This article looks into the different ways in which codebots makes app development easier.
Codebots can help a development team save time and effort in a few different ways:
Initial app setup and proof of concept
We have found using Codebots makes building the initial MVP version of an app far more simple than usual, to the point where some teams use Codebots to build out prototypes instead of just mocking up static designs. You can get a basic app running in less than half an hour, which can make it very easy to demonstrate how the app could work.
By being able to get all the data structure in place, the time it takes to set up the app is greatly reduced. The dev team can focus on the interesting business logic from the get-go, rather than having to waste time in the initial setup.
Extensions for quick and ready functionality
Using Codebots allows you to take advantage of the Extensions which we provide. Extensions are pre-built functionality which you can add into to your application and take advantage of. Think of them as though you are putting together a puzzle, but you have a bunch of pieces which are already stuck together ready to go. You can add them into your puzzle whenever you want, you just need to add in one or two connecting pieces.
The bots have a range of extensions ready to go, each of which help you do different things. To learn more about the different extensions which are available, explore your diagrams, or take a look at the “Extensions and Features” book in the Library. We also offer courses for the more complex extensions.
Managing and building a high quality app
Codebots doesn’t only make the building process easier, it can help you with the other parts of the development cycle as well. If you are on the Pro license, the Platform comes with a Plan and Test section to help you manage the building of the app.
Using Plan, you are able to create issues which your team needs to work on, and progress them through status which you set up. Codebots has also added in some checklists so you can make sure that your devs complete all the criteria you set down before the issue can be considered done.
The Test section helps you ensure that what you and the bots build is working as expected. You can use it to create your own custom scenarios to run against the app with no coding required! All you need to know is what you want to happen and what you expect to see afterwards, then create that using our drag-and-drop building blocks. You can also pull in bot-written tests to sit alongside the tests you write. Finally, you can create a relationship between the tests and your requirements (that you can write in Plan). The Platform then visualises this relationship in a matrix where you can see every requirement, whether it has a test associated with it, and whether it passes.
Between Plan and Test, you can make sure that any app you make on Codebots fulfils all your requirements and is working as expected.
Redesigning the data and UI structure
With the bots working off the models you give them, it is very easy to change those models and get the bots to rebuild based on the new plan. This makes it easy to keep things flexible and iterate quickly based on what ever is required. You can redesign the models and have the bots update the codebase (as much as possible) within a few minutes.
Depending on the complexity and the amount of custom code in your app, this process can be completely automated, or may only require a small amount of development work to update the code which the bots can’t. Either way, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort when it comes to updating your app.
We have worked with previous users who had to almost completely re-design their model after discovering it wasn’t the right design for what they needed. It took about 30 minutes to plan and reshuffle the model, 2 minutes for the bots to complete the build, then a few hours for one of the devs to update their custom code. According to their dev team, this process would have normally taken just under a week without the Platform to help.
You can see how something like this would be a huge advantage when requirements change quickly, like they can do as part of any agile process.
You own your own code
All of the code which the bots write is originally developer written, meaning that it is completely human-readable and commented. We don’t force you to use our Platform in order to edit your code. When you create a project on Codebots, you can nominate how you want to store the code: either in one of our repositories, or you can nominate your own Git repository to use.
Either way, you completely own your code, and aren’t locked into the Platform (unless you want to stay and reap the ongoing benefits).