What is a business application?

A business application is software designed to carry out a digitized and automated set of business tasks. Depending on the kind of business you run, your technological needs, and the users' roles, you could be looking at many different kinds of applications:

Function-specific vsindustry-specific:

These are applications built for marketing, sales, HR, operations, or customer service folks versus an application for the logistics or the manufacturing industry.

Key consideration for developers: The ability of the application development platform to easily integrate with popular/legacy systems that are unique to an industry or a function.

Customer-facing vsinternal-facing:

For example, a bank portal for a customers’ personal banking needs versus an internal-facing portal for bank employees to onboard new customers.

Key consideration: Ability of the development framework or platform to achieve advanced UI customizations (in the case of customer-facing apps), in addition to offering a range of deployment and hosting options and adhering to reliable security and compliance standards.

Personal productivity vsbusiness use

From the use of straightforward to-do lists to manage your day-to-day activities, to advanced applications that can manage, optimize, automate, and report on the schedules of several thousand employees!

Key consideration: Collaboration, automation, and advanced data management features have become a key aspect when looking to build a business application vis-a-vis a consumer-facing, personal productivity application.

What is an application development platform?

An application development platform is a platform on which developers can build their own application, configure advanced automations and workflows, manage business data lifecycles, and more, based on their unique business requirements. By creating customized applications, organizations can tackle their exact business needs, and not be limited by the features available in off-the-shelf products.

What is an application development platform?

What is a low-code application development platform?

A low-code application development platform allows anyone—from business, IT, and even field reps—to build applications with little or no coding. The traditional methods of creating frameworks or modeling data are eliminated in favor of visual programming elements like drag-and-drop, point-and-click features that help democratize automation and digitization efforts throughout your organization.

What is a low-code application development platform?
  • You no longer need to rely on out-of-the-box products and can give your developers the freedom to customize with ease, and in accordance with your business needs.

  • Extend application development capabilities to everyone—even citizen developers and business users can design workflows, enabling them to handle bottlenecks/challenges more efficiently.

  • Meet new requirements by building prototypes quickly and getting continuous feedback from end users.

  • Expedite development by going from concept to product in a matter of hours, not weeks or months.

  • Facilitate smooth handovers between IT and business users for increased cohesiveness and synergy.

  • Unify application development on a single platform that can take care of end-to-end data management, automation, integration, hosting, application building, and maintenance needs.

  • Modernize or connect with legacy applications and systems in no time!

Benefits of low-code application development platforms

So what sets Zoho Creator apart?

Creator lets you build apps, automate workflows, and more 10x faster than traditional application development, data management, or automation methods.

95% of Creator users have been able to build and deploy an integrated, fully-functioning, advanced business application from scratch in less than 30 days.

Creator's rich ecosystem of 430+ prebuilt integrations allow you to connect to legacy systems in seconds.

So what sets Zoho Creator apart?

Creator comes with a suite of 65+ prebuilt model applications catering to a wide range of industry segments and business functions for you to integrate and customize upon.

Flexible hosting options in managed cloud or on-premise. Our data centers are geographically isolated, fully encrypted, and assure a 99.9% uptime!

Ability to scale on the go with transparent, flexible, usage-based, and customizable pricing models.

A peek into Zoho Creator's App Deck

Install and experience sample apps built using low-code

  • IT and Administration
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Customer Service

IT and Administration

Sales and Marketing


Human Resources


Customer Service

Start building your business software today!

Sign up for free

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between an app and an application?

Think of an app as a subset of an application. An app will let you perform a single, specific function. For instance, the Gmail app on your phone will let you access your Gmail inbox. If an app crashes, it translates into some inconvenience, but life goes on and you can still access the application through a different channel—like you can still log in to your Gmail account via your laptop.

An application is software designed for performing a number of different functions and comes with a long list of features like the Gmail service. When an application crashes, your entire business could come to a standstill.

Is an application the same as an application platform?

No! An application is something that allows you to perform a specific function. For instance, a CRM will let your sales folks capture data relevant to your prospective and existing customers.

An application platform on the other hand is infrastructure that hosts an application, sometimes multiple ones, establishes workflows between them and allows developers to create solutions and experiences to cater to specific needs or solve problems.

What is the difference between system software and an application?

System software is created for operating the hardware of a system, like the driver that connects your laptop to your printer. You don’t interact with system software directly, but it keeps running in the background when you hit the print command.

Applications allow you to perform particular functions, like MS Word will let you type up a contract. If you wanted to print that contract, your laptop would end up interacting with the system software and give you a printout.

How do I select the right application?

Investing in the right application is one of the most critical technology decisions you will make for your business. After all, the life of your applications and how efficiently work gets done in your organization will depend on the kind of applications used by your teams.

Follow these steps to select the application that's right for your business:

Outline your requirements clearly: Articulate your problems clearly and ensure that all the stakeholders—the end users, business leaders, and developers—are aligned with the vision you're seeking to realize. This is necessary for eliciting proper feedback and building a comprehensive product by involving all the different stakeholders.

Explore your options: When it comes to applications, you need to decide whether to pick up something that's already on the market or build something of your own. This depends on how much time you have on hand, and how customized you need the final product to be.

Buy an off-the-shelf product: Depending on the features you need, you can choose from a number of readily available applications on the market. The biggest drawback is that they may not meet all your needs all the time, and you'll be limited in what you can do. These products often work best for personal or casual users, but businesses may find them lacking.

Build your own applications: You can choose to invest in an application development platform that lets you build your own applications from scratch. This offers unlimited flexibility and you'll only be limited by your imagination.

How do PaaS platforms help business application development?

Platform as a service (PaaS): PaaS companies take care of all the heavy-lifting—hosting, compliance, and more—so you only have to focus on building applications by utilizing their drag-and-drop powered app building interface. One type of PaaS are low-code application development platforms.

Low-code platforms fast-track the application development process by letting almost anyone code. It works as a visual designer, which means everything from workflows to user interfaces can be designed using visual elements, like drag-and-drop widgets.