Blog maker

Google App Maker will shut down following AppSheet purchase

Following its acquisition of the no-code platform AppSheet, Google said it will retire its low-code tool App Maker early next year.

In a post on the G Suite Updates blog, the company said, “Due to low usage, Google App Maker will be phased out over the course of 2020 and officially closed on January 19, 2021.”

Google introduced the App Maker tool in 2016, but it never caught on like the company expected.

John Rymer

“We never saw much adoption of App Maker and its functionality was very limited compared to other products,” said Forrester Research analyst John Rymer. “That’s why you won’t see Google App Maker in our Forrester Waves on low-code platforms.”

Google said that while App Maker is no longer under active development by the company, existing apps created with the tool will continue to work and the service will continue to be maintained. However, starting April 15, users will not be able to create new App Maker apps, but they will still be able to modify and deploy existing ones.

On January 19, 2021, existing App Maker apps will stop working and users will no longer have access to them. That said, App Maker data is stored in Cloud SQL and will continue to be retained according to policies established by users’ Google Cloud Platform accounts, according to Google.

We never saw much adoption of App Maker and its functionality was very limited compared to other products.

John Rymer Analyst, Forrester

With App Maker gone, Google recommends that customers who use App Maker to build web and mobile apps use Google App Engine go forward. Because App Maker data is stored in Cloud SQL, developers can use the information in App Engine creatives. For those using App Maker for data collection, Google recommends Google Forms.

Customers who used App Maker for business process-oriented applications should adopt AppSheet, which has similar functionality. Due to the specific source code used for App Maker, it’s not possible to directly migrate apps to another platform, Google said. Google acquired AppSheet earlier this month to boost its appeal to industry users and to attract non-traditional developers to its platform.

“With AppSheet, Google made a new bet on low-code platforms, so I wasn’t surprised to see App Maker disappear,” Rymer said. “Add App Maker to Google’s long list of projects that have been killed after failing to gain adoption – remember Google+?”

The battle for non-traditional or so-called citizen developers is heating up as low-code/no-code tools begin to permeate the enterprise. Google launched App Maker in 2016 as a competitor to Microsoft’s no-code tool PowerApps, which has seen increased adoption.

While some observers have noted that the demise of Google App Maker indicates low-code platforms are losing ground, Rymer has objected. “I don’t see that at all,” he said.

Indeed, low-code/no-code vendors such as Appian, Mendix, and OutSystems have claimed significant increase in income.

“To say that the demise of App Maker indicates that low-code is failing is like seeing the failure of WebGain as an interpretation of the failure of development IDEs,” said Jeffrey Hammond, analyst at Forrester.