10 Coolest Mobile App Development Tools Of 2021: The Mobile 100

We round up the top platforms for the creation of business mobile apps, including low-code and no-code development tools.

Mobile App Development Tools

With much of the workforce continuing to operate outside the office part or all of the time, an increased usage of mobile devices for work remains the norm. And that means the need for mobile business apps is bigger than ever--both for arming employees with internal apps and as part of a customer-facing mobile strategy. For many businesses, easy-to-use mobile app development tools are the answer; research firm Gartner has found that the market for low-code application platforms is likely to expand by nearly 30 percent in 2021, to become a $5.8 billion market. “While low-code application development is not new, a confluence of digital disruptions, hyperautomation and the rise of composable business has led to an influx of tools and rising demand,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, a research vice president at Gartner, in a news release. “The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have validated the low-code value proposition.” In 2021, top mobile app development tools include platforms from IBM, Mendix, Microsoft, Oracle, Progress, SAP, Salesforce and ServiceNow.

As part of CRN’s Mobile 100 for 2021, we’ve rounded up 10 leading mobile app development tools to know about for creation of mobile business apps.

IBM Mobile Foundation

IBM’s Mobile Foundation platform offers a number of mobile app development services in addition to providing a robust development environment and runtime middleware that is optimized for mobile. Those services include push notifications; live update (for serving differing configurations for different users of the app); and analytics about how an app is performing.

Mendix Platform

With its suite of low-code techniques, the Mendix Platform aims to enable faster creation of mobile apps for businesses. The platform offers capabilities such as visual development, co-creation between citizen developers and professional developers, and an available collection of user-interface components and API building blocks.

Microsoft Power Apps

Aimed at use by non-professional developers within businesses, Microsoft Power Apps offers prebuilt templates and drag-and-drop functionality for rapidly building business apps. Advanced capabilities include the use of pre-built AI components, while recent updates include enabling Power Apps users to create apps and bots inside of Microsoft Teams through new native app experiences.

Oracle Application Express

With a promise of enabling users to build enterprise apps up to 20X faster, the Oracle Application Express low-code platform includes features spanning across data and user interface to monitoring and security. For instance, the platform offers capabilities more easily leveraging data in apps, such as faceted search, which enables quick searches and filtering for data.

OutSystems Platform

OutSystems offers a visual, model-driven development environment through its cloud-native platform, which aims to stand out with AI-based tools that can help speed up development times. AI capabilities include automation of repetitive tasks, prediction of next steps and suggested solutions.

Pega Platform

As part of the Pega Infinity portfolio, the Pega Platform offers low-code mobile app development, along with features such as a library of user experience / user interface components for the creation of enterprise applications. Other notable capabilities include improved scaling of low-code initiatives using the App Factory management tool.

Progress Kinvey

Key features of the Progress Kinvey platform include the Kinvey Data Pipeline, which offers a faster way for developers to connect to data from systems including Salesforce, Oracle, SQL Server or SAP. Kinvey also enables deployment of apps on a serverless cloud platform that manages and auto-scales the necessary microservices.

Salesforce Platform

Capabilities offered in the Salesforce Platform include low-code app development tools, AI solutions for developing “insight-driven” apps, connections to Salesforce data, simplified DevOps capabilities for rapid app deployment, built-in security and point-and-click tools for automating workflows.

SAP Mobile Technologies

An integrated suite of tools for tying backend systems to mobile apps, SAP Mobile Technologies includes SAP Mobile Services, which provides reusable services for app developers; the SAP Mobile Development Kit for extending the SAP Mobile Services and SAP Web IDE/Business Application Studio offerings to provide with a full set of app development and management solutions; and SAP Mobile Cards for sharing business data in a format that is ideal for mobile.

ServiceNow - Now Platform App Engine

As part of the Now Platform from ServiceNow, the Now Platform App Engine offers a low-code visual app development environment. The environment—the App Engine Studio—offers guidance, templates, a visual workflow and a configurable workspace.