Enterprise Solutions: MEAPs or DIY Tools?

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Today, many companies looking to enter the world of enterprise mobile app development seemingly face a difficult development strategy choice: DIY tools vs. traditional enterprise mobile app development platforms (MEAPs). Choosing the right strategy for your enterprise can be a daunting task, especially when complicated by the influx of many business users within enterprises that want to participate in mobile development. In that case,  the lowered skills barrier would make DIY tools an attractive choice, but the results of such tools are not typically enterprise grade, due to their lack of flexibility.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the two options. It’s important to remember that both options have pros and cons, and either choice requires compromise. The options become largely a choice between flexibility and efficiency.


Most of today’s MEAPs were conceived even before the modern app stores were launched. Traditional MEAPs are coding tools, making them flexible, but not highly productive. It takes longer to build apps, and is more expensive than a DIY platform since you’re hand-coding everything. However, it does give you the flexibility to build whatever app you want, and they are great for building very complex applications with large teams of specialized developers and with lengthy development cycles. Most enterprises have several such mobile apps that need to be built.

However, increasingly, most enterprises also need to build a large number of smaller mobile apps that are required by the different business units. These include both employee-facing and customer-facing apps that have shorter time-to-market requirements and smaller budgets. These apps need to be developed and deployed quickly, and are often updated regularly. This can create a paradigm where an IT organization can never get ahead of the backlog of needed apps and app updates.

DIY Tools

The other obvious development option are DIY tools. DIY tools are usually composed of easy-to-use templates, which, rather than requiring you to design something from scratch, essentially allows you to drop your content into an attractive, if generic application.

Obviously, using a prebuilt template platform presents challenges. You are no longer limited only by your imagination, but by the constraints of the theme and/or template you have selected. You have very little flexibility when compared with the more in-depth MEAPs.

The Appery.io Approach

So what is an enterprise developer to do? Choose the inflexible but efficient DIY tools? Or the customizable, but relatively time-wise and monetarily inefficient MEAPs?

Many enterprises are saying “neither,” and instead choosing Appery.io, because it bridges the gap between the two choices, and brings the best of both into one builder. Appery.io offers the simplicity of the DIY (thanks to the visual builder) and the flexibility of an enteprise development platform.

Appery.io enables rapid innovation with its visual development environment, which is similar to that of a DIY platform. Developers create mobile apps by dragging components, selecting from pull-down menus, and “connecting the dots” between backend systems and user interface screens. However, unlike template-based solutions that limit flexibility with a GUI-only approach, Appery.io offers the ability to code in JavaScript to create more complex applications. Even better, it now supports the AngularJS, Bootstrap, and Ionic frameworks.  

Customers benefit from the high productivity of the visual IDE and also from the flexibility to customize applications as much as required. In addition, browser-based development enables real-time collaboration between developers, designers, and business users, facilitating the rapid iterations that bimodal IT development strategies require. Projects are shared within a team so that multiple users can view or edit them simultaneously.

And since, the visual IDE is simple and easy to use, even non-developers can build enterprise apps rapidly, freeing up your IT organization to get rid of that backlog of apps and updates. 

For a good look at how Appery.io can empower enterprises, take a look at this recent case study of an enterprise-level pharmacy retailer. The retailer evaluated multiple solutions, including today’s leading MEAPs, and chose Appery.io because of its short learning curve, ease of use/on-boarding developers, significant cost savings and a faster time-to-market.

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