Monday, April 17, 2017

What Enterprise Apps Can You Create with Joget Workflow? Here's a List of Ideas



TL;DR
Some of the types of apps you can create using Joget Workflow include business process/workflow, scheduling/bookings, collaboration, request, tracking, management, submission, approval, information/notification, analytics, security, and financial applications.


It's the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the market demand for enterprise applications is skyrocketing. Technology costs are going down and organizations are realizing the importance of offering their employees the freedom to choose the devices and apps they want to work with.

Gone are the days when workers had to sit all day in front of a traditional desktop computer. They now prefer a smart approach to work and enterprise applications are at the center of it all. Gartner even predicts that by the end of 2017, the market demand for this type of apps will grow at least five times more than IT teams’ ability to deliver them.

But here's the long and short of it:

Despite this uptrend in enterprise apps demand, your app must be based on a viable idea for it to be used. At Joget, we've always advocated choosing your app ideas with great meticulosity, vision, and strategic thinking. So today, we're offering you a cheat sheet for some broad-brush enterprise app types so you can have a ready-made, off-the-rack list of app ideas you can quickly turn to for immediate inspiration. Here it comes:

1. BUSINESS PROCESS/WORKFLOW APPS




Business process and workflow applications are used to carry out or enhance a set of related tasks, performed to accomplish a specific organizational goal. They help you, mostly in an automated manner, to complete a series of logically structured activities that produce a specific service or product in the end.

An example is when a purchase order (PO) is created to be approved and issued to a vendor. The PO would usually have to go from one desk to another internally. If done manually, this process can take weeks or even months to get to the final approver. But with a process-driven application for processing POs, you can procure goods much quicker than ever, every time.

‘Every time’ because with business process/workflow applications, repeatable business processes can be completed following the same pre-set pattern, which goes to save costs of time and money, remove redundancies, and improve operational efficiency.

2. SCHEDULING/BOOKINGS APPS



In your organization, if you're always making arrangements so that people can use, do, or have something at a later time, then you probably need a scheduling/bookings app.

This type of applications allows workers to register for some future activity or condition, schedule engagements, set aside time for something, or reserve something (such as a room or seat) in advance… even on the go. And once those have been approved, or if any changes occur, they can be alerted instantly.

3. COLLABORATION APPS




Collaboration apps are useful for allowing individuals and departments to team up to accomplish an end.

Without the right tools, collaboration can be ineffective. But apps of this nature not only enhance collaboration but also help in providing a better visibility of activities among collaborators, drive innovation, and maintain a people-oriented culture in an organization. Additionally, collaboration apps help off-site teams to easily connect with the team back at base on a regular basis.

4. REQUEST APPS


Request apps enable workers and departments to request for something without the usually expensive and space-eating paperwork.

Requests made via apps can range from employee-specific requests like HR-related requests (e.g., leave, health claims, and promotions) to general requests like service, equipment, or information requests. You can create several different request apps for different purposes.

Take a cue from Blue Bird Group. The company uses Joget Workflow to build a helpdesk system for managing all SAP system requests, which are put through a rigorous approval cycle prior to development.

5. TRACKING APPS



Tracking apps are great for tracking, monitoring, and controlling things like processes, orders, workflows, requests, documents, employee activities, etc.

For instance, we do have a ready-made app on the Joget Marketplace called Simple Inventory Tracking. Users can use it to control and track office stationeries, consumables, and computer equipment for free.

6. MANAGEMENT APPS



Management apps have several use cases. For one, you can create an app for managing projects, activities, or assets. Another example is building a customer relationship management (CRM) solution to allow authorized employees quick access to customer data (e.g., contact information, sales history, etc.) from anywhere and at any time so as to improve overall customer satisfaction and increase retention rate.

We even have a Job Recruitment Management app for easily managing a job recruitment from start to finish.

7. SUBMISSION APPS



In the day-to-day operation of a business, different documents usually need to be submitted for vetting, approval, and more. As a 21st century organization that understands the limitations of the paper-based system, you will need an app for enabling submission of documents and reports. The submitted files can be routed to the appropriate persons for further actions.

8. APPROVAL APPS



Manual approvals are the bottleneck of many businesses: they lead to unnecessary wait-times.

If a document, decision, or request needs to be manually approved by a manager, it would have to wait until the manager returns from their two-week vacation from the Sacred Valley.

An app which allows approvers to initiate approvals from anywhere, anytime can be a great time-saver or even godsend.

9. INFORMATION/NOTIFICATION/TUTORIAL APPS


Keeping all the workers and stakeholders updated about happenings in the company can feel like a herculean task if it is done the traditional way.

An app that displays internal announcements and news can be an effective way to keep everyone in the loop. The app can provide general information covering the whole organization or serve a particular team. For instance, an app that provides inventory information can be of great benefit to the sales team. They can use it to provide real-time demand information to clients on the phone.

