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Google today announced it is killing off yet another service: App Maker, G Suite’s low-code environment for building custom business apps. Google App Maker will be “turned down” gradually this year and officially shut down on January 19, 2021. Google cited “low usage” as an explanation for the move. If your business was using App Maker or considering moving to App Maker, you’ll need to find another tool. Indeed, Google is making today’s announcement not even two weeks after acquiring no-code app development platform AppSheet.

Google first launched App Maker as part of an Early Adopter Program in November 2016. At the time, we described it as a service that “lets users drag and drop widgets around on a user interface that complies with Google’s Material design principles” to create apps that can be “customized further with scripts, as well as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery content.” Once apps are live, usage can be monitored through Google Analytics. App Maker hit general availability for all G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education customers in June 2018. A year and a half later, and it’s already headed to the grave.

Shutdown schedule

App Maker will be disabled in three steps:

  • January 27, 2020: Existing apps continue to work. Though App Maker is no longer under active development, the service will continue to be maintained.
  • April 15, 2020: You will no longer be able to create new App Maker apps. You will still be able to edit and deploy existing apps.
  • January 19, 2021: Existing App Maker apps will stop working and you will no longer have access to them.

App Maker user data is stored in CloudSQL. Google says it will continue to be retained according to the policies established by your GCP account. Any data composing the App Maker app itself will be exportable until January 19, 2021. For any apps created with App Maker, make sure to export the app, delete it in App Maker, and delete the associated Cloud project.


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Google App Maker alternatives

Google wanted teams to use App Maker for building custom apps that speed up workflows and improve processes, such as requesting purchase orders, filing and resolving help desk tickets, and tracking allocation requests. The company argued that IT executives’ attention is on security and governance, not on app development.

That may be, but Google App Maker apparently wasn’t the solution. Google is pointing G Suite users to the following alternatives:

  • If you use App Maker to automate complex business processes: Use AppSheet. App Maker data is stored in Cloud SQL, and App Sheet supports Cloud SQL databases so you can build an application on the existing database tied to your App Maker app.
  • If you use App Maker to develop apps: Use App Engine to build and deploy Google Cloud Platform (GCP) applications. App Maker data is stored in Cloud SQL, allowing you to build an App Engine application on the existing Cloud SQL database tied to your App Maker app.
  • If you use App Maker for data collection: Use Google Forms, which has many new features that were not available when App Maker launched.

For more information, check out the G Suite support pages Action advised: App Maker shutting down and Delete App Maker apps and databases.

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