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Building Web & Mobile Apps Using Amazon Honeycode Without Coding From Scratch

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Have you always wanted to build web and mobile apps without writing code? Welcome to Amazon Honeycode, a new mobile app developing platform that is a lightweight, fully-managed low-code/no-code development tool that allows users to build web and mobile apps without using any programming language.

IHoneycode, a new mobile app developing platform is still in beta mode and will be part of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to allow users with no coding experience whatsoever to get started as soon as possible. It is geared towards companies or individuals who need mobile or web applications in order to track tasks such as:

  • Event scheduling
  • Process approvals
  • Customer or user surveys
  • Customer relationship management
  • Reporting on employee task progress or activities
  • To-do lists
  • Content or inventory tracking

These web or mobile apps may vary in complexity from those that track small businesses' activities to those that manage large projects for multiple departments or teams. Backend data is stored in AWS, which can be accessed easily when required.

How It All Started

It is no longer news that today’s spreadsheets fill up a vital gap between customized code and mass-produced packaged apps built by teams of highly skilled developers. But no matter how versatile a tool is, there will be limitations to what it can perform.

Companies that need to maintain ongoing data-driven projects and activities usually have two options: create and share spreadsheets with required data or wait or hire a developer to build the right type of application.

For instance, sharing data across multiple individuals and multiple spreadsheets is pretty challenging. It is not too different from managing large amounts of data. It is also challenging when it comes to integration and automation. These usually require the services of individualized with special skills and proficiency.

Customized applications may offer better options when compared with a spreadsheet. But a severe lack of IT resources and developers is an indication that custom-built apps are rarely developed. Spreadsheets are also severely limited since they are not originally designed to operate as fully functional applications.

The advent of the Amazon Honeycode, a new mobile app developing platform, has come to eliminate this problem. Anyone can build apps without coding using this remarkable service. It employs the long-familiar spreadsheet model and allows users to get started within minutes. Users who are very familiar with formulas and spreadsheets should have no challenge with AWS Honeycode. This is because it comes loaded with several advanced features, including tables, sheets, formulas, values, etc.

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These advanced features enable users to build highly customized apps. Honeycode also includes several templates for apps that you and your team can start using right away. It has an incredibly substantial palette of user interface objects such as lists, buttons, input fields, etc. These are essential features of any app.

Users of Honeycode will be able to set off actions in order to generate notifications and emails. It comes with inbuilt functions that smartly replicate or reproduce existing spreadsheets. For instance, FindRow is one of the functions found in Honeycode and is a dynamic version of Vlookup with the same attribute.

Amazon Honeycode is something that Amazon has invested heavily in. However, it came a bit late to the market because Google and Microsoft have similar offerings. Google’s AppSheet and Microsoft’s powering of applications have been in existence for some time. Nonetheless, Amazon has stated that Honeycode will help to accelerate data-driven and ongoing tasks as well as the productivity of organizations.

Why Amazon Honeycode?

The development and launch of Amazon Honeycode will help Amazon Web Services extend its audience far beyond programmers or app developers. According to Gartner last year, it was estimated that low-code/no-code approaches would represent over 65 percent of app development inside organizations by 2024.

Forrester even predicted that the low-code app-building market would significantly grow at 50 percent annually to over $21 billion by 2024. This shows that Amazon Honeycode is here to stay, and there is no going back.

Amazon, in a bid to attract customers, has presently adopted the freemium model for Honeycode. Users can build app without coding with up to 20 individuals for free. However, people that have created apps but require greater storage capacity or more users will have to pay for what they want.

Features of Amazon Honeycode

The following are some of the features present in the beta mode of this new mobile app developing platform:

  • Build app without coding :Businesses around the world are growing at an incredibly fast pace. Keeping up with these growing businesses is a challenge when it comes to developing apps/solutions/software. Amazon Honeycode provides the solutions required as anyone can build apps without coding with rapid speed. This makes it possible for you and your team to manage business data obtained from multiple sources.

  • Ready-made Templates :Amazon Honeycode comes loaded with several templates for some of the common applications that most people can use along with their teams as soon as possible. All you need to do is furnish the database with the required value, and you will be good to go. Here are some of the ready-made templates in Honeycode:

    • 1. Content Tracker
    • 2. Team Task Tracker
    • 3. Inventory Manager
    • 4. Event Management
    • 5. PO Approvals
    • 6. Simple To-do
    • 7. Budget Approval
    • 8. Weekly Demo Schedule
    • 9. Time off Reporting
    • 10. Field Service Agent
    • 11. Demo Schedule, etc.

    Templates come loaded with a spreadsheet already loaded with relevant data that you or your team can readily modify, based on the type of task. Beyond the limits of changing actual values in the spreadsheet, you can also play with column order, formatting as well as other attributes.

  • Update Anytime, Access Anywhere :Amazon Honeycode is a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) solution. Users can access it from any part of the world via any device, thereby enabling you to manage your numerous applications using Android and iOS apps.

