Application development has long been the bailiwick for the ISV (independent software vendor). After all, ISVs have the staff, resources, and funds to build applications that appealed to the masses. Yet enterprise level businesses have long relied on customization to make those very same applications fit better into their operational model and have hired internal developers and consultants to bring forth needed change.
However, small and medium businesses were often shortchanged when it came to custom software. Most, if not all, simply did not have the budgetary resources to hire programmers or consultants to effect change and were forced to adapt to the limitations of off-the-shelf solutions.
Others turned to the concept of the citizen developer, using simplified application development and database platforms to quickly build custom applications. However, many discovered that those tools were hard to scale, had complex licensing schemes, and proved to be impossible to deploy over the internet.
Fast forward to today and numerous Low-Code and No-Code solutions have emerged on the scene, creating a robust ecosystem for citizen developers the world over. However, many of those solutions harbor secrets, such as limitations in scalability, support challenges, integration with other application problems, and so on. While those issues create challenges for the citizen developer, they also create opportunities for the solution provider.
While solution providers, MSPs, and other integrators have avoided the potential problems associated with becoming an ISV, the simple fact of the matter is that Low-Code and No-Code platforms are rapidly evolving and, at the same time, embracing the cloud as a delivery mechanism.
In other words, the tools are now available for solution providers to get involved with SaaS (software as-a-service), mobile applications, and on premise custom software solutions that share the same code base and can be deployed from the cloud.
Vendors such as Claris and Servoy have extended their platforms to the cloud. Claris recently announced FileMaker Cloud, which centralizes development, data, toolsets, and more into a cloud offering, enabling solution providers to develop custom applications and deliver those applications to their customers without the need to stand up servers or other hosts.
Servoy announced ServoyCloud, a hosted development and delivery platform designed specifically for ISVs. With ServoyCloud, solution providers can fully develop applications using Servoy's IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and then deploy those custom applications to clients as SaaS offerings. Servoy also employs RAD (rapid application development) to speed the development process.
Servoy's architecture is made of three tiers: data, logic and presentation. The data tier can integrate with just about any data source via the API: databases, web services, email, file systems and more.
Another vendor putting emphasis on the channel is Sumo Logic, which just launched a partner program that invites solution providers to deploy applications on Sumo Logic's cloud, which hosts the Sumo Logic Continuous Intelligence Platform. That platform provides real-time insights into application and cybersecurity events via dashboards, reports, benchmarks and data science modeling tools. With connectors to over 150 applications, Sumo Logic aims to speed integration and combine analytics into an easily deployed SaaS offering.
As No-Code and Low-Code solutions evolve, solution providers will once again be able to create custom applications and deploy those applications with little fuss or muss, making it possible to build vertical market solutions for specific industries that larger ISVs do not already support.
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