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Learn the basics

Getting to know the platform

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What an app is made of?

When you visit a web page, scroll a mobile app or chat with a bot, you actually work with data via some user interface. Let’s figure out what an app is made of and how these parts are developed.

From the end user’s point of view the app can include:

  • Web pages. A browser renders them from HTML, CSS and JavaScript code.
  • Mobile application. It can be native or progressive web app (PWA).
  • Chat-bot. It runs in a messenger: Facebook, Telegram, WhatsApp or any other.

This is the front-end part of an app. The part which interacts with an end user directly.

Top-level design of an app's parts

If an app is not a simple landing page there will be another part, which must include the following:

  • Database for storing data and files;
  • RBAC (Role-based access control). There can be admins, clients, managers, etc.;
  • Some workflows—the business logic of an app;
  • Integrations with third party systems (CRM or payments for instance);
  • The connection with front-end via secure API-methods.

This is the back-end of an app.

Usually different programmers with specific skills develop front-end and back-end parts.

Low-code/No-code approach

Today a lot of tools for rapid front-end development have appeared. These services allow you to manipulate parts of an app’s interface visually by dragging and dropping. No coding needed.

Such an approach is called low-code, or in some cases—no-code. But making an app on low-code, users often face restrictions. If the product is rather complex, it will require a development of a backend part.

What can we do with Directual?

We can apply visual low-code approach for building and running sophisticated back-end for web and mobile apps.

Directual is a way to move a lot more swiftly and efficiently.

  1. First, we setup cloud database for the future app, configure all the objects (entities) and their properties (fields), and connections between the objects. Directual guarantees stability and scalability, with no need for managing infrastructure.
  2. Secondly, if needed, we implement authentication and authorisation (RBAC). Forms for signing up and logging in can be easily added to any web app.
  3. Thirdly, we are designing secure API-endpoints to send and receive data. These endpoints are gates for front-end and external systems. Each endpoint supports strong user-based security (remember, we’ve set up the role model). As well as user login form, views of these API methods and forms can be embedded directly to the web page.
  4. Then, bearing in mind the future data flows via configured API we can design the backend-logic. Usually it includes real-time actions and schedule jobs.
  5. The backend logic rarely lives on its own without being connected to third party systems.  Right here from Directual scenarios we can integrate our backend with lots of services.  Such as messaging, CRMs, payments, or even other low-code ones.

Recap

Even being proficient in development, we are not having to spend so much of our time. We are avoiding tonnes of useless work, turning ideas into amazing apps!

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