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What is Application Development Software?

Application development software is a solution that enables you to create your own software applications without coding skills. These solutions help you to easily create websites, database systems, mobile apps and more. Today, many businesses save money by developing their own custom software applications instead of hiring professionals for the work. Show moreBy developing your own custom apps, you can offer news, info, loyalty programs, e-commerce and other facilities directly to your consumers on their mobile devices. Make sure the application development software you select offers project management, collaboration, bug and issue tracking capabilities and more. Choose the software based on your level of programming expertise. Start by checking our leader Studio Creatio Enterprise, and other recommended solutions in this category. Show less

How was this ranking made?

To come up with this ranking of best Application Development Software we have evaluated 94 different apps currently available on the market, analyzing their features, ease of implementation, customer service, available integrations with other systems and mobile device support using our exclusive SmartScoreTM rating system. This list has been created by Jenny Chang, our B2B expert responsible for the Application Development Software category.

List of Top 12 Application Development Software

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1. Studio Creatio Enterprise

Our score: 9.3 User satisfaction: 93%

An innovative business process management software that combines out-of-the-box solutions and customizable templates to help users build the processes they want. With this, users can comment on actions, collaborate with colleagues, move elements, and manage all processes from one place.

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2. Kissflow Low-Code

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 97%

An IT development software that enables businesses to digitize and automate their workflows. The low-code platform allows enterprises to build a digital workplace aligned with their processes and business goals. It combines the prime features of workflow automation and process optimization.

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3. BitBucket

Our score: 9.5 User satisfaction: 96%

Bitbucket is a web-based hosting solution for projects that use either the Mercurial or Git revision control systems. This makes it attractive to both professional developers and coders. The application provides a distributed control system to facilitate easy scaling and easy collaboration.

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4. Docker

Our score: 9.4 User satisfaction: 98%

Docker is an open-source container platform that offers robust application development tools to help you create specialized container systems. It helps you develop, secure, and manage cloud-based and on-premise applications. With its multi-architecture framework, it enables you to handle IT operations at scale.

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5. Salesforce Platform

Our score: 9.3 User satisfaction: N/A

This Platform-as-a-Service gives developers intelligent tools for creating and deploying apps. It also has an intuitive and responsive layout that further accelerates the process. Additionally, it connects with third-party solutions to streamline your overall app development workflow.

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6. Heroku

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 98%

Heroku is a platform as a service (PaaS) that allows IT developers to create and manage applications in the cloud. It offers open source buildpacks, third-party add-ons, and ready-to-use Heroku buttons. Heroku's development tools allow you to create data-driven applications that are supported with fully managed data services.

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7. Xamarin

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 98%

Xamarin is a streamlined and simplified Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile app development platform that uses C# and .NET to deliver popular app solutions. It is a well-known solution among developers because it saves time. Thus, they are able to produce more projects without sacrificing quality in both performance and design.

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8. Plaid

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: N/A

Plaid is a developer platform for financial apps. It allows the financial services sector to leverage technology in creating financial apps that can be linked to bank accounts and provide users with secured banking data. It also helps build developer-friendly intelligence applications and software infrastructure to streamline online banking management processes.

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9. CircleCI

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 99%

CircleCI is an application developer software that offers continuous integration and flexible configurations to help you automate the building, testing, and deploying of codes. With CircleCi's built-in core functionalities, it's also easier to manage and install plugins, such as GitHub and Bitbucket integrations.

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10. Salesforce App Cloud

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 96%

Salesforce App Cloud is an industry-leading application developer platform that helps you build secure, scalable, and innovative enterprise apps, It's a low-code development platform that allows you to create custom applications without any need for application stacks or hardware provisioning.

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11. Quixy

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: 99%

Offers businesses and end users with a no code platform and robust tools to build applications and programs for automating workflows and streamlining business operations. Even with zero coding skills, Quixy’s easy-to-use tools and user-friendly interface enables citizen developers to build applications without the help of IT professionals.

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12. Plobal Apps

Our score: 7.5 User satisfaction: N/A

A simple yet powerful mobile application development software built primarily for online stores.

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Application Development Software Guide

Table of contents

Application development software enables you to create your own custom apps without programming skills. However, how do you pick the best application development software for your needs from the scores of quality programs out there? We make your task easier by listing the features and factors you should look for in these types of tools.

