What is Rapid Application Development Software - RAD?

Development is a totally different world compared to marketing or sales. Businesses of all sizes need software applications for their processes, but many companies don’t know how to create applications without coding. Rapid Application Development (RAD) software programs are a help in such cases as they provide predesigned frameworks and app builders with simple drag-and-drop functionality. They use a different methodology compared to common ones such as waterfall, DevOps, and agile. RAD software offers benefits such as simple adaptability, early systems integration, constant user feedback, compartmentalization of system components, and the ability to generate productive code quickly. Start by checking our leader Nintex, and other recommended solutions in this category.

Rapid Application Development Software - RAD

Top 10 Most Popular Rapid Application Development Software - RAD

GitHub reviews

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 98%

A web-based Git repository hosting platform that provides distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality. Read Reviews

BitBucket reviews

Our Score 9.2

User Satisfaction 96%

Bitbucket is a web-based hosting solution for projects that use either the Mercurial or Git revision control systems. Read Reviews

FileMaker Pro reviews
FileMaker Pro

Our Score 8.4

User Satisfaction 99%

A unique asset management software that enables businesses to create an application to serve as a file-sharing hub without prior extensive coding knowledge. Read Reviews

Zoho Creator reviews
Zoho Creator

Our Score 8.7

User Satisfaction 100%

Zoho Creator is a low-coding platform that lets you build online database applications for your unique business needs. Read Reviews

OutSystems reviews

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 100%

OutSystems is the fastest and most comprehensive way to create, deploy, change, and manage custom mobile and web applications. Read Reviews

Knack reviews

Our Score 8.5

User Satisfaction 98%

Knack is an elegantly designed database builder that allows companies to make the most of their data and translate it into smarter and more billable business decisions. Read Reviews

KiSSFLOW reviews

Our Score 8.5

User Satisfaction 100%

KiSSFLOW is a software platform that takes a lightweight approach to BPM and helps business users easily design, create, and customize business applications. Read Reviews

Bizagi reviews

Our Score 8.3

User Satisfaction 98%

Bizagi brings process automation across the enterprise. It is used for business process management, legacy modernization, and low-code app development. Read Reviews

Mendix reviews

Our Score 8.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Mendix is an IT management software app that helps government agencies, institutions, and enterprises achieve their digital goals. Read Reviews

Appian BPM reviews
Appian BPM

Our Score 8.1

User Satisfaction 100%

Appian is a business process management solution for the enterprise that seamlessly integrates work automation with data management. Read Reviews

How To Choose The Best RAD Software

RAD software enables companies to develop useful software applications for their needs without coding expertise. There are tons of quality solutions in this category. So how do you do informed comparisons to select the best rapid application development software tool for your needs? We help you in this task with this buyer’s guide that mentions the important factors and features you should look for.

Get to know each product with free trial

A great way to start your search for the best rapid application development software platform is by signing up for the free trial or demo offered by top vendors. Leading rapid application development software providers offer this facility to enable users to learn about their tool’s top features and also do a general comparison with other popular programs. We recommend you to check the possibility of availing a free trial for the following leading platforms: OutSystems,  Zoho CreatorVisual LANSAFilemaker Pro, and Nintex. These tools have received impressive rankings in our rapid application development software reviews.  

Targeted Businesses

RAD software can be utilized by users in any industry including:

  • HR professionals
  • Project managers
  • Team leaders
  • Social media managers
  • Data specialists

and others.

Examples of Rapid Application Development Software

  1. OutSystems: A popular RAD program that empowers developers to create and deploy custom enterprise applications quickly and easily. It offers helpful features like full stack visual development and single-click deployment to facilitate faster development of enterprise applications. The software offers complete DevOps automation and can be deployed on premise or in the cloud.
  2. Zoho Creator: An online app builder that you can utilize to develop specific web tools. It provides an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a range of customization tools. With Zoho Creator, you can create custom apps for data collection, design your personal workflows, and set up unique rules to drive your business. The best part is you don’t need programming skills to use this software.
  3. Visual LANSA: The original low-code development solution. It has been designed by an expert and experienced team of software developers who have been in this business for more than 30 years. The software helps users to future proof their development work against changing technology features such as scalability, security, databases, operating systems, form factors, user interfaces, and more. You have the option of deploying it on premise or in the cloud.
  4. Filemaker Pro: Empowers businesses to create file-sharing applications without coding skills. You can enjoy flexibility in structuring apps that reflect your identity to publish for the web, Windows PCs, and Apple devices. The best part is the software’s interface is user-friendly and easily navigable despite offering a wide range of features. These features include: layout tools, theme styles, quick charts and reports, cross-platform access, and quick find.
  5. Nintex: This company provides online workflow automation solutions for businesses. The programs automate processes between popularly used collaboration and content management systems, thereby connecting mobile users, cloud workflows and on-premise solutions. Your company can use this software to automate its business processes easily and quickly. Finally, the platform seamlessly integrates your workflows with the email, content, instant messaging, and social media programs you use to connect all your documents and data.

Types of Rapid Application Development Software

There are 2 main types of RAD software:

  • Low-code development tools. These provide the base code upon which users with moderate coding skills can build. Frameworks are given for common apps such as project management, document forms, or payment processing. Lay users can utilize templates and frameworks to select their application’s functionality and shape. They can then hand it over to a more skillful developer who can add visual elements and functionality for your company needs.
  • No-code development tools. These are ideal for lay professionals with no coding skills. They can easily develop and customize apps using drag-and-drop construction tools. This type of software presents icons, tables, and forms that can be dragged into a visual editor. With this platform, you can effortless create simple one-page forms as well as multifunctional workflows that move seamlessly from one tool to another.

