AWS App Studio turns text into enterprise apps in minutes

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Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) kicked off its annual summit in New York and announced a bunch of new product developments, including an App Studio aimed at democratizing how enterprise-grade applications are created.

Available under a limited preview, the App Studio is a generative AI-driven service that enables enterprise users to build scalable internal applications by simply describing what they need in natural language. The offering works on the command provided, uses the directed data sources and produces the required application in a matter of minutes while taking care of all critical coding-related aspects, right from testing and deployment to operation and maintenance.

“AWS App Studio opens up application development to an entirely new set of builders, helping them create enterprise-grade applications in minutes,” Dilip Kumar, vice president of applications at AWS, said in a statement. He said the technology is “a force multiplier” for technical employees at the largest enterprises and fastest-growing startups.

The company claims App Studio is better than not only traditional development but also most low-code development tools, which do the job but fail to produce fully secure apps that comply with enterprise privacy and security policies. Multiple enterprises have already signed up for it and are using it to build applications capable of handling internal processes and workflows.

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As such, it competes with other no and low-code enterprise app creation platforms such as Creatio’s Quantum and Salesforce Platform.

The problem facing enterprises today

Today, enterprise operations – no matter what the sector – depend on data-heavy internal processes and workflows (imagine tracking of inventory). 

Small teams handle these processes through spreadsheets and documents, but it becomes a problem of scale in no time. As the company grows, users find it difficult and time-consuming to maintain the docs.

Tailor-made applications that connect to systems of record can solve this, although building, deploying, running, and maintaining them has been a resource-intensive task in itself.

If a team hires expert development resources to build the app from scratch, they can take several days to bring the product to life. On the other hand, if they use low-code tools for the task, the results may not be 100% up to the mark and struggle with security and scalability gaps.

New apps in minutes, no dev experience required

With the new App Studio, AWS is trying to solve this problem by providing enterprises with a generative AI-powered application development interface.

As the company describes, all a user has to do is simply describe the app they need, what they want to do and the data sources they want it to integrate with (from AWS to third-party sources like Zendesk).

In a matter of minutes, the underlying coding models (details of which remain undisclosed) will process these inputs and build the desired professional-grade application, complete with the required user interface and workflows for testing and deployment. 

For instance, when a user selects specific data sources using a drop-down menu and writes “create an app for tracking inventory across stores,” the App Studio will generate an outline to verify the user’s intent and build an application with a multi-page UI, a data model and business logic.

The offering also comes with a conversational AI assistant which provides detailed guidance on modifying different elements of the generated application using a point-and-click interface. This way, users can tweak the application generated, depending on their respective needs.

Secure app customization, sharing and controls

Once the app is finalized, the developer can hit the “generate data” option to see how the application will handle information in real time and move to deploy it to end users. This will make the app’s custom link available to downstream users, allowing them to access it using their existing enterprise authentication tools and role-based access controls. 

AWS notes that the applications deployed via App Studio are not only secure and scalable but also transparent enough to give IT teams a clear picture of how the app is being used as well as options to control user and data access and set guardrails to maintain compliance with internal policies.

“Using natural language, any user with some technical experience can simply describe the application they want to build, and App Studio takes care of the development process, delivering an application that employees can start using immediately. It has never been easier for technical professionals to build custom applications tailored to the unique needs of their business, ushering in a new world of productivity for businesses of all sizes,” Kumar added in the statement.

Available in preview

While the offering is interesting, especially considering how important application development is today, it is important to note that not every AWS customer can use it right away.

As of now, the company is providing the App Studio to customers in the U.S. West (Oregon) region under a limited preview. Some notable names that have already started using the studio to build applications are Campus Life & Style, Deloitte, HealthVerity and LaunchDarkly.

In the coming months, AWS is expected to open up the studio to more customers, allowing them to build applications targeting different use cases more easily and quickly. It says the service to create apps using the studio will be free but users will have to pay for the time their employees/users will spend on the published applications.

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