How to update Google Sheets with JSON API

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:

Glide app

This is how the Google Sheets spreadsheets looks:

Data for Glide app in Google Sheets

If I need to update any news I can manually edit the Google Sheets spreadsheets and the Glide app will be updated.

This manual update is not ideal of course.

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Video: Building a no-code application to text positive news with Parabola, News API, Watson NLU and Twilio

Earlier I published two blogs posts where I share my experience building a no-code application that texts positive COVID-19 news:

I also recorded a video that shows how I built the application:

Hope you will find it useful. Let me know if you have any question.

Tutorial: building a no-code application to text positive news with Parabola, News API, Watson NLU and Twilio

I wanted to take an app build with code and rebuild it using no-code tools. Gwyneth Peña built a wonderful app that sends a daily positive news article about COVID-19 via a text message so I decided to build this app using no-code tools. I shared a high-level overview of the app in an earlier blog post.

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.

  1. Parabola – no-code platform
  2. News API – news service
  3. Watson NLU – sentiment service
  4. Twilio – SMS service

Parabola

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:

Application flow in Parabola

Register for a free Parabola account.

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Parabola, Watson NLU, News API and Twilio – tools I used to build a nocode application

One thing I wanted to try is re-build an app built with code using no-code tools.

Gwyneth Peña built a wonderful app that sends a daily positive news article about COVID-19 via a text message:

I thought this is a great app I should try to build using no-code tools.

Continue reading “Parabola, Watson NLU, News API and Twilio – tools I used to build a nocode application”

The value of no-code is clear: build faster and allow a lot more people to build

I shared earlier how no-code can help build solutions faster and allow a lot more people to participate in building solutions. I shared how the community stepped up to help fight COVID-19 by building various applications with no-code. For example, one such application is to allow restaurant owners to build an online menu for delivery or takeout:

The value of no-code is easy to understand:

  1. Build solutions faster
  2. Allow a lot more people to build solutions

A few days after I published my blog post, CNBC published a great article on demonstrating the two points above: Next frontier in Microsoft, Google, Amazon cloud battle is over a world without code. I want to share a few quotes from the article.

[NYC] created a COVID-19 crisis-management software platform in a matter of days, and without writing one line of computer code. Time is of the essence.

CNBC (https://t.co/Y1MCdQY4dj)

NYC used a no-code solution from Unqork to build this application in 48 to 72 hours. I think the time it took to build this solution is incredible. For many applications there is no need to focus on frameworks, libraries, integrations and servers. No-code allows to focus on a problem and building a solution.

Microsoft expects 500 million new apps to be built in the next half decade, which is more than all the apps built in the last 40 years

CNBC (https://t.co/Y1MCdQY4dj)

If this number is true, then this is an unprecedented demand for new software solutions. Today there are about 24-25 million developers. It’s impossible to meed this demand with this number of developers using traditional coding tools. No-code allows a lot more people to build software solutions. No-code democratizes software development. Imagine if we enabled millions more people to build solutions. These people will come with solutions, ideas, inventions that we were not possible or imaginable before. Imagine what solutions first reponders could build to help fight COVID-19?

The value of no-code is clear: build faster and allow a lot more people to build.

No-code, Coronavirus, Call for Code 2020, innovation

In November 2019 I attended No Code Conf in San Francisco. The main theme of the conference was that there are millions of people who want to create and build solutions but they don’t know how to code. No-code will allow these folks to build applications without code.

No-code will democratize software development.

Today there about 24-25 millions developers in the world which means only about 0.3% of people today know how to create software, invent new things.

Imagine if millions more people, who are not coders, could create and build software, invent new things. We would have awesome new services, products and markets that we probably don’t even imagine today.

Innovation would accelerate.

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What is no-code?

In this blog post you will learn about the no-code space, its history as well as some of its advantages and disadvantages.

What is no-code?

Okey, so what is no-code? No-code is using any tools that allow you to build software applications without coding, usually using visual and drag-and-drop tools. The following definition form Wikipedia describes this space nicely:

No-code development platform (NCDPs) allows programmers and non-programmers to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional computer programming.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-code_development_platform

Instead of writing code you can use graphical user interfaces, configuration and wizards to build software applications. For example, an integration no-code tool Parabola allows to build app logic using a graphical flow instead of traditional programming. You wire and connect various components such as API calls, mappings into a flow which is then executed.

Sample Parabola flow

I personally like the term “visual development” a little bit more than “no-code”.

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No Code/Visual Development links – November 26, 2019

News

📖 Microsoft wants anyone to be a developer, whether they code or not – Microsoft shares plans to make anyone a builder and creator

📖 ‘Low-Code’ Becomes High Priority as Automation Demands Soar – CIOs are embracing the use of No Code and Low Code tools to allow noncoders to build applications

📖 Low-Code Platform Adoption Gets a Boost from Digital Transformation – use of low-code platforms has increased and will continue to do so in the near future despite negative feelings according to a survey

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No Code Conf recap

I attended the No Code Conf in San Francisco on November 13, 2019. This blog post is my conference recap. I also added some opinion and history of No Code space.

Main theme

The main theme of the conference (in my opinion) was: the are millions of people who want to create and build solutions but they don’t know how to code. No Code will allow these folks to build applications without code. No Code allows to focus on customer experience and value, not on servers. No Code is going to democratize software development.

I know this is a lot so let’s unpack this.

Democratize software development

Today there about 24-25 millions developers in the world which means only about 0.3% of people today know how to create software, invent new things.

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No Code Conf in 10 pictures

This week I attended No Code Conf in San Francisco. Here are some pictures from this great event.

nocodeconf-youdontneed
You can build value today without knowing how to code

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