App development overview

App Maker is a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") interface for building web apps. You can customize your apps with scripts and CSS, and integrate with G Suite services through their APIs.

Plan your app

No matter how you plan to use App Maker, some preparation helps you create a user-friendly, high-performing app faster.

  1. If you want to use Cloud SQL databases for your app, ask your G Suite admin to set up Cloud SQL for your organization.
  2. Design your app using the recommended best practices. To build faster, consider the following options:

  3. Plan your app security and decide on your app settings.

  4. (Optional) Gather and prepare:

  5. (Optional) App Maker apps use Google Material Design by default and the templates include CSS that automatically adjusts the app layout for different screen sizes. If needed, you can further customize your style.

Create and test your app

When you're ready to build your app, here are the steps you'll take:

  1. Sign in to the G Suite account provided by your employer or school.
  2. Open App Maker by going to https://appmaker.google.com.
  3. Start a new app.

    • If App Maker displays the welcome dialog, click Create New App.
    • Otherwise, click Menuchevron_rightNew.
  4. Select the template that you want to use as a starting point. If you're just starting with App Maker, we recommend the Starter App template, which includes a Material Design header and a hard-coded menu.

  5. Edit your first page:

    • If your app uses a database, add models or import data from a sheet by clicking Data in the left navigation.
    • Drag-and-drop widgets and page fragments into the page.
    • If your app uses server and client scripts to control widget function, database queries, or other actions, add scripts by clicking Scripts in the left navigation.
    • To add more pages, click Pages in the left navigation.
  6. As you develop your app, you might notice the problems icon report_problem. The problems icon appears when App Maker detects errors in your app, such as script issues or missing paths. To get the list of warnings and errors, click the icon.

  7. As you build your app, confirm that your app behaves as you expect by clicking Preview. Preview instances provide a functional version of your app with a preview console for error troubleshooting.

Publish and share your app

When you're satisfied with your preview and ready to let users access your app, here are the steps you'll take:

  1. When your app is ready, review your security settings.

  2. (Optional) Set up a custom Cloud SQL database. Often, organizations use the default Cloud SQL database for the preview instances and test deployments of an app, and a custom Cloud SQL database for the production deployment.

  3. Publish your app to a deployment. You can publish to a test deployment that only certain users can access first, then publish a production deployment that all users in your organization can access.

  4. If your app requires access to your users' G Suite data, such as Drive files or Gmail, your app users will be prompted to review app permissions when they first open the app. You can ask your G Suite admin to whitelist each App Maker app to turn off these reviews.

  5. To enable users to access your app, share the URL of the deployment with them. To get the URL:

    • Click Publish > Edit deployments.
    • Next to the deployment, click the Down Arrow .
    • Copy the URL and distribute it to your users.

Your App Maker app is ready for action! You can continue to develop your app while your users access an older revision, then publish new revisions as they're ready.