In theory at least the number of potential application development projects that solution providers across the channel can engage in is virtually limitless. The challenge is finding enough application developer talent to actually execute against them.

For that reason, there’s been a resurgence of interest in rapid application development (RAD) tools that enable so-called “citizen developers” to create applications without having to write any code. Based on a visual programming model these tools enables individuals with some expertise in the way a specific business process to build applications without having to hire a professional developer. Naturally, that creates a lot of opportunities for solution providers that most companies still rely on to execute their IT strategies.

With that goal partially in mind, WaveMaker this week unfurled WaveMaker Online (WMO), an instance of its RAD development tools that can be invoked via what the company describes as an application platform-as-a-service (aPaaS) environment running on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud that makes use of Docker containers, Tomcat, Hibernate, spring, AngularJS and Bootstrap frameworks.

WaveMaker chairman Jay Puller said while most of the activity surrounding “citizen developers” is focused on individuals with a lot of business process expertise within line of business units, most of those organizations actually depend on third-party service providers for anything having to do with an IT project. As such, Puller said it’s only a matter of time before more solution providers in the channel start making more use of RAD tools in the cloud to accelerate the delivery of new applications to their clients.

Puller noted that organizations of all sizes are looking to deploy as quickly as possible a bevy of front end applications that invoke backend services via application programming interfaces (APIs). The fastest way to deliver those applications is using RAD tools against IT infrastructure in the cloud that customers don’t have to provision on their own, said Puller.

Obviously, WaveMaker is not the only provider of RAD tools making a push into the cloud. But as these RAD tools become more widely available solution providers that have historically shied away from application development projects would do well to reconsider that stance. Naturally, there are still going to be some application development projects that require the skills of a professional developer. But the number of application development projects that can be addressed using RAD tools that are relatively simple to master still dwarves those professional developer projects several orders of magnitude higher.