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Amazon Web Services on Wednesday launched Amazon Honeycode, a fully-managed service that enables companies to build mobile and web applications without any programming. Customers can use the service to build apps that leverage an AWS-built database, such as a simple task-tracking application or a more complex project management app to manage multiple workflows. 

“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” AWS VP Larry Augustin said in a statement. 

Low-code and no-code tools have been growing in popularity in recent years, enabling people with little or no coding experience to be able to build the applications they need. Other major cloud companies like Salesforce offer low-code app builders. With IT teams stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic, low-code tools can prove particularly useful. 

Amazon Honeycode presents users with a familiar spreadsheet interface for building applications. Users can choose from pre-built templates for functions like time-off reporting or inventory management. Alternatively, they can import data into a blank workbook, use the interface to define the data model, and then design application screens with objects like lists, buttons and input fields. They can also add automations to drive notifications, reminders, approvals or other actions based on conditions. 

Behind the scenes, the service automates the process of building and linking three common tiers of functionality — database, business logic and user interface. As underlying data changes, a Honeycode-built app can update views and dashboards in real time. 

Once the application is built, customers can click a button to share it with team members. AWS will let users share applications with up to 20 users for free. 

Amazon gives a number of examples of how users could deploy the service. Customers could, for instance, build apps for customer relationship management, to-do lists, inventory tracking or event scheduling. 

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