When the time comes to market an app, it’s crucial that the marketing and sales departments will be able to pitch a product with features that make it simultaneously useful, advantageous, and enjoyable for the end user.
In fact, this is the key to ensuring that in addition to being sellable, an app will also continue to be used (and will therefore provide the opportunity to earn additional revenue through updates and maintenance).
Easy to say, but harder to do. However, we can still nail down a few guidelines.

A good idea
It all starts here, with the idea. The app must be innovative (because otherwise possible buyers probably already use an app that solves their problems and they won’t be likely to change), it must deliver clearly quantifiable and demonstrable benefits, and it must be easy to explain for the people trying to sell it. But most importantly, it must meet an actual need. Otherwise it will become one of those 95% of apps that are abandoned by their users.

The two factors for success
One of the two main aspects to keep in mind in creating and selling an app is adapting the user experience to users’ needs.
Where is the app used, and by whom? For example, for the people who use it, is vocal input the most convenient? Can they use the keyboard? Or is a button interface better because users work in challenging conditions (like a construction site, perhaps). The choice between one option and another must always focus on the same concept: the user’s actual needs and adapting the user experience in response to those needs. If we come to market with a prototype that doesn’t meet the need, we won’t be able to sell it.

The same is true for the value proposition, which has to be clear and correlated to the actual need. Too many useless features make it difficult for salespeople get possible buyers to focus on how the product on offer is suited to their needs and how it will solve their problems in ways the tools they currently use cannot. The app must deliver value, and this value must be evident. Explaining clearly to the possible buyer which people in their company will benefit from the app, and precisely and plainly quantifying the return on this investment is always instrumental to success on the path to a sale.

Working with the right tools
Successfully focusing on these two contributors to success is crucial. Synergies among the people who conceive the idea for the product, the people who develop it, and the people who sell it must always be considered of the utmost importance.
That is one of the reasons why in the Instant Developer Cloud Editions we’ve introduced advanced telecollaboration features that eliminate all the hurdles that often stymie communications among departments and hinder ongoing feedback. This makes it the right tool not only for developers, but also for bringing together your product’s developers and salesmen.
Collaboration among the design, development, marketing, and sales departments is essential not only to creating the product, but especially for achieving the most important goal: successfully and profitably selling it.

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As Luca announced to you all last week, Version 15 of Instant Developer Foundation is now available for everyone.

In this version we focused on the things you asked for, to make your job simpler and more fluid. If you’d like to learn more about all the new features and improvements, you can read the release notes.

But for us, 2016 has just begun, so I’d like to tell you what’s on the way in upcoming releases, full of important news.

The first is in May. In just a few weeks, the final 1.0 version of Instant Developer Cloud is slated for release. It took us a bit longer than expected, but we are very pleased with the result, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.

In this version you’ll find much more than an IDE. In fact, Instant Developer Cloud will be a true APASS (application platform as a service) that you can use to capitalize on all the advantages of a managed public cloud, stress-free and at limited expense.

This time it’s all included, native shells, use of non-public company databases, document orientation, synchronization, and innovative self-service training tools.

In addition, an IDE designed using the same user experience rules as the best B2C apps and various tools for integrating with Foundation, in order to capitalize on the special features of the two editions while developing your products.

I’m sure it will be a fun development experience that’s full of surprises. And we’ll be here to help you achieve success as quickly as possible.

But because we’re never satisfied, we’re also already working on the next version of Foundation, planned for late October 2016. I can’t tell you yet what new developments there will be, but rest assured that the time has come for Foundation to take an important step as well.

In any case, I’ll see you back here in a few weeks for the official launch of Instant Developer Cloud version 1.0.

See you then!

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Spring is here, and as many of you know, the time has come for a new version of Instant Developer Foundation. This time it’s version 15.0.

As Andrea told you in one of his recent posts, it’s Foundation time, and after having introduced the new Zen graphic theme in version 14.5, we have been concentrating on your suggestions for improvement, to help you continue to get the very best from Instant Developer.

The most important new changes introduced in version 15.0 are largely focused on managing the graphic interface and improvements to implementation of the application code:

  • support for .NET 4.x;
  • option to add more than 8 custom commands;
  • three-status check boxes to make it easier to search by flag;
  • greater control over the visibility of the fields displayed in multi-column lookups;
  • addition of panel fields at run-time.

