Agile Cloud succeeds where other design tools fail because it has a predefined and highly flexible information model and it appears that many business processes can be mapped to the one design. The design tool maps business processes to the Agile Cloud information model and this eliminates most of the usual complexity demanded of information design tools, allowing the business process designers to focus on the business process and not worry about the complexity of information modelling.
Building a design tool that targets business domain experts is a unique idea as it embraces the passion domain experts have for being part of the solution while obfuscating the database design. Whereas similar applications treat the underlying database as an afterthought, Agile Cloud encapsulates years of thought and expertise in information design from its obviously passionate designers, into a unique, robust and very well designed database.
I’d liken the approach taken by Agile Cloud to always having an expert information architect on had to help build your data-driven application.
I observed that the combination of Design Tool and Database allows for the automatic creation of code to build the user interface, the database update procedures and the reporting database. This not only allows for non technical domain experts to create a quality information system but it also means the code is high quality and free of human generated bugs.
The automatic generation model used by Agile Cloud means the underlying database and the application user interface are always in sync. Changes to the application are always reflected correctly in the underlying data structure.
After user feedback, significant changes have been made while maintaining the original concept. The application continues to evolve as the youth development culture changes.
I had demonstrated an HTML5 version of Agile Cloud. This version is a good strategic direction for the product to move in. As the HTML5 specification matures, it will allow for the rich user interface functionality required by Agile Cloud while allowing for easy ‘look and feel’ customisation along with broader reach to mobile and tablet platforms.
Agile Cloud has suitable scalability for the low transaction highly diverse information systems that it targets (It is not required to be a highly transactional system due to its purpose. The design supports multi-tenancy currently making it a highly relevant cloud platform. Reporting is carried out against a separate database that has been optimised for the purpose of reporting which has the added benefit of not impacting the application database during normal use.
Agile Cloud has a is simple and highly effective permissions model. I observed a complex permissions example where the Enterprise achieved the desired permissions using the built in security user interface.
Agile Cloud takes a unique approach to the data driven application development space. By providing strong emphasis on the database design and incorporating the expertise and passion for information architecture by its designers, Agile Cloud has a point of difference above other similar category products.
Mike Zeff is a consultant working with technology companies of all stages to improve their products and development processes. Until recently, he worked at Microsoft NZ for 10 years. Mike was hand picked by former Microsoft CTO, Brett Roberts to do this technical review.