Google App Maker aims to ease enterprise development

Google is making it simpler for business to create custom apps. Its new App Maker service lets you integrate apps with Google's services and run them on the same data center infrastructure as its G Suite of productivity software.

google logo pens

Pens and notebooks in Google's colors are prepared for the media before the unveiling of Google's new Canadian engineering headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario January 14, 2016

Credit: REUTERS/Peter Power

Google this week announced a new service for businesses, called App Maker, that's designed to take some of the heavy lifting out of application development. The company says it wants to lower the barrier to entry for enterprise apps with a low-code development framework that can be used to build custom apps for business. 

Enterprises that use G Suite, Google's set of productivity apps, can now request early beta access to the service. You simply drag-and-drop modules into a visual editor with built-in templates and customize their apps using HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Google's own material design visual framework, according to the company.

Google is positioning App Maker as a resource for both small businesses and large enterprises that may not have the necessary programming skills or IT assets to build custom apps.

Developer skills not required for App Maker

App Maker expands the types and number of apps businesses can create. The service integrates corporate data with built-in support for G Suite products, such as Maps, Gmail and Drive. You can also take advantage of Google Cloud service APIs to create more dynamic apps. And Google says App Maker's web-based apps will be built and delivered through the same data center infrastructure as its G Suite apps.

The new service is designed for use by professionals with little or no coding skills.  IT leaders can use App Maker to quickly create apps they might not otherwise make, due to the resource constraints typically associated with enterprise app development, according to Google.

App Maker competes with similar programs from Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and others. However, its deep integration with G Suite apps, Google Cloud and Google's data center should add some familiarity that Google's enterprise customers will appreciate. Beta access to App Maker is available today to customers that are part of the G Suite Business Early Adopter Program.

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