Web deployment and application building has begun to germinate some new definitions for old terms, and in some cases spawned brand new ones. Words like “appification,” “webification,” “democratization” and their related verb forms are becoming increasingly added to the software lexicon.
Appification has most often been associated with the rapidly emerging mobile environment, where an application (program), is packaged so it can be used on mobile devices (as an installed program or a software-as-a-service, SaaS).
EASA is a leading web app creation tool that also “appifies” software programs, but not in the sense of downloading an app onto your smart phone or onto your desktop. Rather, EASA-built web apps can be accessed from your smart phone or desktop directly via your browser (Safari, Chrome, IE, etc.) – with absolutely no software necessary, downloaded or otherwise, on that local device you are accessing the app from. In addition to greatly enhancing access, reliability is greatly enhanced, since the app is not dependent on any local software where mismatches in software releases, O.S. and settings can cause traditional apps to fail. A great example is Excel, where a particular spreadsheet may not work properly or at all if the version or settings of your local Excel does not match.
Thus, appification in EASA is basically web-enabling software or complete workflows. With EASA, you build a custom, fit-for-purpose, web based GUI or user interface with little or no coding, and this web interface then communicates with the native software or process (which is now running as a “backend” process eliminating direct access by users) which performs its function and returns output data back to the web user interface. This means the logic contained in your software is never directly touched by the user, and is thus secure from edits, IP loss and downloading.
While EASA can be used to appify nearly any existing software process, by far its most common application is one which includes Excel spreadsheets. Spreadsheets, as we all know, are great in terms of flexibility and agility, but not so great when it comes to things like version control, IP security or being able to conduct analytics when many dispersed spreadsheets are involved. The appification of the spreadsheet is a perfect solution as an elegant user interface can be easily created, and the spreadsheet itself is secure and never copied, downloaded or emailed, plus any included VBA or macros continue to operate perfectly. Common applications are high value and critical shared spreadsheets used, for example, in configuration, pricing and quoting (CPQ), “to-order” processes like engineering and configuration, and modeling which can be scientific or engineering, financial, risk, etc. And since EASA can integrate the spreadsheet transparently at the back end to other software such as databases, CRM and ERP systems, considerable streamlining is possible. Creating web portals and SaaS deployments that allow 3rd parties such as customers, suppliers, dealers, etc. to use Excel-based apps is also a popular use of EASA.