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June 15, 2018

Google Releases Low-Code App Maker

Could Google's low-code development platform, App Maker trouble the likes of Pega and Appian?

By Umar Hassan

Google has officially released its low-code App Maker for all G Suite Business and Enterprise, and Education customers.

App Maker is Google’s attempt to compete with other low-code development platforms such as Pega Platform, Salesforce Lightning, and Appian.

It offers easy app templates, drag-and-drop UI design and declarative data modeling for IT developers and enthusiasts to build apps.

(Application development businesses, many of which can charge upwards of £30,000 per app, will either welcome the move for making life easier, or be sweating heavily at quite how easy it has got…)

The Google Cloud-based platform, which was made available to limited customers under a beta in 2016, now offers built-in support for Cloud SQL and supports a Bring Your Own Database (“BYODB”) model, letting users connect it to their own database using JDBC or a REST API.

The company has put out a host of ‘how-tos’ alongside the release, including a codelab that shows users how to create a complete database web app in a few minutes. 

Timesaver?

American technology company CDW’s report “The App Age: How Enterprises Use Mobile Applications” estimates that employees who use custom mobile apps saved 7.5 hours per week.

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But as Google’s Geva Rechav, an App Maker product manager, said in a recent blog: “Too few businesses have the means, let alone the resources, to invest time and effort in building custom apps.”

Over the past few months, Google has worked with companies such as video game publisher Electronic Arts, Colgate-Palmolive, and SADA Systems to build apps to solve specific business needs.

The Californian video game publisher’s IT department used App Maker to create a custom app to streamline capital resourcing.

Peter McAuley, Director of IT spoke about how App Maker enabled EA to build a custom app.

McAuley said: “Our custom app also calculates and provides management with a view of total resource utilisation by month, something which was always more of a chore to put together manually.”

Apps Script can also be connected with App Maker, ensuring access to over 40 Google services, Google Cloud, and other third-party services that support Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) and Representational State Transfer (REST).

 

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