For Rajesh Lodha, a Chennai-based businessman into real estate and financing, building a mobile application all by himself was a little off his core expertise, though a passable interest in enterprise mobility had always been there.
But, as mobile application development platforms evolved to require just the basic of computing skills – writing functions in an Excel field – to create apps, he quickly jumped on the wagon to build a private Facebook for his schoolmates to organize a reunion coming up this month. The cloud-hosted application, shared on Google Play Store, can ascertain who is coming for the get-together, collect their addresses, phone numbers and current professions.
“A simple Facebook invite is limited in the sense it can only find out if a person would come. With this application, data about their whereabouts and current professions can also be collected. And as a downloadable app, it can be shared on Whatsapp too, helping us reach out to as many alumni as possible,” says Lodha.
Lodha is among a growing legion of novice software developers, freelance code-writers, and non-technology business owners who are showing interest in mobile application platforms that had originally begun as tools by product software companies for enterprise clients to build features to their software.
Companies such as GoDB, ZOHO Corporation, Freshdesk, OrangeScape, and Noida’s Appy Pie have platforms that can be used to build applications. Now, these platforms have diversified from niche enterprise relevance to next-door applications such as telling the neighbourhood gym owner, kirana store manager, and pharmacist that getting on the mobile to connect with distri-butors and clients is the key.
Lodha turned code-writer because of XLapp, a platform of GoDB. With its core focus on enterprise mobility, 15-year-old GoDB launched the XLapp in April to offer a Do-It-Yourself application builder for smartphones. “The XLapp works in two ways,” says Mahavir Chand, founder of GoDB, It hosts on the cloud applications built on a simple Excel sheet.
The app creator needs to upload the Excel sheet onto the XLapp server, which converts the MS office file into a downloadable application.