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Feature Friday: UUID, SmartSheet data source and working with Forms

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase our favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.  With the rapid changes in the world around us at this time, we hope everyone is staying safe and sound. For more information regarding AppSheet’s COVID-19 support efforts, please visit our COVID-19 resource page.  Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID)   In this week’s office hours we showcased the recently released UUID.  Previously, Creators could expect to receive a randomly generated, eight character unique ID if the UNIQUEID() expression had been invoked. With this recent release, this expression can be expanded upon to incorporate a longer identifying sequence.  Both UNIQUEID expressions are suitable for those building their applications on AppSheet. Those that work with SQL databases, however, may find that the UUID addition is a better fit for their needs.  SmartSheet report data source Great news- we’ve increased our SmartSheet capabilities! Previously, only SmartSheet Sheets were supported by AppSheet tables. Our recent update allows AppSheet tables to support both SmartSheet Sheets and SmartSheet Row Reports.  This change enables creators to display, update and delete row data contained in a Row Report through an AppSheet table. In addition, AppSheet applications also permit the same SmartSheet Sheet to be included both directly as an AppSheet table based on that sheet and indirectly through an AppSheet table based on a SmartSheet Row report that contains that sheet.  Working with Forms  Some of the most popular use cases for AppSheet application development are inspections and field service work. Forms, one of our UX View types, are an important feature in the creation of these applications. This functionality can range from a basic, single page format to a more advanced, customizable form. We could tell you about how this feature works, but we’d rather show you. Check out the below sample app to explore some of the capabilities of this important feature. How will you use these features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Stay safe and happy app building!

The Citizen Developer’s Guide to Machine Learning as a Service

You’ve probably heard of machine learning, and you’ve almost certainly experienced it. Machine learning algorithms help power everything from Netflix’s personal movie recommendation engine to Google Search and Translate, and research suggests that companies will invest $12.3 billion in machine learning by 2026, up from the $2.5 billion spent in 2017.  While large enterprises invest billions to  develop machine learning (ML) capabilities, smaller companies and individuals can sometimes feel that machine learning is out of their reach. After all, the average salary for a machine learning engineer is about $140,000/year (source), and learning how to code isn’t exactly a small task.  Luckily, one emerging technology trend, machine learning as a service (MLaaS), is removing barriers such as time, budget, and even coding expertise to make the power of machine learning available to everyone. Offering ready-made tools that can be easily adopted and fitted to various business needs, MLaaS is being used by business leads and front-line workers in an array of industries. So how does MLaaS work? No code needed: basic features of democratized machine learning Coding expertise is perhaps the largest barrier to creating apps. Software development traditionally includes everything from data collection and debugging to resource provisioning and security, which is (for good reason!) a full-time job in and of itself. Machine learning applications are no different, and require a foundation of complex coding before app development can begin.  No-code development platforms automate the bulk of this sophisticated behind-the-scenes work so that non-technical users, aka citizen developers, can tackle the business task at hand without touching a line of code. This means that teams and individuals can autonomously build and deploy apps made by them — and for them — in a matter of days, not months.  Whereas traditional models of app development require heavy cross-functional communication and weeks of iteration, no-code development puts the power to solve problems into the hands of those who know the problem best. Because no-code requires zero technical know-how, MLaaS is accessible to a much wider group of people and teams within an organization than traditional machine learning implementation.  With a no-code platform, anyone — regardless of their technological prowess or background — can build robust applications that are driven by machine learning algorithms to solve problems, increase productivity, and deliver a healthier bottom line. MLaaS and the power of problem-solving Like no-code development, MLaaS is not limited to any particular group, and is used by industries from manufacturing to healthcare to empower non-technical employees to improve their processes with powerful digital technology. Faster time-to-value: Business leads and process owners often know best where help is needed on the ground, but can’t wait weeks or months for diverse teams to coordinate, build, test, and iterate on a niche application built with them in mind. MLaaS makes it easy for process owners to build apps that do everything from helping users interact with data more quickly through natural language processing to interpreting qualitative categories of new data, within days. Process improvement: MLaaS can also help non-technical process owners significantly streamline workflows and existing processes. For example, MLaaS empowers any employee to build predictive models that can generalize from historical app data, providing the ability to forecast values and predict trends. Time reallocation: From supply chain optimization to inventory management and predictive maintenance, businesses rely on software development and machine learning to get things done. When the power of machine learning is distributed across an organization, the role of planning and execution moves from the IT and development teams, to the  people who know their challenges best. This frees up time for IT teams without sacrificing technical ability and growth. Tools that put experts in control As we’ve seen, MLaaS allows anyone in an organization to digitize routine work and automate tasks with apps that would have otherwise been too costly or time-consuming to develop. From HR and finance to sales and marketing, people in any area of a company can easily build apps that are customized for their team, process, data, and goals.  With no-code, machine learning doesn't need to be expensive to deliver enormous value. This democratized solution saves companies time, money, and resources, while empowering every employee to do her best work. AppSheet machine learning resources Create apps on AppSheet with the power of machine-learning built in. Exploring these resources to learn more:  AppSheet Intelligence features page White paper: Why the Future of Machine Learning is No-Code

