Rapid Application Development

Being able to build and launch any application from prototype to final product is crucial for enterprises to innovate at a fast pace. Betty Blocks facilitates rapid application development thanks to our low-code platform and focus on business-led IT.

Rapid software development with Betty Blocks:


Faster than traditional software development life cycles (SDLC)


Incremental and flexible development process leading to higher adoption


Visual IDE utilizing drag-and-drop components to build apps

Rapid application development (RAD)

Rapid application development is at the top of many CIOs’ wishlists. The need for faster delivery times, saturated markets, and the continuous striving for innovation are why many development teams are turning towards a faster development approach. However, for some IT teams, their tech stack simply does not accommodate the RAD methodology. A low-code platform can act as a bridge between the gaps in an IT team’s tech stack while still honoring quality assurance and security guidelines.

Since rapid application development heavily relies on creating a functional prototype early on in the validation process, being able to build fast is key to its success. A low-code platform like Betty Blocks cuts out the need for boilerplate code in favor of pre-built templates and drag-and-drop components. This makes it possible to work with a flexible development process rather than a rigid, predefined plan.


Less stringent planning allows for both RAD and low-code to foster better communication between developers, teams, and users thanks to its visual composability and smoother ideation and validation phase.


By working on projects smaller in scale in an incremental approach, teams are able to define satisfactory requirements while using the Betty Blocks platform to rapidly create a viable prototype for approval.

Reduce Risk

By validating the application’s use case and requirements early on and following an incremental development process, the chance for misalignments is greatly reduced, resulting in a safer overall development process.

Delivery Time

Rapid application development and low-code platforms aim to speed up time to market. By combining the two holistically, iterative development allows new applications to be built much faster than traditional code.


Continuous feedback is valuable for ensuring that the end product satisfies the user’s needs. RAD and low-code make it possible to quickly apply feedback or roll back previous versions for faster iterative cycles.


Utilizing RAD on a low-code platform can increase the overall adoption rate of newly built applications. Validated custom-code components can easily be reused and redesigned to fit the criteria for future projects.

How to use Betty Blocks for rapid application development

Low-code and RAD can be significant benefits to an organization when appropriately utilized. On a low-code platform, applications are built using a visual development environment and reusable components, with the Betty Blocks Store being a key benefit in terms of reusability. This reusability aspect is what fits so well into the RAD model.

Set project requirements

In this phase, stakeholders work together to ensure everyone is on the same page. Application requirements, key features, user needs, and functionalities are discussed. Whereas with traditional coding, prototypes would be created using HTML and CSS, a low-code platform gives developers the tools needed to set up a fully functional prototype using drag-and-drop components. 


User Design

The design comes together through multiple prototypes and continuous stakeholder or user feedback. User satisfaction is considered a pillar within the RAD methodology; design, features, and functionality all follow the end-user’s needs. Developers collaborate, therefore, closely with users to ensure that the final product meets all client expectations. 



This is where prototypes defined in the “user design” phase become working models. When this is done in combination with the power of low-code, prebuilt components, actions, and functions are used, while traditional coding facilitates unique app features. Its iterative approach focuses on the quality and requirements specified in the first phase. Quality assurance activities and issue resolutions are conducted at the end of each iteration. 



In the cutover phase, an application is launched into a live environment. Here, developers focus on its stability and maintainability. The Betty Blocks platform offers one or multiple sandboxes where the application is developed, tested, and iterated before being given the go-ahead for successful deployment. 


Reinventing rapid software development

The rapid application development model has existed for the past 30 years. Yet, it continues to be a solid methodology for developers to create applications quickly and sustainably. It can be applied to all aspects of software development while allowing IT teams to respond quickly to changing requirements.

A low-code platform’s ease of use and low barrier of entry also make it a great tool to foster citizen development within an organization while executing a RAD strategy at the same time. Combining rapid application development with Betty Blocks can be a good way to boost fusion teams. The key thing to remember about low-code and citizen development strategies is that they must be properly governed in order to be successful. This means that pro-coders will always be essential, but they’re no longer restricted to simply “keeping the lights on,” and innovation can thrive.

On a basic level, the RAD methodology is a combination of Computer-Assisted Software Engineering (CASE) tools and a different way of thinking about the process of software development life cycles. Here’s how it looks:
Software development life cycle explained

Benefits of rapid application development tools

Because of its emphasis on collaboration with end users and stakeholders, RAD lends itself well to low-code development; both apply reiterative processes to smaller sections of code compared to traditional development. Through a visual IDE, application features can be added or removed at the click of a button rather than hard-coding, resulting in faster application creation and easier maintenance.


Better alignment

Having different sides of the business on board in the early stages of the SDLC and specifying requirements result in applications being built with a much higher adoption rate.



Short development cycles in carefully planned sprints allow developers to work incrementally on isolated code or features. A closed-off sandbox environment ensures code quality.



Applying the rapid app development model to a low-code platform gives developers the means to tweak and optimize app features without risking messing up the codebase.


When to use RAD

naturally enable faster development from a technological point of view. Developers can release frequent iterations while retaining the ability to customize components with code when required.

However, while the methodology has many benefits, it’s not always the right approach. Some use cases simply do not lend themselves well to the RAD approach. Having different sides of the business on board in the early stages of the SDLC and carefully specifying requirements results in applications being built with a much higher adoption rate.

When a fast time-to-market is essential

When the customer needs the finished product in a relatively short amount of time, RAD makes perfect sense. The methodology, especially combined with a strong low-code platform like Betty Blocks, makes sure that rapid applicational development is done risk-free. 


When user feedback is available

To derive maximum value from RAD, customers should commit to being involved in the software development life cycle (SDLC) process, meeting with developers for regular feedback sessions. Embarking on a RAD strategy without valuable feedback can result in the wrong apps being built. 


When streamlining onboarding

Because Betty Blocks creates applications quickly using components and blocks, the amount of code involved in a handover can be significantly reduced. New team members also have an easier time onboarding. 


When the focus is on the product

To enable your team to focus more on the product, using a platform that enables automatic updates across all applications can be hugely beneficial — such platforms align closely with RAD.


FAQ about rapid application development

What is rapid application development?

Rapid application development (RAD) was first coined way back in 1991 in James Martin’s book of the same name. Here’s how Martin described the methodology: “Rapid application development (RAD) is a development life cycle designed to give much faster development and higher-quality results than those achieved with the traditional lifecycle.”

Is rapid application development the same as Agile?

While RAD can implement Agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban, Agile focuses more on long-term roadmaps, while RAD is useful for short-term development projects. 

What are the differences between RAD vs low-code?
The main difference between rapid application development and low-code platforms is that RAD is a guided way of developing software, while a low-code platform facilitates the execution of developing software. By combining the two, IT teams can significantly speed up the way that software and applications are created.