Get to Know Each Product with a Free Trial

A great way to begin your quest for the best application development software is to try out the free trial or demo of popular platforms. Leading application development software providers present this facility to help you learn about their product’s key features and do a comparison with other solutions. We recommend you try out BitBucketCloud ElementsAppy PieBizness Apps, Anypoint Platform, Docker, and Salesforce Platform as these products have received impressive rankings and ratings in our application development tools reviews.

Targeted Businesses

Mostly, application development software buyers are of two types:

  • Line of business purchasers. These users should invest in software that provides visual interfaces. They should also check out the templated apps available for industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, entertainment etc.
  • DevOps purchasers. These users should buy application development software that offers customizable code since they usually need to edit and expand the pre-generated code. Plus, they should select a platform that supports backend integrations services.

Examples of Application Development Software

  1. BitBucket: A web-based hosting platform for projects that use Git or Mercurial revision control types. It empowers users to code, collaborate on, and manage Git projects. The tool provides loads of benefits for code workers and professional developers. Its distributed control system facilitates massive scaling and effortless collaboration.
  2. Cloud Elements: An API integration and management platform that presents over 115 prebuilt integrations as uniform RESTful APIs. The tool’s integrations are classified into ‘API Hubs’ or categories of services. Each category can be accessed via a uniform REST API, which helps to minimize the time you need to create integrations. In addition, you can utilize the API Hubs to aggregate data internally and to provide an integration marketplace to your consumers.
  3. Appy Pie: A web-based mobile app builder that empowers you to create apps using basic drag-and-drop functionality. You don’t need coding skills or experience in app building to use this product as it provides guidelines, resources, and tools that are easy to follow and use. Besides, you can create apps that work on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows devices. You can then publish your apps on leading app stores and make money.
  4. Bizness Apps: This platform empowers entrepreneurs, marketers, mobile app developers, and web designers to promote their mobile business ventures without spending time trying to learn coding. Its white label services are popular among users. The software is easy to use: select a template, enter all the details, and then, Bizness Apps automatically completes the process to create your custom app. Plus, it offers loads of customization options to enable you to create even complex apps.
  5. Anypoint Platform: An open source program that addresses connectivity issues across APIs, SaaS, and SOA. It provides a range of out-of-the-box connectors that you can use to integrate apps and data, on premise or in the cloud. This allows you to organize, link, and allow any external or internal endpoint. The best part is Anypoint Platform offers features for important processes such as security, logging, high availability, business group management, identity management, and analytics.
  6. Docker. An open source container solution that simplifies the creation and sharing of containerized applications. It offers productivity tools, a cloud-based application registry, a local Kubernetes environment, and a cloud-based docker environment. Its developer tools allow you to build, test, and share secured and cloud-based applications.
  7. Salesforce Platform. An app building platform with built in AI that lets you create applications according to your business requirements. It gives you total control and flexibility in building scalable applications with a stronger focus in your business operations instead of the app’s infrastructure. It also comes with enterprise-grade collaboration tools to drive productivity.

Types of Application Development Software

Application development tools can be classified into three main categories:

  • Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suites software – refers to the solutions that guide you through the step-by-step lifecycle of application development, from specification, design, and development to the testing and sharing of a software.
  • Mobile Development Software – programs that simplify mobile app creation, taking into consideration a wide range of screen sizes, hardware specifications, and other specific configurations for different mobile systems.
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD) software – applications that help you create programs using the rapid-application building method, which prioritizes rapid prototype iterations and releases.

Key Features of Application Development Software

  1. Mobile app analytics. Collects data on how users utilize the app after deployment to help you identify and correct bugs and improve the product.
  2. Data synchronization. Enables you to synchronize data created by apps in offline mode with online services.
  3. API. RESTful APIs help you to integrate the features of the program with back-end databases and services.
  4. Hardware compatibility testing. Enables you to preview the app’s display on multiple operating systems and device types, via software simulation or by pushing the app preview to hardware devices.
  5. Templated prebuilt apps. The software offers templates for standard app use cases such as employee facing, field service, banking etc.    
  6. Code-free development. Even lay users without coding skills can develop apps by using visual drag-and-drop interfaces, wizards and other user-friendly features.
  7. Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This is a graphical user interface for debugging, compiling, and source code editing.
  8. Metadata Architecture. Metadata layers, which contain the processes, configurations, apps, and more, can be separated from the application building service, which makes software upgrade operations easier.

