Introducing Elements: A Visual Integrated Development Environment for the Web
Stellify Software set out to create a platform that takes “real” web development and makes it a visual pursuit, in the process extending the capabilities of the developer and making it the go-to-software for development professionals that want to make high quality websites and apps, at speed.
We call the platform Elements as it provides a wrapper around the building blocks of all web pages on the WWW: HTML elements. Elements allows for true separation of data from presentation, it automates development tasks, it enables you to issue blanket changes at the click of a button, across sites, servers, why you can even generate entire websites from data alone. In a nutshell, whether you’re starting out as a junior developer or already a seasoned web development professional, Elements lets you do things you simply couldn’t do using existing tools. We’re not talking about a new take on existing software here, Elements represents a shift in the world of web development editors and we’re so excited to tell you about it.
“It’s an all-in-one platform”, you hear this claim a lot in the world of SaaS products, and unsurprisingly so, software is supposed to make it easier for users to carry out complex tasks but many SaaS platforms don’t really live up to that claim. Elements does, it’s not just another tool in the web development process, it’s the multi-purpose, “Swiss Army Knife’’ of web development. You don’t incorporate Elements into an existing workflow, you switch to using it, in its entirety. Here are just a few of the cool features you can expect to benefit from when using Elements:
- You can easily switch between rendering pages on the server or the client.
- You can create a true offline experience by providing cached content when users are not connected to the Internet.
- You can download your website as data, back it up, serve it from different locations in the world, share it with other developers.
- We can update your data as a result of core system developments without interruption to services.
- We, as a software house, can provide real time development assistance to you during the build process and beyond.
Like all great software, Elements was built around user experience. You feed Elements your data, it processes the data, then hands it back to you as a web page. It just so happens that the editor we’ve built allows you to easily feed data to the program using familiar controls such as buttons and menu options, which is great, but we know that sometimes this can be slower than working with a text editor, so for every project you create we generate a database, here you can import data in bulk and manipulate it using the platform (still using a graphical user interface). You’ll find at your disposal, all the tools you would expect to find when using a database management system. You can duplicate records, add new fields, you name it. So you essentially have at your fingertips all the tools used by a software developer straight out of the box: An editor, a database and a hosting platform. There’s no setup required, no libraries to install, you’re ready to start building immediately with no payoffs, no consequences further down the line when suddenly you want to do something that’s bespoke and you find out that there was this big limitation we didn’t tell you about up front, not with Elements.
Matthew Anderson, CEO at Stellify Software puts it like this: “The thing we’re most proud of, is that Elements gets you straight into development and that creative frame of mind. You know, when you’re not having to distract your brain with installations, dealing with technical issues and all that annoying setup. Web development is complex, there’s no escaping that, there is a lot going on and we wanted to do that great thing that great software does and not just hide all that complexity and dumb it down, but harness it and work at making it accessible, so that even a novice can sit down in front of the app and do things that they just couldn’t otherwise do. That way, we empower people to create great software. Ultimately, the extent to which the platform achieves the goals we’ve set ourselves is for users to judge but we’re users too and we love Elements. The idea of going back to a text editor or text based IDE, well it would be like borrowing a Tesla for a month, then handing it back and climbing back into your old Ford Fiesta.”
As much as we’re proud of the tool itself, the thing we’re most excited about is the platform’s potential for growth in terms of collaboration, not just between users themselves but with the platform’s development team also. It’s important to us that the platform is user driven and to that end, we’re encouraging developers to influence the direction of the platform through social tools, live coding events, hackathons and so on. As with most platforms, a key goal of ours is to foster a community and get people socially interacting both whilst using the platform and away from the platform on social channels. As well as that aspect, there’s also the output that developers will bring, what will people build? How will they influence the platform’s future development? We can’t wait to find out and we hope you’re as excited as we are.
Elements officially launches on 6th April 2021, although it’s possible to signup to a plan right now. Visit stellisoft.com to try Elements for yourself and be sure to let us know what you think of it (oh and if you like it, please tell your friends, thanks!)