Google AppSheet: Build apps with no code

Nowadays, there are two main ways to use applications: using software packages and developing software yourself. The advantages of using packaged software are ready-to-use, not so expensive. However, if talking about using an enterprise level software, requirements of each company are often so specific that software packages cannot support them. Therefore, in-house software development is needed.

In-house software development can be divided into many different patterns, such as developing software with different programming languages from scratch (tailor-made software). It takes time for development and requires the skills of software developers. Recently, you might have heard the word “Low-code platform”. It means creating software with minimal hand coding and requiring a lower learning curve. However, low-code development still needs some coding to create software or applications.

In 2020, Google has acquired AppSheet and released a product for free to everyone. Now let’s talk about what AppSheet is and what its advantages and disadvantages are.

AppSheet is defined as a no-code platform, meaning that you can build apps without writing a line of code. You can also use Google Sheet as a database. It also supports many other database formats.

Key features of AppSheet

1. AppSheet supports capturing data in a variety of formats, such as text, number, date and time, dropdown, checkbox, image, signature, etc.

2. AppSheet allows you to easily customize the screen display. You can set the app icon, name the app, and set user permissions.

3. AppSheet enables you to automate your workflows. For example, you can schedule your emails to be sent at 6 p.m. every day, or when new items are added, notifications will automatically be sent via email.

4. AppSheet allows you to connect to third-party apps such as Gmail, Google Sheets, Office 365, Dropbox, SQL databases, etc.

Now, if you can’t imagine what applications you can build with AppSheet, you can see a library of common app use cases as an idea at

In addition, Google breaks down the basic app creation process into 7 steps as follows: (You can find more details at

Step 1: Prepare your data
You can use Google Sheets or other supported databases. If using Google Sheets, set up the column headers in the first row, and then you can input data from the second row onwards.

Step 2: Connect your data to AppSheet

In Google Sheets, click on Add-ons (Extensions), and you will find the AppSheet menu.

Step 3: Familiarize yourself with the AppSheet Editor

You can use the AppSheet Editor to customize details in your app. The AppSheet Editor has the following main menu:

  • Home: Giving advice for next steps and access to various educational resources.
  • Info: Viewing and managing details of your app.
  • Data: Specifying what data the AppSheet can use.
  • UX: Customizing views of your app.
  • Automation: Creating bots to automate certain tasks.
  • Security: Setting user permissions.
  • Intelligence: Applying machine learning or beta features to your app.

Step 4: Define how your connected data will be used

In this step, you can select fields from Google Sheets or your connected database and set up conditions for the data. You may have to learn a bit about how to use it, but I can guarantee that it is much easier than writing the code yourself.

Step 5: Customize views to match your needs

You can use the UX tab to customize your app’s display. There are many items for you to customize in detail, so you can try by yourself. At first, you might not be familiar with it but once you get used to it, you will enjoy the customization of your app.

Step 6: Create bots to automate certain tasks in the background (optional)

You can create bots by setting commands in advance so that AppSheet will do something when something happens. For example, sending emails with attached files every day at the specified time or sending emails when data changes are made, or new data is added. Google also provides an example for your reference on the AppSheet website.

Step 7: Test and share your app with users

Once you have finished creating and configuring your app, you can test using it. In addition, you can invite other people to use it. If you invite no more than 10 users, they can use it for free. If there are more than 10 users or you want more features, you need to upgrade to a paid plan with Google.

I think you can now see the advantages of AppSheet. Next, let’s see its limitations.

  1. The free trial of AppSheet is limited to 10 users per one app.
  2. AppSheet does not support NoSQL database connections.
  3. It is not suitable for creating complex apps and it does not support third-party API connections.
  4. It is not suitable for storing large amounts of data if using a spreadsheet as a database.

I think you got some ideas on how to apply AppSheet from this article. If you are ready to create your app with AppSheet, let’s try it out.