Google Launches 'Low Code' Development Tool That Works With G Suite

Google App Maker will enable developers to quickly build applications that readily integrate with G Suite applications such as Gmail, Docs and Drive, the company says.

Google App Maker 2

Google has released a new development tool dubbed App Maker for organizations seeking to develop applications that work with and extend the company's existing G Suite apps like Gmail, Docs and Drive.

In a blog post this week, the company described App Maker as a low-code tool that will let software developers and even systems administrators and analysts quickly assemble applications using templates, drag and drop components and other features.

A handful of large G Suite customers have previewed App Maker over the past few months said Elissa Murphy, vice president of engineering for G Suite in the blog. Many of them have already successfully built and deployed applications using the tool including those for tracking office inventory orders, monitoring for suspicious logins and converting analog claims processes to digital, she said.

Analyst firm Forrester Research describes low-code development platforms as those that enable software development with minimal hand coding or upfront investments in training, setup and deployment.

Low-code development is a response to the general slowness of hand-coded development methods and is designed to help accelerate application delivery times. It can also help development teams respond more quickly to changing business and customer requirements for software functionality, according to Forrester. Usage of such platforms is gaining especially for the developments of customer facing applications, the analyst firm has noted.

Google App Maker comes with a cloud based integrated development environment that includes features like built-in application templates, a drag-and-drop user interface and point and click data modeling. It supports multiple language and tool standards such as HTML, Javascript, Cascading Style Sheets as well as Google's material design framework so developers can build apps quickly using their existing knowledge and skills, Murphy said.

Applications that are built using the tool can be easily integrated with Google's G Suite apps as well as third-party apps courtesy of the tool's built in support for a wide range of application programming interfaces and data sources. The tool also is designed to let developers deploy applications that work well in the cloud without having to worry about issues like capacity planning, and infrastructure monitoring and security, she added.

In addition to the new application development tool, Google this week also announced an expanded list of third-party applications that integrate easily with G Suite. Among the seven vendors whose products have been added to Google's so-called Recommended for G Suite program are Asana, a vendor of project and process management software; Freshdesk, a customer support software vendor; LumApps, a maker of software for building corporate and social portals and encryption software vendor Virtru.

Google launched the vendor recommendation program last year as part of what it described as an effort to help its enterprise cloud customers make more informed choices. According to the company, Google and a third-party security vendor review all third-party applications to ensure they meet relevant quality and security standards before adding the products to the recommended list.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.