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Can’t Code? AWS Project Aims to Attract Broader Range of Users

Amazon is entering the “no-code" game. The cloud leader wants to enable business users who aren't engineers to build customized apps solving specific problems, merely by dragging and dropping app components into a graphical interface.

Google and Microsoft, among others, got a head start in the market for so-called “no-code” or “low-code” application services, but Amazon sees the potential to make inroads and open up AWS to millions of less technical users, according to two people familiar with the project. If released, the platform could enable AWS to extend its cloud infrastructure dominance into new areas.

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AWS signaled its interest in productivity applications last June when it sued Gene Farrell, a former AWS executive who oversaw several of the cloud unit’s productivity applications, after he took a job at Smartsheet, a startup that sells workplace collaboration software, for violating his non-compete agreement. AWS dropped the case a few days later after Smartsheet agreed to unspecified “temporary restrictions” on Mr. Farrell’s role at Smartsheet, where he is senior vice president of product. On its website, SmartSheet says its software is "ideal for tracking the progress of apps being built using low-code development."

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