You can also build apps for notifications. A perfect example is when a customer submits a support ticket; an internal notification app can notify the appropriate team to quickly take action on the ticket to attain greater customer satisfaction.

To enable notifications in Joget Workflow apps, you can use any of our notification tools like the Slack Notification Plugin, Slack Webhook Plugin, or Mobile Push Notification Plugin.

10. ANALYTICS/REPORTING APPS

Analytical applications are useful for capturing statistics and analyzing reports.

For example, Baosteel Construction, a company specializing in structural steel, needed a system for capturing employee and department satisfaction. They reached out and used Joget Workflow to create the system. Now the company's management and HR department are able to capture staff satisfaction for statistical analysis and reporting.

11. SECURITY APPS



There might be situations where you need apps for controlling access to certain systems.

Whether it is to create user IDs, set access permissions, or trail user activities within those systems, Joget Workflow can come in pretty handy.

12. FINANCIAL/ACCOUNTING APPS

Finance holds an important place in business. Financial/accounting applications not only improve efficiency and overall performance of financial operations but also eliminate errors while saving you money.

For instance, accounting activities like invoice processing and account receivables are usually considered tedious and boring. A well-built system can save your accounting team from these problems while making their work exciting.

Apart from our Simple Invoicing app (which comes with receipt management and can be used as a template to create your own accounting apps), we also have the HR Expenses Claim app. It allows users to make expenses claims which must be approved before it goes to Finance.

CONCLUSION

All these are some of the types of apps you can create using Joget Workflow, an open source platform to easily build enterprise web apps for cloud and mobile.

Generally speaking, the apps you create should stick to solving YOUR organization's problems. The ideation should be custom-tailored to meet your business's specific needs.

This list is only suggestive but not exhaustive. It's meant to give you a general idea of what is possible.

So while these ideas are a good place to get thinking, it's crucial you ideate and build your apps with your organization's needs in mind and also consider existing workflows and culture within the company.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Coding for Non-Coders: 11 Smart Strategies for Successful Enterprise App Adoption



Enterprise applications are a phenomenal innovation that has changed and ameliorated the way people work. It's growing in popularity and enterprises are buying into it to make work easier, increase operational efficiency, and open new opportunities for growth.

While organizations are investing more and more in enterprise applications, there's a certain impediment to securing a return on such investments. It has actually been rocking the enterprise application industry for a while and it's a major concern for some organizations.

In our previous post in this series, we took you through the step-by-step process of building an enterprise web application for your organization. It could pass for a disservice if after showing you how to build apps, we do not show you how to deal with what is probably the biggest problem that's been hindering some organizations from getting a return on their app dev investment.

But happy are you because with this post, we've got you covered.

Okay, so what's this problem? It's failed adoption.



See, survey after survey show that user adoption is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) deterrent to high returns on enterprise application investments. In fact, in most cases, the difficult part of enterprise app initiatives isn't always the development but the deployment and adoption parts. This study conducted by SAP specifically found that 78% of enterprise applications are abandoned after their first use.

But this doesn't have to be. We believe if you plan your strategy pretty well and diligently implement it, you can achieve great success and obtain high returns on your investment in the end.

This post intends to provide you with smart strategies for successfully getting users (employees) to adopt your enterprise apps. But before we get to that, there's a basic requirement you need in place.

MAKING YOUR APP ‘ADOPTABLE’

To start with, your app must be desirable for it to be adopted. This primarily begins with your app idea. If your idea is not worthwhile and auspicious enough, you won't be able to create great apps, which could lead to failed adoption.



So for the strategies given below to work effectively, you must first base your app on a good idea. We always recommend looking to solve real-world problems within your organization.

Employees should find your app exciting, helpful, and delightful to use. This is the first step to making an app adoptable, without which every other adoption strategy will likely fail.

After getting this out of the way, it's time to apply some smart user adoption strategies.

SMART ENTERPRISE APP ADOPTION STRATEGIES THAT WORK

1. GET BUY-IN FROM POTENTIAL USERS

The truth is, people will most likely stick with what the state. So one of the first things to do is to get potential users to buy into the app early on even before you go on to build it. Let them make a commitment to using the app. For this to be effective, you will need to carry them along throughout the development process — from ideation to testing.

For one, this helps to validate your app idea. It tells if they will use the app when it's fully created or not.

Apart from being a tool for developing full-fledged apps, Joget Workflow is a great prototyping tool as well. This means it allows the end users to get involved in the app development process from the very beginning. Through an iterative cycle of change and continuous integration, end users are able to solve their current, and perhaps, anticipate future problems.

2. TRAIN USERS ON THE APP USAGE


One reason employees may abandon an app is their inability to use it.

First off, you should make your app easy to use. Then make provision for the training of employees on how to use the app.

This is particularly important for complex apps with more than a handful of features and functionalities.

