Introducing the New Internal

Today, we’re excited to announce the availability of Internal’s new enterprise-ready app platform for internal tools. The new platform includes a powerful no-code app builder, advanced data access controls, on-premises hosting option, and new developer tools — providing larger organizations and those with complex business needs the ability to open up internal app development to more teams within the organization (like customer support, operations and product management). We believe this will free up valuable developer time to focus on driving innovation, empower non-coders to build what they need themselves and accelerate the entire organization

The New Enterprise-Ready Platform

Key features of the new platform include: 

  • New App Builder: An intuitive drag and drop experience that allows non-coders to build tools on top of databases, business applications (like Zendesk and Salesforce) and even their company’s APIs.
  • Environments: An easy way to add multiple environments (e.g. Staging and Production) and publish tools to them separately. 
  • Permissioned Data Flows: The ability to get  ultra granular with how you control access to data. You can now centrally manage who has access to each input and output across your internal tools. 
  • Function Editor: Powerful new developer tools to connect API endpoints, manipulate with code and create reusable data elements called Functions. You can also write queries to create Functions for databases.
  • Auth Providers: New support for Basic Auth, OAuth and other custom authorization flows to connect your APIs.
  • Secure SaaS or On-premises Options: Now companies can use our SOC 2 Type II certified platform or host Internal within their own VPC.

Our goal is to empower non-coders to do 70~100% of the development and allow coders to do as little as possible — opening up tremendous opportunities to build more apps, faster, that precisely fit the needs of the business.

The Time and Cost Spent on Internal Tools Today

We recently released a third-party survey by Propeller Insights that asked 500+ engineering and IT leaders in mid- to large-size companies about no-code/low-code adoption and their internal tools. This survey confirmed that companies are spending large amounts of engineering time on internal tools, with 62% of respondents reporting more than 25% of time is spent on developers fulfilling requests to build internal tools. This is time that could be used to drive innovation and customer value.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said the need to work on internal tools delays customer-facing products on either a daily or weekly basis. Almost 79% of respondents said if engineers weren’t building internal tools, they would be using that extra time to develop customer-facing features.

Internal tools are not only costly to build but also require significant maintenance and ongoing updates to evolve with the business. This is often a “hidden cost” of internal tools that is not considered. Nearly 75% of the survey respondents said they need to make updates to internal tools at least weekly, while about 70% said they need to make updates to the internal tools more than once a week.

Total dependency on engineering departments to build internal tools creates unnecessary strain on interdepartmental relationships, which can slow down the entire organization. Over 92% of respondents report that when engineers lack the time and/resources to fulfill a request for new or updated internal tools, it creates a strain on interdepartmental relationships.

This potentially leads to job dissatisfaction within engineering teams. Furthermore, engineering teams are generally disinterested in working on internal tools. Customer-facing work is usually more creative, engaging and core to the business. Asked to cite the biggest pain point when building internal tools, 50% of respondents responded that it was either not having enough engineering resources or incremental requests tied to internal tools, while 35% cited engineers lack interest or enthusiasm for internal tools.

All of this research indicates that organizations need a better way to develop their internal tools — rather than depending entirely on engineering. This is exactly why we started Internal and why we’re focused on empowering non-coders with powerful app development tools. 

Helping to Meet Customers’ Security Needs 

The survey also asked respondents about their security concerns. Close to 95% of IT/engineering  leaders are generally concerned about their employees having access to their customers’ data. Internal allows you to manage permissions centrally—versus permissions for every app. This makes it far easier to control and monitor who has access to data. Additionally, Internal’s new permissioned data flows give the manager unprecedented control over application inputs and outputs, ensuring each user only has access to the data they need to do their jobs. 

Security is a big priority for Internal. That’s why we’ve also obtained our SOC2 Type II certification for security and availability –and also released an on-premises option for those customers that prefer to host Internal within their own VPC.

Our Investment in Developer Tools

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents said the number one reason they haven’t adopted no-code/low-code platforms is because the business requires customization beyond what low/no-code can provide. Additional reasons—cost (23%) , unfamiliarity with the technology (19%) and the boss won’t approve (20%)—were not nearly as significant. 

While our goal is to build a platform where non-coders can build 100% on their own, organizations will need to build a variety of tools to fit their unique business requirements. These tools will often need to plug into the company’s existing data, APIs and business logic. 

Developer tools are therefore an important part of our platform. We want to make it easy for a developer to jump in, do what they need to do and jump back out — without having to build everything end to end. For example, with Internal’s new developer tools, a developer can log into Internal, create a Function that calls an API endpoint and manipulate it with code. Once that’s done, their work can end there. A non-coder can now use this Function to build their own tool and customize it in whatever way that they need. 

What’s Next

We’re hard at work to deliver many more features to help non-coders build on top of their company’s databases, APIs, and existing business applications —while providing additional tools for developers. We’ll also be doing deep dives on some of our new features over the next few weeks — so stay tuned!

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