What no-code automation looks like with AppSheet
As developers, we talk about automation in the context of technology as often as your friends might talk about Bitcoin — and for good reason: automation has spanned the farthest corners of cloud computing, from infrastructure as code, container orchestration, and DevOps to machine learning and even billing management. It’s making life easier for infrastructure operators, developers, SecOps engineers, and cloud admins by saving them time, which, as we all know, is a finite resource.
More recently, automation has played a pivotal role in not just productivity gains, but also democratizing technology for citizen developers. Google Cloud AutoML for example, has lowered the barrier to entry for machine learning through pre-built models and automated model creation.
And now AppSheet is taking the baton and bringing automation to its platform with the GA release of AppSheet Automation. AppSheet is Google Cloud’s intent-aware, no-code application development platform that lets you create applications faster and with less investment than a traditional code-based approach. As an extension of the AppSheet platform, AppSheet Automation offers new, integrated workflow automation capabilities. It leverages Google AI to make it easier to automate business processes, and empowers those without coding skills to reshape their work with features like smarter extraction of structured data from documents and compatibility with a wide range of data sources like Google Workspace Sheets and Drive.
AppSheet Automation reclaims developer time
I recently had Jennifer Cadence, Product Marketing Manager for AppSheet, on the GCP Podcast, and she helped paint a clearer picture for me:
“Employees are losing an estimated 20% of time to tasks that could be automated1. It’s also mindspace and time we could use to focus on high impact work.”
Even as developers, we spend time on manual tasks that lengthen development time or add item after item to our list of things to do. We get requests from business groups to create applications to do things like invoice processing, employee onboarding, and integration with third-party systems. My good friend, John, for example is a data scientist who is still responsible every week for reporting data from a dashboard into a Google Sheet — something he finds frustrating and feels should be automated, so he can focus on high-value work like data experimentation.
Likewise, in the past I’ve spent hours on approvals, updating metrics from Salesforce into Sheets, or building an automation that extracts text from a Sheet into a Doc. For employees doing the same, it's not surprising retention can become problematic. The times I’ve felt the most fulfilled by and creative at my job have been when I get to do more impactful work.
AppSheet Automation is designed to give time back to developers and practitioners, and to democratize app development for business users. You can take reasonably complicated ideas and processes and translate them into working apps by using the platform to express them through automation. Technical audiences will see two benefits:
Reduce development time by implementing solutions without coding.
Reduce backlog by empowering the line of business users who are closest to the problem to build their own solutions. Our survey of early adopters shows that over 60% of those engaging with AppSheet Automation have an in-house solution but are seeking something more efficient.
Let’s talk about how.
- Loop over many records
- Call another process
- Wait for a human to respond to a request
- W-9 forms