Google Cloud's G Suite rolls out App Maker beta, adds recommended partners

The moves are designed to expand Google Cloud's ecosystem for G Suite, which is the primary cross-selling vehicle for infrastructure as a service.

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Google's cloud unit is rolling out a beta of its App Maker developer tool for G Suite and recommended preferred partners to its ecosystem with a more formal program launching in the months ahead.

Both moves are designed to provide more bridges to enterprises to Google Cloud. Google's G Suite, formerly Google Apps for Work, is the company's primary beachhead in the enterprise. Google is looking to leverage that position into infrastructure as a service offerings and better to compete with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

The beta release of App Maker includes drag and drop user interface features, low code development tool and the ability to develop custom applications quickly, said Ajay Surie, product manager for App Maker. Google's infrastructure provides support in the background.

A demo highlighted how a company could build a quick human resources on boarding application. "If a developer is familiar with web apps and knows JavaScript, CSS and HTML you can build quickly and customize," said Surie.

Two initial customers of App Maker include Sanmina, a contract manufacturer, and the State of Wyoming. Sanmina developed an app that replaced paper-based approvals. Wyoming used App Maker to track suspicious log-in activity across its government domain. Here's a look at the State of Wyoming's G Suite app.

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During the beta phase, Google will work with App Maker customers to prioritize needs. From there, App Maker will go production most likely in the first half of 2017.

On the partner front, G Suite is adding seven recommended partners for project management, customer support, finance, portals, encryption and e-signature services. The recommended partners will get marketing support with webinars as well as G Suite Marketplace placements, said Elissa Murphy, vice president of engineering for Google Cloud.

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Recommended partners were picked in part based on usage and installs. G Suite has almost 1,000 applications in its marketplace with 400 million installs over the last three years or so.

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