By Sean P Aune

10 Web Apps To Build The Next Big Thing Without Writing Any Code

By Sean P Aune

Ever wished that someone would overlay some data that fascinates you on a Google Map? Ever have an idea for a new desktop widget to take the computing world by storm?  Well, no matter what your skill level is, there are tools out there in the world that will help you realize your dreams just by dragging-and-dropping what you need and in the order you want it.

Take a look through these ten solutions — which range from common, everyday type of Google Maps mashups to heavy-hitting, enterprise-level applications — and be amazed at how very little work can bring big results.

DevHub: A point-and-click solution for developing a site, with monetization in place from the day you open it up.  The themes are customizable, so your site needn’t be immediately recognizable as being from DevHub; there is some branding indicating that your site is a DevHub site, but it is pretty unobtrusive. DevHub is the perfect solution for people who have an idea for a site, but have no clue how to even begin coding (read Craig’s coverage on SitePoint).


Iceberg: Iceberg is a business development application tool that operates completely within a visual editor, allowing anyone to build and launch an application for their employees.  You can build just about anything with it, and the service is available for free to non-profit groups and companies with less than five employees.


IBM Mashup Center: The IBM Mashup Center comes packed with features, but is not too overwhelming for non-technical users wanting to create new tools.  It allows you to create widgets for various mashups and to build pipes to bend information into a way that is more usable to you. The Rapid Assembly tool allows you take widgets from just about anywhere on the Web and drag-and-drop them to form an entirely new creation of your own.


JackBe: JackBe is a mashup builder with a enterprise slant to it.  Using their Presto Mashup Composer — a web browser-based visual mashup composition tool — both business-oriented users and IT-savvy developers can produce a whole bevy of mashups to serve both the company and its customers.  The tool works as an Eclipse plug-in for Java development that will allow you to design, test, debug and deploy mashups.


Ning: Although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of stand-alone social networks in the world already, someone has to build one dedicated to people who collect matchbooks.  This is exactly the problem Ning attempts to solve as it is dedicated to letting you set up a social network in moments that is dedicated to the subject of your choice.  When a person first sets up their network, which only requires you to answer questions, it will be supported by advertisements controlled by Ning. This can be turned off by paying a monthly fee, and there are other levels of monthly subscription if you need more features, like additional storage, more bandwidth or a unique URL.


OpenKapow: OpenKapow will allow you to remix just about any web service you can think of and bundle them into a widget to be shared with others.  Want to know where a phone call came from geographically?  Enter the number and will display the location on a Google Map.  While this is a simple example, the possibilities here are pretty much endless, and the path to creating to a finished product couldn’t be simpler.

openkapow admits they were inspired by Yahoo Pipes, but it certainly looks like they learned from the big Y and changed things up enough to keep it interesting.  You can pull in information using RDF, XML, Microformats, JSON or a binary stream and then output it in XML, RDF or JSON.  You can choose to use the finished product as a stand-alone site, or it can be embedded it into an existing application.


Tarpipe: Tarpipe is another pipes-style solution for remixing various content into one application or destination, but there are a few points of difference from competing solutions.  While at its core, the Tarpipe solution is all about making mashups of various online services, you can also trigger processes by e-mail messages, instant messaging updates and third-party applications.  You can also easily share your completed projects on sites such as Evernote, FriendFeed, Flickr and Twitter.


WaveMaker: WaveMaker offers both a desktop application and a cloud-hosted version that provides the ability to drag-and-drop items to create complex applications without coding.  Wavemaker is also available in an enterprise version for those who are ready to take their next big thing to the next big level.

wavemaker cloud

Yahoo Pipes: Yahoo Pipes is a product from Yahoo that is dedicated to nothing but helping you build mashups from just about any source that has some sort of feed.  Suppose you wanted to view a visual representation of the population of the United States — all you have to do is drag and drop some modules into the pipe, enter the data from the feeds to be filtered the way you want to see it, and you’re done.  There’s no hard coding — just filling in feed information and checking some boxes.  The finished products are all hosted on Yahoo and can be shared with anyone.

yahoo pipes

Don’t let your lack of coding skills prevent you from building the next big thing!

  • This is one of those articles where I really am glad I visit sitepoint often.


  • freehostrunner

    I absolutely had no clue that these soft of software existed. I will most definitely try some of the cool software tool to see if I am able to add new functionality to my price comparison website.

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  • hi
    it very good article that share the valuable information .

  • Santiago

    The Information posted here is really valuable but i still find it very ambiguous. Most of the posted apps here are mashup editors or creators but we still do not understand the differences among them or at least understand their scope and size depending on the projects as most of them seen to have an enterprise costly version.

  • biswa

    Great resource ,thanks a lot

  • Alex

    Thanks for sharing the tools! I’ve also been using Feedity – for creating custom RSS feeds to use with Yahoo Pipes etc.

  • – Digg for web developers

    Nice article. im wondering what programming languages they are using to build such amazing application.

  • Vince

    Hey Sean, this is an excellent top ten list. It is amazing what is available to us non-programmers. I never thought I would be able to even create a blog. Thanks for the recommendatons, will definitely be checking them out.

  • Luke

    Good tools, what about YQL? Its a very easy means of obtaining data from a range of sources around the internet, especially Yahoo!’s services such as flickr.

  • Excellent reference. For ancillary projects.

    But, there is one thing to remember. He who owns the tools of production also owns the profits. These are an extension of “user created content.”

    What happens when the pipes start to creak or the capital runs out? Do *you* have the choice of buying more hardware or borrowing more money to keep it going? Um… nope.

  • Jarryd could have done better than to use the default Joomla! 1.5 template!

  • James

    Don’t forget about WorkXpress, a PaaS solution that allows for building complex business applications with 0 programming.

  • Nice to see some sense (plumsauce) in the comments.

  • Grismar

    “100’s if not 1000’s of community sites”? Do you get out much? 100’s of 1000’s would be closer to the mark it seems… Think of anything and it will have a community site devoted to it already.

    Which is not to say that should stop you from starting your own of course. Just saying the author may need to reconsider the scope of this web thing :)

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm … wasn’t it an iceberg that sunk the Titanic? Seems a strange choice of names considering the market they are aiming at.

  • Suman

    You missed Cordys Process Factory | On Demand Platform for creating and delivering business applications

  • I use Yahoo Pipes extensively, but I’m glad to find some of the other data related tools. I’ll be checking out Tarpipe immediately.

  • Chris Schneider

    This article is awesome! So many useful sites!

  • Anonymous

    I joined JackBe’s Mashup developer community and downloaded the Presto platform. I had a lot of fun playing with the examples. This is really powerful stuff!

  • scared

    does anyone think that this will take job away from me? (web developer)tear tear tear……


    I’d agree with plumsauce, all good and well but how much control do you have? Food for thought when it’s business critical.

  • e11world

    This is why I love visiting Site point. Thank you!

  • shravan Mishra

    Very nice post. Love the info.
    Some more apps for designers.

  • angga

    Thx for this article.. I really need this :D

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