Rapid Application Development

The entire IT industry, but especially software development, is caught between rising demand and an enormous shortage of skilled workers. What is needed here are solutions that are as effective as possible, but also of high quality. The combination of low-code development and rapid application development is increasingly gaining acceptance as a worthwhile concept.

What is Rapid Application Development?

The term Rapid Application Development – RAD for short – stands for an agile method of software development. The focus is on flexible and continuous application production, which is less oriented to a fixed schedule, but rather adapts directly to user feedback. RAD is thus an answer to the waterfall method, which is well suited for the construction of buildings and machines – but not for software development, which is subject to constant change. This is why agile methods are needed here, which enable shorter release times and faster updates. In addition to the most well-known methods – Extreme Programming and Scrum – Rapid Application Development is gaining more and more importance. The concept originated in Barry Boehm’s spiral model. The RAD method, which we use today, is based on the ideas of James Martin.



There are many advantages associated with the RAD method, which pay off both for the developing company and for potential clients.

    • Enormous flexibility
      If you use agile software development with RAD, you can change the design and add functions at any time – without having to start from scratch every time. Außerdem punktet sie mit einer hohen Iterationsfähigkeit.
    • Shorter development time
      Rapid Application Development shortens the development time enormously compared to classical programming. This produces presentable results more quickly, and you also save costs and time.
    • High Quality
      Not only is the production of applications significantly faster, but feedback can also be implemented within a very short time. Thanks to a shared development environment, you take users or customers with you every step of the way, ensuring great progress and enormous satisfaction with the end result.
    • Increased productivity
      The method of rapid application development in conjunction with low code not only promotes shorter release cycles, but also requires significantly fewer IT specialists. Citizen developers can create complex applications within a few days or weeks. This saves many resources and increases productivity immensely.
    • Simple Integration
      The application to be developed can be integrated and tested in the existing system landscape right from the start. This eliminates the final integration, which often causes numerous delays, bugs and compatibility problems with the conventional waterfall concept.
    • Continuous progress and risk control
      During application development, Rapid Application Development provides you with continuous progress and risk control through measurable incremental deliveries.

When does RAD pay off?

Rapid Application Development is particularly suitable for software that is primarily driven by user interface requirements. Smaller to medium-sized project teams work best with the method. It is important that everyone involved is familiar with the basic features of RAD. This means not only the development team itself, but also the management, the respective specialist department and the clients.

The four phases of Rapid Application Development

The goal of rapid application development is to design an executable software prototype as quickly as possible and to accelerate the development of applications. This process is divided into four basic phases:

  1. Requirements Planning First of all, there needs to be an analysis of the requirements, the requirements engineering. This is done in collaboration with all stakeholders: the future users, the respective department, managers and IT. This does not have to take too much time; after all, RAD allows functions and designs to be changed or extended at a later date. Instead, what matters is the core of the software, what it is supposed to be above all. If all parties involved agree on the basic points and requirements, the second phase begins.

  3. User Design Now the first prototype is being created. It does not yet have to meet all requirements immediately. However, it is used for intensive collaboration between developers and end users. The model helps to model all system processes, inputs and outputs. Continuous feedback is then used to optimize the system until the functionality and quality are acceptable to all parties involved.

  5. Construction The Construction phase focuses on the typical programming and application development tasks. Unit and system testing also takes place here. Feedback still remains essential and is constantly incorporated. It doesn’t matter whether it concerns the user interface or the backend functionality. In rapid application development, it is not a problem if previously set requirements are now no longer considered to be so useful. This is a completely normal process and, thanks to Rapid Application Development, does not set the software back by several weeks or even months. On the contrary: changes can be implemented quickly.

  7. Cut Over In the final phase of RAD, implementation and final tests for market launch take place. Here, it is important to improve stability and maintainability as well as to fix last bugs. At the same time, user training can already take place.

RAD at Appollo: our special features

Classic RAD platforms are mainly suited to relieve professional developers and reduce routine work. At Appollo, we combine the possibilities of rapid application development with the low-code functionalities of the Appollo Low Code Platform. In this way, we offer a new dimension in software development: Even experts outside IT can develop their own applications as citizen developers. Approximately 90 percent of an application can be realized using no-code. For the remaining 10 percent, you only need a handful of lines of JavaScript to implement the business logic.


More than just user interface

In addition, RAD based on the Appollo Low Code Platform is not only possible for the user interface, but is also made for arbitrarily deeply nested dialog flows and the digitization of complex business processes. This even makes it suitable for creating core enterprise apps..


Test and go live

If you want to put a new application into production or implement a function, you can simply set it live via the Appollo Microservices technology. With just one click and on-the-fly! That means without restarting the application, ensuring maximum availability of your application.


Out-of-the-box and Cloud-based

Rapid Application Development from Appollo is available out-of-the-box in a cloud-based environment. This means RAD is ready for immediate use and transparently provides the complex application architecture including frontend, backend, identity access management and an integration to external systems. With Docker, Kubernetes and other state-of-the-art technologies, we guarantee high availability of the application environment including auto-scaling.


Convince yourself

Rapid Application Development in itself stands for fast application development. But with Appollo as your partner, you can speed up implementation many times over. Contact us now and let us advise you comprehensively!

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