The New WFH C-Suite: Communication, Collaboration, Connectivity, and Culture

If you’re like the majority of workers today, you’re reading this article from home. Many businesses have had to make speedy decisions and transitions, including implementing mandatory work from home (WFH) policies and giving employees the tools they need to get their jobs done remotely. While telecommuting has been on the rise (increasing by 159% between 2005 and 2017) our new “normal” has left many organizations scrambling to come up with ways to manage distributed teams. Meanwhile, some employees are also floundering, trying to figure out how to quickly adopt new technologies all while having to juggle and manage changes in the home. We’re all starting to feel the stretch. While WFH comes with some challenges, companies like AppSheet are rising to the challenge — providing tools, online plugins, and resources to help teams not only survive, but thrive. Quick transitions Many businesses that historically haven’t had remote workers are having to suddenly manage a distributed workforce. Nearly overnight, entire organizations have had to shut down office doors and have everyone work from their home offices (if they’re lucky), dining room tables, and living room couches. Employees are struggling to stay focused and productive during normal business hours while also having to help kids transition to distant schooling or having to care for others who may be in or outside their immediate home. And worldwide pandemic aside, there are inherent issues with working from home. Let’s dive in. Communication Communication can be a challenge, even when everyone’s working from the same location. Factor in essential staff working in the office or field while others work from their makeshift home offices, and communication becomes more crucial than ever. This is especially true with fast-changing policies, shifting work priorities, and employees who may be struggling with social isolation or other ramifications of the quarantine. Online communication and project management tools, video conferencing, emails, IMs, and more are mission-critical. And providing ways to effectively communicate with large and small audiences alike is a must. Collaboration Employees may also have a difficult time with remote meetings and collaboration if they’re used to face-to-face interactions. Nearly overnight, teams that are used to rallying around a whiteboard to brainstorm ideas or collaborate are having to find new workarounds. Organizations of all sizes and industries have to provide the online tools, applications, and resources their employees need to not only get their work done but to also foster creativity and collaboration across newly distributed teams.. Connectivity How often do you say or hear, “How about now? Can you hear me?” The ability to communicate and collaborate online entirely now depends on employees’ IT infrastructure at home, and many aren’t set up to access online services securely from home. Some homes aren’t equipped with enough bandwidth to reliably access large files or stream video conference with colleagues without bringing their Internet to a crawl. Do you have a contingency plan for when your company’s VPN isn’t working or when WiFi isn’t available at workers’ remote locations? You need a strategy to help staff do their jobs whether they’re online, offline, or some combination of both. Culture When you don’t have proper communication and aren’t collaborating well, workplace culture can suffer. In fact, simply lacking a central physical gathering place (like the iconic water cooler) can damage morale, and in turn, your company culture. Meme-sharing on Slack, Zoom happy hours, and Google Hangouts get-togethers make up for the lack of in-person interactions to a large extent, but be mindful of the sudden change in interactions that may have some people thrown. Provide creative, virtual social outlets and opportunities for letting off steam and for simply communicating and connecting — no matter where people are based. How AppSheet can help We recently held an Office Hours webinar to demonstrate how key features of AppSheet can support remote workforces and improve productivity. Because AppSheet allows anyone to create apps without any coding (or IT team reliance), team members can still build and maintain apps from their new home office and keep everyone on the same page during these difficult times. Here’s a recap of what the AppSheet team covered during the webinar: Onboarding Add an onboarding experience to your no-code app to give users a place to start – especially when you add new assignments, functionality, or roles and responsibilities for remote workers. Maybe you have a new team of volunteers handing out food and supplies for the first time. Adding onboarding details can help them understand how to use the app and properly track what they’ve distributed and where. Or perhaps you have a project management app and need to help your offsite team understand how to review and check off completed tasks. Onboarding is an easy way to support first-time users, as well as return-users who may be seeing an updated version of your app. Offline capabilities Not all of your remote users will have a stable internet connection throughout the day (or even have any access to it at all). For situations like these, AppSheet’s Offline Use functionality helps keep your app users connected even when they aren’t. AppSheet lets you control how the app behaves – whether your data loads every time the app opens, when data syncs are delayed, or if it’s accessible offline. And since remote workers may rely on mobile devices for access, AppSheet allows you to  select online syncing options so your users can save their valuable mobile data by only using WiFi to sync when their access is restored. Commenting Communication is key to collaboration. Depending on your app, you may want to consider adding AppSheet’s commenting functionality, which allows users to share feedback on specific projects within your application. This can be incredibly useful for any kind of project management or task-driven application. It’s as simple as creating a table in Google Sheets and then toggling between a handful of settings on your AppSheet interface. Notifications Reliable message delivery is another important part of both communication and collaboration. AppSheet provides several options for alerting and notifying your users, including email and SMS text messages. You can also set up push notifications. Think about what works best for your team and organization, what will enhance their ability to communicate and collaborate across locations, and how to best keep them informed and up to date. Dynamic sizing AppSheet also supports dynamic sizing across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, ensuring that no matter what technology your users have, they receive the best possible experience. As we’ve learned with Covid-19, anything can happen, and we may not always have a lot of lead time to prepare for big changes in the way we live and work (together or apart). Make sure you’re thinking about what your team will need even beyond these next few months so you’re ready for any challenges ahead. The collaboration tools you put into place today will help prepare your organization for tomorrow. Visit our COVID-19 support page to learn more about how you can use AppSheet to help response efforts.

