Easier, more features, more support
Open as App simplifies its pricing plans. With the new pricing plans small and medium sized companies as well as freelancers get easier access to ‘apps based on Excel’. The new prices will apply to all new customers from February 2021. The functionality range of existing accounts remains unchanged. Click here for the price list with all changes in detail.
Table of Content
- What’s new?
- Three pricing plans Free, Business and Enterprise
- Full feature set in the Free plan
- Active assistance and more features with the Business plan
- Integration into your organisation and IT systems with the Enterprise plan
- When is it best to replace your Excel with an app?
The new pricing concept offers a wealth of additional functionality. Even in the Free Account individual apps with a wide range of functions can now be embedded in your website.
This means, you can use existing Excel data for your own website, from tax calculators to material requirements calculators or BMI calculators. This helps to avoid the time-consuming programming of logic in HTML. All changes in Excel are also immediately available on the web.
The new pricing plans
Free: Testing with full functionality and apps embedded in websites
Business: Use of apps in business with an extensive user plan and active support
Enterprise: Integration into existing IT strctures, systems and processes
Three pricing plans Free, Business and Enterprise
The three pricing plans Free, Business and Enterprise start with free testing in Free and offer an increasing integration of ‘apps based on Excel’ into your own business with Business and Enteprise accounts. You can upgrade conveniently from your own Open as App account.
Full feature set in the Free plan
The Free plan is now significantly enhanced. It includes more features and also supports the embedding of apps into your own website. This way, you can test the Open as App portal and develop apps free of charge that really add value to your day-to-day business. The number of users and apps is limited.
Another important enhancement is the integration of PDF creation. PDFs can now also be created in the Free and Business accounts and distributed via e-mail.
Several advanced features are also already available in the Free and Business plans. Workflows for data capture, photo upload, and digital signatures are important for quote generation apps or lead capture apps. More technically savvy app creators can also use the integration of workflow tools such as Zapier or Power Automate starting with the Free plan.
Active assistance and more features with the Business plan
Once you have created apps in the Free plan, the Business plan helps you to actively use and distribute your apps. This plan offers the same comprehensive options as the Free plan, but includes more users, more apps, and direct support from a Customer Success Manager. The Open as App team can provide valuable assistance, for example, when rolling out apps to a larger group of participants or when converting complex Excel files into user-friendly apps. Active support was previously only included in the Enterprise plan. Now it is already available with a Business account.
Integration into your organisation and IT systems with the Enterprise plan
With the Enterprise Account, just as before, you benefit from a customized plan either on enterprise level or for official apps with a broad user base and their own T&Cs. In addition, app creation can be integrated into the existing IT landscape with Open as App. There are also different roles for app management from creation to release.
When is it best to replace your Excel with an app?
We asked those who know best – our customers. They use Open as App in multiple ways and generate significant added value by adding apps to their processes: Quotes can be created in minutes on site replacing complex and long back-office processes. At the point of sales you can reach out to customers or partners directly via app and close significantly more deals – just like our customers SDK and Siemens Financial Services.
Creating apps without coding is no longer a thing of the future. As no-code tools and low-code technologies are maturing, creating an app without writing a single line of code will soon be commonplace.
Open as App and Glide Apps are two no-code tools and platforms that you can use for different purposes depending on what kinds of apps, workflows, or processes you want to support in your business. Each of these, our platform Open as App, as well as Glide Apps’ product, have their distinct features, capabilities, and feel.
Open as App offers a greater variety of app types, such as calculation, list, and dashboard apps. It is generally targeted toward businesses that use spreadsheets and databases as part of their work processes. Apps created with our no-code tool can conduct a large number of different and complex calculations as well as display dynamic dashboards and charts.
Glide Apps’ product also uses spreadsheets to create apps but only those that function as data lists. While the platform does not support calculations, it allows users to create a visually appealing list app that features images, icons, videos, and even chat.
Want to know more about how different no-code tools and platforms can work together and benefit you? See our guide on how the no-code market is expanding, what Open as App and Glide Apps have to offer, and how to pick which one to use for your own needs!
Table of Content
- The growing meaning of no-code for your business
- How you can make use of different no-code app creation platforms
- Comparing the Open as App and Glide Apps no-code tools
- Ready to create your first no-code app?
The growing meaning of no-code tools for your business
As no-code tools and low-code technology is growing, more and more businesses are able to make use of these services. Within the next few years, enterprises are expected to begin using several low-code development tools at any given moment. Moreover, according to Gartner, low-code app development will constitute more than 65% of overall app development.
Apps created with no-code tools and platforms offer distinct benefits to their users when compared to the standard process of app development, such as time and cost savings. Creating no-code apps can also help businesses to improve their operations, customer service, sales, and more.
Moreover, no-code app tools and platforms are not limited to big enterprises but can equally be beneficial for small businesses, freelancers, and individual consultants, or simply by separate teams within a company. These solutions are also used in a variety of industries, from marketing and retail to logistics, manufacturing, finance and insurance, and more.
That said, different no-code platforms have different features and are positioned for different audiences. Depending on the specific business requirements, one platform may be good for the creation of certain types of apps, but not so much for others. A mix of various no-code tools is, therefore, a good idea, offering companies the possibility to apply diverse tools according to circumstance.
Using different no-code platforms will also help companies that either don’t have the resources or the need to hire an IT team. It will allow businesses that have traditionally not offered apps to their customers to create simple and effective app solutions that will improve their customers’ experience. Alternatively, these different no-code tools can help businesses to improve their own processes and operations in ways that may not have been possible up to that point.
How you can make use of different no-code app creation platforms
Current no-code app creation platforms provide automatic app creation in distinct and unique ways.
Some platforms pull data from databases used by users. Others limit the type of data that users can work with but offer capabilities that allow for a lot of detail within those limits as well as ready-made app templates. Yet others, like Open as App, make use of users’ structured data in the form of spreadsheets and offer a variety of app types that can be created with such data.
No-code platforms are also positioned differently to address different business needs. Some of them specialize in fields such as HR, finance, and management while others deal with complex data analytics and offer enterprise-grade apps.
All of this means that your choice of no-code app platform must be informed by the specific needs of your business and how different platforms can help you. As you evaluate these solutions, you may also find that a number of them may be able to help you with different tasks and problems. This may help you to either reduce or substitute the IT resources that may otherwise be needed for the purpose.
Wondering how you might compare different no-code platforms? See our overview of Open as App and Glide Apps below. You will find out what each platform has to offer when to use Open as App, when to use Glide Apps, and when Open as App is an alternative to Glide Apps.
Comparing the Open as App and Glide Apps no-code tools
To compare these two platforms, we need to have a sense of how they’re positioned to help people create apps. We also need to have a look at the functionalities that they offer, their data sharing options, and the pricing model. See our Open as App and Glide Apps comparison below!
Audience and focus
Glide Apps is a no-code tool that allows users to create apps from Google Sheets. It is tilted toward a young business audience that might use app creation as a way to promote offers, services, or products to customers. As such, it is well-suited for a variety of e-commerce businesses.
The platform is also available as Glide Organizations which is intended to enable companies to create internal apps that will benefit and improve business processes. In addition, they recently also introduced Glide for Digital Agencies which is aimed at agencies that want to create apps out of client data without any code.
While it is based on spreadsheets, Glide Apps only supports list apps. I.e. these apps serve the function of displaying data.
These can be designed to display such data in a number of ways through different layout templates – this includes simple lists, compact lists, checklists, card lists, and more.
Data sources and data sharing
For its data sources, Glide Apps only uses Google Sheets that can easily be linked to the platform. Under Glide Pro, users can also create apps based on spreadsheets located in a GSuite Drive.
When a spreadsheet is linked to Glide, a basic app is created which can then be customized. Alternatively, users can also use one of the many spreadsheet templates provided by Glide which will create a sheet in your Drive that you can then modify to add your own data.
Once created, apps can easily be shared using a QR code, a link, or sent to a phone. If necessary, they can be password protected.
The platform also supports different visibility conditions within the app. This allows admins to determine whether certain components or entire tabs within the app should be visible to users or not, depending on their user role (profile). Different editing rights are also available, allowing admins to set read-only or edit access depending on a user’s role.
App functionalities and design
Apps created with Glide are web apps, rather than a separate (native) application installed on the device. They can be used on mobile, tablet, and desktop. They are available offline but only with the cached content stored on the device.
Creating an app with Glide is very easy to do and very intuitive. They offer extensive support documentation and video tutorials that cover the app creation process, from beginning to end.
In terms of design, Glide offers beautiful design and formatting options for their apps, many visuals, as well as the ability to embed images and videos. Adding a chat and comment option as well as a buy button are also available, making the apps more interactive, and particularly useful for e-commerce users.
An important note is that charts in the app can only be displayed as images at this point, and calculations are currently not supported.
Finally, Glide also supports write-back, which means that you can write data back from the app to the spreadsheet, making this a two-way process. Moreover, changes made to the spreadsheet become available in the app within minutes.
Admin needs to pre-set features (cannot be changed by users) – like detailed dialog or call or email…”
Glide Apps is available for individuals and organizations.
Individuals can make use of a free version which limits the rows of available data to 500, provides 100MB of storage, 10 geolocations, and contains Glide branding. Upgrading to Pro app provides 25,000 rows of data, 10GB storage, 1,000 geolocations, a custom domain, and the option to add a branded login screen. The upgrade for individuals costs $19 per app / per month (or $29 yearly).
Organizations can make use of the basic plan which is $8 per app / per month. This includes an unlimited number of internal apps, unlimited collaborators, single sign-on (SSO) for collaborators, GSuite shared drives, and pro apps à la carte.
An Enterprise plan is also included which provides even further benefits, such as custom SSO, SLA, payment via PO, enterprise distribution, and MSA on Glide paper. This plan is not priced, and you must contact Glide for more information.
Now that you know about Glide Apps, keep reading to learn about Open as App, what our target audience is, and the functionalities that we offer.
Open as App
Audience and focus
Open as App’s target audience are businesses that use Excel, Google Sheets, or databases to conduct their operations or to manage their processes internally.
Our platform can be used equally by individuals, such as freelancers or consultants, as well as mid-sized businesses or large enterprises. Whether it’s sales, marketing, finances, insurance, manufacturing, or something else, anyone who works with structured data can make an app with Open as App.
Because of the various Excel functions which Open as App supports, it is a great no-code tool for apps that support and enhance data analysis. Making an app with our platform enables businesses to use their data in new ways, and achieve productivity and efficiency increases.
Our platform supports a variety of app types because it can work with structured data in Excel, Google Sheets, SQL, and other databases. Due to the different Excel functions and formulas that are supported, the types of apps which can be created are quite versatile.
