Development Software

Software developers or programmers use these tools for creating, modifying, debugging or maintaining software products. Depending on the purpose they serve, software development tools can be categorized into different segments. For instance, tools usually come with a compiler and a linker that help turn human readable code into machine readable instructions. Other types of development tools include debuggers, profilers, source control tools, testing tools, integration tools, performance analysts, and GUI builders. Some important things to consider when choosing programming tools include company standards, training requirements for using the tool, integration features, and whether the tools are readily applicable to your environment.  Read the full software guide...


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What is Development Software?

Development software is a tool used by software developers in the creation of various software products. It helps to streamline the set of processes and tools to be used in building applications.

Application development tools play a significant role in the software development process by providing users with functionalities crucial to the design and creation of web and mobile applications, cloud services and more. These functionalities often include code-free development solutions, integrated development environment (IDE), useful templates, data synchronization, application programming interface (API) and app data analytics.

This category of software is designed to help expedite the software design and development process without the need to cut corners and sacrifice the quality of the end product. Development software solutions make use of APIs to make the integration process easier and more efficient with back-end services. Such software tools give development teams a visual-centric development environment and make the process of developing software applications that much easier, more convenient and less time-consuming.

App development software solutions also help with the organization of integrated development environments, where all core processes, tools and embedded systems are streamlined and coordinated to ensure a complete overview of all the progress made during the development process. Teams can view important details about their project through a comprehensive and user-friendly interface.

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Different types of Development Software

Development software solutions have existed for quite a long time, they’ve been around for decades in fact. Software environments like .NET, for example, are among the first development tools used by software development firms and professionals. They allow for the interoperability of different programming languages throughout an incredibly diverse ecosystem of application stacks and computer operating systems.

Integrated development environments are also crucial in the development process of web applications and other software services. They help to speed up the processes and tasks associated with software development by giving users a central interface, referred to as graphical user interface (GUI), where all information and available actions pertaining to their project is located, including compiling and editing code, software testing, deploying applications and so on.

There is also a type of app development software known as bug tracking software. This is a tool used by all development teams to help track, manage and resolve bugs and other potential issues that are almost always present when creating different software products, including cloud-based mobile applications and web services.

There are three main environments where applications are designed to be deployed. Apps can be deployed on desktop/laptop computers, web browsers or mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. While there are plenty of out-of-the-box solutions designed to help develop applications for all three environments, there are app development platforms that are more exclusive, catering to just one type of application. You want to make sure that whatever product you choose, it can support your kind of software development process.

Most app development software solutions tackle all stages of the development process, from the software design and programming/coding phase to back-end integrations, software testing, delivery and post-deployment monitoring and analysis. Moreover, some development solutions for mobile apps also support the delivery of future updates and paid licensing models for mobile app services and other software products.

Considering all that has been discussed, there are actually only three main categories of application development software. They are the following:

App lifecycle management (ALM) software

Application lifecycle management software, or ALM, refers to software development tools designed to provide users with a step-by-step guide throughout the entire lifecycle of software development. This category of app development solution covers the whole process, from specification, software design and development all the way to software testing and the delivery of the end product.

Rapid app development (RAD) software

Rapid application development software, or RAD, is a category of software development solutions designed to expedite the processes associated with designing and building applications. This is useful for experienced web developers and design teams as the solutions in this category often prioritize rapid prototype iterations and app releases. This also serves as a good starting point for development teams looking to create open-source applications that an entire community of like-minded individuals can refine over time.

Mobile development software

Mobile development software is essentially a computer program designed to help simplify the development process of mobile apps. This app development platform takes into account the hardware specs, the different screen sizes and other very particular configurations for various mobile operating systems. This is arguably the most common type of application development platform today, as the majority of end-users are, well, on their mobile devices.


How to choose Development Software

There are a few important things to consider when you’re in the market for good development software. The advent of app development tools has given many users, especially those with no technical or coding experience, a suitable platform for designing and building applications. The minimal coding and visual approach that many app development solutions are adopting nowadays is what makes these types of systems very manageable for small businesses and individual users.

However, app development solutions are not created equal. There are some that are created to serve a specific purpose, which may not be aligned to your unique needs. The following are a few key considerations to remember when choosing the right application development software to serve your needs.

Ease-of-use

Usability or ease-of-use is a crucial factor in choosing any software solution, let alone an application development tool. A user-friendly software development platform is relatively quick and easy to adopt, especially among non-technical users. It can accelerate the design and creation of software applications without worrying about the learning curve and whether or not development teams can adopt the software solution quickly. So make sure to go with an intuitive app development platform with a good user interface.

Integration capabilities

Integrations are a common feature in software products, including app development software. If you’re in the market for a software development tool, you should remember to take into account the integrations the product offers or supports. Integrations can help make any software development process easier and more manageable, especially when you have the ability to connect with third-party systems and services designed to improve the user experience throughout each phase of the project and its entire lifecycle.

Lifecycle management

You should also look for app development tools with comprehensive lifecycle management, as this will enable you to closely monitor the progress of your project. Lifecycle management allows you to keep track of your software applications during the various stages in their development, from the design phase and software testing to hosting, delivery/deployment and maintenance. This feature should provide you with a more comprehensive overview of your entire project, its step-by-step progress and overall performance.


Benefits of Application Development Software

There are many benefits to implementing a good development software solution. The most obvious perhaps is the code-free approach when it comes to actually building applications. However, there are other benefits that you might not be aware of, so here are a few of them:

A visual development environment

Code-based app development platforms can be quite intimidating for users with no coding skills or experience. Many of today’s app development solutions try to minimize the coding aspect of software design and development by implementing a more visual approach. This is known as a visual development environment and it provides development teams with user-friendly templates and other visual functions to help them design and develop applications with relative ease.

Quicker and more efficient development process

This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of implementing a sound application development solution. Through artificial intelligence and automation technologies, top-tier app development platforms have the capability to automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks, specifically the coding process, so your team can focus on other areas of the project. This should enable you to come up with a finished product and deliver it to your clients much faster.

Helps to ensure hardware compatibility

Many application development software solutions support native SDK (software development kit) integration for various mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS. This provides your developer team great access to the various hardware features of some of the most popular smartphones in the market. The platform also allows you to run software usability testing to identify potential design flaws and resolve them before delivery.

Support for back-end data integration

Good application development software supports back-end data integration through user-friendly application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow development teams to easily and seamlessly connect the app development solution to various back-end web services, third-party applications and databases.

Freedom to customize your own applications

One of the most rewarding aspects of building applications is having the freedom to design and create your own app the way you want it. With a good app development solution, you can engage in software design and development with the freedom of an artist, with minimal coding requirements and limitations.

Most platforms out there provide you with flexibility and complete control over how you want your mobile apps or web applications to work. This means you can create whatever custom program you want which closely adheres to your unique operations.


Common Features of Development

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Bug Tracking Log and track issues to capture, report and monitor bugs for the purposes of software development and maintenance.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.

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