AWS launches Amazon Honeycode to help quickly build mobile and web apps without programming

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced Amazon Honeycode, a fully managed service that allows customers to quickly build powerful mobile and web applications – with no programming required.

Customers who need applications to track and manage things like process approvals, event scheduling, customer relationship management, user surveys, to-do lists, and content and inventory tracking no longer need to do so by error-prone methods like emailing spreadsheets or documents, or hiring and waiting for developers to build costly custom applications.

With Amazon Honeycode, customers can use a simple visual application builder to create highly interactive web and mobile applications backed by a powerful AWS-built database to perform tasks like tracking data over time and notifying users of changes, routing approvals, and facilitating interactive business processes.

Using Amazon Honeycode, customers can create applications that 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.

Customers can get started creating applications in minutes, build applications with up to 20 users for free, and only pay for the users and storage for larger applications.

Today’s customers have a growing need to track data over time, manage workflows involving multiple people, and facilitate complex business processes. For example, customers regularly perform important business functions like managing field agents, performing PO approvals, scheduling weekly events, reporting employee or team activities, tracking task progress, following customer activity, surveying end users, managing content, inventorying resources, and many more of these activities.

Many teams try to use simple spreadsheets as a Band-Aid to manage these tasks, but spreadsheets lack true database-like capabilities to sort and filter data, make collaboration with others hard to do, and are difficult to use on mobile devices.

Customers try to solve for the static nature of spreadsheets by emailing them back and forth, but all of the emailing just compounds the inefficiency because email is slow, doesn’t scale, and introduces versioning and data syncing errors. As a result, people often prefer having custom applications built, but the demand for custom programming often outstrips developer capacity, creating a situation where teams either need to wait for developers to free up or have to hire expensive consultants to build applications.

What usually happens instead is that these applications just never get built. The chasm between using spreadsheets and building custom applications creates a situation where customers often experience unnecessary inefficiency, waste, and inaction.

What customers want is the ability to create applications using the simplicity and familiarity of a spreadsheet, but with the data management capability of a database, the collaboration and notifications common in business applications, and a truly seamless web and mobile user experience. That’s what Amazon Honeycode delivers.

Amazon Honeycode relies on the familiar interface of a spreadsheet, but under the hood, offers the power of an AWS-developed database, so customers can easily sort, filter, and link data together to create data-driven, interactive applications.

Users can easily create dynamic views and dashboards that are updated in real-time as the underlying data changes – something that is hard to do even with powerful relational databases.

Applications built using Amazon Honeycode leverage the full power and scale of AWS, and can easily scale up to 100,000 rows in each workbook, without users having to worry about building, managing, and maintaining the underlying hardware and software.

Amazon Honeycode does all of this under the covers by automating the process of building and linking the three tiers of functionality found in most business applications (database, business logic, and user interface), and then deploying fully interactive web and mobile applications to end users so customers can focus on creating great applications without having to worry about writing code or scaling infrastructure.

In Amazon Honeycode, customers can get started by selecting a pre-built template, where the data model, business logic, and applications are pre-defined and ready-to-use (e.g. PO approvals, time-off reporting, inventory management, etc.). Or, they can 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.

Builders can also add automations to their applications to drive notifications, reminders, approvals, and other actions based on conditions. Once the application is built, customers simply click a button to share it with team members.

With Amazon Honeycode, customers can quickly and easily build multi-user, scalable, and collaborative web and mobile applications that allow them to act on the data that would otherwise be locked away in static spreadsheets.

“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said Larry Augustin, Vice President, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code.”

Slack is the leading channel-based messaging platform. “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, VP of Business and Corporate Development, Slack.

“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.”

SmugMug is a paid image sharing, image hosting service, and online video platform on which users can upload photos and videos. “We are excited to see the opportunity that Amazon Honeycode creates for our teams to build applications that help them respond to changing business conditions,” said Don MacAskill, CEO & Chief Geek, SmugMug & Flickr.

“Based upon how easy it is to create new applications, it should really help our teams, and we can see it really taking off.”

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AWS launches Amazon Honeycode to help quickly build mobile and web apps without programming