I've been building websites, web applications and mobile apps for 5 years. I've used different technologies from Wordpress to node.js. This is the first time i've seen such an elegant solution for content management and development right out of the box.
Use Google Sheets to power your backend! Edit values directly in your sheets and within 5 minutes the data in your app is updated. All without any knowledge of server side development. This is a game changer for providing a content management system to your clients or administrative staff for practically nothing. Familiarity with spreadsheets is probably the one common thing that no-code people who want to build products share.
Can it all be this simple? We will have to take it for a Spin.
How to Startsu
Start by creating a Google Sheet that is shareable. Paste the Google sheet link into Sheetsu and start your API.
You'll be given an endpoint (a URL that you can use to view your data).
Before you navigate to this in your web browser, I recommend you use an extension like JSON viewer to be able to prettify -format- the content and make it a lot easier to read.
What did I replace/build?
I wanted to swap in Sheetsu for the backend component of a previously website. For a crowdfunding platform with 'offerings'. Previously the backend of this was built using code - a node.js server with a postgres database. Although not super complicated, I feel building that for a no code entrepreneur could easily trip them up and cause difficulties.
Enter the Sheetsu!
How far can we take this?
What if you wanted to be more specific, like allowing your users to edit rows directly that already exist in your spreadsheet through the website code?
This is entirely possible through their CRUD API. Creates, Reads, Updates, Deletes are all possible on the spreadsheet throught the Sheetsu API. You can therefore build a very fully featured website, web application or mobile application with sheetsu powering it.
Sheetsu also provides pre-built templates for things like Forms and templating language 'handlebars'.
This allows you to drop in a lot of quality code snippets into your project and get fast results.
# Limitations - Rate and otherwise. All this functionality of course, comes at a price. If you want an API with more than 50 rows in your spreadsheet you have to pay. And if youe wesbite/mobile app gets popular enough, you need to pay for the total rate of requests to your API as well. The current pricing structure is $16 USD/month billed annually. It comes with a generous 10,000 rows in the spreadsheet (which should suffice for many small to medium size projects) but comes with a cap of 100,000 requests per/month.
sheetsu: pricing table
I can imagine a small website such as the one I have featured having an average API interactions per visitor at perhaps 10-20 API calls, depending on their behaviour. At that rate the pricing plan will cap at a total of approx 300-600 visitors per day. It might not sound like a lot, trust me it is difficult to acquire retaining users! But the feeling is if your website or app becomes popular quickly, you are going to hit that limit pretty quickly.
Sheetsu is fantastic 3rd party software. It is so flexible I could probably use it to teach students to fundeamentals of web development in a digestible way. I wish this existed 10 years ago. This piece of software could replace the backend and/or Content Management System components of many prototypes and client products that we can build. You can use it to to build with low code.
Keep on Building.