No Code Development Vendors Targeting SMB Beware…
Google recently promoted its new App Maker platform from preview to the general public. If use Google Apps then just ask your Google admin to add App Maker to your suite. We’ve taken a look at the no code development experience at a high level and wanted to confirm a few expectations here. Should small business focused no code development vendors be shaking in their boots? Did their business just get smashed by the classic big player free feature add? Not yet, but maybe soon. If I was KiSSFLOW, then I’d be worried.
What can Google’s App Maker Really Do?
Let’s get the big picture stuff out of the way. App Maker can’t connect to external data sources easily, yet. However, integration solutions like IFTTT and Zapier have this on their radar. You can’t create a true custom UI, but Google is betting on their native design to take them a long way and remain consistent with the rest of their app suite. Business logic is limited and relies on the use of syntax. There is a new learning curve to all of this, especially if you haven’t been in the Google Cloud yet.
OK, OK, we are a bit of a snob when it comes to the base feature set of a no code development platform, but let’s be realistic here. Over time, Google App Maker has the potential to become a default workflow and business process solution for Google Apps users. It is not too far fetched to consider adoption among larger Google Apps customers to be as significant as Google’s takeover of Microsoft Excel over the last decade. If Google continues to invest here, it’s going to take over a growing industry. So let’s take a look at a basic tutorial.
AppMakerUniversity.com has a great library of tutorial and example content for folks who want to pick up Google App Maker or find a partner to build something custom within their Google Apps suite and Cloud. Here is one of their examples building a common service desk solution with Google App Maker. It’s a long video, but you can skip ahead to the button clicking in App Maker itself if you like.
Who Should Try Google App Maker?
If you are a heavy Google Apps user and you’ve hacked together Sheets and Form based workflows using third party tools like Zapier, then you might want to put some time into learning App Maker. I expect to see significant improvement in the areas of data integration, and excellent support for different device types. It will likely be biased towards Google’s platform, but its fun to think of native apps or progressive web apps saved as a button on the home screen of your phone with a tool like this.
Google App Maker could also make sense for businesses who don’t have time to invest in learning the tool. The Google Apps Suite is exceptional at keeping all of your businesses data and users in one manageable place. So instead of going with a paid workflow tool like KiSSFLOW, you might want to consider keeping things in house with Google App Maker.