With Open as App, you can create list apps, data evaluation apps (dashboards), charts, surveys, and calculations apps. These can be designed and formatted using ready-made templates or according to users’ own needs and brand style requirements.
Some examples of apps created with our platform include:
- Internal company apps for surveys, maintenance, reports, inventories and product databases, employee contact lists
- Apps for sales quotes, ROI calculators, mortgage calculators, P&L calculators
- Apps for financial reporting, marketing reporting, company evaluation, dashboards, and more
Data sources and data sharing
Open as App can work with and connect to several different types of data sources. These include:
- Excel files
- Google Sheets
- OneDrive and SharePoint Online
- SQL Server, MySQL, REST, and more
If you decide to upload a file to the platform, this will be hosted on Open as App’s cloud storage. Alternatively, if you use third-party cloud providers such as Google Sheets, Open as App will not copy your data when creating an app. And, for even greater data security, you can also store your data on an on-premises server. See our Security Whitepaper for more information about this aspect of our platform.
Regardless of where you decide to host your data, Open as App will never read or retain any of it! Data security is one of the most important aspects of our app creation approach. When creating an app our platform will only read the logic of the spreadsheet – i.e. the various formulas, dependencies, and more. In the end, the app is still populated with your data but Open as App will not have read or saved it.
Apps created with Open as App can be shared easily through a QR code, link, or sent to a device with an invite.
Various user roles and rights are available, such as super admin, admin, app creator, and user. In addition, user groups can be created for easier app distribution. When apps are created within a team or company context, an approval workflow can be put in place. App creators are given the right to design apps but they can only be published by super admins. This allows for a thorough app approval process.
Our apps can also run on devices that are managed with MDM software, allowing companies with high-security requirements to benefit from no-code app creation.
When the app is updated, users will automatically receive a message, if the app creator chooses this option.
App functionalities and design
Apps created with Open as App are native apps and work both online and offline. They can also be used through a web client and work online and offline (with cashed content). To use them, individuals install a so-called container app that houses all apps created with Open as App. Individual apps can still be pinned to the start screen of a phone if needed.
Once data is analyzed during the app creation process, many features are automatically provided by the platform. If your data contains formats such as a call option, a map, email, links, along with any calculations, charts, and print options, all of these will be recognized by the platform.
On top of these basic features, a number of others are available and can be added during the app creation process. These include the ability to sort/filter data, as well as a photo upload option, printing a PDF, interactive charts, comments in the app (can be set to private or public).
Open as App also supports write-back, allowing you to make changes to your data source through the app. Links to databases via secure webhooks are also possible.
Apps created with the platform can range from simple lists to high-complexity apps that support various conditions or make very complex calculations. This allows you to utilize the high functionality of spreadsheets to create user-friendly apps for mobile devices.
Reaching the more complex levels of app creation with Open as App may require you to pass tutorials on how to use Excel or Google sheets. The app creation process itself is simple and you can easily create an app within only a few minutes.
While Open as App does not offer the same variety of visual elements as Glide Apps, you are given a lot of freedom with how your app will look. You can either pick one of our templates or design your app according to your own preferences. This includes the formatting of the app, its colors, and elements, and more.
These are the differences between Glide Apps and Open as App. As you can see each platform offers a distinct number of functionalities and app creation possibilities. Depending on what you or your business needs, it may make more sense to use one platform for one type of challenge, and the other one for another type. In this way, you can make use of the best of both worlds, creating apps according to the situation.
Ready to create your first no-code app?
Are you ready to get started with Open as App? Try out some of the apps created by the Open as App community to get a feel for the platform or connect your data source and try creating an app from scratch.
Head over to our app creation wizard and get started right away!
Workflow automation systems, such as Microsoft’s Power Automate (previously known as Flow) or Integromat, offer businesses the ability to automate routine and manual processes. From Finance to HR, and marketing to IT, such systems can create significant improvements in processes and tasks, and thereby in productivity and efficiency. Moreover, many of them offer their users the ability to automate tasks through no-code – i.e. without having to write a single line of code.
Open as App can also be part of the workflow automation strategy in your company. Apps created with our no-code app creation platform can easily be integrated into your automated workflows or even be the starting point of a new workflow.
Table of Content
- Why use Open as App?
- Workflow automation tools and Open as App
- How to integrate Open as App into your automated workflow
- Open as App and Power Automate
- Apps that you can use with Power Automate
- Open as App and Integromat
- How to integrate an Open as App webhook into Integromat
- Other workflow tools that you can use with Open as App
Since businesses typically have many types of data available, many different types of apps can be created. Among a variety of others, this includes calculation and dashboard apps. Currently, Open as App is the only no-code app creation platform that allows you to create such apps. Furthermore, creating apps with Open as App can take as little as only a few minutes, cutting otherwise long and complicated development projects.
This provides you with several advantages when used in workflow automation. Open as App functions like a mobile front end for your data. Apps created with our platform can be used easily and intuitively when compared to working with the data in a spreadsheet. That way you can provide all this data more easily and more productively at the right time and at the right place (for information or as useful tools).
Want to improve workflow automation in your company even further? Read below about how Open as App can help, and how you can connect apps created with our platform to your workflow automation tools.
Why use Open as App?
Using Open as App along with your workflow automation tools offers you several distinct benefits. These include:
- No new hosting environment required
Open as App supports a variety of hosting platforms. This means that your hosting setup and business data remain as they are and in your possession. I.e. your data is guaranteed to remain protected while becoming significantly more efficient.
- Many automation possibilities
Using Open as App allows you to automate many different types of tasks with an app. This includes tasks such as approval notifications, time tracking sheets, automated follow-ups after sending quotes, updating an inventory or sales system, and much more.
- In-built automations
Many of the apps created with our no-code platform feature a number of small automations themselves. These can help you to simplify various tasks and further increase productivity. Automations include real-time updates from your data source to the apps and write back from app to data source. They also include in-app push notifications, automated emails, in-app comments, and more.
- Intuitive apps
Apps created with Open as App are intuitive, user-friendly, and help you see the data in new ways. Open as App operates as a mobile front end for your data, helping you to become more productive, and reducing the possibility for errors.
Workflow automation tools and Open as App
Two automation tools that Open as App can work with are Microsoft’s Power Automate and Integromat. They are among the most popular such tools and offer a large variety of possibilities to their users.
Both of these platforms support over 250+ apps and services that can be connected and automated through them. This allows you to automate notifications, tasks, collect data, synchronize files, and more. Of course, there are also notable differences between them.
Power Automate is specifically well-fit to connect with the remaining apps available through the Microsoft ecosystem. This includes the Microsoft Power Platform, as well as Microsoft 365, Azure, and more. According to research by Forrester, some key benefits of using Power Automate include:
- 27.4% reduction in errors
- 17.2% reduction in workflow development effort
- 25.1% faster time value realization, compared to other solutions
Integromat, on the other hand, offers many more functions in terms of automating whole scenarios. This includes filters, routers, aggregations, transactions, automatic error handling, the possibility to stop the execution of a scenario when an error occurs, and more.
Are you curious about what kind of apps you can create with Open as App and use with Power Automate or Integromat? Keep reading!
How to integrate Open as App into your workflow automation
Following below are several examples of how you can integrate Open as App with one of your workflow automation tools. Of course, there are many other ways in which you can combine these tools, based on the data you have at your disposal and your specific business needs.
Using Open as App with your tools gives you the benefit of integrating user-friendly apps into your workflow automation, and improving it further. This can be particularly helpful in instances in which you need to collect information of some kind, make calculations and forward figures.
Instead of wasting time and assuming risks by sharing open data or PDF files via email, you can create an interactive app and integrate it into your workflows.
Open as App and Power Automate
Open as App is quite easily and securely connected to a variety of Microsoft tools. These include Microsoft Excel, SQL Server, and Microsoft Teams. With the help of Power Automate, you can also connect your custom apps created with Open as App to other tools such as Microsoft Planner.
When creating an app, Open as App works as a mobile front end for structured data such as SQL Server databases or Excel spreadsheets. Based on this data, you can create calculation, dashboard, list, and survey apps.
Using Open as App as a mobile front end allows you to provide essential data and information while protecting the data from corruption or leaks. It also lets you work with data in easier and more user-friendly ways.
There are different ways in which you can connect your apps to Power Automate. One way is through a list (spreadsheet) that’s connected to your app. Once the list receives data from the app, this serves as a trigger for your workflows (see example below) which then uses the data for whatever purposes you need it.
For other apps, you can also use protocol data that is integrated via a webhook as a trigger. In addition to that, any app created with Open as App can be part of a workflow simply by adding the link to your app to a workflow element.
Apps that you can use with Power Automate
There are different ways in which Open as App can connect to your Power Automate. One way is through Microsoft 365 (or other spreadsheet, database services). A second way is through webhooks. Both of these are described below.
Let’s take the example of an interdepartmental app that you created with Open as App. Its purpose is to create lists with daily updates and tasks to share among teams. These lists are created individually by team members within the app and then show up in a spreadsheet hosted on your Microsoft 365 or Sharepoint Environment.
At the same time, to drive accountability and to smoothen out the process, you’d prefer all of these updates and tasks to appear in Microsoft Planner. Yet, manually entering them one by one would be a huge loss of time and efficiency. Here’s where Power Automate and Open as App can work together.
In the specific case of your list app with daily updates and tasks, you can connect the spreadsheet with the tasks (from the app) in the following way:
- Store your spreadsheet for the app in Sharepoint
- Create a Planner task for the flow in Power Automate
- Create a separate sheet in the spreadsheet for the Planner with the column names required as per the flow
- Connect the spreadsheet and Planner in Power Automate
- Your app is now able to communicate to Planner through a spreadsheet, allowing you to import and monitor daily tasks
For this app, your Excel list, which is linked to the app, serves as a trigger for the workflow when new data is entered. Following are two further examples of apps that you can make use of in your day-to-day tasks and integrate in different ways:
- Maintenance audit app: an app to generate maintenance reports with open tasks that need to be filled in and completed. Once the app generates the report, this is sent to Excel, Sharepoint or a database and triggers an email and task creation for maintenance staff. This app is connected to Power Automate via webhook.
- Check-in app: this type of app can be used to send out a notification when a visitor has arrived for a meeting. The visitor receives an app link with an invitation. When they arrive for the meeting, they click on a button in the invitation and announce their arrival. This triggers an email to their contact person who can then meet them and pick them up.
The above are examples of how no-code apps can become part of a complex chain of approval or collaboration workflows in Power Automate. This allows you to develop your workflows and achieve even greater productivity and efficiency increases, as well as to reduce errors.
Open as App and Integromat
Integrating Open as App with Integromat is similarly simple. Let’s take the example of a field reports app for technical services. The app is based on a database of machinery, repair and maintenance services, and costs.
Its purpose is to allow technicians to create a PDF service report regarding the machinery they have serviced, the services they have delivered, and the costs of these services.
To link this app to an Integromat workflow, all that is required is to add Open as App via a webhook to Integromat. Once you added the webhook and linked the app, the report that is generated in the app is sent to a Google Sheet via Integromat.
This reduces the amount of time spent on creating the documentation and billing information for maintenance and servicing operations. Instead, with this app, the back office at the company receives all the information in one sheet and can evaluate and assess it on the spot.
If you want to know more about creating an app and connecting it to Power Automate or Integromat, see our tutorial on creating a survey app! The tutorial specifically features a section on how to connect the app to an external service via webhook.
How to integrate an Open as App webhook into Integromat
The process of connecting Open as App to Integromat via webhook is very simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- You must first create and publish your app to Open as App
- Go to the “Webhooks” option in Integromat and copy the address provided there
- In the Open as App web portal, open your app, and select “Edit”
- Go to “Advanced” and select “Connect web service”
- Provide the webhook information, i.e. the address you copied earlier from Integromat, and save it
- Update your app
- Done! Your app is now connected to your Integromat workflow
Other workflow tools that you can use with Open as App
Apps created with Open as App can also be integrated via webhooks to other workflow automation tools. Apart from Power Automate and Integromat, there is a variety of others you can try. These include:
By making apps part of your workflow, you will be maximizing the effects offered by your workflow automation tools and the Open as App no-code app creation platform. Apps allow you to make better use of any data that you are currently using manually or lack the capacity to mobilize in useful ways.
From dashboard and calculations apps to simple list or survey apps, Open as App creates the possibility to securely yet effectively use your data to achieve better results. When you combine this with the benefits offered by workflow automation tools, you are removing obstacles between your data and further productivity increases.
Are you curious to try creating your own app and linking it to your tools? Simply register in the Open as App platform and get started with your first app in our app creation wizard!
Custom mobile app development can take many forms. With Open as App, users can choose to link their data through Microsoft 365, through Google Sheets, or by uploading an Excel file.
Microsoft 365 presents several advantages that can be highly useful and important to all businesses. To begin with, Microsoft 365 is widely available and already in use throughout many companies. Part of its usefulness also lies in the fact that it combines many tools into one platform, and it also fulfills the data security requirements for big business.
So if your company is already using Microsoft 365, no new tools need to be introduced into the company IT environment to create a custom no-code app with Open as App. Moreover, creating apps out of your data does not compromise your business’s security protocols, nor is there a chance for any data to be leaked or become corrupted.
For these reasons, Open as App and Microsoft 365 are a perfect match when it comes to custom mobile app development.
Apps created in this way are easy to share both within the company as well as outside of it. They are also available throughout a variety of devices as well as channels. Our no-code apps can be used as a native app on mobile devices. They can also be accessed through a browser and even linked through a tab in Microsoft Teams.
To use an app, users must simply download the Open as App container app, which will house all the apps that are then shared with them. The container app is available through the App Store, the Google Play store, and the Microsoft Store. A company can also develop a branded client for their apps which can also be made available through these stores.
Wondering how you can use Microsoft 365 to develop custom mobile apps without writing a single line of code? Here’s how!
Table of Content
- How no-code app development works
- Benefits of using Open as App
- Developing a custom mobile app with Microsoft 365
- How to create your custom mobile app
How no-code app development works
No-code app development is a new and increasingly more popular way of app creation that does not require users to be familiar with any programming language. Developing an app in this way happens through a platform such as Open as App.
When using the platform, users simply need to provide it with data in a structured format, usually in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. The platform then analyzes the structure and logic of the spreadsheet, without copying or saving any of the data itself. After the analysis, users can pick what type of app they want to develop and can proceed with customizing it so that it fits their needs and requirements.
This means that custom mobile app development is made available to everyone and that any apps that may be needed in the course of your work can get developed.
As a side note, low-code app development is not the same as no-code app development. With low-code, some degree of coding skills and understanding is required for an app to be developed. Typically, this means that IT or technical consultants still need to be involved in the process. This can create a bottleneck for innovation, given that IT resources are usually limited and strained, creating delays and difficulties for the resolution of problems that arise on a day-to-day basis.
Benefits of using Open as App
Using Open as App, in particular together with Microsoft 365, offers many benefits and advantages to a business.
- No additional software outside of the Microsoft 365 software family is required
- Data security is maintained – no data is ever copied or stored by Open as App in the process of app creation
- No additional IT resources are required – in fact, IT resources may be freed up when teams are empowered to create their own apps
- Apps are easy to share, manage, and maintain – they can be shared publicly but can also be restricted to certain users only
- Multi-channel access on a variety of devices as well as in the form of a web app, through MS Teams and on Windows 10
- All the data is already available through Microsoft 365, but other data sources can be added, if necessary
- Bespoke app solutions can be created easily and quickly, allowing teams to increase efficiency and productivity
That said, here is an example of a mobile app that was developed in Open as App with Microsoft 365, and a step-by-step explanation of how you can build one too.
Developing a custom mobile app with Microsoft 365
One way in which we at Open as App have used Microsoft 365 to create an app is with our case study app which we use to keep each other up to date internally. It is used during calls in Microsoft Teams to report progress, monitor targets, and provide information to team members.
The app is a list of case studies that we are working on. It is based on a typical workflow that keeps track of the progress of deliverables, with detailed information about each case study, helping to keep everyone updated. This is useful for more than just team meetings because our sales team also uses it during calls with clients to check up on the status of a case study. The usefulness of the app for sales also helps drive approval for it internally. This, in turn, is also reflected in client relationships because it improves the management of projects.
We used Excel as a mini database when creating our app. To include a case study in the app, case study owners can add new entries along with links to the Excel sheet. This is instantly reflected in the app, and everyone can check on the progress of a study. We also add image links with customer logos to all of our case studies, making it much easier to browse the list.
We have also added drop-down menus to each list item, allowing users to easily fill in the information regarding the case study in the app. For example, one drop-down menu features the different stages of case study creation – from research to initial draft, and final approval. The information does not need to be added only through the spreadsheet – it can also be added through the app, which is then reflected in the sheet.
Finally, once a case study is ready and approved, sales can get a link to the story from the app and distribute it via email. In addition to our in-company app, we also have an app that we provide to clients. Using that app, they can also check on the status of a case study.
Are you curious how you can develop your own custom mobile app with Microsoft 365 and Open as App? See a breakdown of the process below!
How to create your custom mobile app
The app creation process passes through the following three stages: enabling data access, app creation, and app publishing, management, and sharing.
1. Enable data access
Before you can design your app, you need to connect your data source to the Open as App platform. To do this, you will need to sign up with Open as App. Ideally, you do so using your Microsoft login.
Once you’ve signed up and logged in to your profile, you can head to the app creation wizard. There you need to connect your OneDrive or Sharepoint to the platform and authorize access. Here, there are several different approaches that you can take.
If you use Sharepoint, you can create a public share link to your spreadsheet which will allow anyone to edit the spreadsheet. Whether your link is public depends on the company’s Sharepoint settings. You can also create a share link that limits the users of the app to the ones that have access to the sheet.
A third option is to create a link, especially for specific users. In the latter scenario, only those people you selected when creating the link will later have access to the data in the app. If at a later time, you’d like to add a team member to your app, you will need to create a new share link, and update the data source for your app by using this link.
Alternatively, company policy permitting, you can also use your OneDrive when creating an app. Here, too, you can share data publicly. When creating our case study app, we wanted to keep all of our data in one place and wanted to share the app only with our team and with authorized partners. For this reason, we used Sharepoint links during the creation.
On the other hand, if your apps are public and their content is freely available online, you can develop an app in yet another way. You can opt to upload your files to the Open as App cloud (Azure Europe) and create the app there. You can use this to create an app (such as a calculator app) that you want to distribute as a tool to your clients or to share freely.
Keep in mind that when you create an app, none of your data is saved or copied by Open as App. The platform only reads and recognizes the logic and internal dependencies in your data, and connects your data source to the app.
2. Create your app
After you enable access to your data source, Open as App runs a quick analysis of your data. During this process, the platform will recognize all elements within the spreadsheet such as formulas and calculations, as well as images.
To create an app like our case study app, you need to select a list app (simple list) when prompted by the platform. At that point, it is also possible to add a map to the app, if you have included one in your data source. A map, in this case, could be used to filter and select case studies by region.
In the next phase, you are given the option to customize your app and determine how and where columns from your spreadsheet are displayed in the app. In our case, one column contains information to be displayed upfront, a second one features information for the detailed dialog for every case study and, finally, a third column is used for data analysis purposes with charts in it.
You can also add a header to your app, as well as customize the different fields according to your liking. When creating our case study app, we opted not to add a header, to help users focus on the information in the app.
Further elements that we added at this stage include an action button to send new case studies per email to our team, and a button with a link to download a PDF version of each case study. We also added custom branding, using our template.
3. Publish, manage and share your app
Once your app is fully customized, you can go ahead and publish it. To make our case study app accessible during meetings, we added a web client link to our app as a tab in our Microsoft Teams channel.
Apps can also be used on iOS, Android, as well as on Windows 10, and as a web client in a browser.
When creating an app with Open as App, as part of a team, you will have access to a hub. This hub houses all the apps that are published and available to your team. To add users, you can send out individual and bulk invitations. Once somebody doesn’t need the app anymore, you can limit their access through the app portal.
The above, in short, is the process of creating an app in Open as App, using Microsoft 365. Apart from the list app which we have showcased here, you can also create a variety of other apps, such as calculation apps, chart and dashboard apps, and a variety of other list apps.
As a no-code platform, Open as App is extremely easy to use, and requires no additional IT skills whatsoever. Once you link or upload your data source, and the platform analyzes your data, you only need to customize your app, and you’re done!
Do you want to give it a try and create your first app? Sign up to Open as App for free and then head over to the app creation wizard to get started!
The use of Business Intelligence (BI) software is on the rise across industries, and Tableau is one of the front runners in the field. It’s one of the renowned platforms on the market that empowers businesses to use their data to the fullest. It’s also a part of a long-standing discussion about the powers of Excel as a Tableau alternative regarding business intelligence and data analysis.