Benefits of Application Development Software

  1. Assistance for UI/workflow design. Application development software offers features that enable you to concentrate on the user interface and the user experiences and workflows supported by the platform.
  2. Hardware compatibility. Most application development solutions integrate with native SDKs (software development kits) for Android, iOS, etc. This gives you access to the hardware features of popular smartphone platforms without needing to browse the native SDK. In addition, you can utilize usability testing to identify and resolve design issues before launching the app.
  3. Visual development environment. Application development platforms offer visual development environments and user-friendly templates that enable even lay users to create apps easily.
  4. Backend data integration. The software presents user-friendly APIs that enable you to easily integrate the solution with backend databases and services.
  5. Quicker development time. This is one of the main benefits of application development software. The platform eliminates or automates the time-consuming code-writing process and allows you to launch your apps faster.
  6. Customize your own apps. With application development solutions, you can design your own programs with minimal coding requirements. They give you total control and flexibility in how you want your application to work, allowing you to have a custom program that follows your operations closely.

Emergence of Integration Platform as a Service. This service refers to the growing market for cloud solutions for data integration such as backend data integrations for applications. Many vendors provide backend data integration assistance, but for complex deployments you require a separate integration as a service.

Rapid Application Development (RAD). This technology includes drag-and-drop interfaces, predesigned app templates, visual wizards and other tools that enable lay users to design and deploy applications without IT assistance. This type of software is ideal for digital businesses where customer support, marketing and other units need to deploy apps quickly to respond to new opportunities as they arise.  

Continuous Delivery. Giants like Amazon are leading the continuous delivery trend, which involves the quick implementation of codes as soon as they are written. With continuous integration, testing, and configuration, the number of errors that usually go into software products are more likely to be reduced. They also ensure that all errors are caught immediately and sent back for the developer teams to fix.

Potential Issues

Software fragmentation. There are many versions of Android and other operating systems which makes it difficult to run apps in the same way on different devices even if the operating system is the same. Plus, the various types of software in a mobile device read apps differently which creates issues for customers in using the apps. The solution is to test a range of combinations including the older and latest versions of Android or other operating systems.

Different screen sizes. It is not feasible to design apps for the latest platform as mobile devices have limitations based on OS requirements, pixel intensities, embedded technologies, screen sizes etc. In addition, iOS, Windows, and Android operating systems have their own UI objects. The solution is to build a responsive design that makes the app more liquid and compatible with various screen sizes and formats. To avoid display issues, you can beta test the app before launch.

Poor communication among teams. Miscommunication among a team of software developers can lead to poor quality of products and services. Without a proper communication system in place, your projects run the risk of falling apart due to errors in your team’s workflow and could affect your target deadlines and project expenses.  Thus, implementing a proper communication platform can help streamline your application development process. There are a number of end-to-end solutions out there that can help you keep track of the entire lifecycle of your software projects

Useful Statistics

Here are some relevant application development statistics that you need to know:

  1. The most widely-used programming language in the world is JavaScript. About 59.08% of programs in 2020 are using this programming language. (Coding Sans)
  2. The number of mobile app downloads is expected to grow up to 258 billion in 2022. (Venture Beat)
  3. About 44.66% of companies are “somewhat satisfied” in outsourcing their software development operations. (Coding Sans)
  4. Nearly 25% of mobile applications are games. (
  5. Over 50% of mobile users have zero app downloads per month. (comScore)

Things to Consider When Buying an Application Development Software

Application development tools are known for their low-code, visual approach in developing business programs. However, each tool you’ll find in the market serves unique purposes that may or may not be applicable to your needs. Below, we prepared a list of some of the things you need to consider when buying an application development software.

  1. Lifecycle management. Try to look for an application development tool complete with lifecycle management, which allows developers to keep track of an app in its testing, hosting, deployment, and maintenance status. This gives you a complete overview of your project’s performance.
  2. Security. Built-in security tools automatically keep your apps safe from various kinds of cyber-attacks. Thus, it is critical that your chosen application development software can provide admin security controls, governance, and auditability.
  3. Integrations. You should also keep in mind the integrations offered by your choice of application development software. Integrations can make app building easier, especially when you can seamlessly connect with other systems and services that your application needs throughout its lifecycle.
  4. Usability. A user-friendly application development software takes no time getting used to and can accelerate your app-building processes. As much as possible, pick a tool with an intuitive and easy-to-use development interface. Signing up for free trials can also help you decide if the program is fit for your developer team.

