What is an application development platform?

An app development platform is a software suite that enables users to design, develop, test, and deploy apps on any device and host them in the medium of your choice—locally, on your own servers, on a private cloud, or on a public cloud. Most app development platforms abstract the complexities across the application’s lifecycle, minimizing reliance on traditional coding languages and helping businesses digitize processes quickly and at scale.

Understanding different types of app development platforms

Web application development platforms

A web app development platform lets you design and develop interactive web applications to solve a specific need, such as online banking or a ticket booking service. The advantage of using web development platforms over web frameworks (ASP.Net, Ruby On Rails, Python) is that you can roll out apps faster, as they provide easy-to-use interfaces and reduce the complexities experienced while coding.

Web application development platforms
Mobile app development platforms

Mobile app development platforms

This is a type of software that allows you to design and develop custom mobile apps for your business. The most important benefit of a mobile application development platform (MADP) is that you don’t have to develop the same app for different operating systems (Android, iOS, and Windows)—your developer can work with a single codebase for multiple mobile platforms.

Custom application development platforms

These platforms provide you with the tech stack to develop tailor-made solutions to cater to a defined set of requirements. Many businesses are adopting LCNC (low-code, no-code) development platforms to build their custom applications in-house, instead of buying rigid and expensive off-the-shelf software.

Custom application development platforms

Explore your options; choose the right development platform

Before you narrow down which platform you want to build your app on, you must do a thorough analysis of the features available and ensure it supports you at every app development stage.

Here are the most critical factors to evaluate:

Previewing and publishing UI elements
Role-based access to UI elements
Ability to deploy auto-validations of data
Ability to build custom dashboards

Data management and analytics

Ensure the application development platform you choose offers an intuitive interface that allows you to design interactive forms and reports to gather different data. Just note that you must be able to represent the data in real-time reports and dashboards to aid in real-time decision-making.

Workflow automation

Process automation helps avoid human error while saving time in execution. Any application platform that you choose should allow you to easily design workflows that help you automate routine tasks, streamline communication, and get more done in less time.

Declarative ways to build business rules
Ability to automate multilevel approvals
Options to trigger tasks based on event and time
Guided scripting for non developers
Built-in testing environment
Flexibility to create reusable components
Multi-user development and collaboration
AI capabilities

Application development

The most important aspect to look at is if the platform offers an integrated development environment (IDE) with drag-and-drop widgets, ready-to-use code snippets, and real-time collaboration, to help you build custom business multi-platform apps faster.

App deployment and maintenance

Based on your business requirement, choose a platform that enables you to host your application on an environment of your choice—be it on the cloud, on-premise, in third-party cloud infrastructure, or on a hybrid model encompassing aspects of all three.

Performs scheduled backups
Multilanguage support
Assistance in maintaining application logs
Private, encrypted data centers
Role-based secure sharing of data
Record-level audits


Along with the development capabilities, it’s critical to evaluate if the platform is compliant with required regulatory standards and offers you an extremely secure, high-available software environment.


Besides being able to create robust business applications, the platform you choose should make it easy for you to connect to internal and external systems and break free of information silos.

Hundreds of out-of-the-box Integrations with popular platforms
Ability to create custom APIs with any system
Zoho Creator: A platform to simplify app development, end-to-end

Zoho Creator: A platform to simplify app development, end-to-end

Zoho Creator is a low-code app development platform (LCAP) with drag-and drop capabilities and a visual app-building approach that empowers citizen developers. Most importantly, you don’t have to be a pro developer, nor do you need a large capital outlay to get started with Zoho Creator. Just sign up and start building the apps you need, and scale as your business grows.

Industry recognition

Zoho Creator was named a:


Visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, 2020

LCAP Technology

Leader in the LCAP Technology Value Matrix 2020, by Nucleus Research


Technology Leader in SPARK Matrix: Low-Code Application Development Platforms 2020, by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions


Zoho Creator: 15 years and still going strong! Find out why.

Constantly evolving to meet consumer demands

Since its inception, the Creator app development platform has consistently evolved, offering various intuitive features, visual builders, ready-to-use templates, and built-in connectors—all the while remaining true to its mission: to simplify application development and empower a broad set of users to develop applications that help them work efficiently.

Multiplatform builder

The most impressive part of building apps on Creator is that users can design, develop, preview, and deploy apps for web, mobile, and tablets on the same platform at the same time. That is, users can design and preview the app for each interface separately and create a seamless multiplatform experience without worrying about form factor.

Rapid, cost-effective app development

Zoho Creator lets businesses build applications, automate processes, and make enhancements, without having to go through the challenging aspects of traditional software development. And when you deploy apps on a low-code platform like Creator, application maintenance and regular upgrades are taken care of, saving you from overhead expenses.

Built for the future of work

Zoho Creator is a full-stack low-code app development platform packed with the latest features that allow businesses to easily migrate from existing systems and digitize their processes. It helps you predict results and customer behavior with AI, create personalized experiences for customers and partners, and empower your employees to work on the go with native mobile apps.

A well-connected ecosystem

When you become a Zoho Creator customer, you have access to a vibrant customer community, a highly responsive customer-support team, and an exhaustive training program to support you along the way. Feel free to interact with peers and experts, share ideas, ask questions, and report issues using any of these channels.

Flexible pricing plans—no hidden costs

Zoho Creator offers flexible pricing plans to support organizations of all sizes. Choose the plan that works best for your business and then pay either monthly or annually.

Zoho Creator has given us extraordinary agility in the market. Whatever the need, we can build, deploy, and sell it with a relatively tiny go-to-market timeline and cost model.

, CTO, Briotix

Get started with your very own app development platform for free

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a low-code application platform (LCAP)?

It's a platform that enables users to roll out custom applications faster. With a low-code platform, you can skip the tedious steps involved in traditional coding, as it offers intuitive interfaces and ready-to-use code snippets. Click here to read more about low-code platforms.

What kind of applications can I build on Zoho Creator?

Businesses can leverage low-code platforms to build applications that cover any number of use cases. The most commonly built applications on Zoho Creator are customer engagement applications (CRM, point of sale) line of business applications (supply chain management, production software) and workplace applications (asset management, task management).

Does Zoho Creator support the importing/migration of data in spreadsheets?

The data import feature allows anyone with an existing database in spreadsheets to easily upload them, and Creator will simultaneously build an application on the same model. There are also a set of smart data import features that enable users to cleanse, refine, and group data at the time of upload. For more details on this, please head here.

Does Creator support native iOS or Android development?

Yes! With Zoho Creator, your applications are automatically supported on iOS and Android devices. We have you covered across the mobile application development lifecycle, from application architecture and UI/UX to advanced workflow automation and performance monitoring. Learn more.

How do I get started with Zoho Creator?

Zoho Creator has a 15-day free trial of all premium features. You can get started by signing up here.