- Due to "low usage," Google will shutter its low-code platform App Maker by next year, the company announced Monday. Access to the drag-and-drop business application builder, which launched in 2016, will end on April 15.
- By January 2021, applications built through the low-code platform will stop working, though application data stored in Cloud SQL will remain available,according to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) norms.
- The update from Google comes two weeks after it acquired no-code provider AppSheet, which it has integrated into Google Cloud. In the company's vision, AppSheet will allow customers to build applications that leverage Google's other properties, such as Android, Google Sheets, Forms, Maps and Analytics.
Shutting down App Maker lets Google redirect its efforts away from a legacy platform and gear up for a battle against the lead contender in the low-code space: Microsoft.
"Google is expanding its commitment to low-code, not reducing it," said John Rymer, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, in an email to CIO Dive.
Forrester defines low-code platforms as those which provide "declarative development tools and techniques" to build software, often relying on visual tools that let users drag and drop their way to crafting business applications. The term "no-code" — which AppSheet leans on — is "an aspiration," according to Rymer.
In the fight for dominance in the low-code space, Microsoft's Power Apps and Power Automate are "a runaway train," said Rymer.
"Microsoft will use Power Apps and Power Automate to dominate the most common use cases for low code and digital process automation for wide deployments," Rymer and co-author Rob Koplowitz said in a report published in December.
Forrester predicts that by mid-2020, Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate will be used by more than half of developers as their primary vendor. In the analyst firm's yearly developer survey, that number was at 37%.