You should also provide helpful in-app guidance by including usage information within the app.

3. MAKE IT EASIER FOR USERS TO FIND YOUR APPS

This one is a no-brainer. Ideally, you need to let users know where your app is so they can find it.

With Joget Workflow, users can access the apps you create from the App Center. They will only be able to see the apps they have the access permission to.

Alternatively, they can access the apps directly via a dedicated URL.

If you want ready-made Joget Workflow apps and plugins to satisfy immediate business needs, you can always get those at the Joget Marketplace.

4. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

When it comes to strategic deployment of enterprise applications, communication is key.

What exactly should you communicate? The benefits.




If you communicate the benefits of your app to prospective users, they'll want to use it. If they know it'll help them, they'll buy into it.

This is one reason why it's important for your app to have a clearly defined goal that aims at solving a real-world problem. Apparently, the more benefits your app offers, the greater your chances of getting employees to use it.

5. PAY ATTENTION TO SIMPLICITY AND QUALITY

Look, employees are already using consumer apps with great qualities, and it seems they are accustomed to those apps. It's only natural for them to demand the same level of quality, simplicity, and intuitiveness in enterprise applications.

The downside is that if you don't provide them with these qualities, they will abandon your app and go back to the consumer apps they are used to. Part of your adoption plan should be to make your app as high in quality as the best ones out there.

6. GIVE MOBILE ACCESSIBILITY

The world is not just changing technologically, it has actually changed. The way people access information and use apps nowadays is practically different from how they used to do it a couple of years back.

Instead of traditional desktop computers, mobile is king.



Moreso, some workers these days do work on the go. Your app needs to be mobile-friendly for them to be able to use it.

7. ALLOW PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY

Apart from your app being mobile-friendly, it ought also to be compatible with the platforms your employees use.

Since it's likely that employees may use all the major platforms, the best approach is to make the app cross-platform compatible. This means making one app available and able to run on multiple platforms. One of the benefits is that it improves your app reach while cutting down on loss in performance.

At Joget, we always advise that it's not necessary to put all the time and resources in building many different versions of the same app for different platforms. We recommend you create a web app instead. This way, the web app will be available in the cloud and can be used across multiple platforms and operating systems.

This is even more important now given the increasing trend toward bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Organizations are encouraging BYOD and employees are loving it.

Joget Workflow lets you build enterprise web applications that are mobile-optimized and crowd-ready so that your employees can use it no matter what devices they bring.

8. INTEGRATE WITH SYSTEMS THEY ALREADY USE

One of the quickest way to make someone start using something is to fuse that thing into their own life.

It's not different with business applications. Basically, your app shouldn't try to “refashion” the way employees work, but improve it.

Integrate your app with the tools already in use within the organization.

For example, Joget Workflow offers different plugin types for integration with systems like SharePoint, Google Apps, and Slack.

9. USE INCENTIVES

Another thing you can do to drive adoption for your app is to incentivize it. People will be more inclined to downloading and using an app if there's a valuable prize attached to it.

A great way to implement this is to start a healthy contest where the department or the individual that makes the most use of the app gets a goody reward. You may need to set up tracking to achieve this. To track, you can always add tracking mechanisms into your apps (e.g. you can embed Google Analytics).

10. PROMOTE THE APP INTERNALLY

If they don't know it exists, they won't use it. Internal promotion could range from just casual announcements at meetings to something more formal like creating bulletins or even banners.

Do whatever makes the most sense to you as an organization, but consider getting the c-level workers to use the app first. When other employees see it, they'll be encouraged to follow suit.

11. SET UP INTERNAL HELP DESK FOR USERS

So you do occasionally get tech support from the services you use, huh?

Is anything wrong with providing an avenue for your app users to get the help they need internally? Of course not!

Providing internal support for your app users only goes a long way to make deployment easier and increase usage. Additionally, it'll show that you're serious about the initiative, which encourages users the more.

What to do at the help centre? Just to name a few…

It can serve as an in-house walk-in centre for getting help on how to download or use the app. This means a place for getting information
It can be a place where users easily go to leave feedback or complaints

It can be a place for fixing technical issues or walking users through technically-difficult activities

CONCLUSION

In business, there's the fallacious argument that if you build it, they will come; but of course, that's half-truth. If you build, they won't necessarily come. If you want to see results, you'd have to proactively go for it.

Enterprise app user adoption plays by the same rule — to get users to adopt your app (and to increase returns on your investment), you need to practically set out and implement strategies that work… except you have a really really awesome app that people are eager to use.

There are two parts to setting out and implementing adoption strategies: knowing the right strategies to implement, and actually implementing them.

We've done our part by providing you with information on some helpful strategies. The other part, unfortunately, we cannot do for you. It's in your hands to act accordingly.

These strategies are mostly non-technical, which means they're something you should be able to do without any technical limitations.