We're All in this Together: AppSheet's COVID-19 Support

We’re all in this together: from neighborhoods to cities to countries to the world, we are figuring out new ways to work, teach our children, make sure our first responders and neighbors are supported, help out with healthcare needs, and so much more.  Many of our AppSheet community members have shared suggestions and feedback for apps that address problems they’re seeing at this time. In addition, community members have been responding to requests for help, as well as giving guidance and support to new app creators working on COVID-19 related apps. We’ve put into place a number of resources to make this process easier: New COVID-19 category in the AppSheet Community.  This is the hub where new and existing customers, plus the AppSheet team, can share guidance and help others that are building COVID-19 related apps. The AppSheet team is actively monitoring this category. AppSheet Sample App Directory with a new COVID-19 tab. The COVID-19 page features apps that were built to address crisis use cases. Some apps have been built by the AppSheet team, others by the AppSheet community. All community apps are vetted by the AppSheet team and can be previewed or copied for use. These are ‘Sample Applications’ that organizations can copy and use as a template for creating their own version of the application. AppSheet COVID-19 resource page. This page provides links to all AppSheet support materials. Additionally, all apps supporting the COVID-19 response will be made available on our platform at no cost to new and existing customers until September 30, 2020. We realize that the situation is very fluid so as needs change, we will review extending use of the platform at no cost as well as update these resources with the most current information.  Many of you have approached us asking for support in making these kinds of apps available to everyone who needs them. Already, we have seen many use cases that our community or internal folks are working on that can have broad application. Our ask: We’d like your help in making every COVID-19 related app built on our platform available to others as a sample app. We believe that the use cases are very similar. For example, others could copy and customize a neighborhood support sample app instead of building their own. From the Sample Apps Launcher, you can submit your app for review. If it passes our process, we will include it in the COVID-19 category.  For more details on this process, go to our COVID-19 resource page. Please use the COVID-19 category in our community as a support starting point for sharing your great work and feedback. We’re already seeing a lot of activity and want to thank members for pitching in! We are navigating through some uncharted waters but we know one thing for sure: now is the time to reach out and help our neighbors. Our thanks to all of you for doing just that!

