A citizen developer is an end user who creates new applications, programs, or systems by using development environments provided by the enterprise IT. In general, a citizen developer is not a professional programmer, but a business user who has the technical understanding to solve problems using no-code or low-code platforms. It sounds like the early days of Pick!
A little (very little) history of the commercial development of Pick applications. The first Pick application programmers were not programmers but business people. One of the reasons is that when the Pick based computer system was introduced there were no Pick programmers.
For those of you that are not aware, Microdata Corp. delivered the first Microdata Reality (Pick based) machines in the mid-1970s. The only languages available were PROC, BATCH and ENGLISH. PROC was PROC; BATCH was how you maintained the database and ENGLISH was, well English. It was months later that Microdata introduced BASIC.
The business people that needed an on-line, real-time interactive computer solution were the ones that wrote the programs. The user interface was – never mind. Heck, I was even drafted to write an Accounts Receivable Invoice Entry Program. My understanding is that it is still in use, 40+ years later, heavily modified but still in use! Writing programs must have been very easy!
How do we create modern looking applications in Pick today?
The recent promotion of RESTful Web Services by the Pick vendors has opened a pathway for the modernization of legacy applications. The legacy program’s refactored code and data are exposed. The resultant application is always long hand coded. It is up to the developer to choose and learn the technologies to be used for the web applications. The old legacy applications are presented on the web with a new presentation layer and hopefully some application enhancements.
BlueFinity’s approach to new app development and modernity follows the revolutionary happenings in the software world outside of Pick. We created Evoke, a low-code/no-code Rapid App Development Platform (RADP) platform. Evoke allows anyone that can use a personal computer to create open system solutions via point and click, drag and drop, option select methodologies using Microsoft .NET technologies. Any standardized technology and language supported in Visual Studio (but you do not need to know anything about Visual Studio) such as 360° imaging with hotspots and camera integration and Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence and Signature Panels and Python and… can be integrated into an app in minutes. Evoke incorporates backend databases and refactored program code too. Apps created by Evoke are mobile, desktop and/or web; they will run in Android, iOS, Unix and Windows environments; they run in AWS, Azure, PICKCLOUD and other cloud environments; the apps are adaptive and reactive; changes in customer and market behavior (see Covid-19) are incorporated into apps in hours/days not weeks/months – referred to as “agility”; design once, deploy everywhere!
With a little bit of training from BlueFinity and help from a DB administrator (if needed) even the technically challenged Presidents of companies selling MultiValue solutions can create amazing mobile, web and desktop apps. Well, actually anyone that can use a mouse can do it too. Low-code/no-code apps are created and deployed in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost of RESTful Web Services development. More and more technical and non-technical business people (citizen developers) are using low-code/no-code RADP solutions. Evoke is the only low-code/no-code platform supporting MultiValue as well as Oracle, SQL Server, etc. Creating new apps and modernizing old applications has never been easier, faster and cost effective!
Hmmm, I wonder if those Presidents, even with a whole lot of help can create mobile and desktop apps using RESTful Web Services?