Mobile Forms and Applications Blog

Google App Maker vs Microsoft PowerApps

Google App Maker vs. Microsoft PowerApps

App Maker and PowerApps recently entered the arena of low-code and no-code app development. Here’s a first look at how they compare.

Both Google App Maker and Microsoft PowerApps seek to offer their enterprise customers an alternative to mobile app development through traditional programming. Microsoft was first through the gate with its PowerApps product, released to general availability at the end of October. One month later, Google announced its App Maker in limited availability to its G Suite customers.

Microsoft and Google are new arrivals to a market that has been around for a while. Gartner and Forrester both began tracking essentially the same category in 2014. Gartner‘s term is ‘rapid mobile application development tools’ (RMAD) while Forrester prefers ‘low-code development platform’. Neither analyst firm has yet included Microsoft PowerApps or Google App Maker in their respective reports.

View from 10,000 feet

We have not yet spent enough time hands-on with PowerApps and App Maker to compare their capabilities in detail – watch for that in future posts. But we can offer our perspective on how these products compare at a high level, both to each other and to our own Formotus no-code mobility solution.

Google App Maker

microsoft-powerapps

formotus-logo

Google App Maker

Microsoft PowerApps

Formotus

Since 20081

For internal users of G Suite

For internal users of Office 365, Dynamics, SharePoint2

For internal and external users3

Create in browser

Create in Windows desktop or browser4

Create in browser or InfoPath5

Use in browser only

Use in mobile app only6

Use in mobile app only

Connect to Google Cloud SQL or Google Drive table7

Connect to SharePoint list, others8

Connect to SharePoint lists & libraries, Google Sheets, web services

Submit data fields only

Submit data fields only

Submit data fields, editable XML file, and PDF document

Works online only

Works online only

Notes

1 InfoPath-based solutions have been in production since 2008. The new Formotus online creator was released July 2016.

2 Not all Office 365 plans support PowerApps, and not all PowerApps features are supported by the Office 365 or Dynamics licenses. See Microsoft pricing and licensing pages.

3 Formotus offers two licensing models: per user for unlimited usage, and per form for anonymous usage. Learn more >>

4 The Windows desktop PowerApps designer came first, and the Web-based version is still in preview.

5 InfoPath-based forms and browser-based forms run side-by-side in the same Formotus apps. See: Formotus for InfoPath Users.

6 Microsoft is promising that PowerApps can be embedded in SharePoint browser pages in the future.

7 Connecting to Cloud SQL can be complicated, and Google Drive tables is a simple alternative with significant limitations.

8 PowerApps can connect to SharePoint lists but not libraries. There are a number of other connectors as well, some ‘premium’.

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