Only a few years ago, building an app from scratch seemed like a gigantic effort that required preparation and execution taking months and even years. Low-code and no-code platforms have rapidly transformed the technological landscape. With their help, functional and useful applications are being built within days and weeks instead.
The impact of no-code and low-code is already visible. These platforms allow an unprecedented leap in innovation, empowering individuals and businesses to create apps with no or very little coding involved. The concept behind them is simple: to automate and boost the software development process, making it easier and more accessible than ever before.
Low-code apps and platforms help businesses across the globe to create workflows, processes, and software products with a much smaller involvement from IT departments than the traditional development model. No-code goes a step further by enabling automatic app creation. It allows team members without any coding skills to automatically set up functional applications of essential business importance that make the best of existing valuable data.
The greatest perk about no-code platforms like Open as App is that they can seamlessly complement existing software solutions with which you’re already used to work. Most notably, Open as App can be employed in parallel with the Microsoft suite of business tools, which are being employed by a large portion of companies and individuals worldwide.
The importance of no-code and low-code in today’s tech landscape
According to Microsoft, 500 million new apps will be built in the next five years. The statistics show that this is more than people have created in the last 40 years altogether.
In case the expectations of Microsoft are accurate, about 450 million apps will have to be created with no-code and low-code platforms. As Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of the citizen applications platform at Microsoft, notes, “There are not enough humans to code fast enough to build that many. Professional developers should focus on harder challenges than another expense submission form or approval form.”
The capacity of software developers across the globe simply cannot meet the growing demand for applications in the business world. This is where low-code and no-code come into play. Their crucial role in revolutionizing software development becomes ever more apparent today. In situations like the current worldwide pandemic, where digital solutions can save lives and need to be built with extreme speed, such platforms offer a much faster and cheaper way to create highly needed applications.
The low-code way of building software is based on the idea that certain parts of the development process can be streamlined. This drastically reduces the time and effort that professional developers have to invest in crafting a solution. Their input is still indispensable, but many of the basic building blocks can be used as ready-made elements. The most common applications of low-code are in digitizing business processes, creating custom workflows, adding features to existing software and databases, and building entire applications and mobile and web apps. The Microsoft Power Platform is one of the most prominent low-code platforms out there.
At the same time, we see the rise of no-code app building as an even faster and more efficient novel way of software development. While low-code still requires serious dedication and investment on the side of developers and is typically reserved for more complex solutions, no-code allows a new level of automatization that’s applicable at different levels. It is designed to empower anyone with a good idea for an app to realize it, even if the person has no coding skills.
Essentially, no-code elements are already present in low-code platforms, as they contain pre-made building blocks. However, they have to be used by professional developers. In the case of no-code platforms, the need for a specialist when creating basic apps is removed. This frees up the time of IT departments, allowing them to focus on the truly important projects. It also gives unprecedented freedom to non-technical team members to craft apps that can dramatically improve their daily work.
Ultimately, the right mix of using a low-code platform like Microsoft Power Platform and a no-code platform like Open as App can give an immense advantage to businesses. More and more companies use low-code and no-code parallelly in order to build the essential apps they need for innovating and staying ahead.
How Open as App matches with Microsoft tools
Open as App is not only fully integrated with some of the most common Microsoft products. It’s actually based on the giant’s technologies. The platform was born in the cloud, using Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing.
Open as App introduces the opportunity for automatic app creation on the basis of Microsoft tools. This makes it a strategic choice for companies whose workflows are built on Microsoft. Team members who are not developers can thus create apps based on Microsoft products that they’re using every day.
This means that teams don’t need to embrace new technologies that are difficult for onboarding and working in order to use Open as App efficiently. The learning curve is small, as people can easily grasp the principles of using the no-code platform in conjunction with their current Microsoft tools. They can work with existing structures and just benefit from easy mobile and web app development, as well as secure sharing to Microsoft systems.
Thus, introducing Open as App in a workplace using Microsoft tools has two important benefits. First of all, it allows any team member to contribute to the digital transformation of the company – without the need for complicated technical training or the embedding of complex new technology. The second benefit is that through this innovation process, the no-code platform enables Microsoft-based companies to get even more from their data by truly putting it in practice with automatic app creation.
Open as App adds a new concept to the Microsoft Power Platform
The Microsoft Power Platform empowers your staff to create business applications with the help of low-code. It boasts four main tools – Power BI for data analysis, Power Apps for building custom apps, Power Automate for automating organizational processes, and Power Virtual Agents for building chatbots. They can be connected with Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and many other apps. Then you end up with complete business solutions that can flexibly meet your company’s needs.