It's also critical to plan your adoption strategy to enhance user retention.

Feel free to have a look at the parts one, two, and three of this series or just check out the latest Joget Workflow v6 Beta for many new features and improvements in user experience (UX), mobility, app maintainability, and performance.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Coding for Non-Coders: How to Easily Build Enterprise Apps Without Coding in 8 Simple Steps



A few years ago, it wasn't entirely practicable for non-coders to build applications due to the difficulties and technicalities of coding. In fact, coding wasn't something to discuss in the average workplace except by IT.

However, technology has changed a lot of things on the app development front and it's now not just practical but also easy for non-developers to create working apps through codeless development, as we've discussed in parts one and two of this series.

Today, we will show you, in eight simple steps, exactly how to create enterprise web applications for your organization, using the Joget platform as our primary tool.

For the fact that this post targets non-technicals, we'll try to keep it free from technical jargons as much as we can while still delivering value. And where we use a technical term, we'll explain it. Let's go straight up into the steps:

STEP #1: IDEATE WHAT APP TO CREATE

Ideation is the starting point into every new project, right? Sure! So the first thing you'll need to do in creating your enterprise application is to develop an idea of what app to build.

This is where you have to define the purpose and mission of your app, its core appeal, and where it fits into the organization's overall strategy.

When it comes to ideation, you have to be very strategic, otherwise, you may end up struggling with the adoption of the app by users. Put differently, it's not just any idea that works.

For your app to carry a lot of weight with users, it should aim at solving a real-world problem for your organization. It could be efficiency problem, process problem, or just any effective organizational problem that needs solving.

Usually, these sort of problems are always almost everywhere in an organization; so you might not need to look too far. Whatever idea you arrive at, it should generally do at least one of the following:
  • Simplify complex business processes 
  • Reduce costs 
  • Save time 
  • Make employees’ jobs easier 
  • Enhance effective collaboration 
  • Allow secure access to information 
  • Resolve efficiency issues 
  • Make it possible for employees to continue working outside of the traditional office 
  • Streamline and improve workflow and approval processes 
  • Amplify opportunities for the organization 
  • And more. 
To develop even a more feasible idea, consider involving potential users (employees). Ask questions and get them to contribute ideas. Talking to prospective participants helps you validate your idea, which is important for an app to be successful.

STEP #2: DETERMINE AND DETAIL FUNCTIONALITIES AND FEATURES OF THE APP

After you've identified a need within the organization and aligned your app idea accordingly to resolve it, it's time to solidify things by properly detailing what should go into the app.



At this stage, you might want to make a list of all the major features and also research the functionalities you'd love in the app. You can brainstorm with your team and ask them what to expect.
By detailing things down, you will be able to:
  • Give your idea a structure 
  • Ensure each use case makes sense in reality 
  • Pre-design the user experience for better delivery 
  • Arrange features beforehand and map out the priority of your app’s content 
  • Connect the dots from one element to another. 
If your app is looking to resolve a problem, it's vital you find out the pain points of the prospective users so as to be able to resolve them spot on.

STEP #3: CHOOSE YOUR TOOL AND SIGN UP

By now, you have your app’s use cases outlined and a mental picture of its structure. The next step is to choose an app builder platform to create your app.

Of course, we’re discussing codeless development here so the tool you choose should definitely be a no-code/low-code platform with which you can easily build apps with little or zero coding knowledge.



In our bias, we recommend Joget Workflow as your go-to development platform. It can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

STEP #4: CREATE YOUR APP

With your app idea birthed, the feature set mapped out, and the functionalities defined, it’s time to further establish your project by connecting and fusing these individual pieces together.

From step #1 up to step #3, you've been preparing for the main job. Now, it's time to actually create your app. This step is probably the most technical part of this whole process, so you need to pay special attention to it.

And don't worry about the intricacies involved with development; codeless development is simple. It basically involves dragging and dropping visual elements to create what you want. Moreso, we will be using Joget Workflow, a really easy-to-use platform that makes development even enjoyable.



The first thing you would want to do in actually developing your enterprise application is to create a prototype of the app. The general idea of prototyping is to represent as close to the final product as possible, for testing.

You can use Joget Workflow to create a working and fully functioning prototype, where users can actually use the system. This way, you get the users to participate directly and they can see what they are getting from the onset.

To prototype with Joget Workflow, use the App Generator. With it, you’d be able to generate a fully functioning prototype from a form. Here’s a helpful tutorial on how to use the App Generator.

Understand that not all enterprise web applications require prototyping, especially simple and small apps. But for big apps, it's smart to create and test prototypes.

After you've created and tested a prototype of your app, and are satisfied with it, it's time to create the full application.

Creating a Joget Workflow app typically involves five simple steps as shown below:

1. DESIGNING A NEW APP
This is the step which starts the build process.

Here, you're required to enter the details of your new app, including App ID (without spaces) and App Name.