List of Application Development Software Companies

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Planet Crust reviews

Planet Crust

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Kissflow Low-Code reviews

Kissflow Low-Code

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Neutrinos reviews


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DHTMLX reviews


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RentALL reviews


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You are launched reviews

You are launched

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Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

To select an apt SaaS system for your organization, begin by asking the following questions:

· Is this cloud platform the best solution—economically and features-wise?
· Will it be easy to do long-term business with the cloud provider?
· Is the solution easy to use and does it simplify technology?
· Can the platform help your organization to handle compliance, security, and operational risks?

Find out if other enterprises have successfully implemented the solution. Get proof about the provider being able to provide the desired business value and ROI. Browse case studies to learn about the user experiences of other buyers. Obtain references from the provider and find out about the quality of the software and service provided.

Another important element to consider is the free trial. Before you make such a vital decision and spend your hard-earned money, be certain if the system actually fits your requirements. You can do this by signing up for the free trial and checking out the app’s functionality. Also, find out if the provider can help you to pilot the platform. You may need to shell out for the implementation of the pilot, but the fee is worth it as it will give you results and proof points to analyze before you make a key investment.

Frequently asked questions about Application Development Software

What is the best application development software?

The best application development software is Buddy.

This application development tool takes the pain out of going through complex tasks from building, testing, to deploying. To this end, it allows even non-experts to understand and appreciate the whole process.

Behind this app development system is a compilation of delivery pipelines that work like building blocks for creating an application. These pipelines are easy to work with, and they can be configured and customized by any team as they see fit to match their workflows.

This approach is particularly handy for SMEs and freelancers who do not have the vast resources of large enterprises. Buddy works with Linux, Mac, Android, and web-based devices too, giving developers of all backgrounds ample operating system support to work with.

What are the benefits of application development software?

More focus on UI and UX. An application development software gives you the total freedom to design your own applications in a low-code environment. This means you can focus more on the UX and UI aspect of the program and create an engaging and interactive app for your users.

Cut IT costs. These application development tools allow you to develop applications without much coding skills required, which results in reduced IT  and maintenance costs. Most application development solutions have low to no code environments, so even those without experience in your team can easily participate in app development.

Complete app development guidance. A good app builder tool guides you through the entire lifecycle of your application, from development and right down to testing and deployment. Some application development vendors also offer extensive support via ticketing, articles, email, live chat, or phone to ensure that your app is running smoothly at all times.

Adding content made easier. One of the best things about application development solutions is how it easily lets you add content to your applications. You can add photos, videos, posts, and audio directly to your application, or you can import them from other supported platforms.

What are the features of application development software?

No-code development. Application development platforms have a low to no code environment that enables developers to create applications using a visual development approach.

Collaboration tools. Features like project dashboards and timelines help you manage and keep track of your team’s activities toward the completion of your application projects.

Compatibility testing. This feature allows you to run your application in different hardware specifications, operating systems, and network environments to check its compatibility with other devices.

Access controls. This provides a security layer that you can configure, allowing you to set a selective restriction on your application.

Code refactoring. The main purpose of this tool is to making coding more efficient and maintainable, making it easier to restructure existing codes without having to modify their external behavior.

What is the easiest application development software?

If you’re looking for easy-to-use application development software, then you might want to consider these three: Bitbucket, Docker, and Salesforce Platform.

  • Bitbucket. Bitbucket offers straightforward tools and systems that let you set up a cloud repository in no time. In one unified platform, you can access everything you need to plan projects, collaborate on codes, and test and start deploying your application.
  • Docker. This tool simplifies complex app development and can get you started with the building and sharing of containerized microservices and programs. The vendor also offers a guided onboard to help you create your first containerized application in a matter of minutes.
  • Salesforce Platform. Salesforce Platform is another application development software known for its drag-and-drop app builder. With Salesforce Platform’s Lightning App Builder, you can quickly build innovative business apps.
What is a good free application development software?

Some good free application development software areApache Cordova, Framework7, and PhoneGap.

  • Apache Cordova. Apache Cordova is a free and open source HTML, CSS, and JS creator that you can use to build your mobile apps. It runs on Node.js and lets you create a blank project with its command line tool.
  • Framework7. Framework7 is another open source framework that allows you to create full-featured Android, iOS, and desktop apps at no cost. It supports HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • PhoneGap. Developers can use PhoneGap for free to build cross-platform mobile applications. It lets you create programs using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.


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FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.