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What's the worst part about building apps for your business?

Discussion in 'General Business' started by tim chambers, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. #1
    Programming and Design forums seemed a little too specific, so I figured I'd field this question here.

    I’ve been researching how small-to-medium sized business build apps. By “build apps”, I mean develop custom, user-facing software for core business processes. By "core", I mean unique and essential to the business, not common. Like, if I were a deli, I wouldn’t try to build a custom food ordering app: I’d get an account on Seamless or Grubhub.

    So, assuming no commercial off-the-shelf solutions exist, the four top options for getting a customer-facing or even just employee facing app seem to be:

    1. Consulting Agencies / Dev Shops

    2. Hiring Developers as contractors or employees

    3. Doing it yourself.

    4. App Builders
    The first three seem pretty expensive or difficult. I’ve heard that “App Builders” are supposedly the best mix of “easy” and “productive”, but in my experience, most of them seem “cookie cutter”. Great for content on websites, and not so great when users need to go through complicated, business specific flows.

    That said; what is your perspective on building apps for your business? What part of the process is the most aggravating and time-consuming for you?
     
    tim chambers, Sep 12, 2016 IP
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #2
    I fall into group #3 and have two client specific apps approved on both ios and android

    My biggest gripes have been:
    • crappy emulators for both ios and android
    • key signing
    The actual building the app and applying business rules is doddle by comparison
     
    sarahk, Sep 12, 2016 IP
  3. tim chambers

    tim chambers Greenhorn

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    #3
    Have you tried Genymotion for Android? I found it to be quite reliable, up until they decided to start monetizing everything.

    Also, do you think the applying of business roles tends to be pretty unique? Or is it mostly the same kind of process? I.e. the client wants an app that complements their brick and mortar location?

    I imagine the app only starts getting complex when dealing with a core business function. Non-core functions tend to be covered/somewhat customizable by existing solutions, so I've read.
     
    tim chambers, Sep 13, 2016 IP
  4. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #4
    I use the same "engine" that runs their websites and admin site (they don't think of it as a website) so while the output is different the way the rules are applied is the same. It does mean the app needs to be online but the data overhead is minimal.
     
    sarahk, Sep 13, 2016 IP
  5. tim chambers

    tim chambers Greenhorn

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    #5
    Ah, I see, thank you for your thoughtful answers so far!

    The business logic is mostly on the back end, and the front end simply consumes the data and sends back basic CRUD requests.

    I wonder if medium-sized enterprises has the kind of user flows which necessitates business logic on the front end. If anything, I would say that once an app reaches that point of complexity, a dev-shop may not be the right fit since the details of the UX design start demanding a deeper understanding of the process being modeled. The time and effort to communicate all that, over several sessions, back and forth, would not be negligible, certainly.
     
    tim chambers, Sep 13, 2016 IP
  6. helen.davis

    helen.davis Member

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    #6
    I am on completely different side of things. I work for the company that develops software, so we build apps for other businesses, and troubles arise every step of the way when you develop on the corporate level. Most aggravating part has to be when client change his mind in the middle of development process or he adds something. Which happens all the time, believe me
     
    helen.davis, Oct 25, 2016 IP