“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said AWS VP Larry Augustin in the announcement. “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code,” The entire service uses an underlying AWS database, allowing data to be linked, filtered, sorted and with a web-based, drag-and-drop interface builder. It is free for applications with up to 20 users, with charges kicking in for larger application numbers.
Amazon Honeycode provides users with a spreadsheet interface for building applications. Users can choose from pre-built templates for functions such as event scheduling, customer relationship management, user surveys, to-do lists, content and inventory tracking. “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,” the company notes in the announcement.
Data from the Honeycode apps is then taken and processed by a database built on AWS, which Amazon says can be scaled up to 100,000 rows per workbook. With this, users can focus on building their applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. And for now, users will not be able to bring in any outside data sources, but that may still be on the company’s roadmap.
This move could help Amazon Web Services broaden its audience beyond programmers. In the competitive cloud space, Microsoft is also involved in low-code software development through its Power Platform. Gartner estimated last year that low-code/no-code approaches would represent more than 65% of application development inside companies by 2024. Forrester also predicted that the low-code application building market would grow 50% a year to more than $21 billion by 2024.