Download My App!
Following the development of my first app at GXS, namely the @GXS newsfeed app, I decided that I wanted to look at ways to create my own app without using an outside agency. Even though I did quite a bit of coding at University, my programming skills certainly aren’t up to the level of today’s mobile app developers. So I started to look around for a SaaS based solution that could potentially offer building blocks that when joined together made a fully functional app. I found a company called AppMachine that provided a building block approach to designing apps.
The next challenge was to decide what type of app to build! In early 2013 I was asked to pull together some industry training for our global sales teams at GXS. I developed some training materials which also included some industry tip sheets that could be printed off as required. The aim of these tip sheets was to provide some industry training around key trends, industry challenges, industry specific standards and provide a high level overview of some companies using GXS solutions. These tip sheets proved incredibly popular with our sales teams as they provided some great insights into the automotive and high tech industries. Now what if I could convert the information into a new app? and so the idea of my next app was born.
In total it took about a week to pull together the content for the app and I then had to build the framework within the AppMachine platform so that I could start uploading the content. In addition to the industry information that I mentioned earlier I also used the app as an opportunity to collate all my social media channels together into a single, easy to use app. I also included a feed from my blog and I provided links to popular industry specific websites that I normally use for industry research.
The AppMachine environment was great to work in and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking to build their first app. The AppMachine environment provides numerous building blocks depending on the functionality that you require. The Professional version even allows you to embed custom scripts and connect with backend web services to provide integration with other enterprise systems. You only pay for the app when it is complete and ready to submit to the App store. I found the whole development process to be incredibly painless and I was surprised by the quality of the support desk. I have included some screen shots of the app below –
The app is called B2B World and even though the app only provides industry information around the automotive and high tech sectors, my plan eventually is to include information from the other core industry sectors that OpenText supports today.
After being in the app store for a few years, I have now retired this app, but wanted to leave information as to how and why it was created.