1. Mobile App Development Capabilities
The OutSystems low-code platform enables enterprise-grade mobile application development with capabilities that span four key categories:
- Mobile apps: These apps can be installed on users' phones, with access to device sensors, offline functionality, and native user experience forAndroid (APK) and iOS (IPA) all with a single IDE and visual language.
- Progressive web apps: Accessible through mobile browsers, these apps adapt seamlessly to different devices and browsers without installation.
- UI/UX: The part of your mobile app that engages users and enables them to accomplish tasks, order items, and much more.
- Mobile frontends and backends: These support custom native mobile apps built both with the OutSystems platform and industry-standard tools like XCode, Android Studio, or Visual Studio, and respective native languages.
- Simplified cross-platform mobile app development
- Progressive web app distribution
- UI/UX capabilities for mobile apps
- Ease of building front-ends and backends
Simplified cross-platform mobile app development
With OutSystems, you can develop mobile apps that are deployable and functional on iOS and Android devices. These apps automatically adapt to varying form factors, maintaining consistency and using a unified code base. Developers implement client-side logic and local data storage and craft the UI and front-end code just once. This eliminates the need to modify the codebase for individual devices.
Progressive web app distribution
During the development of a mobile app using OutSystems, developers can enable PWA distribution, and the PWA will automatically be prepared for use, fully compliant with Lighthouse, Google's open-source automated tool for evaluating web page quality. Because OutSystems and the OutSystems Community are consistently expanding the range of components that support native and PWSs, you can use a single code base without the need for additional specific logic, and the same mobile plugin will function in native applications and PWAs.
PWAs built with OutSystems are an excellent match for specific scenarios, given their numerous advantages:
- Faster and simplified distribution: Progressive Web Applications bypass the need for public store (App Store, Google Play) upload processes and approvals.
- Sharing and discovery: they can be effortlessly shared via URLs on social media and can be indexed by search engines, which makes them easier to find on the web–opening new avenues of attracting users organically. Additionally, PWAs are an excellent choice for organizations who want to distribute internal mobile apps.
- Fewer installation hassles: Users access PWAs directly from a web browser–no app store needed. This lowers barriers to entry and fosters increased engagement.
- Ongoing updates: Being web-based, progressive web apps are automatically updated, sparing users from manual app updates.
- Minimal impact on device resources: PWAs are not installed, so they don't use many device resources. This is advantageous for users with devicesthat have limited storage.
UI/UX capabilities for mobile apps
OutSystems also offers OutSystems UI, a fully responsive and integrated UI framework that provides customizable themes for your mobile apps. A huge library of samples and patterns allow you to develop beautiful mobile apps rapidly with a great look and feel. All of this is done with drag-and-drop simplicity, no need to fiddle with UI code.
Dozens of ready-to-use UI patterns can be easily dragged and dropped to build amazing UIs without any coding. With several developers pointing to CSS as one of the hardest “languages” to master and all the new challenges brought by the wide set of form factors across devices, OutSystems UI was designed to address the complexity and these challenges.
Its codeless approach boosts developer productivity, fosters usability, improves look and feel out-of-the-box, and reduces the skills required for developers to create rich and engaging user experiences.
Ease of building front-ends and backends
OutSystems provides everything you need to build front-end logic for your mobile app. A cross-platform visual language makes it easy to create and change all aspects of your application's interaction with users quickly. You can get all the performance advantages of running code on the device, without having to worry about coding for multiple operating systems — it’s the same language for iOS and Android.
The back-end of an OutSystems mobile app is built with the same visual language as the front-end, which means you only need to master a single language. OutSystems provides numerous capabilities that simplify the development of the backend, including:
- Easy integration to external enterprise systems, databases, or custom apps, along with the integration of REST APIs
- Visual mashup and orchestration of multiple data sources and APIs behind secured mobile endpoints
- Extensibility through custom code
- Centralized identity and authorization system, integrated with your common identity systems
- Support for background jobs and asynchronous event-driven mechanisms for custom, long-running backend processing
- Open source components made available by a huge community
The platform ensures that applications generated from your visual model are enterprise grade. This means they are secure (learn more about OutSystems mobile-dedicated Security capabilities) robust, scalable, auditable, and manageable by default.