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Honeycode also comes with incredibly simple drag-and-drop features for designing your app making it easy to build app without coding. They are as easy as the excel sheet you feed the database. As soon as you are done feeding the database, you can simply use event-based action and connector to carry out your tasks.

Getting Started with Amazon Honeycode

To get started with Honeycode, sign up for free at the beta website. Then sign in to your account. The first thing you will see is 'My Drive' along with the filter, multiple searches, and view options. The first thing you should do is create a workbook designed to house your data-driven applications and data.

You can import data from a spreadsheet or CSV file. You can also start from scratch or an empty table if you don’t have previous data. If you or your team have specific activities in mind, you can easily choose from any of the inbuilt, ready-made templates, which include ones for customer tracking, inventory management, surveys, PO approvals, and so on.

After you are logged in, the Task table is displayed and looks like a traditional spreadsheet.

Users of Honeycode can also customize these web or mobile apps at any time, and these changes will be deployed right away. You can take advantage of a collection of trigger-driven, built-in actions that can readily generate email notifications and adjust tables.

Honeycode is loaded with a plethora of built-in functions. Most of these functions are familiar with users of existing spreadsheets or CSV, along with beginners on this new mobile app developing platform.

The Honeycode App Builder

Taking a closer look at the app builder, you will see four screens named ‘My Tasks,’ ‘Edit,’ ‘Add Task,’ and ‘All Tasks.’ Each of these screens has both web and mobile layouts. Newly-created screens, along with those in the application, have their layouts linked. Any change made on any of these screens is reflected in the others. You can exercise more control by unlinking the layouts or the presentation or just to differentiate one from the other.

Objects that appear in a particular screen can reference data in tables. For instance, the ‘List’ object showing on the ‘My Task’ screen filters rows of the ‘Tasks’ table, thereby selecting the undone tasks and ordering each of them by the due date. When you run apps, the objects within the ‘List’ are then replicated, one per task.

Objects on the screens can initiate actions and run automation. For instance, the 'ADD TASK' button navigates smoothly to the 'Add Task' screen. The 'Add Task' screen then engenders the values that specify the new task while the 'ADD' button uses automation that writes the values to each 'Task' table.

Amazon Honeycode APIs

External apps can also employ the Honeycode APIs to work jointly or closely with the apps you create with Honeycode. These functions include:

  • GetScreenData: Retrieve data from any screen of a Honeycode application
  • InvoleScreenAutomation: Invoke an action or automation defined in the screen of a Honeycode app.
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Creating Custom Apps with Honeycode

In most cases, in order to create customized apps for businesses, companies need to rely heavily on their IT team to effectively connect the apps with databases and develop better user interfaces equipped with robot functionality.

According to Amazon, solving for the static nature of spreadsheets involves emailing them back and forth. But the emailing easily compound the inefficiency since email is extremely slow. Email doesn't scale and also introduces data syncing and versioning errors.

This is why most users often prefer having customized apps developed for them. But then, the demand for custom programming far outstrips the capacity of developers. This had created an uncomfortable situation where teams in need of custom apps have to wait for busy or proficient developers to free up their time or hire expensive consultants to assist in building apps.

However, Honeycode readily simplifies the whole end-to-end process of developing web and mobile applications by providing intuitive features.

Users can also scale the app effectively and efficiently because it leverages the entire Amazon Web Services functionalities. It happens because data obtained from Honeycode apps are taken and processed by the database built on AWS. Amazon has declared that the database can be scaled up to 100,000 rows for every workbook. Users will then be able to build web and mobile apps without writing code or worrying about the underlying framework or infrastructure.

For now, users may not be able to introduce outside data sources, though it is expected that this will be on the trillion-dollar company’s roadmap.

Building web and mobile apps without writing code is a process that involves adding data, designing app screens, and arranging layouts. If you know your way, you can maneuver your way through the steps on your own. But if not, seek out the assistance of Honeycode’s built-in wizards.

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Beginners at visual programming may stumble through the steps before getting the hang of it. Check the bottom right of your screen to access the Honeycode help offered by Amazon. This is where you can learn more about how to use the app builder, how to customize your web and mobile applications as well as how to personalize your displays and data.

Amazon Honeycode is a lightweight, easy to use, and new mobile app developing platform with plenty of power that allows users to build app without coding. You and your team can build innovative web and mobile apps – via the Honeycode Builder – that you can utilize right away. Honeycode will do the entire heavy lifting for you by automating the process of building interactive web and mobile apps since it manages the database, user interface, and business logic. These are vital elements that make up any business app.

This new solution from the stable of Amazon is primarily aimed at individuals and organizations who desire to create innovative, data-driven applications but do not possess the coding expertise. Amazon Honeycode is still in beta i.e., at the preliminary or testing stage via Amazon Web Services.

According to Gartner and Forrester, Amazon Honeycode is here to stay, which has revealed that low-code/no-code approaches will grow to over $21 billion by 2024.

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