Developing Conclude apps is different from developing apps with traditional programming languages like Javascript or Python. We wanted to make it so simple to create a Conclude app that someone without a technical background can create apps, yet make it powerful enough to implement complex conversation apps for your organization.

Our design philosophy builds on the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid):

  • The code must be easily understandable, also for people without a technical background.
  • The code should be compact and expressive, less than 100 lines of code for most apps.
  • It should take no more than 5 minutes to deploy a custom Conclude app (modified from a blueprint).
  • Generated code (by the app builder) and manually written code should live in harmony.

Automatic code generation tends to produce thousands of line of human-unreadable code that becomes impossible to edit and maintain. You cannot modify the code because code generation will overwrite your changes. With Conclude you should be able to move freely between the app builder and manual code editing.

Over two decades ago the founder of Conclude, Haavard Nord, invented a new way to build apps which could run across a wide range of devices and operating systems. He started a company with his friend, Eirik Chambe-Eng, and together with a team of great people they turned the invention into an industry standard. The Qt development framework is still at the forefront of technology after two decades, and powers the world’s fastest cars (Koenigsegg and Tesla), advanced desktop applications (Autodesk) down to small consumer electronics devices (see qt.io for details).

How come a development framework from the 90s is super popular today, and why do developers love Qt so much? Qt has always attracted fantastic developers who shared the founders' philosophy about keeping it simple, stupid. Conclude will very likely evolve a lot over the next 20 years, but we will always stay true to our KISS principles.

In our quest for simplicity, we chose JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) as the foundation for creating Conclude apps. JSON is a human readable format for storing and exchanging data. It does not contain traditional programming language features such as statements, expressions, conditions or loops. You can learn more about JSON on the w3schools site.

Conclude takes a data-driven approach to programming, where the source code is a plain and simple JSON file. We have found that JSON is perfectly suited to model workflows with advanced business logic and governance. The next sections will teach you how this works in practice.

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