Utilize Low-Code/No-Code Applications and Automations for Citizen Developers

Introduction to Application Development Structure and Design

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the application development structure and design

Introduction to Application Development Structure and Design

In this lesson, we’ll cover the main areas of application development through an example application.

As we learned, with low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms, the barrier of learning a programming language can be side-stepped. However, it is important to understand that building applications is about more than being able to code.

People have been making applications for the past 40-50 years with a variety of tools and technologies. Over this time, a set of ideas, principles, and concepts have been refined as the mental backdrop for how applications are built.

In the following lessons, we’re going to cover concepts that apply to many of the no-code, low-code, and even the traditional programming environments you will encounter today.

The Three Main Areas of App Development: User Interface, Logic, and Data

We'll divide application development into three main areas:

  1. User Interface (UI), which will cover what the user of our application is going to see and what they will be able to do.
  2. Logic, which will cover how the application works and how we apply the business rules that our application should follow.
  3. Data, which will cover how information inside the application is structured and how it is stored and retrieved

As an example, let’s imagine a simple note-taking app. In this app, you can write notes, add a title to the note to remember what it is about, see a list of notes, and save and delete these notes. In this case:

  1. The user Interface (UI) provides the ability to input text for the notes, listing the notes, and the controls for saving and deleting them.
  2. The logic covers the actual functionality for saving and deleting notes, and rules for scenarios such as "Can you save a note with no title?" or "When listing notes, how are they sorted?"
  3. The data covers the structure of a note, in our example, each note has at least two properties, the title and the text content, but notes could have pictures too.

We will also see how these main areas link at various points of an application. Most of the functionality of an app can be understood in terms of these three main areas.

Summary

The main points of this lesson were:

  • Application development structure and design has evolved over several decades to create a common set of areas in which we think about dividing the process and work to create an app.
  • User interface (UI), logic, and data are most important areas to think about while starting your app-building learning journey and planning how these areas interact.

Hopefully, this gives on overview of these three main categories. In the next section, we will learn more about what the UI allows the user to see and do, and how you can think about the different aspects of the UI while building your application.

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