The News: Google announced yesterday that it is buying AppSheet, an eight-year-old no-code mobile-application-building platform. The company had raised more than $17 million on a $60 million valuation, according to PitchBook data. The companies did not share the purchase price.
With AppSheet, Google gets a simple way for companies to build mobile apps without having to write a line of code. It works by pulling data from a spreadsheet, database or form, and using the field or column names as the basis for building an app.
It is integrated with Google Cloud already integrating with Google Sheets and Google Forms, but also works with other tools, including AWS DynamoDB, Salesforce, Office 365, Box and others. Google says it will continue to support these other platforms, even after the deal closes. Read the full news piece on Tech Crunch.
Analyst Take: As Google looks to continue the growth of its productivity suite, it is unsurprising that platform investments in app development, specifically low/no code tools would be a priority. Ideally to increase business and use of Google Cloud.
With the acquisition of Appsheet, Google is acquiring a no code platform that can enable citizen developers to streamline and automate tasks that are traditionally performed in a spreadsheet, database or form. This seamless tie between the typical data user and the development of the application should have promise for Google Productivity tools and of course this type of offering would make the company more compelling in a world that is dominated by Office.
There is an attraction for Google in such an acquisition that the tool isn’t limited to just Google’s productivity suite. Users of other cloud platforms can leverage Appsheet to build applications for other software suites from Box to Salesforce to Office 365; this enhances the Google Cloud Platform, even if it doesn’t necessarily lead to greater adoption of its Productivity Suite.
Google Needs To Get More Competitive
Google is third in the Cloud Wars, and it is by a distance from its competitors at Microsoft and Amazon. With AWS driving the pace car in IaaS and Microsoft having the lead in SaaS, Google is leaning into Platforms and the acquisition of Appsheet expands the company’s platform.
Having said that, I feel that if Google wanted to make a big splash for its play in low code/no code, the company could have gone after one of the bigger fish like Appian or Outsystems. With just 20 employees coming over at a non-disclosed transaction amount it would appear that this deal isn’t going to be turning heads of the growing community of Power Platform users.
The platform race is heating up and so is the movement toward fast app creation with low/code and no/code solutions. Google is slowly expanding its footprint into this space and even if the AppSheet platform doesn’t make the Google Cloud Productivity Suite more attractive, the company can push the development of tools in its cloud for competitive suites from other big cloud apps including Office 365. This is why I see this move as meaningful, but not significant. Big enough to grab a headline, but unlikely to move developers off of bigger more established platforms in the short run. But hey, maybe Google is looking longer term, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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Image Credit: AppSheet
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.