Web deployment and application building has begun to germinate some new definitions for old terms, and in some cases spawned brand new ones. Words like “appification,” “webification,” “democratization” and their related verb forms are becoming increasingly added to the software lexicon.
Appification has most often been associated with the rapidly emerging mobile environment (see http://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/appification/50128), where an application (program), is packaged so it can be used on mobile devices (as an installed program or a software-as-a-service, SaaS).
EASA, a leading data & process management and deployment tool, takes this one step further, allowing an author to create a custom, fit for purpose GUI or UI for virtually any software program or series of programs (process or workflow), making it as easy and fool proof as possible for a user to use, while also fully web-enabling – making it accessible and executable from a browser. This makes the app especially useful not only on mobile devices, but just as importantly, on any computer with internet or intranet access. EASA targets high value and critical spreadsheets and processes such as pricing, configuration, quoting and proposal generation (“CPQ”) and “to-order” processes (“CTO”, “ETO”, etc.), as well as inward facing and outward facing (for customers, suppliers and partners) web “portal” applications that involve Excel. Many EASA customers use it for modeling & simulation (typically involving CAE), often with integration with other software such as databases, ERP/PLM/CRM programs, and mathematical calculation programs. As an aside, it was historically a developer or programmer who would write the software, but as there is no code writing involved when using EASA, the actual users rather than IT or a development team can create the apps.
EASA enables companies who have complex and frequently updated processes to embrace, rather than replace Excel by eliminating the chaos typical of spreadsheets (lack of version control, IP security, auditability and so forth). Since your native Excel file is continued to be used, any VBA, macros or complex formulae continue to work with complete reliability. The ease of use and ease of access helps to democratize these tools – turn Excel into a true collaborative, secure and enterprise wide solution that can put the process into the hands of a much larger group.
The implications can be dramatic. Specific fit-for-purpose tools, whether commercial or in-house developed are no longer needed, saving significant costs and eliminating long (and often painful) development and implementation efforts. This is especially critical when Excel cannot be replaced or eliminated (see When Replacing Excel is Not an Option).
Interested in more information?
- The dilemma: Replace Excel with dedicated CPQ software for quoting & proposal generation? Maybe not…
- Eight dangers engineers, modelers and analysts need to be aware of when using Excel spreadsheets
- Find case studies of appified processes and programs for companies such as GE, Monsanto, Pfizer, P&G and others.
- Join the conversation on twitter
- Learn how building apps with EASA requires no programming. Watch the video
- Find out how you can test drive EASA before you commit, contact us.