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Cross-Platform Mobile Visual Development – a Tool Comparison

Mobile development tools are changing rapidly

Mobile development tools are changing rapidly.

I had started work on comparing cross-platform mobile tools about a month back. I had initially started with a list of 26 tools. Few got added on the way.

However, what is most interesting is that in this short period of time one of the tools (Open Plug) was discontinued. It was a Flash based tool. Since Adobe decided to discontinue Flash for mobile in favor of HTML5 – they really had no choice. Another tool (Pyxis Mobile) has been renamed as (Verivo Software).

Coming back to mobile tool comparison – I had categorized the tools into five categories (here is an overview). They are:

  1. Mobile Web (JavaScript-CSS library),
  2. Visual Tool (No access to Code), (this post)
  3. App Generator (Native application for multiple platforms),
  4. Hybrid App (Leverages embedded browser control) and
  5. Game Builder

In this post I give an outline of the Visual Tools where you use a visual editor to build the application. Some of these tools do not give you any access to underlying source code.

Here are five tools – the ordering is alphabetic.

1. Application Craft

2. Codiqa

  • Home page: Link
  • Genesis: Drag & drop interface-building tool for mobile websites and prototypes
  • Version: 1.0
  • Licensing: Free 30 day trial
  • Download: -
  • Documentation: Video overview
  • Sample application: ?
  • Implementation: ? 
  • Wikipedia: No
  • Article on how to use: Article on ZDNet

3. Dragon RAD

  • Home page: Link
  • Genesis: Offshoot of Seregon Solutions Inc., a provider of mobile enterprise application platform software
  • Version: 4.0
  • Licensing: Paid with 30 day free evaluation – see this
  • Download: Link
  • Documentation: Video tutorial & Webinar
  • Sample application: Link
  • Implementation: Only one
  • Wikipedia: Yes
  • Article on how to use: From Zombo

4. July Systems

  • Home page: Link
  • Genesis: Cloud based solution – tight coupling between development tool and hosting
  • Version: 3.5 released on March 2011
  • Licensing: Details not available on the site
  • Download: Not freely available
  • Documentation: Video overview
  • Sample application: Link
  • Implementation: List of customers
  • Wikipedia: Yes
  • Article on how to use: No third party article

5. Net Biscuit

6. Verivo

Have you seen this Wiki?

Here is an interesting wiki – WikiMobidex.org which lists mobile offering from different suppliers. Any supplier can register and add a page for their offering. More than 200 suppliers are listed.

Do let me know if there are any errors and omissions in the details I have provided.

[Update: There are five platforms that I have not covered but they have been pointed out by readers - (1) iBuildApp, (2) Kony (3) Tiggzi (also this) (4) Jae Mobi, (5) Formotus]

[Update: Here is the sixth one - SaaSMob]

Next >> Mobile Visual Development Tools

<< Previous Mobile Cross platform Tool Classification

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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