What is Rapid Application Development? Quick Intro to RAD Tools & Software

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The concept of rapid application development (RAD) emphasizes the fast and iterative release of prototypes and applications. In today’s more competitive market, low-code rapid application development tools allow business and IT teams to effectively collaborate and deliver new applications faster, whether to innovate business practices, differentiate within the market, or streamline costs.

Advantages of Rapid Application Development

Business demand for new applications is increasing, but IT’s ability to deliver them is not. According to Mendix research, 71% of IT teams are behind, unable to keep pace with growing needs. Additionally, 65% say that the turnaround expected by the business for custom development projects is shrinking. Use of rapid application development software is quickly becoming a necessity.

Rapid application development tools prioritize speed and agility so that IT teams can increase their productivity and improve project outcomes. Instead of the typical turnaround of months or years for new applications, rapid application development methodology enables IT teams to deliver in a matter of days or weeks.

But in addition to the advantage of speed, a rapid application development model provides a host of other benefits.

Risk reduction:

The ability to quickly create and share working prototypes allows the business to review functionality earlier in the application life cycle, helping to avoid rework that could derail the entire project.

Increased quality:

Incorporating greater prototype and functionality testing throughout the project life cycle also improves software quality, as requirements can be validated and refined based on user feedback.

Faster time to market:

Creating production-ready apps faster means that the business can benefit from its availability earlier, while new functionality continues to be released.

Rapid application development is particularly well suited for delivering systems of differentiation and innovation. These projects demand a greater level of business involvement as well as more frequent iterations to stay current within the market.

Rapid Application Development Cycle Chart

Enable Rapid Application Development with Mendix

Mendix’s rapid application development software includes features that span the complete application life cycle, delivering a 6x productivity advantage over traditional programming methods.

Our speed comes through our signature visual development capabilities that abstract away from code. In addition to visual modeling capabilities, users have access to an app store with hundreds of pre-built widgets, templates and components, as well as integrated one-click deployment to public, private, hybrid and on-premises environments. This facilitates the rapid development of new software with little or no prior coding experience.

Learn more about how Mendix enables rapid application development

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Rapid Application Development?

    Rapid application development (RAD) is an iterative approach to building apps and software with emphasis on adaptability. It was first developed to solve the issues of restrictiveness and prescriptiveness of development approaches such as waterfall.

  • What is the RAD Lifecycle?

    While there are many variations to the process of following rapid application development methodology, the six stages of a RAD lifecycle often include:

    1. Planning
    2. Analysis
    3. Design
    4. Implementation
    5. Testing & Integration
    6. Maintenance
  • What is the Cost of Rapid Application Development Software?

    The pricing model of rapid application development software will vary from platform to platform, but the cost often revolves around the number of apps, users or service levels. Platforms like Mendix allow you to try the service for free before upgrading to a subscription model. Visit Mendix’s pricing page for more information.

  • What are Some Best Practices for Rapid Application Development Design?

    Here are a few good principles to abide by:

    1. Ensure applications are intuitive to use and have a clear and concise design.
    2. Applications should also have a fast load time.
    3. Apps should be fully responsive to ensure usability no matter the device or resolution.
  • What is the Process for Creating an Application?

    In general, application development starts with planning and design. Once a basic framework is laid down, a basic version is built. Feedback on the initial version is provided and features are added over subsequent production cycles.