With BI software such as Tableau, companies can gain a deep and extensive overview of their business information. The tool offers intelligence and analytics that allow owners and managers to better understand the processes in their businesses. This is possible because Tableau visualizes data into easy-to-digest dashboards, as well as other powerful functionalities for data analysis.
At the same time, many businesses still opt in to use Excel data analysis, despite having Tableau. Others choose to skip BI tools altogether. They prefer to employ only Excel and various databases as a Tableau alternative.
While BI platforms such as Tableau allow businesses to execute a lot of important tasks, usually they need to hire a business intelligence analyst or a data scientist to interpret the result of the data analysis and its business impact. Thus, the complexity of the data may be a reason for some companies to avoid using BI tools. But is there a Tableau alternative?
Due to Excel’s prominence, flexibility, and calculation capabilities, it still has a solid place in the data analysis field. Forward-thinking business leaders today explore the possibilities of using Excel with no-code app platforms like Open as App. With automatic app creation, they can build apps that provide crucial additions to the Excel functionalities. This provides them with affordable and easy tools to execute data analysis, which can be used alongside BI systems like Tableau or even as a Tableau alternative.
In the sections below, you can get acquainted with a comparison between using Tableau and Excel for data analysis, so that you can see for yourself if Excel can be a good Tableau alternative for your team.
Table of Content
- What are Business Intelligence tools?
- What is Tableau?
- Comparison of BI tools and Excel data analysis
- Get started with no-code apps for Excel data analysis
What are Business Intelligence tools?
Business Intelligence tools are bringing a whole new dimension to the way companies approach their decision-making processes. They hold huge potential to offer actionable insights based on a thorough analysis of company data. Thus, BI tools can provide business leaders with in-depth information that can skillfully guide their strategies towards success.
In essence, BI platforms analyze data sets to provide a realistic snapshot of a company’s performance. They are not focused on predictions and prescriptions, as are business analytics tools. Instead, BI offers a thorough look into the current state of a business.
To reveal the most important trends for a company, BI tools interpret the data they’re fed with and transform it into digestible and often visual forms. They can present the analytical results as summaries, dashboards, and targeted reports. As for visual formats, BI platforms can also generate charts, graphs, and maps, among others. The most typical format of BI-generated content is a dashboard, which consists of different charts and graphs.
While a Business Intelligence tool cannot tell a CEO what to do to boost the company’s performance, it is a powerful method for streamlining the use and analysis of business data. Searching and making sense of information is made easier and more accessible.
Are companies using BI to the fullest, though? That said, not all businesses manage to benefit fully from using BI platforms. The most common reason is that they fail to create and apply a working BI strategy. Having a solid plan, as well as healthy data practices, are essential for making the best of such a tool.
Additionally, it can be difficult for businesses to mobilize their employees to use BI – and to do it in the right way. For one, there may be internal resistance to change, which needs to be skillfully navigated. Another major factor that can have a negative impact is the excessive workload of the staff. It may not allow them to spare time for learning and innovating their working methods. This also relates to whether or not the company provides sufficient training for employees, which depends on financial resources and general willingness to promote the use of BI.
What is Tableau?
In the BI space, you can find a wide variety of platforms that boast different sets of useful functionalities. Tableau is one of the most prominent ones. Let’s see when Excel could be a Tableau alternative.
It started as a computer science project at Stanford back in 2003. Growing exponentially since then, it became a leading player in the BI field. Its success led to Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau in 2019.
In a nutshell, Tableau is a self-service analytics platform that offers businesses data visualization, so they can get a full picture of their work. Its goal is to help business leaders nurture a new data culture, which empowers them to change how a company is being run.
Tableau’s biggest power is its ability to visualize data for its easier exploration and management. It integrates with many data sources, including Microsoft SQL Server, Excel, Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, Google Sheets, and SAP HANA, among others. Its partner ecosystem includes most of the big names, such as Azure, Google Cloud, and SAP.
Its connectivity and flexibility have made Tableau a top choice for companies seeking the right BI tool. Nevertheless, some businesses still stick to using Excel for their data analysis. Let’s dig into a comparison of the capabilities and perks of Excel and BI tools.
Comparison of BI tools and Excel data analysis
At first, it can be difficult to differentiate between the purposes of Business Intelligence platforms and the data analysis that can be done with Excel.
Undoubtedly, a BI tool like Tableau is much more powerful and intuitive than Excel. After all, the former is advanced in many respects, most notably in terms of data visualization, while the latter is a spreadsheet tool. However, using Tableau or another BI platform does not mean that Excel data analysis becomes obsolete. In fact, it is often considered a partial Tableau alternative or alternative to other BI systems.
Many companies use the two alongside each other for different purposes, both of which are beneficial for business insights.
Using Excel for data analysis
The positive sides of Excel are numerous, which makes it one of the most commonly used business tools. It’s among the most well-known products on the market and, in a sense, it feels like everyone is using it. That’s why it’s also one of the main contendents for a solid Tableau alternative.
Excel can be set up quickly, which makes it easy to adopt. Most companies are already using it, which means that most of their reports, dashboards, and charts are stored and handled in that tool. Its popularity also means that getting support and acquiring know-how is not difficult, since many people know a lot about it.
Excel’s approach to working with data is to streamline it into spreadsheets. It stores information in a tabular format, allowing for the execution of complex calculations through its numerous functionalities. Excel is known as a great tool for data creation and for applying elaborate formulas. It’s practical to use for data pre-processing, as well as for multi-layered calculations. Thus, Excel can be a good Tableau alternative for a big chunk of a company’s data analysis.
While it is a powerful solution, Excel has its downsides and is not the best option for all business needs. Data discovery, for example, is difficult, as it requires you to already have an idea where the data is leading you to get an insight.
It can also be quite challenging to go through endless spreadsheets that are not in a visual form. You have to sift through the data and figure out trends on your own. Then you can recreate some of it in graphics, but the options in this respect are limited. This makes finding and visualizing correlations complicated and labor-heavy. In this respect, Excel is not a good Tableau alternative.
The pluses and minuses of BI tools like Tableau
BI platforms such as Tableau work with data in a different way than Excel. Their focus is on visualizing the information to make it more accessible and easy to operate with.
In the battle whether Excel can be a solid Tableau alternative, the BI tool certainly wins in many categories. It provides a higher level of data connectivity and solidity. It’s also more resilient when it comes to bugs and mistakes that can compromise the data quality. In the case of Excel, you’d usually need an expert to fix such cases. Tableau is also the winner in terms of scalability, as it can work with huge amounts of data – in the range of one billion records and beyond.
At the same time, several factors may stop a company from moving to a BI system. One of the biggest hurdles can be cost considerations, as BI platforms entail a significant financial investment. Additionally, when all existing business data is already in Excel, such as charts and reports, it may be difficult to make the shift. It would require manually recreating all in the BI tool, which needs a serious effort.
To start using the new platform, employees typically would need onboarding and training. This may entail hiring an in-house expert of an external consultant to set up Tableau and educate the team to work with it properly. Besides being expensive, this may also spur internal resistance if the change is not fully accepted.
Undoubtedly, BI can provide great business insights. However, if a company does not develop a clear BI strategy, using a platform may still not achieve a real impact. Furthermore, the data records that need to be handled are usually in the range of 10,000 and rarely exceed one million. This means that the scalability of BI may not be a factor in the choice of many companies with more modest data sets. For them, using Excel may be a good Tableau alternative.
The power of no-code apps to boost Excel data analysis
Using a no-code platform such as Open as App together with your Excel spreadsheets can be a great way to handle your data analysis needs. By doing this, you can remedy some of the disadvantages of Excel.
Some businesses actually use both a BI tool like Tableau, as well as the powerful combination of Excel and no-code apps. They employ the two options for different business purposes. Depending on your company size and necessities, you can use the combo as a Tableau alternative, or instead of it.
By using Open as App and Excel, you can create a wide range of tools that would complement your data analysis. You can build mobile dashboard apps, as well as interactive simulations. It’s also possible to build calculation apps that allow you to make complex computations straight from your phone. You can also easily handle and automate routine reporting.
Open as App also allows you to use all Excel functionalities, but at the same time, they are made available in the form of a safe app. Your source data remains in the original spreadsheets but is not visible in the app. This means you can share it securely with different stakeholders while protecting your business know-how.
In terms of performance, Open as App gives Excel a significant boost, thus making the two a good option for a Tableau alternative. It allows the wide distribution of an app and the data it contains. The no-code platform also offers a cost-friendly solution to handling many tasks that otherwise would require a BI system.
As an illustration of the use of Open as App and Excel, let’s say that you want to boost the reporting on your company’s performance. By using the combination of the two tools, you can easily set up a mobile dashboard where you can monitor how a set of factors influence how other values develop.
For example, you can create a reporting app to simulate dynamically changing values such as market growth, deal sizes, and costs. In case the report shows that there was a market growth of 3%, a BI system would not be able to inform you what happens if there is a decrease of 1% or an increase of 5%. Thus, you need to use Excel to make this simulation for your planning. In it, you can change an input value and get re-calculation in the tool in real-time.
This is an essential step to make bulletproof conclusions to inform your business decisions. With Open as App, you get the calculation power of Excel alive in an app.
Get started with no-code apps for Excel data analysis
Whether you’re using a BI platform like Tableau alongside Excel or not, you can still explore new ways for data analysis. Combining Excel with Open as App’s automatic app creation functionalities provides you with the tool to build the right extensions for optimal data handling.
Ready to try out Open as App’s powers? You can get started with our app creation wizard to craft your business apps.
The rise of mobile apps is unprecedented, with the new digital tools bringing unseen capabilities for businesses and customers across the globe. They are becoming a serious asset for companies, thus turning into indispensable work instruments. Along with their considerable advantages, however, the issue of app security is also taking a prominent spot.
While mobile apps satisfy major market demands, they come with their fair share of data protection risks. Businesses that want to reap the benefits of using innovative apps also have to deal with issues of confidentiality and prevention of unauthorized data access.
The introduction of no-code apps in recent years is bringing a major shift in both the way apps can be created – and how app security concerns can be addressed. Automatic app creation allows anyone in a company to build a powerful and useful app. This revolutionizes the use of digital tools for a wide variety of businesses.
At the same time, automatic app creation can also offer a viable solution for handling app security concerns. In comparison with traditionally created ones, no-code apps provide not only a huge boost in terms of productivity but also significant data protection perks. No-code platforms like Open as App support enterprise-level security due to their inherent security architecture and tailored safety and sharing features.
In the sections below, you can find an overview of the major data concerns in general and specifically for mobile app security. Then you can delve into the inherent security solutions that no-code apps offer.