For step-by-step instructions on designing a new app, see this tutorial.


2. DESIGNING A FORM

In this step, you're to design a new form for your app using Joget's Form Builder. You will be required to enter a Form ID, Form Name, and Form Table.



Follow the instructions in this tutorial for a detailed guide on designing a form.


3. DESIGNING A LIST
The third step involves designing a list using Datalist Builder.



This is where you get to create a list of cumulative field values from all workflow process instances associated with the form.
You'll need to select the source of the data, edit columns, plus a couple other functions.

Go here for details on designing a list.


4. DESIGNING A USERVIEW

Step four is where you get to design the front-end interface of your app using Userview Builder.



You can develop a theme from scratch but there's also a list of preloaded themes you can choose from for quicker development.

Here's a quick tutorial on designing a userview with Joget Workflow.


5. DESIGNING A PROCESS
The final step in creating a Joget Workflow app centers on process design. You can complete this step using Process Builder.



For help, check out this step-by-step process of designing a process.


STEP #5: TEST IT… AGAIN

After you've created the full app, it's important you test it again. You will want to test the use cases, user interface, navigation, and individual screens to see if the experience is good enough.



All the components of your app should properly work at this point, and your app should be visually appealing as well.

STEP #6: INTEGRATE AND EXTEND YOUR APP

You may find it necessary to extend the functionalities of your app. For instance, you might want to extend an account payable workflow automation app to allow vendors to submit invoices directly to the AP department.

This can be done using plugins. Joget Workflow has a robust plugin architecture you can take advantage of to enhance and extend the functionalities of your app and integrate it with external technologies such as JSON, SOAP, and SQL/JDBC.

STEP #7: DEPLOY YOUR APP AND GET TARGET USERS TO ADOPT IT

So you now have a well-built app created and tested. Well, it's time to launch it.

App development does not end at just creating the app. It involves making sure the app gets adopted and used by the people. You wouldn't say you created a successful app if nobody is using it, would you?


We recommend you always get buy-in from potential users and other stakeholders even before creating the app. It's also intelligent to have adoption strategy.

STEP #8: GET FEEDBACK AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS

Now that your app is in it’s fully functioning form, and with more users taking it for a spin, you may find that you need to make a couple of tweaks to bring it out fully.

Development is a process; it continues. Don't stop working on your app. Continually update and improve it based on user feedback and on new technologies.



Keep an eye on engagement. Why? Because user behavior and interaction with your app will go a long way to giving you insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your app, giving you ideas on how to improve and enhance your app.

Also, be open to constructive criticism and listen to complaints. Work with the support team of your software provider to fix technically complex problems.

Building an app can be very easy, especially with the right tools and information in hand. You don't need to be a professional coder to do so, as codeless development has totally changed the game.

We hope you try out Joget Workflow, but you ought also to try out the steps given above to build something employees will be happy to use.

This is the part three of the series, Coding for Non-Coders. Feel free to check out parts one and two if you have yet to do so.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Joget Workflow v6 Beta Released

After months of intensive development, we're proud to announce that the beta for Joget Workflow v6 is now available for download!


What's New in Joget Workflow v6?

v6 has a dual pronged focus: User Experience (UX), and App Maintainability and Performance.

USER EXPERIENCE AND MOBILITY


User Experience (UX) and mobility are the Achilles' heel for enterprise apps. To address this, new features in v6 include a Material-design inspired user experience, mobile device responsiveness, dashboard capabilities and many many more.

With touch support for designing apps (imagine using an iPad to build and maintain apps!), building beautiful and user friendly apps will be easier than ever.


APP MAINTAINABILITY AND PERFORMANCE



The major challenge in app development is not building it the first time, but rather maintaining and evolving it over time. A big focus in v6 is improving app maintainability, with additional tools to manage dependencies and to automatically merge concurrent team changes.

Performance is also another key focus area with tools to help app designers optimize their apps more easily through easy-to-use caching, and to prevent common app performance bottlenecks such as detection of database connection leaks.


Get Started

Check out all the details in What's New in Joget Workflow v6, and Get Started in the Joget Workflow v6 Knowledge Base.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Coding for Non-Coders: Why Should You Build Your Own Apps?

In our first post in the series, Coding for Non-Coders, we mentioned that our aim with this series is to empower non-developers to effortlessly build enterprise applications. In the post, we found that it's actually possible for a person with little or even zero coding knowledge to build applications, using a Codeless Development approach.

In part three of this series (which is the next post), we will take you through the step-by-step process of building an enterprise web application without any programming skills. But before then — and on a deep-thinking, heart-searching level — why should YOU build your own enterprise apps? Apparently, there are umpteen professional software experts out there; is it a brilliant business move to build your apps in-house in place of paying an experienced dev to do it?