Key Features of Rapid Application Development Software

  1. Collaborative visual development. Empowers business experts as well as professional developers to create apps without code. They can visually model full-stack apps that include logic, UIs, and data models. In addition, they can combine with reusable components to create apps more quickly.
  2. Attractive mobile and multi-channel apps. You can build apps and run them anywhere, without multiple code bases and tools. Design native experiences and attractive and responsive user interfaces. Make use of predesigned themes, layouts, and templates, or custom design your own. Develop offline apps with local data synchronization, logic, and data storage. These apps can be updated dynamically without republishing.
  3. Build smart and connected apps. Create context-aware, proactive smart apps and integrate them with any cloud service or system using web APIs, visual data mapping, and a connector kit.
  4. Built-in DevOps. Facilitate continuous delivery with built-in DevOps or use APIs to integrate with your existing DevOps toolset. Create cloud-native apps and deploy to the cloud of your choice.
  5. Cloud native and multi-cloud deployment. Deliver web scale apps with a cloud-native, stateless architecture. They can be deployed on-premises or on any private, public, or virtual private cloud.
  6. Quality and security. Use the automated test suite to correct technical defects and functional flaws during development. Analyze your apps against the ISO 25010 Software Quality Standard to maintain high quality. Ensure full protection by using fine-grained audit trails, two-factor authentication, and identity management.
  7. Openness and extensibility. Extend your apps with custom code if you need to. Make use of open and accessible models via API and platform SDK.

Benefits of Rapid Application Development Software

  1. Fast delivery. You can divide the project into modules and treat each module as a separate prototype to save time. Test each prototype separately and combine all the components together to build the final app. This enables faster delivery with fewer bugs.
  2. Quicker market analysis. You can test each prototype separately and survey the prospects for improvements. This enables you to make any required change to just one model of the app and not the whole development process.
  3. Incorporate user feedback. The conventional waterfall development model is plagued by late delivery and the app might become obsolete by the time it is launched. The RAD model analyzes the needs of users and further development is done only if there is a market requirement.
  4. Easy to make changes. Multiple app elements are processed simultaneously. This makes it easier to make changes as there is no process type of management. Unlike the waterfall model, you need not take a regressive step if changes are required for the product.
  5. System integration. All modules are integrated and synced from the beginning. This enables faster delivery and minimizes the number of bugs.

Latest Trends

Increased adoption. More enterprises have begun to explore the opportunities offered by RAD software for their development needs. The RAD model has become a serious subject of consideration among app influencers, development leaders, and architects who wish to enhance app development productivity. Not just lay users, but even professional app developers have begun using RAD solutions to build sophisticated enterprise apps.

Enhanced scope of RAD programs. RAD vendors are graduating to full-fledged development and deployment of app platforms. Professional developers are utilizing their skills and vast experience to add best practices in app creation, deployment, and DevOps. They are including features such as real-time integration, cloud deployment, automated testing, code branching, and DevOps integration. In addition, IoT platform integration is emerging as an important use for applications.

Potential Issues

Following are common issues faced in using RAD software:

  • The tool may be helpful only for larger projects
  • The app development project may fail if the developers are not committed to producing the software on time.
  • RAD software may not be appropriate if there are high technical risks involved. This can happen when the new app uses the latest technology or needs a high degree of interoperability with existing platforms.
  • Finally, requirements may not be uniform in the RAD model because developers and users can diverge from one iteration to the next.

List of Rapid Application Development Software - RAD Companies

Page last modified

Selected products (0)

Our Score Read More

Our site utilizes our certified SmartScore™ approach to evaluate all the services in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category to help you get the best possible service. It evaluates the following elements: core features, collaboration capabilities, custom elements, available integrations, ease of use, help & support, how secure a software is, mobile support, media rating. At the moment, Nintex is the leader in this category and we gave it the highest score in our tests. After detailed testing it received the best results among its competitors and we strongly suggest that you include it as one of the solutions for your business.

User Satisfaction Read More

A summary of general user satisfaction with the products in our Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category calculated using our unique algorythm that finds client reviews, comments and opinions across a wide range of social media platforms to help you make an educated purchase choice.











Pricing Read More

Each vendor in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category will have a different set of pricing packages for its service and every plan will include a unique set of elements. Below we list the general pricing for the most affordable plan available for each service. Please note that advanced features may cost extra.




By quote





By quote

By quote

Devices Supported Read More

An analysis of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by these B2B tools in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.






Laguages Supported Read More

Check what languages and countries are served by the popular B2B apps in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category, including solutions designed for international markets and created for multi-cultural teams of employees.

Pricing Model Read More

Find out which pricing plans are supported by the vendors in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category to check which one matches your business preferences and expenses best. Note that some services can offer free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.


Monthly payment

One-time payment

Annual Subscription


Customer Types Read More

An overview of what kinds of clients a specific B2B solution in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category is designed for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.

Small Business

Large Enterprises

Medium Business


Deployment Read More

An overview of what types of software deployement are supported by every B2B vendor in the Rapid Application Development Software - RAD category. While most of modern SaaS solutions are cloud-hosted there are services might offer an on-site deployment model too.

Cloud Hosted

On Premise

Open API