Three Technologies Impacting the Utilities Industry

Digital transformation like mobile apps, augmented reality, cybersecurity, and more are natural fits for people entering the workforce today. But for workers who have been in the utilities industry for years, the idea can be puzzling. After all, the sector only recently opened up to innovation. They’ve been doing things the same way for a long time. “The power and utilities sector was traditionally where many parents or grandparents parked their savings as they got older, attracted by low volatility and stable returns,” explains Deloitte. “While solid and dependable, the sector wasn’t generally considered cutting-edge, innovative, or exciting by any stretch of the word.” The sector’s main goal, Deloitte continues, was to “keep the lights on without breaking the bank.” So, how did we get to this point? As it turns out, innovation has been happening steadily, behind the scenes, for quite some time. Slowly but surely, organizations have been building out their networks and laying the groundwork for the technical revolution that’s taking place today. The roots of what we’re seeing take place can actually be traced back to the 1970s, and the spread of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA), an architecture used for data acquisition and automated control in industrial environments. In the early days of SCADA, utilities only had large mainframe computers. Wide area networking (WAN) hadn’t been invented yet and each SCADA system operated disparately. Over the years, SCADA continued to evolve along with breakthroughs like the Local Area Networking (LAN), personal computers, software, the internet, and eventually wide area networks. Each iteration in computing opened new possibilities in terms of how companies communicate, and how they collect, process, store, and share data. Today, SCADA systems are mostly digital, and they’re playing a critical role in managing information flow and automation across industrial networks. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some digital technologies that are making their way into SCADA systems and utilities.  Machines learning through big data Thanks to the IoT(Internet of Things) and the industrial IoT (IIoT), utilities today are collecting vast amounts of data from business and consumer environments. This information is being used to identify usage trends, drive sustainability efforts, curb costs, and discover revenue-driving opportunities. These days, leading utility companies are starting to move beyond merely collecting big data and applying it more intelligently to their operations. One of the best examples of this can be seen with no-code machine learning. In short, utilities are starting to use intelligent no-code platforms to develop business productivity apps powered by their own data. By using a platform with an embedded machine learning engine, companies are finding new ways to process and leverage unstructured data that they could not previously extract value from. What machine leaning is capable of doing is continually iterating on itself as it collects data. This keeps your businesses as up-to-date as possible so that workers can make the best choices for the job. Cybersecurity for digital infrastructure As utilities are becoming increasingly connected, decision makers are becoming increasingly concerned about the ramifications of a large-scale cyberattack that could produce widespread outages across electric grids. In a recent example, 6,500 government officials and executives came together to prepare for a catastrophic attack. Making matters worse, bad actors are starting to apply artificial intelligence to cyberattacks. This is a trend that will take off in 2020, leading to many problems across the globe. Utility companies are starting to prepare for this next advancement in cybercrime, implementing next-generation cybersecurity solutions supported AI, machine learning, and biometrics. Another security technology that utilities are using today is security information event management (SIEM), a system that provides advanced security monitoring and analytics services across wide area networks. SIEM systems make it possible to detect suspicious end-user activity across WANs. For example, with a SIEM solution in place, a company would be able to detect an unusual login based on the time of day, the location of the end user, and the information they are accessing. IT departments are embracing the power of no-code development because it allows companies to create application specific to their needs while offering complex security protocols that remove some of the headaches for IT when dealing with out-of-the-box software. Increasing networks through SD-WAN SD-WAN revenue is on track to reach $1.5 billion this year. It’s now a top networking trend across all sectors—especially in the increasingly connected utilities sector where bandwidth, security, and availability are all critical for success. SD-WAN involves decoupling the control plane from the data plane, making it possible to deploy virtual networks with lightning speed. By deploying SD-WAN, utility companies can guarantee maximum app performance and scalability across a global network. This leads us to one of the biggest technologies to hit the utilities sector to date: business productivity apps, which are being enabled by cutting-edge no-code platforms. Again, no-code is sought after my many industry leaders right now because of its flexibility, power, and agility. Not only are networks expanding by removing the need to visit centralized control panels, but they are also evolving with a variety of new options thanks to the ability for no-code platforms to iterate upon themselves as new problems arise. Conclusion Technology is a part of our everyday lives whether some would like to admit it or not. In this day and age it's not a choice of whether a company should implement digital transformation into their business model. It's a question of when. "Business as usual" today means that your business is constantly changing thanks to no-code and other technological advancements that are allowing companies and workers the capacity to respond to problems more quickly, efficiently, and securely. The hardest part is making the choice to jump in, but we believe the hard work is worth it in the end.

