Saturday, June 18, 2022

No-Code App Builder Article on Medium

There's an interesting 2-part article by Serhii Pospielov on Medium about creating no-code mobile apps. The first half is titled Best No-Code App Builders (Part 1) and if you have a membership on Medium, it's a good read. The author's goal was to create a clone of the IMDB app without using custom code if possible.

The article covers the author's attempt to build his app on five different no-code/low-code platforms: Appery, AppGyver, Thunkable, Adalo, and Microsoft PowerApps. In addition to being able to create an app with all the features of the IMDB application, each platform had to be able to create an application that could be exported to Android and iOS, in order to publish it to the market.

You can read about the author's attempts to build the app at: 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

A Belated Welcome to Zoho Creator 6

In October of last year, Zoho introduced Zoho Creator 6, a new version of their no-code/low-code application development platform. C6 includes an extension of some existing features and a number of completely new features. Here's a quick summary of what's available in the new version 6:

  • Even more APIs (now over 600 of them) to allow developers to connect to almost any external web service.
  • The ability to allow teams to collaborate in every stage of application development. Features include different permissions for different team members, change logs to keep track of who changed what and when, the ability to send notifications to other team members, and separate testing and production environments.
  •  A "blueprint" screen where you can build a flowchart defining how to automate a particular business process, including decision point criteria, responsible parties, possible options, and connections to other business processes.
  • Zoho's new conversational AI assistant "Zia".
  • A business analytics builder designed to provide meaningful insights on real-time information and help automate tasks on the go. In addition, you can utilize Zia to get immediate answers to your questions and auto-generate visualizations.
  • A robotic process automation feature to help businesses automate repetitive  tasks, such as moving files from one digital location to another without human intervention. Just define a set of instructions for the bot to carry out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

You Don't Need to Start From Scratch - Use a Template

You've got an application you want to build using a no-code platform - but you're not really sure how to design the app. That's where app templates come in. They provide you with a blueprint of what data tables, forms and reports you may need and how data should flow through the system. 

But what if you can't find a template that matches up with the type of application you want to create? A template may still be your answer. Just look for one that includes the same basic functions that you need in your app. For example, Caspio has a detailed video tutorial on how to build their "Patient Portal" app that allows patients to self-register, log in, check for messages from their doctors and review their prior visits including who they were seen by, what medical information was recorded and what comments were left by the doctor who examined them. In addition the Patient Portal allows doctors to log in, see a list of their patients, filter that list in different ways, track patients by status or number of visits, and edit patient detail information.

But what if you need to create an app for a cardiac rehabilitation facility? That's an application that's really very similar to the "Patent Portal" in many ways. To use the patient portal template all you really have to do is make a few changes to the "Visits" data table. You still want to keep track of a patient's temperature, weight and blood pressure for each rehab session, you just need to add a few items relating to the individual's workout on equipment like the treadmill or stationary bike. 

Just add fields to the "Visits" data table for time spent on each piece of equipment, the patient's RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) and their METs value (exercise rate) for their time on that equipment and you have the basic information (along with blood pressure readings) that needs to be recorded for a given session. The rest of the framework for the Patient Portal template can be used pretty much as is, with only minor modifications.

But what is you want to build an app for Rottweiler owners to share stories about their dogs, plan events and communicate with vets and dog trainers? Even though the Patient Portal seems like an unlikely match, the basic functions aren't all that different. Instead of doctors you have administrators, club members instead of patients, and member or administrator posts instead of visits. Club members should be able to log in, check for messages, ask questions, share stories and, if their dogs compete in canine sports, keep track of their dog's performance in competitions like agility or lure coursing. 

If you're stuck as to exactly how to get started on developing your app and don't immediately see a ready-made template for your particular type of application, stop and think. Consider what functions your app needs to perform and what types of programs might utilize those same functions, then go back and take a second look at the available templates. You might just find what you need after all. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Amazon SageMaker Canvas

The two biggest trends in no-code right now are office automation and machine learning applications. The ability to predict business outcomes is extremely important to any organization and the ability to build the models to generate those predictions is driving the surge in no-code machine learning application development. 

