“We think these applications are so compelling that we don’t just call them apps, we call them super apps… Super apps are applications that once you start using them, you’ll wonder just how you lived without them” – BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis.
What is a Superapp?
In the early days of the smartphone revolution, BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis first coined the term “super app” (or “superapp”) in a MWC 2010 keynote speech. He defined them as “a closed ecosystem of many apps that people would use every day because they offer such a seamless, integrated, contextualized and efficient experience.”
According to Gartner®, “a superapp is like a Swiss army knife with a range of component tools (miniapps) that the user can use and remove as needed”. We consider superapps to be a single platform where miniapps are integrated, thus providing a seamless experience to its users.
Here are some statistics and predictions from 2022 Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023: Superapps research on superapps:
Number of monthly active users that use 15 popular superapps globally.
Downloads of 15 popular superapps globally.
Global population using multiple superapps daily by 2027.
In our opinion, Superapp adoption has boomed especially in Asia due to a thriving mobile-first culture. Providing diverse services (digital payments, insurance, online shopping, ride-sharing, food delivery, and more) superapps such as WeChat and Alipay in China, Grab in Southeast Asia and Kakao in South Korea have mainstream appeal among consumers.
Why Superapps for the Enterprise?
Consumers love the convenience of superapps, which afford them multiple services at their fingertips in one package. However, superapps are not limited to the consumer space, and there is huge potential for forward-looking enterprises to expand the superapp concept into enterprise mobile and desktop experiences.
Superapps can generate a transformative impact not just for an enterprise’s customers, but also to its partners and employees. There are many benefits of using superapps for enterprises, including:
Improved customer experience – Superapps can help enterprises to improve the customer experience by providing a more personalized and seamless experience.
Increased sales and loyalty – Superapps can help enterprises to increase sales and loyalty by enticing customers to stay engaged within its ecosystem.
Increased employee efficiency and productivity – Superapps can help enterprises to improve efficiency and productivity by providing a single platform for employees to access a range of applications and services.
Improved partner collaboration and integration – Superapps can help enterprises to improve collaboration and integration between vendors and suppliers, helping to increase efficiency between organizations.
Reduced costs – Superapps can help enterprises to reduce costs by consolidating multiple applications and services into one platform.
How Superapps Work
So what constitutes a superapp platform, and how does it work? According to Gartner, superapp platforms exhibit 5 key capabilities:
Source: Gartner Webinar, ‘Gartner Top Tech Trend: Enhance Your Customer & Employee Experience Strategy With Superapps’, Feb 21, 2023.
- Core features – A superapp offers core features to entice users
- Miniapp Development – Platform provides developer tools for the miniapps
- Miniapp publication – Platform provides a publication mechanism for miniapps
- Data sharing – Data sharing between superapp and miniapps
- User activated – User discovery and activation of miniapps
The presence of all 5 key capabilities is what makes superapps different from traditional web/mobile apps and composite app/portal, which only offer a subset of these capabilities.
We believe that superapps are a culmination of composable applications and architecture, where applications are built and assembled from business components just like Lego blocks. A composable architecture allows multiple teams to develop modular miniapps that share data, while also allowing end-users to select their miniapps to personalize their user experience.
No-code and Low-code Platforms for Superapps
No-code and low-code platforms are application platforms that allow developers to rapidly build applications with zero or little code. It will not come as a surprise that enterprises are embracing LCAP, because there is a critical need to solve business challenges quickly due to macroeconomic factors such as pandemics and global conflicts, compounded by the global shortage of technical resources.
By nature, LCAP offers faster and more agile application development and deployment, while utilizing less resources. This matches the requirements of a superapp platform to facilitate miniapp development and publication, hence making LCAP an ideal platform for enterprises to build superapps.
Benefits of LCAP include:
Rapid development – Allows developers to build complex applications quickly and easily, without the need to write extensive amounts of code. This makes it possible to rapidly deploy new features and services as miniapps, and scale them as needed.
Improved collaboration – Often comes with built-in management and collaboration tools to help business and IT teams to work more efficiently and effectively.
Enhanced customization – Typically offers a range of tools and features for customizing the look and feel of applications, such as drag-and-drop UI builders. This can help enterprises to quickly create custom applications that are tailored to their specific branding and needs.
Easier integration – Often includes features for easily integrating with external systems and data sources, which can help enterprises to more seamlessly incorporate new features and services into their apps.
Joget as a Superapp Platform
Joget DX (Joget) is an open source no-code/low-code application platform combining the best of business process automation, workflow management, and rapid application development. Designed as a convergence of both no-code and low-code in an open platform, Joget offers a unique combination of simplicity, flexibility, and openness.
Joget caters to all developer personas starting from simple citizen developer apps and scaling up to sophisticated enterprise solutions built by fusion teams of business and IT on Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift.
For superapps, the next generation Joget DX 8 supports all the 5 characteristics out-of-the-box:
1. Core features – Joget offers flexible, end-to-end enterprise app development capabilities (forms, lists, UI, process automation, workflows, reports, APIs, integration, mobile and more) that meet a wide range of enterprise use cases. Dynamic plugin architecture and seamless integration with the Joget Marketplace provide extensibility to customize features and functions that adapt to business needs and facilitate immediate changes.
2. Miniapp development – Joget’s simple and intuitive no-code approach empowers citizen developers, while also offering low-code and pro-code features for power users and professional developers alike. Certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a Gold Tier partner in the PMI Citizen Developer™ Partner Program, Joget enables non-technical business experts to collaborate with IT to build applications significantly faster at a fraction of the cost.
3. Miniapp publication – Apps built on Joget are responsive and accessible from any desktop or mobile device, with automatic Progressive Web Apps (PWA) compliance that offer native-like mobile functionality such as app installation, offline support, background sync, push notifications, and more. The main superapp can also be published as a native mobile app to mobile app stores. The apps can be easily deployed and published to the platform running on a multitude of environments, whether on-premise or multi-cloud deployment (On-Demand Cloud, Certified OpenShift Operator, Red Hat Marketplace, Docker, Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, Google Workspace Marketplace, AWS Marketplace, Azure Marketplace, Google Cloud Platform Marketplace).
4. Data sharing – Joget allows the underlying data in the platform to be shared between apps in a variety of ways, whether through database connections, web service APIs, or any custom integration through the extensible plugin architecture. The API Builder introduces a visual drag-and-drop approach to design and manage custom APIs that are automatically compliant with the OpenAPI Specification, facilitating the use of microservices and composable business applications.
5. User activated – Joget is bundled with multiple App Centers for users to access the apps available to them, with simple UI configuration to enable end-users to discover and activate miniapps of interest. Many configurable UI themes are bundled, and additional UI themes are available in the Joget Marketplace while custom themes can be developed as plugins.
Get Started with Superapps Using Joget
Superapps offer enterprises an opportunity to consolidate many apps into a single, unified platform along with higher rates of user adoption. Start building superapps using the Joget platform:
Get Started – Experience the Joget DX platform.
Video Tutorials – Quick overview and build your first app.
Knowledge Base – User and developer reference, samples, and other documentation.
Community Q&A – Ask questions, get answers, and help others.
Language Translations – Translations for more than 20 languages.
Joget Mindshare™ Series – Information sharing and educational content ranging from whitepapers, webinars, video tutorials, customer success stories, and more.
Joget PM-CD Evaluation Tool – Download Project Management-Citizen Development Cheat Sheet to evaluate the key considerations for bringing in Citizen Development tools for project success.
Joget Academy – Self-paced online learning and certification.
Joget Marketplace – Download ready-made apps, plugins, templates, and more.