Google to kill off App Maker in January 2021

Used to help businesses create their own custom apps, App Maker now has less than a year of life left, according to Google.

Companies that use Google's App Maker to build their own customized internal apps will have to find a different development tool come next year. In a blog post on Tuesday, the search giant announced that it will shut down App Maker on January 19, 2021. 

The reason given? Low usage.

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

Google's plan is to gradually turn off App Maker throughout 2020 until finally pulling the plug next January. Before the tool officially shuts down, companies will need to review their use of App Maker and take any necessary actions based on Google's timeline.

Available with the Business, Enterprise, and Education editions of G Suite , App Maker was positioned as a more user-friendly tool for building internal apps by relying on templates, drag-and-drop design, and other elements. Beyond using the basic interface, customers can further tweak the apps with scripts as well as with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery content. For database content, app users  can connect to external data sources, though Google has always recommended its own Cloud SQL.

Schedule for App Maker's demise

Google laid out the schedule for App Maker's demise as follows:

  • As of January  28, 2020, existing apps created with the tool will continue to work. Even though App Maker is no longer being actively developed, the service will still be maintained.
  • Starting April 15, 2020, customers will no longer be able to create new apps with App Maker, however, they will still be able to modify and deploy existing apps.
  • Starting January 19, 2021, existing App Maker apps will stop working, and customers will no longer be able to access them. Data stored in Cloud SQL will remain unchanged and will follow the policies outlined in your Google Cloud Platform (GCP) account.

Companies that used App Maker, but no longer need it or the apps they created should consider the following steps, according to Google: 

  1. Export the app before deleting it to save database information; 
  2. Delete the app in App Maker;
  3. Delete the associated Cloud project.

For companies that will need an alternative solutions, Google recommends the following options:

  • If you use App Maker to automate business processes. Use AppSheet, a new addition to Google's application development portfolio with similar capabilities to App Maker. App Maker data is stored in Cloud SQL, and App Sheet supports Cloud SQL databases. This lets you build an app using the existing database tied to your App Maker app.
  • If you use App Maker to develop apps. Use App Engine to build and deploy applications on a fully managed platform. 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 not available when App Maker launched.

Also see

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Image: CNET