AWS announces a no-code mobile and web app builder

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a no-code mobile and web app development tool Amazon Honeycode.

A fully managed service, Amazon Honeycode is a visual application builder that can be used by customers to create applications backed by an AWS-built database, which the company says allows customers to easily filter, sort, and link data together thereby helping them create interactive and data-driven applications. 

Amazon Honeycode features pre-built templates, where the data model, business logic, and applications, such as time-off reporting and inventory management, are pre-defined and ready-to-use. App developers can also import data into a blank workbook, use the familiar spreadsheet interface to define the data model, and design the application screens with objects like lists, buttons, and input fields. 

In addition, Amazon Honeycode provides builders with an option to layer automation on to their applications to drive notifications, reminders, approvals, and other actions. Once the application is built, customers can simply click a button to share it with team members. Customers can build applications with up to 20 users for free, and only pay for the users and storage for larger applications, the company said.

“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said Larry Augustin, vice-president, AWS, in the June 24 announcement

This imbalance between demand and supply is helping drive the citizen developer, low/no-code movement, Terry Simpson, a technical evangelist at workflow automation firm Nintex, told IT Business in an interview last year. 

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The applications that users build using Amazon Honeycode can range in complexity from a task-tracking application for a small team to a project management system that manages a complex workflow for multiple teams or departments.

“With low-code moving into the AWS Cloud stack, a new era of lightweight cloud innovation is emerging,” Dion Hinchcliffe, vice-president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, tweeted today. 

#AWS launches @Amazon #Honeycode, a #nocode app building service https://t.co/g6Nlxg41q8


With #lowcode moving into the @awscloud stack, a new era of lightweight #cloud #innovation is emerging. pic.twitter.com/erKyjl4avA

— Dion Hinchcliffe (@dhinchcliffe) June 25, 2020

Channel-based messaging platform Slack and paid image sharing, image hosting service, and online video platform SmugMug are among the first few customers planning to use Amazon Honeycode, the company said.

“We’re excited about the opportunity that Amazon Honeycode creates for teams to build apps to drive and adapt to today’s ever-changing business landscape,” said Brad Armstrong, vice-president of business and corporate development, Slack, in a press release. “We see Amazon Honeycode as a great complement and extension to Slack and are excited about the opportunity to work together to create ways for our joint customers to work more efficiently and to do more with their data than ever before.”

Amazon Honeycode is currently available in beta form in one AWS region – US West (Oregon) – with more regions coming soon, the company said.

By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65 per cent of application development activity, according to a recent Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms report by Gartner.

Other no-code/low-code app development platforms include Google App Maker and Zoho Creator.

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