I know that many of you will be pleased to see this little list, and these are just a few of the new things you’ll find in version 15.0, which will be released in April, so plan on reading the release notes. Also, after 15.0 is released, I’d like to invite you to visit the Roadmap to check in on all the other changes planned for the releases of versions 15.1 and 15.5.

Andrea will update you soon about Pro Gamma’s Roadmap for 2016, but I wanted to write this post personally to promise you one thing: our commitment to Instant Developer Foundation, and my own most of all, is far from exhausted. Instant Developer is a product that consists of two distinct tools for responding to the different needs of two distinct markets, and we will continue to support both of them.

So expect lots of news from both Cloud and Foundation.

Get ready for the update!
I’m excited and curious to see the feedback from the first people to move to the new version.

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Managing long operations in your applications is a common event, especially in the field of business software. This can lead to a dilemma for the end user, who is not entirely sure how to behave.

In fact, when a long operation is launched, the application interface has to stop to wait for a response from the server, bringing up the classic please wait screen that we all know so well. This even happens with applications made with Instant Developer Foundation, but there is a very interesting solution: using Server Sessions.

Let’s imagine that we have an application procedure that takes anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds. In the example project, you can launch the method with the Long Method command, and you’ll see that the wait bar appears for a few dozen seconds. We don’t want the user to have this kind of experience, so let’s see what we can do about it.

First of all, we’ll use the startPhase and trackPhase methods in the long method, in order to tell the application how far along the operation has proceeded. In the example project code, a random number of steps is calculated, from 5 to 60, and each of them lasts 1 second.

Next, we decide to assign each user, recognized by their user name, a preset number of independent processes. In the example I have granted 3 for each user. When the operation begins, instead of launching it immediately, we’ll see if the user has a session available. Each session is identified by a name. In the example, it’s UsernameN, where N represents the process number.

To launch a process, meaning another application session, we use the startSession method, to which we send a query string that identifies the operation to be launched in the onCommand event. If there are no processes available, a message will be displayed that will ask the user to try again later.

At this point, we have to tell the user how many processes they have, and what their progress status is. To do so, we use the existsSession and sessionProgress methods, placing the results in an IMDB table to be shown on the screen. And we’re done.

What do you think? From now on, no more “please wait”.

What's the next trick you'd like to see?

  •    Web API: publish an app's data directly on a website
  •    Mobile: synchronizing multi-domain user data
  •    Integration of a graphic JavaScript component

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LinkedIn, I underestimated you

25.02.2016

You know that my job here at Pro Gamma is to try to tell everyone about Instant Developer, our development tool. People who do a job like mine know that even when you have a good product, it’s no easy task to get your name out there and get people talking about you. In this [...]

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Instant Developer: Foundation or Cloud?

18.02.2016

We’re nearing the end of our preparations for the final version of Instant Developer Cloud, which, as we’ve announced, will be released at the end of March. These days lots of people are asking me what they should use for their next project: Foundation or Cloud? I’m taking this opportunity to answer this question and [...]

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Tips & Tricks: who was it and when?

12.02.2016

In developing multi-user applications, especially those in the business sphere, it’s often necessary to be able to answer the question “who was it that changed this, and when was it done?”. It’s a subject I also deal with when consulting with people approaching Document Orientation for the first time or with people launching a new [...]

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Instant Developer: the 2016 roadmap

22.01.2016

There is yet another exciting year ahead that’s packed with news for people working in the field of software development. There is no other industry brimming with so much innovation and opportunity, even when the rest is fighting the trend! Instant Developer users will also find 2016 to be a year packed with nice surprises, [...]

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Cloud Editions: from form to view

12.01.2016

We’re firing the blog back up again for 2016 with an important service notice about the Instant Developer Cloud editions. With today’s update, the name of the Form object is changing to View. This is due to the fact that the word View more correctly represents the concept of a set of visual elements that [...]

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It’s more fun together

18.12.2015

There aren’t that many software projects that can be developed by just one person, and that’s why development tools usually include versioning and teamwork management systems. So I’m pleased to announce that beginning today, the teamworking system in Instant Developer Cloud is complete, and everyone can use it. Differently from the Foundation version, the Instant [...]

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