This 12-minute video shows how I built a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new user registers. I used the following no-code tools: Airtable, Parabola and Twilio. The video is based on this blog post.
I live in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. The county has setup a web site with Covid-19 information for its residents. The main page shows key Covid-19 data updated daily. I have been visiting this page almost daily. This is how it looks for Friday, June 19, 2020:
I wanted to build an application that would email me this data every day. To continue my no-code journey I built a no-code application that sends me a daily email with the latest data. I didn’t need to write a single line of code!
These are the tools I used to build the application:
Simplescraper – to scrap data from the county web site and turn it into an API
Parabola – build a flow to invoke the API and send the email
This is how the application flow looks in Parabola:
In this blog post I will give you an overview of how I built a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new users registers. This is part of me taking an application built with code and building it with no-code tools.
I like breaking a topic into series as it allows to focus on a particular technology in more detail. You also don’t need to think about running out of time when you try to cover everything at once. Once you complete the series you can upload the videos to YouTube and publish a blog post with links and a short description of what developers will learn. You can also collect all the questions and answer them in a separate blog post. That’s part of content creates content approach.
Google Sheets is a well-known service and online spreadsheet. Google Sheets can be more than just a spreadsheet, it can be used as a back-end or a database for applications. For example, Glide uses Google Sheets as a database for its mobile applications. Glide allows to build a mobile application without any code connected to Google Sheets. It’s incredible how fast you can build a real app, .
I was building an app in Glide that displays the latest news using News API. I connected the app to a Google Sheets spreadsheet where I entered a number of news stories manually. The app looks like this:
This is how the Google Sheets spreadsheets looks:
If I need to update any news I can manually edit the Google Sheets spreadsheets and the Glide app will be updated.
In this blog post I will share a more step-by-step how I built the app. You should be able to follow the steps and build it as well.
Tools you need
You will need the following tools to build the application. All four services offer a free plan.
Parabola – no-code platform
News API – news service
Watson NLU – sentiment service
Twilio – SMS service
Parabola is a no-code tool where I built the app. Parabola is a drag-and-drop workflow builder. You build a flow with multiple steps (nodes) and connections between steps. Each step has input and output. Output from one step is passed as input to the next step. You can also look at it as a serverless application – where each step represents a serverless function. But, instead of writing code, each step is dropped onto the flow and configuring. This is how the application flow looks: