Announcing Beta release of IBM Digital App Builder - The easy way to build smart apps

Deprecation Note: This blog post is deprecated. Digital App Builder is now generally available. For more information, see here.

Digital App Builder

Today we are excited to announce the beta launch of IBM Digital App Builder. This tool will change the way citizen developers build smart web and mobile apps. The tool provides a drag and drop experience for the user to add building blocks, connect to microservices, embed AI capabilities for creating multi-channel apps.

The changing application landscape

The application landscape is changing and with the advent of new technologies, mobile devices have become the preferred gateway for accessing the digital business world. Enterprises want to build multiple apps that support multiple channels. The cycle time to deliver apps has reduced from months to days. In turn, users are expecting enterprises to deliver state of the art experiences, regardless of the digital channel selected as the touch point. In order to meet the growing expectations from the market, there is a need to embed advanced AI capabilities such as visual recognition and conversation in apps. Therefore, these are becoming a must-have for the enterprises in order to stay competitive. 

Citizen Developers: Rapid application development

A citizen developer has a need to build apps even though they do not have strong development skills. To bridge this gap they need tools, which can provide ease of use during development. The tool should provide the pre-requisites for app building and a drag and drop experience for application development.

Architecture: From monolithic to microservice

From an architecture perspective, monolithic applications are now moving to microservices based architecture, which provides loosely coupled services that deliver business functionality. This trend has changed as to how developers consume back end services for building the front end user interfaces.

App owners: Need for user engagement

To cater to a changing market, app owners need to look beyond web and mobile technologies. Most importantly they need to find new ways to keep users engaged, regardless of the specific digital channel they are in. Users today can start a transaction using the web browser and complete the same using a mobile device. Users need a seamless experience across channels. The app owner needs a unified view to understand the usage patterns and deliver capabilities based on what users actually do.

Key features of IBM Digital App Builder

  • A citizen developer can use this tool to quickly build digital apps that can run on multiple channels
    This tool provides the ability to drag and drop components to quickly build an app. This app can be targeted to multiple channels like apps for iOS (IPhone, iPad), Android (phone, tabs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and web pages.

  • A citizen developer can easily integrate Watson AI capabilities like Chatbot and Visual Recognition
    Adding a chatbot or visual recognition capability to the app becomes as easy as adding a control. Developers can easily train the AI service by adding a set of questions and answers or dragging and dropping a set of images to classify. There is no need of a data scientist to build a complex machine learning model.

  • An app developer can add data-bound controls for microservice backends 
    A wizard can be used to import an Open API specification (Swagger) for a microservice. This helps to create a dataset for building a front end for the service, which is bound to a data-bound UI control in the app. Switch to code view for performing advanced coding on the app.

  • An app owner can enable analytics for the app
    The app owner can enable analytics for the app. The app now sends data to the Mobile Foundation server. The analytics console provides Crash data, Page flows and Operations in the form of dashboards.

This is a beta release and the following video shows the capabilities of what the tool offers today.

Start by installing and building a sample app with the Getting Started guide.

We want to hear about your experience! Join our Slack channel OR post a question on StackOverflow.

If you have a new feature that you want us to implement open a Git issue and we will evaluate the feasibility of adding the feature in our roadmap.

Take a minute to share your feedback

Inclusive terminology note: The Mobile First Platform team is making changes to support the IBM® initiative to replace racially biased and other discriminatory language in our code and content with more inclusive language. While IBM values the use of inclusive language, terms that are outside of IBM's direct influence are sometimes required for the sake of maintaining user understanding. As other industry leaders join IBM in embracing the use of inclusive language, IBM will continue to update the documentation to reflect those changes.
Last modified on June 25, 2019