Model-driven software spawns rise of "citizen developer"

“It’s about turning ideas into business reality,” Progress senior solution consultant Susan Houniet says

A new wave of citizen developers is driving an explosion in enterprise app development with the help of software that requires little to no coding.

Progress software has launched its Progress Pacific Platform-as-a-Service, which enables businesses of all sizes to rapidly build, deploy and manage powerful connected applications.

An Australian mortgage broker recently developed an application using the software to help him do his job.

This app was subsequently sold to the Mortage Choice and is now used by 450,000 brokers.

Progress senior solution consultant, Susan Houniet, told ARN that the citizen developer was someone who has a need, but that doesn't have a developer background.

“It’s about turning ideas into business reality,” she said. “One of the really nice things we provide is the ability to connect not just to databases but to data sources.

"We are really trying to bring down the wall between business and IT.”

The software uses a model-driven approach where citizen developers scroll through options and point and click to create a custom app to fit their need.

The app can be deployed in the Cloud or on premise.

Houniet said niche enterprise apps were starting to take over because they could make a significant difference to a business, while Gartner predicts that one quarter of enterprises will have their own app store by 2017.

“There’s never going to be a time when we will completely get rid of the developer,” she said. “What we are trying to do is move to this model driven development environment.

“You go straight from modelling your application to deploying your app, so the way to go to market quickly is definitely to go-down model-driven path.

“What our partners and our customers want is user experience and our vision, which is to bring web-based development and mobile development together as one is pretty exciting stuff.

“Right now we want our clients to get their apps to market before anyone else.”

Progress, a Boston-based company which was founded in 1981, acquired the technology with the company Rollbase, which it has integrated over the last 18 months.

Progress regional vice president and A/NZ managing director, Peter Fuller, said enterprises could change their front end apps in just two weeks using progress.

“If you are writing an application for the world's emerging markets you have to be able to write a rapid app and it has to be multi-platform,” he said.

“It’s a new market and we are one of the leaders in that market, which is growing at 40 per cent per annum.

“If we could get 20 per cent of the market - that would be big.”

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