Need for RAD Tools

rad.gifRecently I have had a spate of individuals, as opposed to companies, contact me about possibilities for mobile development. Many of these people know nothing about mobile and nothing about IT. Almost all of them have been inspired by the possibilities and opportunities provided by the latest smartphones. Some people have some great ideas while many others are so far removed from what’s possible today.

While individuals’ enquiries don’t tend to be that useful for me (they tend to have little or no funding and no realisation how much development costs), they do demonstrate a need to create applications in simpler and cheaper ways.

I think tools could be greatly improved. I am not talking about runtimes or 3rd party frameworks here but tools that developers such as myself use on a day to day basis. As I have previously mentioned, while runtimes or 3rd party frameworks are ok for some applications, they tend to fall short of what’s required for most serious commercial applications.

Take UI and application framework tools. Symbian, Java ME and Microsoft have some visual tools that allow you to build up UIs and frameworks. In comparison the iPhone and particularly Android UI tools are currently poor. Even the Symbian and Microsoft tools could be greatly improved and extended to allow visual creation of applications from commonly used (and more importantly pre-tested) code building blocks. There are opportunities for people to create this stuff.