It’s been a year and a half since Google announced App Maker, its online tool for quickly building and deploying business apps on the web. The company has mostly remained quiet about App Maker ever since and kept it in a private preview mode, but today, it announced that the service is now generally available and open to all developers who want to give it a try.
Access to App Maker comes with any G Suite Business and Enterprise subscription, as well as the G Suite for Education edition. The overall idea here is to help virtually anybody in an organization — including those with little to no coding experience — to build their own line-of-business apps based on data that’s already stored in G Suite, Google’s Cloud SQL database or any other database that supports JDBC or that offers a REST API (that that’s obviously a bit more of an advanced operation).
To do this, App Maker provides users with a low-code application development environment that lets you build applications through a straightforward drag and drop environment. Though it takes a bit of work to set up the database connectivity, once that’s done, the actual design part looks to be pretty easy — and thanks to a set of responsive templates, those final applications should work, no matter whether you are on a phone or desktop.
While many applications will likely rely on a database, it’s worth noting that developers can access Gmail, Google Calendar, Sheets and other data sources as well. In total, App Maker offers access to 40 Google Services. Unlike other low-code services like Mendix, K2 or even Microsoft’s PowerApps tools, Google’s App Maker seems to focus mostly on Google’s own services and doesn’t offer built-in connectivity with third-party services like Salesforce, for example. Chances are, of course, that now that App Maker is out of preview, Google will start adding more functionality to the service.