, location, location

Traditional apps typically have one location, on a mobile device, desktop computer, or company server, but cloud apps can be accessed on a number of devices.

Off-line functionality

Traditional apps are built by hardcoding the entire capability in a company’s own servers. The apps are then accessed over the internet via standard web browsers.

Cloud apps are maintained on remote servers and are created using a single line of code to call a service from the cloud. They don’t need a constant internet connection so can function off-line, reconnecting and uploading information when possible.

Remote control

The remote servers are (the clue’s in the name) remote, so companies don’t have to pay for hardware installation and upkeep. They also don’t take up in-house data storage space, and they’re not restricted to a single location. The apps can be accessed from anywhere in the world with a secure internet connection, from any device. But, even if that internet connection temporarily fails, the app is designed so that it can still be used.

So, if switching off your own servers and building cloud-based applications is the way forward, how do you do it?

Building a custom cloud application

In theory it’s simple. You just need a powerful, trusted platform and the skills to build on that platform. These skills include a knowledge of app development tools, including editors, language resources, and integrated development environments (IDEs), plus testing, monitoring, and debugging tools. You must also be able to use the programming language to code the app, and know what solutions you want the app to solve.

The theory may be simple, but the application is far from it. In fact, until recently, the only way anyone could contemplate building their own cloud-based apps was with a wealth of computer-science experience and a thorough understanding of both their business and their customers. Fortunately, new cloud app development technology means mere mortals can now get involved. Here’s how:-

Low-code frameworks

When developing an app, you need to know which programming language to use (such as Java and Python) and how to use it. And there are hundreds of languages to choose from.  Unless – and here’s the good news – you use a low-code development framework.

Low-code platforms provide cloud application development tools that guide you through the heavy coding. Templates, point-and-click options, and drag and drop tools provide the building blocks needed to create reliable cloud applications. Built-in tutorials offer the training needed to get through each step of the process.

Data integration

When building apps, one of the biggest challenges is how to load large amounts of business and customer data into your cloud applications and ensure that data’s kept secure. Data integration tools solve this problem by enabling you to integrate with other databases, ERP, Internet of Things, and CRM using a point and click function. This gives your app direct access to the resources it needs to provide the solutions you created it for.

Cloud-based development

We know that there are many advantages to having cloud applications instead of on-premise apps, but did you know that web-based development platforms also have the edge over those housed on site?

This is because cloud-based development platforms have lower infrastructure and maintenance costs and offer better user accessibility and compatibility with other, existing systems and processes. They’re also regularly updated for security and configurability, and have new technologies for machine learning, predictive algorithms and automations tools added, meaning they’re always up to date.

The Salesforce Platform

As a leading cloud-based CRM platform, reliable data and cloud-based infrastructure is of paramount importance to Salesforce. This naturally feeds into its cloud application development platform – The Salesforce Platform.

Platform links multiple app development services, including Lightning, Heroku, Thunder and Salesforce DX, enabling you to build customised business apps with the security of Salesforce’s reliable data and support.

Salesforce has done the leg work for you, providing interactive tutorials, easy-to-use tools, and low-code options, so you can create engaging, transformative cloud apps quickly, without having to build everything yourself. If you don’t have time to create your own, then the Salesforce AppExchange library offers 2,800 ready-made apps that you can download and use.

So, going back to me original question – with such a phenomenal amount of apps available, there must be something for every conceivable situation, mustn’t there? Thanks to Salesforce Platform, yes, there is.