Google App Maker gives end users a low-code way to automate tasks

Joe Curtis

15 Jun, 2018

Line of business users can create apps for routine tasks not covered by traditional CRM, ERP and HR tools with Google’s new low-code environment App Maker, the cloud giant said yesterday.

End users with little or no experience of coding can speed up workflows by using G Suite’s new low-code development feature to build apps that make specific manual processes far more efficient.

Tasks that are often specific to a particular organisation aren’t covered by the large apps bought in by IT, which tend to have a broader, utilitarian focus.

“Too few businesses have the means, let alone the resources, to invest time and effort in building custom apps,” said Geva Rechav, product manager for App Maker.

“Why? Because their IT budget centres on big enterprise apps like CRM, ERP and SCM, and beyond those priorities, IT executives’ attention focuses on security and governance.”

But tasks like requesting purchase orders or filing and resolving help desk tickets are key to how departments like HR, sales and finance operate.

Google App Maker (credit: Google)

Game development firm Electronic Arts (EA) found it was often allocating staff to different projects with little notice, from designers joining new game projects or HR advisers helping set up studios. On Google’s Early Adopter Program, EA used App Maker to automate the process.

“Pooling talent resources was always an ad hoc process,” said EA’s director of IT, Peter McAuley, “but App Maker let us quickly build an app that tracks allocation requests in detail.

“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.”

End users and IT developers can use its drag-and-drop UI design, and declarative data modelling, to build their apps quickly.

App Maker-built apps can hook into Gmail, Sheets and Calendar for useful integrations, Google said, while Apps Script offers connections to 40 other Google services, and Google Cloud Platform.

It offers built-in support for Google Cloud Platform’s managed database, Cloud SQL, but users can also integrate it into their own database with the Java API JDBC or a REST API.

The service is available to G Suite Business and Enterprise users, as well as G Suite for Education customers.

Picture: Bigstock