Just over a year ago DabbleDB launched, allowing people to create quick database driven applications with very few programming skills. Since then we’ve seen Zoho Creator, WyaWorks and Coghead launch their own competing applications. Salesforce AppExchange is arguably also a competitor, as are a number of other build-your-own-apps like Yahoo Pipes, Teqlo and Microsoft Popfly.
This is a crowded space, and there’s a reason for it. These tools let non-developers create useful and otherwise expensive applications for busineses that can be accessed directly or via the intranet. They can also be tailored to an infinite degree, giving companies more flexibility with off the shelf stuff. Most of these tools also allow for simple web application building as well, from simple web forms to more complicated, interactive applications.
LongJump, which launches today, is the newest entrant. The new service is a spinoff of an already profitable business, Relationals, which was founded in 2003. The founder, 37 year old Pankaj Malviya, says the company needs no additional funding in the near future.
LongJump is focused on letting people create applications without any programming skills whatsoever – something Coghead is also striving for. In a demo yesterday I watched Malviya create a couple of applications very quickly, including a highly customized shared contact and calendar resource for a business.
LongJump is also approaching their community in a realy smart way – like Ning, applications can be shared with other LongJump users, cloned, and customized. Sharing is optional, and all business data is stripped out and replaced with sample data. But in the near future users will be able to build on what others have created, giving LongJump a nice library of sample applications.
The ease of use combined with the community sharing features are really thoughtful additions to the product. We’ll check back in with them in a couple of months and see how the library of applications is coming along.