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Developers and Practitioners

No-code momentum: Accelerating app development and automation

September 10, 2020
Vikas Anand

Director of Product, Google Cloud

Learn why no-code development is gaining momentum and empowering citizen developers to create powerful automations and line-of-business apps.

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When AppSheet became part of the Google Cloud family earlier this year, it was an investment in the potential for no-code development to accelerate digital transformation. Extending the ability to create apps and automate business processes from traditional IT to non-technical workers can be transformative. It both empowers those closest to challenges to create solutions and frees up IT to work on strategic initiatives instead of the backlog of line of business apps. We couldn’t wait to see what our customers would build, and they’ve built even more apps than we imagined. 

BHI, a turnkey construction company general contractor that serves the civil, pipeline, communications, electrical, and renewable energy industries, used G Suite and AppSheet to completely overhaul its file sharing and collaboration workflows. AppSheet not only helped BHI’s IT team to more quickly complete backlogged projects but also empowered non-technical employees to create their own solutions, such as an app a team on a solar farm construction project built to inspect specialized equipment. 

When someone outside IT has a great idea, “we say, log into AppSheet, build it out, and then we’ll help out with some final touches on it,” said Johnny Hacking, BHI’s Director of IT. 

Globe Telecom, a leading mobile network provider in the Philippines, recently adopted AppSheet to accelerate application development and explore new innovation opportunities. In their first hackathon, over 107 teams applied to participate, far more than the 30 or so organizers expected. The winning app helped expedite workflows by facilitating data-capture and automated reporting for illegal signal booster discovery. Other finalist apps included inventory management apps for Globe’s retail outlets, development planning and evaluation apps to help the workforce align on and manage goals in real-time, and even a vehicle maintenance app that includes gas price reporting. 

And these are just a few examples. The ways businesses are harnessing no-code development to solve problems both large and small multiplies by the day. 

We’re excited to help these use cases proliferate even faster. This week, we spoke about how we are investing in the category of business application platform. Google Cloud’s business application platform includes AppSheet and gives enterprises the tools to create and extend applications, build and automate business processes, and connect and modernize applications—all with an emphasis on not only traditional developers but also citizen developers. 

Over the last few months, we’ve increasingly integrated Google’s machine learning technology into the platform, enabling users to do things like automate business processes via natural language inputs. Google’s machine learning has always been the basis of AppSheet’s intelligence features, but we’ve further integrated Google technologies to give AppSheet an even greater understanding of an app creator’s intent, enabling the platform to accelerate development by offering “human-friendly” suggestions and checks. 

Google technologies have also improved natural language support in search, predictive features, optical character recognition analysis, and much more. Whereas building machine learning into an app would have been prohibitively daunting just a few years ago, AppSheet lets anyone do it in as little as a few hours. 

We've developed an exciting roadmap to make app-building even more intuitive, with planned feature enhancements including automatic detections of sensitive data and refined automation recommendations.

Access to data and apps, wherever they reside, is another area we’re focused on. The recently-announced Apigee data source for AppSheet will take that access to a new level, bringing together API management with no-code development. Citizen developers will now be able to leverage APIs to build no-code applications, which gives app developers even more tools to build powerful apps, further accelerates app development, and helps eliminate information silos. 

We’re also investing heavily in making it easier to automate business processes. Our recent announcement of AppSheet Automation is one step in this effort, with an intent-driven authoring experience, powered by Google AI, along with comprehensive governance for centralized enforcement and monitoring of internal policies. Business developers can use this solution to easily connect to a number of data sources (such as Salesforce, MySQL, and G Suite) and quickly model automated business processes.

The need for speed is paramount in today’s fluid, ever-changing business conditions, and we’re excited to see how customers use these new features and capabilities to accelerate their digital transformations. We have much more planned for our business application platform and invite you to join the no-code movement as it continues to gain momentum. 

Visit our site to learn more about no-code development on Google Cloud.
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