Besides integrating with some of Microsoft’s key tools, Open as App complements what your team can achieve with the Microsoft Power Platform. With its no-code capabilities, Open as App introduces a new concept that goes perfectly alongside the use of the Microsoft Power Platform. The two don’t compete but rather complement each other, with the added benefit of Open as App’s integration with other Microsoft tools and its origin based on Azure.
The no-code platform allows team members with no coding skills to create and share apps with lists, calculations, and charts, thus bringing no-code app creation and automation to Microsoft users. While using the Power Apps product in the platform still requires technical knowhow, as it’s based on low-code, Open as App is available to specialists from all departments. They can easily use automatic app creation, thus making the best from the existing business data. This adds to the company the resources of many more experts – citizen developers – who can now also craft apps with complex logic and calculations without coding.
The powerful advantages that Open as App brings to Microsoft users are numerous. First of all, you can create both native and web apps with the help of the no-code platform based on Microsoft files such as Excel spreadsheets. The no-code creation process transfers calculations and logic automatically and presents it in a user-friendly way. You can use the apps both online and offline. The apps created with Open as App are not restricted to internal users. They can be shared privately based on invitation or publicly by link if that’s fitting for their use. They remain connected to the source data and are always up-to-date.
By using Microsoft Power Platform and Open as App in parallel, you can be sure your team will be able to create all the necessary apps needed for your company’s innovation.
Open as App and individual Microsoft tools
Let’s take a look at how you can work with Open as App and some of the most popular Microsoft tools.
The most common use of Open as App in conjunction with a Microsoft tool is with Microsoft Excel. You can easily create professional apps from your spreadsheets within a few clicks. Some of the possible uses of the data in your Excel files as apps include calculators, lists, and dashboards. These formats can be applied in a wide range of industries and for various purposes. They can be of great help in operations, sales and marketing, HR, and many more. The sectors that can use them are also numerous – digital businesses, mortgage companies, marketing agencies, and manufacturing companies, to name just a few.
In order to create a no-code app from an Excel file, you have to upload it in Open as App. The platform analyzes the data that you input and offers you a way to transform and display it as an app. You can choose the exact parts of the data to use, as well as the format and design. The interface is user-friendly, making your Excel data much more accessible and easily visible. You can also use different sharing options for the app that you create, depending on the level of sensitivity of the data that you enter.
Microsoft SQL Server and other databases
Another possible scenario to use Open as App for no-code app creation is by connecting it with Microsoft SQL Server, the popular relational database management system. The no-code platform links data from the SQL Server databases to transform it into an app.
Instead of uploading a file, you just have to connect an external service, in this case – Microsoft SQL Server. You can thus easily create and roll out apps based on your SQL databases. While being based on complex data, they are always up-to-date and easy to use. The same goes for mySQL and PostgreSQL.
The no-code app creation process allows you to hide the source for the end-user, while also giving you enhanced user management capabilities. The data can stay fully in their existing hosting environment, so there are no security issues. Additionally, Open as App can write data from the newly created app back to the source in SQL Server.
When connecting databases to Open as App you can benefit from adding Excel logic to SQL and other databases in the form of an app. How to do that? After you’ve connected Open as App and SQL, you can customize the data selected from the database to use in your app. During this process, you can select the option ‘Advanced enhance with Excel logic.’ Through it, you can download your data, add additional analysis in Microsoft Excel, and reupload it. The logic is then automatically recognized by the no-code platform and embedded in the newly created app.
Other databases can be connected via REST to Open as App to seamlessly create no-code apps.
Yet another possible use of Open as App is with Microsoft’s communication and collaboration platform Teams. The no-code tool integrates with Teams to give users great ease-of-use and flexibility in the app and bot creation.
You can easily add apps in the Teams platform by pasting the links of already created apps. They are then immediately visible for team members. Alternatively, you can create no-code apps straight in Teams. You just have to add Open as App from the Store and install it. Once you do that, its capabilities will be available right within Teams. The third possibility is, once you have Open as App installed, to create bots with the no-code functionalities.
Data hosting in OneDrive, Microsoft Azure and SharePoint
To make data available for no-code app creation in Open as App, you can also use data hosting services from other Microsoft products.
Power up your work with Microsoft tools
Whether you’re using Microsoft tools for personal or business purposes, you can benefit from the power-up that Open as App offers for its technology. You can build apps with the help of our no-code platform that complements Microsoft’s capabilities and boost your productivity and efficiency.
Ready to get started? Try out our app creation wizard today, and start realizing your app ideas built on Microsoft technology.