Getting Creative With DIY Technology

In a matter of months, the Coronavirus had drastically altered how people around the world work and live. The response to the virus has been unprecedented with schools and businesses closing, as well as vast swaths of the population working from home for the foreseeable future. Right now, we don’t know what will happen.  However, we can look to small silver linings that center around human ingenuity. Humans adapt. We make the most of bad situations. We find ways to thrive, even when the odds are stacked against us. In the age of COVID-19, IT departments have once again stepped up to help teams stay productive. Team members are learning new ways to stay connected while working remotely.  But what can individuals do? What if there isn’t a solution for the work or life project you need to tackle?  No-code development platforms have long challenged the status quo set by one-size-fits-all software and applications. And now, as everyone figures out a new normal, no-code technology is uniquely poised to rise to the occasion. Non-technical people can build highly specific technology solutions that adapt to new challenges around work and play. The following list of free AppSheet sample apps will help spur your creativity as you come up with new ways to stay productive, happy, and connected. Or start with your own data to create unique applications. In the meantime, the AppSheet team wishes you health and safety. Take care! Education and homeschooling apps Assignment management app Activity schedule app Class assignment app How-to instructional app Work from home apps Project management app Sales and lead tracking app Contact manager app Quote calculator Timesheet app Webinar app Leave a comment to let us know what you’re building.

