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Directual vs. Amazon Honeycode. Different approaches to low-coding

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Low-code is one of the most dynamic markets. New products and platforms appear every month. The essential point is that those low-code platforms can have absolutely different purposes and features. Amazon has recently announced Honeycode—a no-code mobile and web app builder. In this post we’ll figure out how Directual differs from Honeycode.

Why is low-code/no-code skyrocketing?

Programming is not a piece of cake! It took at least a year to get ready to code a mobile or web app (usually it takes even several years). At the same time the demand for new digital products has been continuously increasing for the last decade. Due to that a lot of businesses struggle against the scarcity of developers—IT departments are overwhelmed with requests! Low-code/no-code technology turns out to be an answer to that challenge.

“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said AWS VP Larry Augustin.

Following that emerging low-code trend Amazon has recently announced the beta launch of Honeycode, a web-based, drag-and-drop app builder. Further in this post we’ll explore the details and crucial discrepancies between Honeycode and Directual.

Honeycode philosophy

Honeycode could be described as “a spreadsheet on steroids”.  That platform uses a spreadsheet view as its core interface, and standard spreadsheet-style formulas to manipulate data. Like similar tools, Honeycode has drag-and-drop app interface builder with such elements as forms, lists, buttons. The standard app appearance can’t be changed.

Image Credits: Amazon/AWS


Honeycode provides users with a few templates for common use cases like surveys, to-do lists, inventory management, budget approval, etc. These templates are great to get up and running quickly.

Thus, the Amazon low-code platform could be described with the following figure:

Honeycode approach to low-coding

Honeycode extends familiar spreadsheets with simple web-interfaces (adapted for mobile view). That is the right step towards visual development. But it does not seem to be enough for building significant and sophisticated software solution.

Directual philosophy

Directual is a low-code platform for building complex and flexible apps. It allows to setup a database, configure API, process data in real time, and deploy your app in a one click.

Directual is a developer-friendly low-code platform. There are traditional software development concepts in its fundament. These are a database, APIs, data processing and Interface components. Directual approach could be visualised as follows:

Directual approach to low-coding

Directual simplifies software developing operations, keeping absolute flexibility and scalability. For example, there is a way to setup signing in/signing up via email or Google for your app in a couple of clicks. It also means that Directual can be applied with traditional technologies in a familiar way by REST-interface

Directual vs Honeycode

Directual and Honeycode discrepancies

Directual

💪 Pros:

  • Ability to go beyond MVP;
  • Role-based account model, Google authentication;
  • Scenarios for data manipulating and establishing integrations;
  • API-builder for creating secure REST-interface for your app;
  • App lifecycle management features;
  • Traditional technologies applicability (e.g. Directual works with React perfectly).

😞 Cons:

  • No templates (yet);
  • Few ready-to-use web-pages blocks (more to come soon);
  • Longer learning curve.

Honeycode

💪 Pros:

  • Familiar spreadsheet view for data;
  • Templates for common use-cases;
  • Easy to learn;
  • No need to code at all.

😞 Cons:

  • Suitable for simple apps only;
  • No way to go beyond MVP;
  • No API builder;
  • Weak role-based access control;
  • No separate dev/test/prod environments.

We are happy that low-code market is developing insanely and more people are being engaged into low-code development. Honeycode is great for rapid prototyping and meeting immediate business needs. But if you need to develop a significant and flexible app, have a look at Directual.

!

Pavel Ershov
July 1, 2020
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