Table of Content
- The major data and app security concerns today
- Mobile apps: advantages and disadvantages
- No-code apps: the powers of Open as App for ensuring app security
- Get started with automatic app creation
The major data and app security concerns today
In the digitalization process of any company, many data and app security issues arise. They are relevant irrespective of whether or not you decide to use mobile apps in your business. Some of them relate to the secure sharing of business data with external parties, while others are caused by internal security breaches by the staff.
A major concern for most businesses is how to securely share data with partners, stakeholders, and customers. This is essential, as they have to protect the privacy of the company, as well as of the clients. For example, they have to prevent unauthorized access to confidential data, as well as to crucial business know-how.
Thus, companies also have to take care that there is no uncontrollable data sharing with unauthorized people. This can be committed by their staff, or by other stakeholders with whom the information has been shared. It’s essential to limit access to data only to the relevant individuals, preventing further sharing.
The sharing of open data can also be a serious threat to the digital assets of a company. Business datasets that are sent without protection measures can jeopardize the whole organization’s security.
Companies also face specific app security risks as well. There often are security gaps in individually coded apps. These are often due to the use of diverse codes provided by the different app developers, or the lack of source code protection. Security gaps are especially dangerous when it comes to using collaboration and communication platforms. This can lead to serious data leakages that can jeopardize the functioning of a business.
Another important task for businesses is to avoid unwanted database exports and data access by staff. Such situations often arise when an employee leaves the company or decides to misuse the available business information.
An additional issue with how employees use digital assets can be the unauthorized installations of software on the company devices. Businesses strive to restrict this due to the risk of installing malware disguised as an app, for example. Thus, for using any new app, team members have to get the consent of the IT department or administrator.
In the internal use of digital tools, the sharing of links and attachments via the company email can also be a security issue. Employees may not use secure links or may attach files that contain viruses or other threats. Also, phishing protection should be in place to prevent phishing attacks.
Last but not least, the rise of remote work also raises various security issues for businesses. Remote employees pose diverse data security risks, which companies have to address. The biggest concern is to prevent a compromise to the corporate information system, which can be executed via the device of a remote worker.
Some of the main issues with dispersed teams include the use of unsecured Wi-Fi connections, lack of antivirus software, failure to back up business data, and the use of one device for both work and leisure, among others.
Mobile apps: advantages and disadvantages
Mobile apps have revolutionized how hundreds of thousands of companies around the globe are conducting their activities, let alone the lives of consumers. This spans both internal processes and interactions with customers and external stakeholders.
The advantages of the new digital tools are numerous. First and foremost, with the help of apps, companies can innovate the way that employees work. Internal processes can be streamlined so that the overall productivity of a team is optimized. This can lead to direct benefits for the business in the form of higher efficiency and increased profit.
Mobile apps support businesses in improving their relations with customers and other partners and stakeholders as well. Boosting communication is easier with the new digital tools, as they allow for easier collaboration and exchange of data.
Apps also provide a security advantage for companies. They provide a safer way to share information, which is much better than sharing open data. Companies can better protect their know-how when it is embedded in an app.
At the same time, mobile apps do have some disadvantages that come along with the benefits. Companies need to learn how to manage a whole new set of digital assets. This entails a serious financial investment, as well as the expert staff who can work with the tools.
There are also potential issues with data protection and app security. Businesses need to integrate new ways to secure their internal resources, as well as the data of their customers.
No-code apps: the powers of Open as App for ensuring app security
The building of no-code apps can be the right solution for addressing the need for new apps for your business.
With a platform like Open as App, you get company-wide app security standards for app building and sharing. The apps that you create have in-built security and data protection features that protect both your business and your customers.
How automatic app creation works
The concept behind no-code apps with Open as App is simple, yet powerful.
You can build an app from your existing business data by connecting it with the Open as App platform. You can use your Excel or Google Sheets files, or even link your database such as SQL Server. For spreadsheet files, if they are hosted online, you can simply insert their links, without having to upload them.
Once connected, the platform extracts and analyzes your information from the source file. It automatically offers you different formats in which it can represent your data, such as list, calculation, or dashboard, among others. The choice, of course, depends on the type of data that you input and on the purpose of the app you want to build.
You are then able to tweak the formatting and design of your app to meet your needs. When you’re ready, you can choose different sharing options, depending on the app’s purpose. You can initially publish it in private mode and later share it publicly and even on social media.
The app security features of Open as App
Working with Open as App to create your new work tools is not only easy but also provides a high level of app security.
The platform has a special security architecture that ensures in-built data protection. The layout, data, and logic of an app are kept separate. When you open the app, the platform synchronizes the data from the spreadsheet or database with the so-called ‘app definition’. It contains information about the parameters of the app. This definition tells the mobile devices how the app should be visualized, as well as how it should work in conjunction with the source file.
In essence, there are three main components to the Open as App platform. In the web-based portal, you can create and distribute apps. In the mobile Client, you can use the apps on your mobile devices. The Open as App Cloud services connect the two. You have to use the required secure authentication process to access the platform.
The Open as App architecture allows offline access. It also permits you to update either the source file or the app, or both together. The data that you synchronize is stored on your mobile device in encrypted storage. It’s protected by your device’s credentials, as well as by the Microsoft Data Protection API (DPAPI). Additionally, your newly created apps integrate with mobile device management (MDM) systems such as MobileIron and BlackBerry Dynamics.
Open as App allows you to work with different sources of data, depending on your internal requirements. You can save the app data in your existing cloud environment, on-premise, or in the secure Open as App cloud, respecting the established security standard of your company. You can use the platform with Excel or via REST.
The no-code platform provides you with full control over your data, as well as over the rights for user access. It also conforms to the GDPR requirements. Also, you can set up roles for different users and establish an Approval Workflow.
You can use a variety of data hosting platforms that you already work with together with Open as App. Some of the supported ones include Azure Cloud, OneDrive, SharePoint, Dropbox, and Google Sheets.
Open as App also complements popular Microsoft tools. This means you can add a no-code concept to the Microsoft Power Platform, as well as use it with other Microsoft tools such as Excel, SQL Server, and Teams.
The publishing process of the no-code platform additionally guarantees app security. You can use gradual roll-out for different groups, as the sharing settings are fully controllable. Thus, you can start by publishing an app in private mode. Then, after testing it, you can share it in public mode. You can also publish it on different social media.
Open as App guarantees a high level of reliability of your no-code apps. Its uptime is 99,9%. This means you don’t need to worry about your apps being unusable at any time.
Using Open as App is not only secure but also convenient. You get set coding and documentation standards in one proven platform. This is much easier in comparison with supporting various individually coded apps. They all have to be documented and handled differently. With the no-code platform, this is done all in one place for all the apps you have created with it.
Get started with automatic app creation
App security is a major concern for businesses across the globe that wish to embed new digital tools in their workflows. However, this should not stop companies from reaping the numerous benefits of apps.
No-code apps offer a working solution for data protection and app security issues. You can create functional apps without having to deal with app security threats. With automatic app creation, you can build work tools that help you ensure your company’s security standards are upheld.
Ready to get started with no-code apps? Try out our app creation wizard and create your new secure digital tools with ease.
Falk Wienhold from Berlin, Germany, has used Open as App to create an app for bread baking from an Excel sheet he created. Very simple, without programming. His app helps hobby bakers to mix and match their recipes and still achieve a good result. Here is the story of Falk’s project.
Table of Content
- From bread to app
- A bread-baking app guide as a gift
- Falk’s project – an app for baking bread
- How the Breadli app for baking bread works
- Falk’s tip: You don’t have to get up early to make bakery-style bread 😊
- The way to your own bread and your own app
From bread to app
Falk Wienhold likes to bake bread. Even before Corona lockdown and home office, the Berlin native has dedicated himself to baking bread and has learned more and more. Blogs and books like Chad Robertson’s were a great help to him in this. Today he makes sourdough bread himself as if made by a baker, but very individually. In the meantime, he even experiments with different flour combinations and ingredients—all in the style of baker Chad Robertson.
The smell, the quality time, the calmness, and of course, the rewarding result have done it to him. Baking bread is not only a relaxing leisure activity for him, but Falk also likes to give away home-baked goods. By now, he has infected the whole family with his hobby – including his Dad.
A bread-baking app guide as a gift
Because mixing and varying ingredients require a certain amount of know-how and care in calculating the quantities, Falk wants to give his father a guide – homemade as a birthday present. First, Falk thinks of a book. But the printed book form or a PDF is not suitable because there are so many variations and dependencies, and bringing this into paper format is too complicated.
Falk briefly considers an Excel or Google Sheets file, but these are not attractive enough visually and do not work so well on the smartphone. A laptop is not practical in the kitchen when baking. Falk has a tool in mind that is easy and quick to use, preferably an app: a user-friendly app for making bread that allows you to quickly lookup what you need and in what quantity. And this is how “Breadli” was born.
Falk’s project – an app for baking bread
After some research, it becomes clear that the hobby baker does not want to learn to code. A pure web app or mobile website, however, does not support the necessary functionality, for example, the interactive calculation of ingredients from Excel or Google Sheets. Researching “convert Excel into App,” he comes across Open as App and starts – like when baking his bread – to experiment. He creates his first app, and it works just fine.
For his first Brotli bread baking app, he loads his file into the Open as App cloud. He could also link it from Dropbox or another hosting provider. He immediately sees his Excel worksheet in the data analysis. He selects calculation as the app type. Alternatively, the list type is also offered, but the primary function of the app should be to calculate the correct ingredient quantities.
After choosing the app type, he selects the calculation fields that are important to him and continues. He does not yet take care of the design. In the large editing area of the Open as App portal, he sees the preview of his app. The data formats, such as percent, gram, or kilogram, have been recognized and are displayed in the app preview.
Falk is gradually expanding his Excel sheet to include even more functions for his bread-baking app, and he is adapting the design. He adds selection menus and interdependent filters. These can also be easily added to the app in the App Portal of Open as App.
“I found Open as App pretty easy to use. Once you’re a bit familiar with the App Wizard, creating an app from Excel is quite fast. Anyone can use it to create apps with a lot of features.”Falks Wienhold, bread baking app creator
How the Breadli app for baking bread works
The Breadli app from Berlin gets top marks not only from Falk’s dad, but also from other users and testers among Falk’s family and friends. The bread baking app is straightforward to use and saves experienced bakers a lot of time. On the start page of the app, you can enter the amount of bread you want to make in grams. Then you select the types of flour, combinations, and other ingredients and their ratio to each other. On the second page, you get the correspondingly necessary quantities. If the selected ingredients or proportions are not suitable, the app will make a recommendation.
– Click here to open the bread-making app on Android, iOS, and the web: https://oaa.app.link/launch-app-487faf63-32ea-44ef-9806-8e9bb3f95897
– Here you can open the app directly in the web client: https://www.openasapp.net/portal#!/client/app/487faf63-32ea-44ef-9806-8e9bb3f95897
Falk’s tip: You don’t have to get up early to make bakery-style bread 😊
Falk has another valuable tip for all those who have caught fire by now. Sourdough needs long rest periods. No wonder that bakers who take their craft seriously usually have to start at 2 am. If you want your “baking” hobby to remain relaxed, here is a schedule from Falk for a bread with a “hobby baker schedule”:
– 8 pm on day 1: Refresh leaven
– 9 am. Day 2: Mix all ingredients and let the dough rest
– 8 pm: Form bread and let it rest again
– 9 am Day 3: Preheat the oven and bake the bread until crispy brown
The quantities in the app are calculated in such a way that you only need to be active every 12 hours, e.g., always in the morning and evening. The schedule is adapted from a book by Lutz Geissler. Falk always starts on Friday evening.
The way to your own bread and your own app
Anyone enthusiastic about baking bread is welcome to get the bread-making app “Breadli” on their mobile phone via Open as App. Falk is happy to share his app with fellow bakers. However, for beginners, he recommends Chad Robertson’s book for sourdough bread as an addition, which has valuable tips and good recipes for bread baking.
So now, if you feel like baking bread go on a search for your favorite recipes and bread baking tips, get Falk’s app, and get started. Here you can find some links with recipes, tips, and tricks:
- Helpful links for sourdough bread baking at home
- A list of great sourdough cookbooks for bread baking
- A great bread baking guide from the tasteofhome.com
If you want to share your ideas like an app, you can register for free at www.openasapp.com and create an app just like Falk.
Driving digital innovation and digitalization is on the mind of forward-looking business owners in most industries today. Embracing technological innovations and embedding them in a company’s workflow is becoming the norm – rather than an exclusive advantage – for businesses from all venues.
While undoubtedly beneficial, digitalizing your company’s processes is not an easy feat, nor is it a cheap endeavor. Traditionally, it involves expensive and complicated software development services that you need to outsource to external experts or hire а tech team to complete internally. After creating the digital tools, you need IT support as well.
How can you drive digital innovation and digitalization without the heavy involvement of the IT department and without using hefty tech specialists’ services? That seems to be the million-dollar question for today’s businesses, whether they’re small or large.
Automatic app creation is one of the top answers. Creating no-code apps without writing a single line of code is revolutionizing companies’ digitalization process across the globe. It brings innovation to how your business runs its operations, how your employees are doing their daily jobs, and how your customers interact with your brand.
With no-code platforms such as Open as App, all your employees can put their ideas into practice and build the apps they need for their work without software development skills. These tools are custom-made, so they can fully match the requirements of the task at hand. No-code apps don’t require the involvement of technical staff. This means that anyone on your team can become a creator of a useful app straight away and drive digital innovation without effort.
In the guide below, you can get to know the most typical challenges that businesses face when they seek higher levels of digitalization and how automatic app creation addresses these prevalent issues.
Table of Content
- The common challenges to digital innovation for businesses
- 5 top uses of no-code apps for your digital innovation
- Try out automatic app creation for your business innovation
The common challenges to digital innovation for businesses
Introducing novel digital solutions is a top priority for businesses in diverse industries. The digitalization process’s primary goals are to increase productivity, streamline processes, and improve a company’s overall performance.
However, achieving these results is often a long and challenging journey. Many companies face many difficulties when trying to purchase, build, and implement new digital platforms.
The main challenge that businesses typically encounter is budget restrictions. Buying ready-made and developing custom digital solutions are neither cheap nor easy. Their technical support also requires continuous investment. This means that planning and executing digitalization steps is directly tied with the company’s financial resources, which leaves many businesses behind and directly hampers their competitiveness.
Another obstacle to driving digitalization is the lack of internal talent. To develop innovative digital tools in-house, companies need to have specialized staff. This is rarely the case, especially with small and medium businesses. Even if external software development providers are hired to create the tools, the team needs to have the necessary skills and training to use and maintain them afterward.
The traditional process of software development is often slow and complicated. Whether digital solutions are outsourced or built internally, the speed is rarely optimal. This means that businesses need to wait long to use critical tools to improve productivity and place them in the right spot on the market.
Even when a company has a dedicated IT department, the tech team usually has a limited capacity and plenty of projects to handle. This often causes bottlenecks in the development and implementation of new digital tools. It’s also an issue in the day-to-day support necessary for their proper functioning.
Another potential issue that can hamper digitalization is the actual quality of digital solutions. Tools that are not created with a thorough understanding of a company’s business processes and needs may bring some results, but they certainly would not be impressive. This problem can arise with both purchased software and custom-made tools. It’s essential that the people who will use the software have a say in its creation; otherwise, its use may be limited.
The security of digital solutions can be a potential issue as well. Many businesses handle sensitive data, and this requires a high level of protection. The tools that are bought or developed should thus match this, which may be challenging to ensure.
5 top uses of no-code apps for your digital innovation
#1. Budget and status reporting app created by a financial controller
The financial controller’s job involves exercising general accounting oversight and handling numerous tax, banking, and payment processes.
Mark holds this position at a medium-sized eCommerce business. He is responsible for its financial stability and the various aspects of its economic functioning. In his day-to-day work, he needs to take care of financial operations, reporting, forecasting, and budgeting. In Mark’s case, this means creating and using many Excel tables that take a ton of time and effort to organize and maintain.
The eCommerce company can’t afford to hire a software development company to create new digital tools for financial control and drive digital innovation. This is where a no-code platform like Open as App comes in, as it offers the building of apps at a fraction of the cost of the traditional development process.
Instead of sharing endless Excel spreadsheets and databases, Mark can quickly build the same tools that he needs to provide a financial overview of his management. As he is the person who understands best the processes and the actual business needs, he can tailor the new digital solution to perfectly match the information workflow of his company.
For example, Mark can create a budget tool app based on the company’s existing data. He just needs to upload the Excel spreadsheets to the Open as App platform and then select the app’s formatting and content. Mark can start using it within minutes, handling operations such as revenue estimation, expenditure planning, and spending restrictions.
Another potential tool for digital innovation that Mark can build is a status reporting app. With its help, he can create a status check on the finances of different departments and activities. The app can then be offered to management so that they are kept updated and that they get timely overviews.
#2. Inventory reporting app by a retail manager
Retail managers have to juggle many responsibilities, and inventory is a major one among them. But they can also drive digital innovation.
Nancy works as a retail manager in a small retail company. She needs to take care of all the stock that comes in and is being sold. She has to provide regular analysis and reports to the CEO and COO of the business.
Her usual way of managing the inventory is to use complicated Google Spreadsheet files with endless items and complex formulas. She often finds it challenging to prepare reports on the inventory, including many other tasks, as extracting data from the spreadsheets is tedious and time-consuming.
With Open as App, Nancy can quickly build a performance reporting app. She doesn’t need advanced technical skills, as she just has to connect the Spreadsheet files to the no-code platform. Through the automatic app creation process, Nancy can use a functional reporting app within minutes.
As the app is super easy and quick to work with, Nancy can handle complex calculations and data analysis much faster. She can update her inventory lists straight from the newly created app, as it is connected to the source file and can write to it. Nancy can also easily share the app with the company’s management, so they get an instant overview of inventory.
#3. Safety reporting app by a safety manager
Safety managers in construction and manufacturing have a crucial role in ensuring the prevention of workplace risks.
Jemma is a safety manager in a small construction company. She has a lot of ideas and likes to drive digital innovation. She has to take the necessary steps to secure a safe working environment for the whole team. Jemma also has to take care that the company meets all legal requirements regarding health and safety in the workplace.
Her method of organizing safety reporting is to use Excel spreadsheets. She enters all relevant data about construction sites, and employee lists there. Health and safety measures are also detailed in other spreadsheets, such as protective equipment and the proper working with tools and gear. Jemma also takes care of preparing protocols for emergency reaction in case of a safety hazard or accident. Naturally, handling all the spreadsheets is often a complex and slow process.
Jemma can benefit significantly from using automatic app creation to build a few crucial digital tools that would make her job much more manageable. With Open as App, she can quickly set up a safety reporting app, for example. The costs are much lower than buying specialized software or building a custom-made solution. Plus, the tool is super fast and easy to use.
The app gives Jemma a full overview of health and safety issues. She can also easily share the digital tools that she creates with other team members and the business managers. Information is more accessible, and the company greatly benefits from this digital innovation.
#4. Work equipment app by an HR manager
The HR manager’s tasks are diverse, and this position has crucial importance in the operations of companies of all sizes.
Brandon is an HR manager in a mid-sized business with 350 employees. Besides hiring and taking care of current staff development, he has to keep an overview of the equipment and software that team members need to do their jobs. For this purpose, he’s been using Google Spreadsheets. Brandon logs in the different hardware equipment entrusted to each employee. He also notes down the software licenses required, as well as their pricing and expiration dates.
Besides keeping records for his use, Brandon regularly updates the company’s CEO, IT staff, and financial officer about work equipment expenses. This is especially relevant when new employees are onboarded, as well as when an employee leaves.
Instead of working with spreadsheet files and sharing endless versions of them with the management, he can create a functional no-code app with Open as App and drive digital innovation in his responsibility area. Brandon just needs to connect the Google Spreadsheet document to the platform. Then the automatic app creation provides him with the rest.
The equipment inspection app allows him to handle the hardware and software inventory for employees in a much easier way. Brandon can get an overview of counts immediately. He can also update the source files directly from the app whenever he renews a software license. The company’s managers can consult the status of equipment purchases and renewals at all times via the app’s intuitive interface.
#5. Quick invoicing app by electrician services company owner
Small business owners always have a thousand priorities simultaneously, whatever the field in which they want to develop a winning company. So there is hardly any time for digital innovation.
Ralph owns a small electrical business with 15 electricians who work at different customer locations. His employees are always on the go. This makes the customer invoicing process a bit complicated at times.
Ralph usually handles the invoices himself, which often takes a lot of time in his busy schedule. He needs to get the input of services provided by his employees. Then Ralph uses Excel tables for the pricing calculations as he stores the formulas there. This turns out to be a slow process, as he has to make the calculations and then create the invoice separately for each client.
With Open as App, Ralph can create a quick invoicing app in no time. He has to upload the Excel files to the platform, which then automatically processes the data. Then he can further tweak the app to match his invoicing process perfectly. For example, Ralph can create a form that first asks to select the provided services and customer details. Afterward, the app generates the invoice.