Here's what we've discovered in our interactions with organizations around the world:
We've found that a good number of organizations want to create their own business-to-employee (B2E) apps. While that’s definitely a good thing, there is a problem:

The team members of these organizations, in most cases, do not know how to code. Yet, these enterprises do not necessarily want to outsource the development task; they want the apps built in-house.

Why? Because they've realized the numerous boons associated with internal development and are looking to avoid the interferential disbenefits that come with the traditional method of outsourcing app development.


The points below should help you have a clearer picture of the importance and benefits of building your own business applications internally.
  • Quicker turnaround time: One of the biggest challenges faced by organizations regarding building enterprise apps the traditional way is lengthy time requirement. On average, it takes about seven months to a year to write a single app, traditionally. Considering this extensive time input, it's worth developing your apps in-house since codeless tools can dramatically speed up the development process while saving an ample amount of time. 
  • Reduced costs: Another major reason you should build your own enterprise apps is the cost of development and maintenance. The price tag of outsourcing development is surprisingly high. On average, it costs north of $250,000 for an app to be developed. Not everyone can afford that high an amount, hence the need for internal development. With just a small fee, your team’s dream of building any app they want at any time can become a reality. 
  • Practical empowerment: In-house development empowers a broader base of your workforce — departmental people, product managers, process owners, and so on — not just IT. These non-technical team members usually have valuable domain expertise and inventive ideas, and with an opportunity to create their own apps using visual, drag-and-drop tools, they'll be able to develop their skills, make meaningful contributions, and extend their expertise to benefit the organization some more. 
  • Smart solutions to problems: Fostering a world in which everyone can build apps would not only address the traditional app backlog faced by many organizations but would also enable organizations to find new and innovative ways to *quickly* solve internal organizational problems. Think of a situation where you need to readily manage internal bookings within your organization. Can you easily and quickly create an app to handle that? Oh well, yes! But with a no-code/low-code tool like Joget Workflow
  • Trendiness: You know, the world is fast changing and work has gone from the way it used to be to a smarter approach. It's the same with development and how we use devices these days. In fact, Gartner says that before 2020, when people go online, they'll use their tablet or smartphone first instead of traditional computers. This means the demands for enterprise applications by employees is proliferating at a time when developer resources are in short supply. With this in mind, it's only intelligent you find a way to build apps internally. Gartner even mentions that by 2018, more than 50 percent of all enterprise apps will be created by business users, using codeless development tools. 
  • Increased productivity: Imagine being able to effortlessly and quickly build, at any given time, enterprise applications that can immediately enhance your team's operational efficiency and increase workers’ productivity, without the need to contact any pro developer. Now, that's the sort of benefit you get when you equip your team to build applications internally. 
  • Complete creative control: In traditional app development, there's the problem of control, customization, and versioning. Businesses that wish they could customize their app to something more custom-tailored usually have zero or very little chances of doing so given that the application wasn't written by them, and customization will most likely require coding. If they finally get to do it, such customization, versioning, and maintenance most times come with extra costs. Using no-code/low-code platforms to build your apps cuts off these unnecessary headaches and expenses while giving you complete creative control of your apps. 
The points discussed above prove it's worthwhile for organizations to build their own B2E apps. With these benefits, coupled with the simplicity of codeless development tools, creating your own apps should be something you definitely do, even as a non-coder.

You can start with Joget Workflow, one of the world's leading open source platforms for building enterprise web applications that employees love.

This is the second post in the Coding for Non-Coders series. If you haven't had any chance to read the first post, you can do so here. In part three, we'll show you exactly how to build applications with no coding requirements whatsoever.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Coding for Non-Coders: Codeless Development Explained!


Is it possible for someone without any coding knowledge to build applications? If yes, how well can they do and should we trust such applications to work well and contribute meaningfully to business?

Well, this post kicks off the series, Coding for Non-Coders. It's a series of posts we will be publishing here with the aim of empowering non-technicals to be able to easily and quickly build enterprise applications, no matter their level of programming chops.

#Flashback: Back in time, those who wished to develop apps but lacked technical expertise had to rely on traditional developers and IT to meet their development needs. For them, coding and development were herculean tasks they didn't want to get into. So they took to the option of outsourcing all their development work to software experts and the costs weren't so low.



Our earnest vision at Joget has always been to champion a world where anyone can seamlessly create their dream enterprise application at any time regardless of whether or not they can code, a work environment where even the least technical person can churn out a working app that can contribute to business.

The beautiful thing is that things have changed dramatically from how applications were developed in the past. Non-coders who have an idea but not the technical know-how are taking it upon themselves to create their own apps; they can now implement a no-programming approach towards building applications.

This is called Codeless Development.

Codeless development makes use of a drag-and-drop interface to build enterprise applications without the need to write code. It requires no programming knowledge to work with as the “developer” doesn't need to interact with any code or any technically difficult-to-use tool to build their applications. This method of development relies on models and templates as opposed to strict coding.
Although the term “codeless development” along with related terms like “no-code development” and “low-code development” have existed for just a few years now, the technique is not entirely new.

