Types of Custom Software Application Development Services

A custom software application refers to a system that is built from scratch to meet a set of specific requirements; businesses that have unique and complex requirements often choose custom software development services to build a fully custom solution to address their pain points.

The opposite of custom software applications is commercially available off-the-shelf software products. Unlike custom software, these products are not tailor-made according to the requirements and goals of an organization. Rather they are a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution with generic features and functionalities. Oftentimes, businesses have difficulty finding an off-the-shelf software product that does exactly what they require, and they turn to software development services.

There is a multitude of custom software application development services offered by software companies which are usually categorized based on development platforms such as web, mobile, and desktop. Let’s explore some of the most common types of software development services offered by software companies all over the world.

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1. Web Application Development

Custom software development services include the development of web-based applications that run on a web server or browser instead of a device’s operating system. Web apps are accessed by users via a browser using an internet connection. Custom web applications can take many shapes and forms such as custom websites, multi-tenant SaaS software, web-based business apps, web portals, and more. These applications follow a client-server model where the users are referred to as the ‘client’ and the client-facing part of the web app is called a frontend – this is what you see on your screen when you open a website in the browser. The frontend is provided services by an off-server where the web application is hosted – this is the backend of web applications. Web apps can also be built to be integrated with on-premise software systems and third-party services.

Although web applications are for the web, they are also built to target mobile devices through a mobile-first approach, responsive design, and progressive web application features. Responsive web design refers to designing the web application in such a way that the design renders well on a variety of screen sizes. Whether the web application is viewed on a large computer screen, a small-sized tablet screen, or on an even smaller mobile phone screen, the design of the web app responds to the size and guarantees a consistent user experience. Most web apps today, are designed with a mobile-first responsive design approach where the user interface and user experience of the web app are designed focusing on the smaller mobile screen sizes first and the other screens later.

2. Mobile Application Development

A software development services company also offers the development of custom mobile apps as a part of their custom software services. This service involves developing a mobile app from scratch, publishing the app on the app stores, and maintaining the app post-launch. Mobile app development services include app development for different platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows. Among these device platforms, Android is the largest mobile platform; it is the operating system created by Google which not only supports Google devices but also supports a range of other smart devices. iOS is the second-largest mobile platform after Android; it is an operating system by Apple and only supports Apple iPhone devices.

There are three major approaches when it comes to developing custom mobile apps:

●       Native Mobile App Development: The code of native mobile applications is written using the programming language and development frameworks by the mobile platform. They are platform-specific mobile apps that are built to run on specific device platforms like iOS or Android. For instance, an iOS app that is developed using Apple’s language Swift for iPhone devices only.

●       Cross-Platform Native Mobile App Development: Like native apps, cross-platform native mobile apps also directly run on a device’s operating system. However, they can be written using a variety of programming languages and frameworks, not just platform-specific technologies.

●       Hybrid Mobile Application Development: Hybrid mobile apps are a hybrid of web apps and mobile apps. Essentially, they are web applications that are built using standard web technologies, but they are encapsulated in containers that allow them to run like native apps on mobile devices.

3. Desktop App Development

Like mobile and web development services, custom desktop development services cover building software systems for PCs running Windows, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems. Most desktop apps are installable software applications that can run without the internet which makes them ideal for working offline. Other than offline access and operation, many businesses still prefer developing custom desktop apps because they are more secure, easily integrable, and high processing. Develop app development services are especially suited for businesses that require the processing of high amounts of data on their system. There are different types of native desktop app development services that include Windows app development, macOS app development, and Linux app development.

Some common programming languages and frameworks used for desktop app development include .Net, C#, C++, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Swift, Electron, Xamarin, and WinForms.

4. Custom Software Product Development

Custom software product development is an overarching category of services that cover the from-scratch development of software products. This service covers the end-to-end process of developing products which includes multiple stages such as product strategy, design, development, launch, maintenance, support, and expansion. Custom software product development is best suited for businesses that aim to monetize their software solution to generate revenue.

Product development can include the development of web-based software products, mobile apps, SaaS-based applications, and white label software. Mobile and web development have already been covered in the sections above. SaaS application development refers to the development of on-demand, multi-tenant, or application-as-a-service software. SaaS products are similar to web apps since they are accessed over the internet via a web browser, but they are offered and hosted ‘on the cloud’. White label software products, on the other hand, are software systems that a business brands as their own and sell to their clients based on their unique needs.

Since product development is a full-scale process that can take a long time to be completed, it is usually a very expensive development service. This is a reason why businesses prefer offshore software development services for product development because they are cost-effective.

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