Amazon Launches Cloud Service to Help Non-Encoders Build Applications

Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon Web Services, speaks during the WSJDLive Global Technology Conference in Laguna Beach, California on October 25, 2016

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | fake pictures

Amazon’s cloud unit announced Wednesday the introduction of Honeycode, a service that non-coders can use to write applications.

The move could help Amazon Web Services expand its audience beyond programmers. AWS leads the market for cloud infrastructure, outperforming Google and Microsoft. As more services are introduced, AWS aims to make customers spend more money, which is important because the unit accounts for the bulk of Amazon’s operating revenue.

Honeycode includes a visual interface that people can use to create applications for a variety of purposes, including scheduling administration tasks and customer tracking, AWS said in a statement.

The service is free for up to 20 users, and then AWS will charge based on storage and number of users. Longtime AWS customers Slack and SmugMug are among those planning to use the service, according to the statement. The service is available today, currently in an AWS region.

The announcement comes months after the departure of Adam Bosworth, who worked at Google, Microsoft and Salesforce before joining AWS as Vice President in 2016. Boswroth created and led the development of a product that was kept secret for years, but was I hoped it was software that people can use to write applications with little or no encryption.

For years, AWS has been popular with professional developers for offering remote computing and storage services. In recent years, Amazon has tried to branch out with cloud-based apps for less technical users, like the Chime video calling service, but AWS has been less successful with those efforts.

In 2015, Microsoft introduced PowerApps software to easily create business applications, and in January Google acquired AppSheet, a startup with codeless application development tools.

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