And here's another thought: Even though it's called “codeless development” the technique isn't devoid of code. The truth is, there is some code somewhere. But the code is pre-developed and packaged (read: hidden) in an environment that will only require the user to visually develop applications.

Thinking no-code development is limited? The apps developed can be deployed in private or public clouds, on-premise or to mobile devices, and can be extended and integrated with mainframes and other external systems, mostly via plugins. This means you can do more with apps built through this methodology.


Now, there's a common fallacious thinking that codeless development threatens the job security of the developer; but the fact is that no-code/low-code platforms are designed to accelerate software delivery and heighten the dev’s productivity level while streamlining and quickening the development process.

It also expands app development beyond just developers as it is geared more toward business users.

Why business users? Because businesses are frustrated with having to go through long, tedious development process; they want to handle their own development in an effortless manner. They see codeless development as being more agile and less baroque. More importantly, organizations want to lower cost and save time, and codeless development helps them achieve exactly this. For instance, the Joget platform lets users dramatically cut down the costs and time it takes to build new apps. Instead of writing code, you basically build your app by easily dragging and dropping elements.

If you have yet to adopt codeless development, it's time you signed up for your free Joget account here. In our next post in this series, we will talk about why you need to develop your own apps and also look at the potential benefits you stand to gain by using the codeless development approach.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Joget Advantage: Things You Probably Didn't Know About Joget Workflow

A few years ago, we published a post about the advantages of Joget Workflow and why everyone needed to pay attention to the platform. Back then, Joget Workflow was in its third edition and in the post, we talked about the key benefits offered by the v3.

But years have come and gone and Joget Workflow has gone through a handful of upgrades and revisions, and new features have been added, too. More importantly, the platform has evolved from being just a workflow and business process management (BPM) engine to a full-fledged suite of tools for building business applications that matter.

This simply means there are more things you can do with Joget Workflow now than we covered in the v3 post back in 2011.

So we’re putting this together to help you have a more comprehensive knowledge of what you can accomplish with Joget Workflow, plus some major advantages associated with the platform. But before we get to that, let's quickly get a handle on what the platform is about, for those who don’t know.

What is Joget Workflow?


Joget Workflow is an open source web-based workflow software to easily build enterprise web apps.

But Joget Workflow wasn't always like this. Initially, when Joget Workflow was first rolled out in 2009, the platform was crafted as an open source workflow management system for automating business processes and people-driven workflows. However, we wanted something more than that. So in 2012, we advanced from being a workflow system to a full-blown web application development platform.

Today, we've reached hundreds of thousands of downloads, with an army of incredibly happy users.

So what’s the thing with Joget Workflow? What makes the platform loved by people the world over? What are the benefits that are pulling together this troop of die-hard users? Let's have a look:

What Makes Joget Workflow Unique?

See, organizations are continuously looking for easier, quicker, and cheaper ways to build and deploy business processes and enterprise apps.

Traditionally, these two are handled manually. Manual business process management comes with lots of problems including high costs, human errors, inefficiency, unnecessary paperwork, and lots more. On the other hand, traditional software development is slow, requires high costs to maintain code, is designed only for software experts, among other downsides.

Occasionally, software providers have tried to resolve these issues through the development of workflow automation/BPM products and rapid application development (RAD) tools respectively.

But the problem is this: Most of these BPM and RAD products are typically constrained and limited in their capacity to deliver desirable results in a timely fashion. They’re essentially process-centric, which means no versatility.

This is where Joget Workflow comes in handy.


The Joget platform fills the gap by combining the best of both BPM and RAD, to allow both business users and IT professionals easily and quickly develop usable end-to-end enterprise web applications that support cloud and mobile, in a cost-effective way.

Digging Deeper Into Joget

To get a clearer picture of the awesomeness of Joget Workflow, it necessary to drill down a bit further into it. Here are the tools you'd come across in Joget:

1. Process Builder

Process Builder is a tool for building and modeling business processes. You can use it directly in the web browser and so does not need to be installed.


With a drag-and-drop interface, you can easily add, edit and execute processes, monitor ongoing and completed processes, and integrate with external systems using plugins.

2. Datalist Builder

The Joget Datalist Builder lets users build, design, and organize their data in tabular data lists which can be sorted, paged, and filtered.


Its drag-and-drop interface makes building data lists even easier as you can easily add new columns, for instance. Users can use configurable data binders to load data from different sources, extend those data binders using plugins, and easily preview their tabular data listings.

3. Form Builder
Form Builder is a useful tool with a drag-and-drop feature for easily designing web-based forms.


It offers flexible form layout and configuration, wizard-style property dialogs, and the ability to extend form element types using plugins.