When one of his employees is on-site with a client, they can follow the steps to create the invoice in minutes. Then, they can send it to the customer via email and forward it to the back office, where Ralph also will receive it.
Ralph also doesn’t need to worry about his business data security when using Open as App. The platform provides an extra level of protection, as all formulas and other sensitive business data are not visible in the app. Employees can just enter the client and job details and get the generated invoice. So, even as a small company owner with low digital know-how, Ralf can implement digital innovation on the spot.
Try out automatic app creation for your business innovation
Driving digital innovation in your business doesn’t need to be a costly and challenging process. Automatic app creation helps companies of all sizes and diverse industries introduce novel digital solutions in their operations.
Want to get started with Open as App’s no-code platform and bring more digital innovation into your business? Experiment today with our easy-to-use app creation wizard to bring your ideas to life and create the right custom-made apps for your business.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that are tracked to determine how a business, project, or even a person is performing. A typical KPI report app could include the number of daily visits that a website gets but also the gross profits made by a business over a period of time.
KPIs are essential because they provide information about whether a company’s goals are being achieved or not. For that reason, you must define them carefully so that they reflect performance in a meaningful and relevant way
Developing the proper KPIs is a whole project in itself since it requires a careful evaluation of the various goals of a business. Once they are set, KPIs can be monitored regularly and used to define new strategies that will help improve performance.
Open as App can play a crucial part in this process. Our no-code app creation platform can help businesses to monitor their KPIs more efficiently. It can also help them define what they should be in the first place.
For example, you could create a KPI report app which you can use during meetings to draw on the data creatively and set new tasks or goals. You can also use such an app to communicate KPIs to team members and staff. That way, you can make sure that everyone understands them and knows their status.
Alternatively, by creating a survey app, you can reach out to a team to collect data about the proper KPIs to monitor within their particular part of the work process. Or you could request that employees provide you with feedback about their satisfaction – a type of internal human resources KPI for the team.
These are some of the ways in which you can implement Open as App in your company to help you with tracking or determining your KPIs. Want to learn more about how to define your KPIs and how to create a KPI tracking app with Open as App? Keep reading!
Table of Content
- What are KPIs, and how to define them?
- What makes a good KPI?
- What are the different types of KPIs?
- How to define KPIs for your KPI reports?
- Communicate your KPIs
- Common mistakes when setting your KPIs
- How Open as App can help you with your KPI reports
- Using Open as App to establish KPIs in your organization
What are KPIs, and how to define them?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a type of performance measurement. KPI is a metric that you follow to determine the development and performance of a task, project, or business as a whole. Understanding and measuring KPIs is vital in determining whether you are moving toward your goals or not.
Apart from serving as indicators, KPIs also have some additional functions. These include:
- Help make your business strategy measurable
- Enable you to communicate your strategy more effectively and cascade that information down into the organization
- Assist you in achieving buy-in from team members to own performance measurement and progress
- Deliver informative and actionable reports that help you zoom in on growth and development
- Get a precise grasp on the status of your project and make informed decisions
- Establish correspondence between goals and measurements and become more skilled and confident in adapting to circumstances
These are some of the possible functions and applications of KPIs. But not every metric is a good KPI for your KPI report. Here is how to determine whether a KPI is useful or not.
What makes a good KPI?
Picking the wrong metric can lead you to misinterpret the signals that you are receiving and throw your whole strategy into disarray. A good KPI is distinguished from a bad one by the following criteria:
Of course, for something to even be a KPI, it has to be measurable and available to you. If the KPI you pick cannot be quantified in some way or if there is no way for you to even access it as data, then it is not useful.
A good KPI is something that has a significant impact on performance and on the final target. If your KPI does not have a significant effect on your goals, it cannot guide you in your thinking and decisions. If your KPI provides you with information that helps you make important decisions – then it is impactful.
Relevancy is a crucial aspect of a good KPI. Technically, an impactful metric is also a relevant one. Yet, it is essential to consider whether you can measure your intended results directly or indirectly. The more directly you can measure them, the more relevant your KPI will be.
To be useful, your KPIs need to be available in a timely manner to allow you to change course quickly. If there is a significant delay between your actions and the measurement of their effects, then this KPI is not particularly useful. Of course, how frequently you need to be able to measure your KPIs will depend on your goals. If your goal requires you to have data available at the end of every quarter, then you don’t necessarily need to be able to measure your KPIs daily.
These are some of the criteria that you can use to determine whether a KPI is useful to you or not. So what are the different types of KPIs for KPI reports, and are some better than others?
What are the different types of KPIs?
KPIs are distinguished in several different ways. On the one hand, they differ with regard to the type of metric that is being monitored. Metrics can either be numbers or ratios.
For example, number metrics can include things like website visits, conversions, or profit (gross, operating, or otherwise). Ratio metrics, on the other hand, are things such as conversion rate, a change in percentage, or return on investment (ROI).
KPIs can also be differentiated on the basis of their purpose. Here they can be divided into business, external, and internal KPIs and, thus, be included in various KPI reports.
Business KPIs are used for the measurement of a central business goal and are typically determined at the company level. External KPIs are used to measure the performance of goals at the team or department level. Finally, internal KPIs are used to measure the achievement of an internal goal and are typically applied to the performance of individuals within a team.
How to define KPIs for your KPI reports?
To define your KPIs that are worth being included in regular KPI reports, you need to start with your business’s mission and vision and work your way down through your strategy and specific goals. Here’s what this process looks like in a nutshell:
Establish your mission and vision
Your company’s mission and vision are essential in defining how you will act in pursuing your goals. They determine the purpose of your organization, your values, and your core principles.
Define your strategy and goals
After determining the meta-level for your business, you can proceed with defining your core goals and a business strategy. These should detail what it is precisely you wish to achieve with your company in general as well as within a particular timeframe.
Do you want to increase customer acquisition or sales? Or do you want to decrease certain costs? You need clear and specific goals so that you can determine how to measure them.
Ask key performance questions (KPQs)
Asking key performance questions (KPQs) in relation to your strategy will help you zoom in on the data, you will need to measure performance. Once you sharpen your KPQs, define the data that you need (ideally).
Find the data
After defining the data, you would need to be able to measure your performance, assess the data you actually have. Sift through the data to find those indicators that apply to your goals. Sometimes you may find that several different measurements taken together (as a composite index) add up to the KPI that you are looking for.
Determine how your measurement approach and frequency
When you’ve established what kind of data you need, you need to determine how you will measure it. In addition, you must also determine how often you will measure your data. This depends on how often you will report and review the data you’ve measured.
Delegate KPI ownership
Once you’ve defined your KPIs, you need to assign them to people who will be responsible for the data collection and interpretation.
Communicate your KPIs
Finally, you need to make sure that your KPIs are clear to everyone within the company or team. This means that you must continually report the purpose of the KPIs as well as the result of their measurement.
These are the main steps that you need to take to define KPIs for your KPI reports. Of course, this process is a lengthy one, and there are many details and extra steps that aren’t covered here. The following below are also some of the common mistakes that companies commit when creating KPIs.
Common mistakes when setting your KPIs
There are several different mistakes you can commit when creating or implementing your KPIs, and then, of course, your KPI reports might be irrelevant or even be misleading. These include:
- Not aligning your KPIs with your strategy and goals: KPIs need to be relevant, and if they’re not, then they’re of little use.
- Measuring too much: Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should. Unnecessary data can overwhelm you and cloud your perception about what’s important.
- Measuring what you think you’re supposed to measure: When creating a KPI, there is always the temptation to simply measure what others in your field are measuring. While that’s not entirely wrong, it can miss the specifics of your business and your particular way (strategy) of achieving your goals.
- Failing to analyze your KPIs deeply: KPIs are sometimes taken as standalone “results” about how the business is doing. This can end up deceiving you about what’s going on and how it relates to your actions. To be meaningful, KPIs need to be analyzed thoroughly and in the context of both targets, benchmarks, goals, and change over time.
- Not assessing your KPIs critically: Just because you settled on a KPI at one point, that doesn’t mean you need to keep measuring it forever. As your strategy changes, so do your KPIs. Challenging your KPIs periodically will allow you to stay in touch with what it is they are designed to measure.
So how does Open as App fit into this picture, and what can you use it for when creating and monitoring your KPIs in your reports?
How Open as App can help you with your KPI reports
There are several dimensions to keeping up with KPIs in your organization. On the technical side, you need to be able to collect and analyze the data. On the organizational side, you need to communicate the purpose of your KPIs and share and distribute relevant information within your teams.
Here’s how Open as App can help you with all of these.
Using Open as App to establish KPIs in your organization
Open as App allows you to create KPI report apps from your data. As long as your data is structured in a spreadsheet, database, or log file, you can use our app creation platform with it.
When you upload or link a spreadsheet to the Open as App platform, it will analyze the structure of the file. It will then allow you to select from a list the type of app you would like to create and customize it. App types supported by Open as App include dashboard apps, calculator apps, survey apps, list apps, and more.
KPIs are typically tracked in spreadsheets or in Business Intelligence (BI) tools that allow for export in a spreadsheet format. This means that your data is a natural fit with the Open as App platform.
KPI report apps created from your data are also a right way of securing the data and protecting it from leaking or corruption. App creators are given the option to select who they share the app with. If your KPI data is sensitive, you can only share it with stakeholders and executives. Alternatively, you can also share it with the whole organization so everybody can keep track of KPI performance.
Finally, apps are instantly available after creation and are very easy to distribute. This means that you can create several apps within a concise amount of time. After that, you can distribute them to the individuals or teams that they are for with just a few clicks.
Two of the KPI report apps that you can create using our no-code app creation include:
Multi-channel KPI report app
This type of app can provide you with real-time data on the performance of your KPIs. Like all our apps, it can be used as a native app on iOS and Android. It can also be used as a web app on any tablet or computer and integrated as a tab in MS Teams, which is what makes it usable on multi-channels.
This is a convenient app to use during meetings. It allows you to draw on the data immediately and steer the conversation in a meaningful direction. And by adding Excel functionality to the app, you can also simulate KPI trends within the app.
Among other things, you can include a print button in your KPI report app to generate a PDF file and send it out on the spot. You can also include a KPI dashboard that will visualize the data and help you see it in a different way.
Survey app for KPI reports
A survey app can help you to collect data from employees or team members for your KPI reports. For example, it could be used to measure satisfaction (i.e., external or internal KPIs). A survey app can also be used to gather data on employee knowledge and understanding of KPIs. Or, you could create an app to request input when designing KPIs in the first place.
