Amazon Honeycode Brings No Code Application Development to AWS

No code application building has long been the Holy Grail of app development. The idea behind no code development is to simplify the application development process to bring it within the capability of regular business users.

No code development tools promise to reduce the complexity and costs of the application development process as well as accelerate application development. No code tools have been around for a while. About a decade ago Microsoft pushed their LightSwitch product as a potential VB replacement for citizen developers. However, it was short-lived and Microsoft discontinued it in 2016.

More recently, Microsoft is trying again with its Azure Power Apps platform. Likewise, Google has introduced their AppSheet offering that promises no code creation for web and mobile apps. In addition, there are a handful of other companies in today’s no code development market.

In June, Amazon threw their hat into the no code development ring as they announced the beta launch of Amazon Honeycode.  The new Amazon Honeycode offering is a managed low-code/no-code development service that is designed to enable customers to quickly build simple mobile and web applications. AWS Vice President Larry Augustin declared: “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code.”

Customers can use a simple visual application builder and a set of predefined templates to create applications. Honeycode can import data from CSV files or it can use Amazon’s data storage on the backend. The Honeycode application templates consist of:

  • Simple To-do
  • Customer Tracker
  • Simple Survey
  • Inventory Management
  • Content Tracker
  • Timeoff Reporting
  • Event Management
  • Team Task Tracker
  • Weekly Demo Schedule
  • Field Service Agent
  • PO Approvals

Developers can use the Basic level to build applications for up to 20 users for free. The Basic edition is limited to 2,500 rows per workbook. A Plus edition for $19/month bumps those limits up to 10,000 rows per workbook. And a Pro edition supports 100,000 rows per workbook for $29/month. Honeycode currently only runs in the AWS US West region in Oregon but it will be brought into the other AWS regions with its general release. You can give the Amazon Honeycode beta a try at Build a better way to work.

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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,