Recently, Amazon released SageMaker Canvas, its new platform that's designed to allow every decision-maker in an organization to create predictive models based on the data they work with every day, without the need to be a data scientist. SageMaker Canvas lets the user gather data from different sources on-premises or online, choose which datasets to import into Canvas, pick the columns to use as input and correct any missing or inaccurate records. Once that's done Canvas uses the imported data to generate and test multiple predictive models and recommends the best performing model to the user. Users can select to make changes as far as which dataset columns to use for training and Canvas will continue to run tests until a final model is chosen.

As of last November, SageMaker Canvas was only available in certain areas in the U.S. and Europe but that should change in the near future. You can see an actual  example of how to use Canvas in making shipping predictions at: 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Airtable Adds an Interface Designer

In November of last year Airtable announced a major new feature, a visual interface designer. In the past, the methods for presenting an interface other than the spreadsheet view were pretty limited. Now you can use a simple drag-and-drop builder to create a user interface and connect it to your data, so any user action on the interface automatically updates the data in your base. You just choose a layout, import a table from your base and start adding design elements to the interface.

There are four layouts to choose from for your interface:

  • Record Review - All the records in the base are shown in summary on the left side of the screen - clicking on any one of them displays the entire record so it can be edited. You can also filter the data sent to the interface so that only the records you want to show are actually displayed.
  • Record Summary - If you want to work with one record at a time without rapidly moving back and forth between records, this layout allows you to use the entire screen to display all the detail for a given record.
  • Dashboard - The Dashboard layout focuses on presenting key data visually primarily in the form of graphs and charts. 
  • Blank - If you need an interface that doesn't fit into the other three categories, you can choose the blank layout and create a custom interface by adding whatever elements you want.
Elements that you can add to your interface include:
  • Text boxes to hold text content
  • Dividers to separate sections of the interface screen
  • Charts
  • Number boxes
  • Grid elements to hold table data
  • Timeline elements
  • Comment boxes
You can find additional information at: 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021


 Anyone who has been exposed to world of no-code is probably familiar with, one of the most popular no-code development platforms. Yesterday I ran across another though - an award-winning augmented reality app developed for the 2018 Seattle AR/VR Hackathon. The app isn't a "no-code" product but it caught my interest because of the name and because augmented reality is rapidly making its way into the world of no-code.

What exactly is "augmented reality"? It's loosely defined as digital information superimposed on real world objects. If you watch college or NFL football you're familiar with that yellow "first down" line that you see on your TV. Or maybe you've used an app that shows how different pairs of reading glasses would look on your face in real life. Those are both examples of augmented reality and there are more examples popping up every day. 

If you look at most lists of emerging trends in both the private and business sectors, you'll find augmented reality as one of the main areas to keep an eye on. No-code platforms are also adding AR features, one example being Appy Pie's built-in AR/VR App Builder. Other platforms may not have integrated AR into their system yet, but you're starting to see AR plugins and I expect that trend to grow significantly in 2022.

What can you create with augmented reality? The app is a great example of the possible uses for AR applications. People like myself who have suffered significant hearing loss can find it really difficult at times to understand what other people are saying. utilizes augmented reality to provide real time closed captioning for individuals who are hearing impaired. It differentiates between speakers and displays speech "bubbles" showing what each person is saying as they say it. 

You can see an example of the app at work at:

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

New Series on No-Code Coming Soon on Webflow TV

Webflow TV is planning to launch a new series on the growth of no-code, beginning in early 2022. The announcement reads:

No-code web development is changing the game and helping people close the gap between idea and impact. Generation No-Code, goes behind the curtain to tell real stories of how agencies, entrepreneurs, and creatives are becoming more empowered on the web — and using no-code tools to pursue their dreams. See firsthand the impact no-code is having on today’s visionaries and get inspired by their passion and drive. Generation No-Code is directed by Matthew Encina and the first episode will premiere in early 2022 on Webflow TV. (

Stay tuned for further information...