4. Userview Builder

Userview Builder is a web-based solution for seamlessly designing front-end user interface (UI) for applications. You can add forms or data listings, configure and select what you want to be displayed, and enable mobile view for mobile devices, or even preview your web app UI.


Just as the above-mentioned tools, it requires no client-installation but supports a drag-and-drop environment.

Userview Builder makes use of forms and datalists to support CRUD (create, read, update, delete) for data management. It comes with configurable userview design themes and can extend userview functionality using menu type plugins.

5. App Generator

The Joget App Generator tool helps to accelerate web app development. Users can generate apps from forms and as well auto-generate lists, processes, and UI. It also makes it easy to create prototypes in minutes.


There are also ready-made process templates available for those who don't feel like generating processes from scratch.

What More Can You Do With Joget Workflow?

User Management: Joget Workflow also lets you manage users, groups, and organizational charts with its user management tool. And through plugins, you can do things like integrating users to external directory systems like LDAP or Active Directory.

Integration: Using plugins built on JavaScript and JSON APIs, you can integrate with external web-based technologies like PHP and .NET, portals like Microsoft SharePoint, CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla, and vertical solutions built by SI or ISV.

Plugin-Oriented Architecture: Joget Workflow has a good deal of plugins developed and managed by a group of remarkably talented software engineers. With this dynamic plugin architecture, users can enhance and extend functionalities, bring data into data lists, and integrate with external systems like JSON, SOAP, and SQL/JDBC as there are pluggable elements in forms, processes, and UI.

Front-end Edit: This feature is designed to improve web app maintainability. It eases development as lists, forms, and pages can be edited without sweat. Perhaps, the most beautiful part is that you get immediate results even while still making the tweaks.

Joget Marketplace: One remarkable thing with Joget is that it doesn't leave you needing to design and build your apps from scratch. In the Joget Marketplace, you can find apps to use as templates, easily import and export apps, and seamlessly download ready-made apps and plugins.


The Joget Advantage

Joget Workflow is designed with the end-user in mind. Thus, it is built to deliver the following benefits.

1. Simplicity
From design to usability, Joget Workflow is simplicity-typified. Unlike what's out there, you don't need to go through complex steps to build apps or create processes. With just a web browser, you can turn your ideas into apps and maintain them properly, without the need to go through the long process of installation.

And if you don't feel like lifting a finger but want your processes to start running already, there’s the Joget Marketplace with a fistful of ready-made out of the box apps and plugins you can use right off the bat. There's also the hosted Joget Workflow On-Demand service for quickly building custom apps and automating processes without worrying about any infrastructure issues.


2. Cost-saving

One of the major challenges faced by organizations in the area of BPM and application development is high costs in terms of money and time. Some tools on the market today, cost a pretty penny but actually deliver low value.

Joget Workflow saves costs of time and money. Rather than investing separately in a BPM tool and RAD product, organizations can get better returns on their investment at a lower cost. You also won't have to waste time switching back and forth between a BPM platform and a RAD tool.

To top it off, Joget Workflow’s focus on simplicity reduces the time it takes to build apps from months to weeks or days, or even just minutes for working prototypes. This goes to save you money and eliminates unnecessary headaches.

3. Zero/low level of programming knowledge requirements

So you need programming knowledge to be able to develop apps, huh? Well, not with Joget.

Here, anybody can easily build operable apps without writing a line of code. Why? Joget Workflow supports both codeless and low-code development.

For pro developers, Joget helps to reduce the time and effort it takes to build apps, while accelerating process and increasing productivity.

For non-technical users, you can be sure to create apps you love even without ever knowing what code means. It's the 21st century, remember.

4. Flexibility and versatility

Imagine using a system that doesn't allow you the freedom to customize your work to what you want, or that only lets you fribble around one ironbound developmental activity illiberally. I bet you wouldn't want to work with that kind of tool.

Unlike many BPM and RAD products on the market, Joget Workflow offers great flexibility and versatility.

We believe these two are very vital for software, especially for areas like business process management and application development.

To start with, our platform is open source. It can be used to create versatile enterprise web apps to execute various business functions. And web apps created with Joget Workflow can be used on any device without being OS-dependent or platform-centric.

Plugins and APIs are available to integrate and extend to external systems as you like.

5. Accountability and security

If you've ever used software that caters to a business need, you'd know the importance of accountability and security in software.

The good thing is, at Joget, we pay great attention to these concerns. We understand that unsatisfactory security can lead to serious issues for users, so we work to ensure that our users get the most authentic security possible, coupled with openness and accountability.

THE FUTURE OF JOGET

We've made tremendous progress in our efforts to bring our next major edition on board.

While Joget Workflow v6 will carry on the good attributes found in v5, it's an even better edition. It'll come with great stuff but our focus for v6 stays around User Experience (UX), Maintainability, and Performance.

Feel free to leave your questions and thoughts below and we'll be happy to help.