Making the Most of Barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC

The origins of barcode scanning in business For most, the word “barcode” conjures up images of stocked grocery aisles and packages marked with the now-ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC). While we’re all familiar with the the black vertical lines that make up a barcode, most of us take this simple invention for granted — not realizing the extent to which it’s revolutionized how businesses operate. Invented in the 1950s, barcode scanning was inspired by a Philadelphia grocery store’s desire to automatically record product information during checkout, a manual process up to that point. During the 1970s, with the introduction of the UPC, barcodes started appearing on the packages and store shelf labeling for most household goods. Over the last five decades, barcode scanning has revolutionized industries — improving overall efficiency, speeding up inventory management, automating tasks, and reducing opportunities for human error. While the one-dimensional barcode continues to be reliable and effective, its success inspired the development and adoption of more modern scanning systems like Quick Response (QR) codes and Near-field Communication (NFC), which help businesses streamline their processes even further. Let’s take a look at the role these systems play today in the manufacturing, utilities, and construction industries. “Lean manufacturing” with barcode scanning Many areas of manufacturing can be rife with inefficiencies, with excess labor and overly complex processes leading to bloated costs and reduced productivity. But barcode scanning has helped companies of all sizes pursue “lean manufacturing” — a way of doing more with less that was first popularized by Toyota in the 1930s. While adopting lean systems can be expensive (in terms of both cost and time), barcode scanning continues to be a simple, proven and cost-effective method for streamlining and automating myriad manufacturing and distribution processes. In manufacturing, barcodes are used for a variety of mission-critical tasks, including: Getting real-time tracking alerts and inventory status on parts and goods Quickly locating stock across multiple locations without having to roam warehouses Processing and managing orders with accuracy Replacing manual inventory-taking and data entry methods Eco-friendly QR code practices for utilities The success of the barcode led to the development of QR codes in the 1990s. Unlike one-dimensional barcodes, QR codes are coded in two directions (across and up/down), which means they can hold much more information, including text, URLs, images, videos, and documents. Because of their flexibility and storage, utility companies have been using them to not only improve the customer experience, but also to implement sustainable and eco-friendly business practices. For instance, in 2015, the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change introduced QR codes on residents’ energy bills. With a single QR code, each resident was able to perform all of the following by simply scanning the code with their smartphone: Monitor their gas and electricity consumption Review comparison charts of energy costs across different suppliers Easily switch suppliers to save money Utility companies in other regions have adopted similar practices, as well as using QR codes to replace paper documents that require mailing to provide a quick and easy way for customers to access billing and other information without having to print it or request hard copies. NFC on construction job sites NFC — a short-range wireless communication technology that became its own standard in 2003 — is also helping companies improve efficiency, especially in the field. Rooted in RFID (radio-frequency identification technology), NFC allows two-way communication between two electronic devices when they’re within 4 cm of each other. It enables familiar consumer experiences like contactless mobile payment systems and content-sharing on social media, as well as pushing offers and incentives to retail customers’ smartphones as they enter or move through a store. NFC has also been widely adopted to help companies with workforce, equipment and inventory identification, authentication, and tracking. In the construction industry, NFC tags and readers are used on busy job sites to streamline day-to-day operations. For instance, NFC readers are strategically placed around sites to automatically track workers’ arrival times and whereabouts across specific locations. Some companies even place NFC tags on hardhats to quickly access workers’ safety accreditations and to accurately track people during sudden site evacuations. Construction sites are also using NFC tags and readers to track and manage on-site equipment, including tracking materials and sections of large structures as they arrive on site. Choosing the right solution for your business Barcodes, QR codes, and NFC all have their individual advantages, and one shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for another. Instead, all three are effective for streamlining processes, automating work, and reducing opportunities for human error — it’s just a matter of using them smartly, in ways that optimize for each of their strengths. And while their results can transform your business in powerful ways, they’re still quite affordable and easy to implement. So why not experiment with all three?

