AppApp

Background

I created AppApp with Roberto Rodriguez, a full-stack developer. I worked on product design, including creating brand and all the UX/UI of the AppApp environment.

Concept, shortly

AppApp is a platform for connecting companies that use Salesforce with their customers. When you find AppApp on your iOS screen it looks like an app consisting of other apps. The saturated blue is consistent throughout all of the screens. It bonds together all the AppApp elements and makes them intuitively distinguishable from the AppApp content. 

 
 

The plus icon is first in the row of icons. You press it to enter the AppApp appstore, where it is possible to search and download new apps to the home screen.

 
 

Concept, little deeper

AppApp is a framework for companies that use Salesforce to build apps simpler, cheaper and quicker than ever before. The concept is based on containing apps' data in one unified database — Salesforce.

Why is this important? The biggest challenge for building and maintaining apps today is raising custom database and meticulously connecting it to apps.  

Data is extremely complicated — but if we keep it in one place, we are able to build a framework that enables companies to build apps easier and in a more accessible way. 

AppApp Recipes

AppApp is created for companies that can't afford to create and maintain their own app. We created four exemplary apps and published them as the first four recipes for our environment. We open sourced the code, so other companies can pick those recipes to use for their own needs. Through just a minimal amount of coding, companies can change the logo, texts and create apps that connect with their own Salesforce database. Apps communicate with Salesforce by adding new data entries and triggering notifications. 

Inside each app there is thin blue bar along the top. Clicking on it allows users to exit the app and come back to the AppApp home screen. Below are our first four app recipes. 

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Empty Bins

Empty Bins tells the company when the consumer's trash bins are full.

The app recipe is excellent for all types of one-click notifications from customers.

GPS Pizza

GPS Pizza enables users to order pepperoni pizza to exact GPS coordinates.

The app recipe is excellent for receiving real time GPS location of customers.

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Shelfie

Shelfie is a app for a furniture store. It displays lists of user purchases and allows users to comment or report damage on furniture.

The Shelfie App recipe is excellent for all kinds of databases. It enables customers to give feedback, comment or report problems on inventory items.

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ADT

ADT is a popular security provider. The ADT app lets the company know when the customer is on vacation.

The app recipe is excellent for accessing all sorts of calendar entries and customer time preference notifications.

Conclusion

Engineering AppApp wasn't easy. One of the biggest challenges was developing security script, which disables the thread of unwanted database access by the external device. Building an environment where apps communicate with Salesforce was the most time-consuming engineering part of the project. Though when AppApp was set up and we had become familiar with it we were able to build apps really, really fast. In fact the last app was engineered and published in 15 minutes. I think this idea creates tremendous opportunities for small and middle sized companies. Now, almost anybody with minimum Java skills, by almost copying and pasting code, can build apps in matter of minutes.