Velocity in the demand for new applications and functionality rises as businesses grow. As a developer, you are expected to rapidly respond to these needs. Over the years, desktop database and spreadsheet tools have enormously contributed to data management due to the ease and user friendliness these applications extend to their audience. Besides benefits, these applications have scalability and functionality limitations that not only results in dozens of different applications and data sources but also adds extra overhead in their maintenance. Due to these issues, organizations are unable to continue their standard practices, leaving mission-critical data at risk. These fragmented systems may also cause loss of business opportunity. Finally, a significant amount of time and resource is required to put these data blocks together to get the desired information. In addition to above, the following points provide some more drawbacks of desktop applications:
Installation of client software, such as Excel or run-time binaries, on every machine.
Lack of data sharing with other applications.
Simultaneous data access inability in spreadsheets.
May not be the part of regular data backup.
Critical and confidential data can easily be moved via email or pocket storage devices.
With the above deficiencies, it is clear that you need a tool that has the capability to cope with these shortfalls and extends the following features:
Central management of data and applications.
No installation of software is required on client machines; the only requirement is a supported browser.
Shared development and application access.
Being central, data and applications become a part of regular backup procedure.
Data and application access control; empowered by audit trail.
If you want to develop and deploy fast and secure professional applications then you must go for a rapid application development (RAD) tool. A RAD tool only requires a web browser and a little programming experience. Besides ease of use and flexibility, RAD tool provides the qualities of an enterprise database, scalability, security, integrity, availability and above all the web development experience.
With a RAD tool you can develop any application through an easy declarative development process. However, you can use HTML and CSS to extend the presentation of your client interfaces and add your own code to supply additional logical operations. With such tools, you can build applications that report on database data. Create hyper text linked reports to easily link to other reports, charts, and data entry forms. Charts have built-in drill-down functionality, so that a user can get more detailed information on any of the sections of the chart with a simple mouse click. You can effectively communicate data using the charting engine by presenting SQL queries graphically. Use declarative form controls including shuttles, text editors, date pickers, checkboxes, radio groups, and select lists to manipulate data. Easily and instantly build opportunistic and departmental database applications with the help of simple wizards. This makes RAD tools a natural replacement for multi-user desktop database applications and allows creation of highly professional, secure, and scalable applications without scripting languages and complex frameworks.