No-Code Development Saves Time and Money by Bridging the IT-Business Gap

Virtually every business is now digital in some form or other, with organizations heavily relying on digital systems and tools to engage internally and externally. As a result, IT teams play a key role in most large- and many medium-sized companies. But businesses that weren’t born digital — including those in traditional industries such as manufacturing, utilities, and construction — often struggle to bridge the gap between business and IT teams.  No-code platforms can help those on the business side easily build and maintain key apps, reducing development and communications churn, saving money, and creating more relevant user experiences. At the same time, often-overburdened IT department are freed up to focus on mission-critical network and infrastructure initiatives.  Save time and communications churn with no-code App development can be a time-consuming, inbox-filling experience; and many companies spin their wheels as IT and business teams try to align on development. Like the analogy of too many cooks in the kitchen, app development initiatives often have too many voices at the table, working at cross purposes as they try to define requirements, design the user experience, and develop a solution that meets everyone’s goals and needs.  Since no-code platforms do not require coding skills, business teams can autonomously build and deploy a wide array of data-based apps to support everything from inventory and asset management to hiring streams and business process workflows — without relying on IT to get the job done. With the right no-code platform, apps can be built in as little as a day (vs. the months-long process typical in cross-functional app development efforts).  Off-the-shelf is often off-the-mark IT teams often rely on off-the-shelf software or pre-written codebases to build apps that serve the widest possible audience. But those apps often don’t support the specific needs of the teams that license them.  With no-code development, people in any area of the company — from HR and finance to marketing and sales — can easily build apps that are customized for their team, processes, data, and goals. Instead of purchasing a one-size-fits-all solution that doesn’t quite solve downstream needs, teams can now build, launch, and update their apps as needs evolve. Doing more with less (IT support) Often, apps are costly to build due to the sheer amount of IT development time involved. And in a landscape where demand for skilled developers outstrips the available supply of talent, IT teams are often understaffed and paying a premium for their hires. Likewise, the expense of per-user seat licenses for third-party software can be prohibitive (especially if most of the users are only using a fraction of the available features and functionality). No-code development allows companies to build the specific apps they need without absorbing costly developer hours or investing in large-scale SaaS tools. For instance, companies with a vast array of equipment and other hard assets may spend upwards of $11,000 per user for broad-spectrum, off-the-shelf enterprise asset management (EAM) software. Yet, with no-code, those same activities can be supported at very low cost by building apps for user-, location-, asset-, and function-specific needs. And then these apps can be integrated with a centralized reporting app. Stakeholders and users get exactly the functionality they need, while saving not only money but also valuable IT resources that might normally have gone into rolling out a large-scale solution. An added bonus: Instead of the months often needed to train an entire company (including new hires) on a one-size-fits-all solution, you can now quickly train individual teams to work in just the apps they need for their respective jobs. As digital transformation takes hold around the world, no-code platforms are empowering business teams to independently build the apps they need most, while freeing up limited IT resources for more strategic initiatives. No-code is helping companies save significant time and money, while also allowing teams to create the data-based apps they need to support their users more effectively and efficiently. The time is ripe for no-code to shift the way everyone works, from IT to business. Ready to learn more? We are here to help you get started with no-code development!

How to Foster a Citizen Developer Culture at Your Organization

Previously, workplace software and applications were exclusively built by expert coders on tools that took years to master. No-code development challenges this paradigm by lowering the barriers of entry to application development and laying the groundwork for the inevitable surge in citizen development. What is citizen development? Gartner defines citizen developers as employees who create “new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” Look closely at the tail end of this definition. Citizen developers are not renegade rule breakers. In ideal scenarios, their work is controlled through official channels, namely information technology departments. IT holds the keys to standardize their organization’s no-code development practices. In turn, implementing uniform no-code development practices within a workplace fosters a culture of innovation, human-centered design, and productivity. AppSheet helps IT departments achieve these complementary ends of order and flexibility. By enabling everyone to develop their own digital solutions, AppSheet allows processes to be digitized rapidly at an organization-wide level, and customized to the needs of end users. Meanwhile, the platform gives IT the ability to quickly deliver high-quality solutions, gain increased insights into the processes used throughout the organization, and implement the governance policies that ensure compliance. More specifically, our platform empowers IT departments through these three standardization pillars: Organization-wide visibility AppSheet turns the concept of shadow IT on its head. Instead of having unregulated and unmonitored novice technologists running amuck, the implementation of an official, organization-wide no-code platform provides IT clear visibility into their organizations’ challenges and solutions. Control Simply put, IT should control an organization’s technology. This no-brainer principle stays solid even after granting app making capabilities to end users. AppSheet’s no-code platform places security, privacy, and governance capabilities squarely in the hands of the information technology department.  IT sets the policies and guardrails for app creators and users. Here are a few examples of restrictions IT departments set for AppSheet app creators: Ensure that every app enforces access control with domain groups Require offline mode or any functionality across all apps Restrict who can deploy applications Require app documentation Reliability and speed AppSheet eliminates the risk of rogue code which can create huge technical debt in organizations. Similarly, our platform eliminates the slog of traditional application development cycle. Instead of wasting technical time and talent on building workplace apps from scratch, no-code speeds up the process by ten times. Additionally, you can expect a flywheel effect in productivity once your workforce gains confidence as citizen developers. Learn more about creating a standardized digital transformation strategy by reading the full AppSheet Adoption Blueprint.

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