Collecting data of any kind through an app is significantly more comfortable and handier – both for you and for survey respondents. Providing many respondents with one spreadsheet to fill out often goes wrong. Instead, offering them an app with an easy-to-use interface guarantees that there will be no issues with the answers. It also lets you process and analyze the data much easier.
These are some of the ways in which Open as App can help you with your KPI reports. You can use the platform to create apps to report KPIs. But you can also create apps that allow you to communicate your KPIs in a better way or to collect data on whether they are useful in the first place.
Are you looking to create your first KPI report app? Go to our app creation wizard, sign up, and get started right away!
Digital innovations are bringing revolutionary changes to industries of all types and sizes. Gone are the days when novel technology could be of use only for large corporations or technology-based businesses. With the help of new digital solutions, you can improve your real estate agent performance and reap tangible benefits for your consultancy or small business.
One of the greatest ways in which you can get started with digital transformation is with the help of automatic app creation. No-code platforms such as Open as App empower you to build the work tools that you need for success. They allow you to seamlessly create apps from your business data – be it lists or formulas – that are easy to use, intuitive, and effective.
Table of Contents
- The benefits of automatic app creation for real estate businesses
- The top uses for no-code apps to improve real estate agents performance
- Creating your first no-code app
- Get started with automatic app creation and boost your real estate agent performance
No-code apps are based on your existing spreadsheets or databases. You can input information in the no-code platform, and automatically get digital tools that save time and effort for most of your internal processes.
The apps provide speed and flexibility for your real estate or property management business at the fraction of the cost of traditional digital solutions. They make the work of your real estate agents faster and more accurate. At the same time, no-code apps can also be key to improving customer experience and nurturing long-lasting relations with your clients.
Whether you’re working as a solo consultant or are running a small company, no-code apps can be a game-changer in how you operate and what your results are. Read on for the top benefits of no-code apps for the real estate field, as well as their best practical uses for your business.
The benefits of automatic app creation for real estate businesses
In an industry, as grounded in the material world as the real estate one, digital innovations can be of great use as well. In fact, new technology such as no-code apps can have a revolutionary effect on how real estate professionals and property managers are conducting their day-to-day work.
One of the greatest benefits of the tools that you can build with automatic app creation is that they make your internal processes more efficient. You can handle everyday tasks faster and in some cases, even automatically. This makes your real estate consulting or property management activities more productive and accurate.
The no-code apps also offer a high level of flexibility for your business. You can use them on desktop or mobile devices, so they are with you wherever you go – at your real estate office or a customer’s location.
Tailored digital tools also help you improve your customer service and relations. With their help, you can answer clients’ questions on the spot. Your overall responsiveness to customer queries and the interactions with leads become easier and smoother.
No-code apps also are of great support to your staff. Your agents can always rely on up-to-date information that is easy to operate with and to modify on the go. The apps save time for your employees, while also making their work more effective. They also improve your staff’s satisfaction with the work processes. This helps to boost your real estate agents’ performance.
For solo consultants and small businesses, apps provide crucial technical support. If you can’t rely on a big team with a diverse skill set, it can be difficult to get ahead with digitalization. With no-code apps, however, you get digital innovation at your fingertips without hiring expert tech staff and investing heavily in expensive solutions.
Overall, these benefits contribute to gaining a competitive edge over the rest of real estate and property management businesses in your area. By creating your own apps, you will be able to deliver faster and better in all the various aspects of the job. And so you can boost your real estate agent performance.
In addition, using automatic app creation to build custom work tools allows you to protect your sensitive business data. Instead of sharing your spreadsheets that contain sensitive information, you can only share an app that does not reveal your source data. You can also use different sharing options, depending on the level of protection that you need.
The top uses for no-code apps to improve real estate agents performance
With Open as App, you can create different types of apps from your business data. The most commonly used ones are calculation, list, and dashboard apps. You can use either of these formats, depending on the exact purpose of the app that you have in mind.
There are diverse uses of no-code apps to improve your agents performance and manage client-facing processes more efficiently. In fact, you can handle the different steps in the real estate process with a customer by employing a separate app.
For example, you can manage your customer contacts, arrange and update your property portfolio, and calculate the loans for customers. You can also get evaluations for property visits, organize the management of facilities, and prepare quotes for customers. You are able to better handle internal processes as well, such as the reporting of your real estate agents and your employees’ time tracking.
Below you can find some of the most popular use cases for no-code apps to improve real estate agent performance.
Customer contacts app
You can create a list app to manage your customer contacts. For example, instead of opening the endless spreadsheets the next time you need to find a telephone number, you can just click on the app’s button and search for a name. This provides you with fast and easy access to information, leading to better efficiency in your day-to-day operations.
You just have to link the source file to the Open as App platform. Then you can transform the spreadsheet into an easy-to-use app. This increases real estate agent performance in saving time.
The contact list can be displayed in a variety of ways, depending on your needs. It can be per property that you offer or manage. You can also make it indexed per real estate agent who is in charge of the case.
Property portfolio app
Another useful app that you can build without coding is for organizing your property portfolio. You’re probably storing the information for each entry in a complex database. Instead of using the data from there, you can safely connect it to the Open as App platform to create a list app with all the properties you are currently working with. You can alternatively also create an individual app per each client that you are working with.
You can have a separate entry in the app for each property that you offer or manage. Then, when you are on a site visit with a client, you can easily provide the answers to any questions they may have. Each entry can include extra details such as a map, as well as information on costs, facilities, heating, power, and more. By having immediate access to all this data, you can increase your productivity and improve your customer relations. And again improve your real estate agent performance plus providing great customer experience.
Loan calculator app
A great tool for real estate agents that you can easily set up is the loan calculator app. It can be of great use in consulting your clients on the amount and conditions for loans, including any renovations that they may need. Rather than calculating loan rates manually or with Excel formulas when a customer requests it, you can quickly input the data in the app instead. You’ll get the correct results within a click. This is a huge gain in real estate agent performance.
The automatic app creation process extracts your formulas from the source file, which can be an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet or a database. Then the newly built app offers you an easy way to input amounts and get calculations instantly. You can also include additional information in the menus, such as loan conditions and financing.
Agent reporting app
If you’re running a real estate business and have different agents working for you, it may be difficult to keep an overview of each person’s work. You have to monitor their working hours, as well as the clients they are working with. An easy solution is to create a dashboard app to keep track of your agents’ reporting.
Your app can include details such as deals closed, properties in progress, and much more. Each agent can input the data themselves, while you get the information for all employees in one place. This saves time and provides great insight when thinking about new strategies to boost real estate agent performance.
Evaluation app of property visits
Another great tool that you can build for your real estate or property management business is an evaluation app. With its help, you can make evaluations of property visits, client relations, facilities, and deals, among others. This can be useful for improving your customer service, as well as for maintaining a high level of professionalism across your business.
The app can stay connected with the source spreadsheet, so your data is always up-to-date in real-time. You will know instantly where you need to take action or if you are on target. This way you get insights in rea-time and find new strategies to increase performance of your real estate agents.
Facility management app
Property managers can benefit from no-code by creating a facility management app. For example, let’s say you need to monitor the cleaning activities for each property that you are in charge of. Instead of conducting checks and keeping track of Excel files, you can use an app to store all the data about the cleaning. You can review reports and feedback straight in the app.
Another possible use is to set up a how-to app for facility managers, where they can store all relevant information about a certain property. The app can also be a mixture of the list and dashboard formats to provide you with the full feature set that you need. This will help to avoid misunderstands and increases performance in real estate management.
Quotes and offers app for facility services
You can handle the process of preparing quotes and offers for customers by setting up a no-code app. If you are a property manager, this can be useful for cleaning and gardening services, for example. It is in essence a calculation app that is connected with your business formulas in your spreadsheets or database.
The app uses the formulas to calculate quotes on the basis of the numbers that you provide it with. This makes it much easier and faster to deliver offers to your leads and clients. When a customer requests a quote for your maintenance services, you can employ the app to quickly provide them with it. In some cases, you may even prefer to make the app available to your customers directly.
Time tracking app
Creating a time tracking app for yourself and your team is a great move towards productivity and accountability. Each employee can enter the hours they have worked for a specific client from their phones even when on the go. This is much more convenient than filling in endless timesheets at the end of the month. The time saved on documentation can go straight into customer experience and so you boost your real estate agent performance.
With the app, you can monitor the time used for each task, as well as keep an eye on billable services that are conducted on-site at the different properties. You can also divide your activities into different categories for better organization and time management.
Creating your first no-code app
There are many ways to increase real estate agent performance. Whether you want to create a list app for your customer contacts, a calculation app for sales quotes, or a dashboard app for employee reporting, the automatic app creation process is the same. It is simple and, in most cases, does not require any input from technical experts.
Before you start the app building, it’s a good idea to plan and envision the app that you need. It’s worth spending some time to define the purpose of the digital tool and what role it would have in your work processes. The more rooted the app is in the actual needs of your business, the higher its positive impact would be. You can also think about its structure and design, which may also entail penciling a prototype.
Another crucial step to take before you engage with the Open as App platform is to prepare your data. You should take care that your Excel or Google Sheets files are properly formatted. This is important for automatic app creation. Thus, your files should be ‘legible’ so that the data can be used for setting up a working app. You can use some popular Excel and Google Sheets tools to help you get your files in good order.
Then comes the actual app creation. You first need to connect your source files to the Open as App platform. You can either upload or link an Excel or Google Sheets file, or your database.
The platform then processes the data that you’ve input in no time. It offers you the most appropriate format options for the app. Depending on the data that you enter, it can be a list, calculator or dashboard, or a mixture of these.
After you select the format that you prefer, you can choose the different elements that will be present in your app. You can add and remove segments, such as charts, lists, maps, drop-down menus, action buttons, and more.
You can then select a design template and tweak the overall appearance of the app. You can change the color scheme and add visuals. A good rule of thumb is to keep the design simple so that users focus on the app’s functionalities rather than its flashy looks. The Preview functionality allows you to review the app before you publish it.
When you’re satisfied with the content and design, you can publish the app in private mode. This means that you can play around with it as much as you need, without anyone else having access to it. You can also share it with a group of people for testing as well.
Once the app is finalized, you can also publish it publicly or privately, depending on the app’s goal. You can share it via a link, a QR code, or on social media.
Get started with automatic app creation and boost your real estate agent performance
With automatic app creation, you can innovate the way you run your real estate or property management business. It allows you to build the digital tools that you need, which can perfectly match your work. No-code apps provide you with flexibility and efficiency that have a positive effect on your performance in both internal operations and customer relations.
Ready to try out the no-code platform Open as App? You can build fully-functional tools for your real estate business with our app creation wizard.