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Internal launches no-code app dev platform for enterprises

Internal, a San Francisco startup, has delivered an enterprise-focused, no-code app dev platform that will compete with the likes of Google's AppSheet.

Internal, a startup focused on delivering tools for developers, has released a new enterprise-oriented application platform for both non-coders and coders to build internal apps on top of their databases, APIs and business applications.

The new no-code platform provides an app builder, advanced data access controls, on-premises hosting option and new developer tools, the company said.

"Internal is an app platform for building internal tools," said Arisa Amano, co-founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based company. "It works entirely with your own systems, your own company's databases, your own APIs, and your own business apps like Salesforce or Zendesk, or even Google Sheets."

The Internal no-code tool features a drag-and-drop interface.

"Let's say that your company has an existing SQL database and you can just drag in a component, choose the table in your database that you want to display data from, and then you can start building apps immediately," Amano said. "Same thing with business apps like Google Sheets, or Zendesk. There is no need to write SQL queries."

Amano founded Internal with Bob Remeika, Internal's CTO, with whom she had worked at three other companies -- Yammer, Zenefits and Harbor.

Operations teams under pressure to accelerate app modernization are seeking a broader set of contributors to the process, such as non-coders.
Charlotte DunlapAnalyst, GlobalData

"Rather than making you build everything from scratch, we give you building blocks to build on top of," Remeika said. "And if you don't know how to code, that's OK, too."

Internal customer Wonderschool did an assessment of what it would take to do a certain project using Internal vs. the company's own resources, said Javier Lopez, vice president of engineering at the San Francisco company. The results showed that the project would take two weeks with Internal, but up to a year using the company's resources.

"We needed an app where our support team could log in using their credentials, and depending on their role, they could make live validations for data our customers submit," Lopez said. "The support team needed a user interface, login and role validation to modify such records in our DB. We were able to do all of that on top of Internal.io with a few connections to our back-end services only, instead of writing from scratch a full app for it."

Advancing the low-code, no-code platforms

While Internal enters a crowded arena, the company's platform shows promise, said Jason Bloomberg, founder and analyst at Intellyx in Suffolk, Va. "It has solid support for low-code integration, database access and workflow implementation, as well as templates for approval workflows, client onboarding, compliance and content management that help differentiate from the throngs of similar tools on the market."

Jason Bloomberg, IntellyxJason Bloomberg

Meanwhile, it has become an imperative that ops teams have access to rapid operational provisioning enabled through AI-injected low-code platforms, said Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst at GlobalData in Santa Cruz, Calif.

"Operations teams under pressure to accelerate app modernization are seeking a broader set of contributors to the process, such as non-coders in addition to internal app development around traditional business processes," she said. "These apps may include the ability to automate internal workflows to address the growing set of complex configurations around new cloud architectures which support CI/CD."

Another analyst echoed the sentiment.

"Business is shifting so fast that classic SDLC [Software Development Lifecycle] tools are too slow -- even when you have the developer capacity," said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research. "It will be interesting to see if Internal can establish a subcategory to the universal development platform, specialized for internal automation needs."

Moreover, the Internal tool addresses security concerns.

"Data integration is not easy especially as it relates to security," said Larry Carvalho, an analyst at IDC. "This tool does address solving data rights challenges as a package that could accelerate the use of low-/no-code approaches. However, with all major hyperscalers -- Honeycode from AWS, Appsheet from Google -- having low/no code solutions, there may be a limited market for such a unique tool. At the same time, mobile access to data is very important and it is missing in this tool."

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