The Rise of Citizen Developers

October 31, 2020
William Miller

A whole new type of software is allowing business owners to DIY!

It used to be that if you wanted software to run your business, you really only had two choices: buy something off the shelf, or hire an expensive developer to build your own.

But with the emergence of what’s called “low-code software” many entrepreneurs are able to develop quite functional software to run their own business. And in many cases the level of performance of this software is vastly superior to what was available only a few years ago.

What is low-code software?

It is software which is easy for the layperson to develop because it is visually based; that is, it is not primarily a coding environment with lines and lines of esoteric and unintelligible text. It has a nice GUI interface which instantly lets the user know what his/her application is going to look like. In many cases it is drag and drop; such that there are a set of tools on one side of the workspace, and the user simply has to drag what s/he needs onto the workspace. When they are ready to view it they hit the equivalent of a preview button and look at their masterpiece. Then they can go back into development mode and make additional changes. In this way, bit by bit, in a very iterative process, they can build the software they need to run their business.

And for many small business owners, that is enough. Low-code to the rescue!

But for other medium-sized business, while it is a good beginning for them, they have discovered that as their business grows, their software needs to grow with them. That is, they need a little more complexity than what they can develop on their own. In these cases, business owners need software that can start as a DIY low-code option, but also be able to expand to a more able and complex business tool.

And it is tricky to find just the right software to make this happen. We recently helped a client who was using an off-the-shelf low-code software, which they purchased from the Apple Store. It was easy to operate, and they were able to use it well for the first year. It did what they needed to do. But then as time went on, their needs changed a bit, and they found that the software couldn’t do all they needed it to do. So they contacted us for a solution which would grow with their company.

And this is the hard part, because nobody can predict the future.

So since we don’t know what kind of needs will come to our company, we need software that can start off very easy to use, and yet have the chops to expand to great complexity if needed.

This is why we are so sold on FileMaker Pro from Claris. It is the most amazing software which I have ever encountered. I started using it as a hobbyist years ago to track my library which had over a 1,000 books in it. From there, I started using it to assist my twin brother who is a professional magician. We created a software app called “MagicBase Integrated Marketing Software“. Then he went on to conquer the novel writing world by adding software to help novelists plan their stories. It is called Outlining Your Novel software.

From there we expanded, and now we are providing custom business automation software for all kinds of businesses around the world. We have expanded to building and maintaining websites, because they so often need to be integrated with the company software.

But it all comes back to that simple FileMaker Pro software application. Anyone can start with it, and we help many companies just get started with it, and then they pretty much tinker with it, and use it to build and run their company. But when they are ready to grow, and they need their software to do something more, that’s when they can come back to us, and we can tune up their FileMaker Pro and make it run even better.

What we at HighPower Data Solutions specialize in is building business automation SYSTEMs which help companies to succeed. Why does it help them succeed? Because a S.Y.S.T.E.M. will Save You Stress Time Energy & Money. And that’s what we can do for you with FileMaker Pro software.