Background Stories, Interesting Facts and Announcements

Protogrid is alive and kicking. In this blog, our innovative engineers and creative graphic designers share their stories, anecdotes as well as useful tipps and tricks.

Low-Code - Future of application development?

Sonja Blum on 2021-10-05
"Low code" refers to development environments in which applications can be created with "little code". In concrete terms, this means that an app can be largely or completely defined using visual elements instead of programming code. Instead of defining and implementing the data model using the ER model ("entity relationship model") in SQL, individual data sets can be linked intuitively using links. The data model and the databases are then automatically adapted accordingly, without the developer having to worry about it further. For the user interface, input fields can be clicked together and buttons with various actions can be stored. This is the vision of low-code development. Low Code
Low code pursues the following goals: Simple development, agile adaptation, mobile access, automatic software distribution and simple maintainability. These goals bring several advantages:
  • Thanks to a simple development the costs decrease - not only because de development process is faster, but also, because mostly also the end users can contribute a part to the development.
  • Thanks to agile adaptations, applications can be used more quickly and productively - if an unexpected additional requirement arises later or even the model changes, the application can simply be changed again afterwards.
  • New workplace forms can be created through mobile access - for example, home office becomes possible, which in turn motivates your own employees and promotes their efficiency.
  • The internal IT is relieved by means of automatic software distribution - new resources become available and strategic projects can be tackled.
  • The simple maintainability reduces the operating costs ("total cost of ownership") and extends the operating time ("application life cycle") - since a low-code application no longer consists of several thousand lines of code, a quick familiarization is possible at any time and the application can be easily maintained over many years.
But does this promise stand up to a meeting with reality? With our low-code platform Protogrid, we have implemented a medium-complex application. We recorded this development and compared it with a conventional development. In order to make a fair comparison, we performed a function point analysis. The customer requirements resulted in 3450 function points.
Application
If one now converts these function points into person months for a conventional Java development, one receives 18.8 months, i.e. about 500,000 Swiss francs. The project actually implemented with Protogrid came to 2.6 person months or 70,000 Swiss francs thanks to low code. This corresponds to just 14% of Java development!

But are such investments really worthwhile in the end? Just because something is fast and cheap now doesn't mean you have to buy everything, does it? In another development project with Protogrid, we did a return on investment analysis. The aim was to optimise the order workflow in sales. The assumption was that 50 users would process 5 cases per day, which would save you 5 minutes per case with the new solution. These 5 minutes per case are even very tightly calculated: Here an address from the address directory search, there a Mail search, then finding the current version of a flyer, etc.

However, all these small savings add up to 5208 hours per year. With a value added per employee and hour of 50 Swiss francs, this would correspond to about 260,400 Swiss francs. After deduction of operating costs, there is still a considerable net profit of CHF 257,777. Amazing how productivity can only be increased by introducing a small, useful application, isn't it? With a low-code typical development price of CHF 7,737, the ROI is 0.03 years, i.e. 0.36 months, or less than 11 days. After less than 2 weeks, the investment has already amortized and you start saving. Do you remember what they worked on the week before last?

Are you interested and would like to know which savings are possible with low-code in your company? Then contact us today and we will analyze the potential together.

Protogrid - One Platform, Lots of Applications

Sonja Blum on 2021-07-10
Protogrid is an very versatile platform. Due to many different field types and flexible relations, one can realize any thinkable type of application. In this blog post we show some examples, that are already developed with Protogrid.

Administration

Working Plan

A working plan defines, which person is doing what at which time and location. With Protogrid, this can be realized quite simple: You create a Proto for workers, locations and additional resources. Out of these one can easily create a working plan, which contains several views (per worker, per location, per resource, per time) that are available mobile and offline. If any changes will be needed in the future, this be achieved fast and easily.

Time Tracking

Depending on the working environment, it can be really helpful to be able to track working time everywhere even without internet connection. With Protogrid, this is straightforward: Create Protos for workers and working times and roll out your application to mobile devices. With own buttons and some lines of JavaScript you can create monthly invoices and other comfortable functions.

Acquisition of Information

Audit Reporting

Field workers need to create their audit reports based on some protocol, file them centralized and postprocess them. With Protogrid, all reports can be created in place and are filed systematically. Additionally, workers can not only access the protocols and client information, but any other relevant documents or informations.

 Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-24369-1980 /CC-BY-SA 3.0

Registration of Leads at a Fair or Road-Show

At a fair, your companys booth gets visited by many people. You talk, answer some questions, receive a business card and promise to call back. After the fair, all the gained data needs to be sorted and filed, hoping that everybody still knows, which visitor was interested in which products. With your tailor-made Protogrid App, you can collect and store all this data directly at the fair, link products and themes of interest and create a reminder to contact the visitor again. In the eveningat your hotel room, the newest leads are uploaded into the cloud and the back office can already spring into action.

Sales

Product Catalog

Especially field workers depend on a detailed catalog of all products that the company offers. Catalogs in PDF-format or even printed versions are quite bulky: Even for small changes, everybody needs to be informed and new material has to be provided, which can lead to larger effort. Thanks to the mobile and offline capabilities of Protogrid, this effort gets minimized: For each product you create a Card, which can be updated easily anytime. The new data is automatically synchronised with all the mobile devices, such that every worker gets the newest data instantly.

This is only a small list of possible applications. We would like to advise you about matching your individual requirements and propose a prototype!

Rent a Developer

Sonja Blum on 2021-04-11
If you frequently work with an application, you will always notice new potential for improvement. A new function here, a new graphic there. Be it just to finally place this button at the top, so that you don't have to search for it all the time.
But no matter how quickly the improvement is implemented, the optimization process is dragging on: First of all these improvements have to be reported, then you get an offer from the developer, the budget has to be approved, then you need a schedule with the developer, consisting of start meeting, development phase, approval and many small intermediate steps.
And when the time has come, the internal process has changed and the implemented function does not fit exactly anymore, the moved button is no longer needed at all. To counteract this problem, you can now rent a developer to Protogrid! He will visit you at regular intervals in order to implement your wishes immediately in so-called My-App-Sessions. No more long waiting times, no more scheduling. You also don't have to request a budget every time, as you rent the developer and pay him together with the monthly fees for Protogrid. In this way, your wishes can be implemented quickly and easily, and your application is always optimally adapted to the current business processes.

My App as a Service
You can choose from different packages, which differ mainly in the frequency of My-App sessions:
  • Do your processes change quickly, or do you have many optimization requests? Book a package of size XL and we will come by every month!
  • Do you only need a few adjustments? Book the XS package and we'll see you 3 times a year.
Detailed information about our new offer can be found here: My App as a Service
Fill out the order form in the flyer and start today to optimize your application agilely!

It’s awesome. It’s free.

Protogrid is completely free for up to two users with any number of applications.