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How non-techies can build apps themselves with Google AppSheet

Do you ever find yourself in this situation: you need a business app to optimise and support your operational processes, but you don't have coding skills, and hiring developers is too expensive for your specific needs? What if there was a simple way for you to build the app yourself using a user-friendly platform? In this article, you'll explore Google AppSheet, a powerful tool that can enhance your efficiency and make your digital work processes smoother.

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Dive into the Future of your digital workplace with this session recording on ‘AppSheet’ with practical cases and success stories. Or discover the webinar series, where you’ll discover how Google Workspace changes IT operations, boosts security, and drives efficiency.

Getting Started with AppSheet

Imagine a world where you can create custom apps without needing to be a coding whiz. That’s the magic of AppSheet. This tool falls under the “no-code, low-code” category, meaning you can build applications without writing complex lines of code. Whether you’re a business analyst, a process owner, or a tech-savvy enthusiast, AppSheet can help everyone achieve their goals. Moreover, for those seeking a head start, Google AppSheet offers a range of templates that can serve as foundational building blocks, allowing users to tailor pre-existing designs to their specific needs, further streamlining the app creation process.

When you as a non-techie start to develop, we call you a “citizen developer.” These are the people within your organisation who understand the ins and outs of your processes. They know what data they need and how data should flow. With AppSheet, they can create tailored applications to support their tasks, all without waiting for the IT department or a massive budget. No need for a development environment to be set up and maintained; and app deployment or version history is available by default.

AppSheet isn’t just about creating standalone apps. It’s also a fantastic way to enhance your existing Google Workspace environment. You’ll be amazed by the integration possibilities. Think of seamlessly connecting with Google Drive, generating documents, setting up events, and even tapping into third-party apps using APIs.  Or calendar invites and tasks automatically added in your agenda.  Also mail notifications can be sent or form responses can be processed. This isn’t just about creating apps; it’s about making the way you work a lot more efficient.

How AppSheet will embed Conversational AI: A Glimpse into the Future

Imagine starting a bot conversation with AppSheet to outline your desired app features in a natural, conversational manner. You might say, “Hey, I’d like to create an app with a three-step workflow, involving specific data and notifications at the third step’s completion.” AppSheet’s intuitive AI would then engage in a dialogue, clarifying your requirements and generating an initial customisable app based on your conversation. This revolutionary feature hints at a new era in app creation, expanding possibilities far beyond current limitations.

Scenarios in which you can use AppSheet

Let’s dive into some practical scenarios where AppSheet can truly shine. Need to manage tasks, projects, or workflows? AppSheet’s got you covered. Think of it as a versatile solution for all things data-related. The possibilities are vast, from managing visitor registrations to optimising your supply chain. Just remember, while AppSheet is incredibly powerful, heavy layout customisation might not be its strong suit and building a public-facing app will require some considerations. But at the same time: a responsive mobile, tablet and desktop experience will be created without any extra effort.

A practical example: Chromebook reservation app

To illustrate the power of Google AppSheet, let’s consider a practical scenario. Imagine a company that needs an app to manage Chromebook reservations for training courses. In just a day’s work, a functional app can be created using AppSheet. The app allows users to view reservations, track statuses, and even automate processes such as device allocation and return.

Building the app: step by step

The process of creating this Chromebook reservation app involves a few key steps:

  1. Defining Data: You start by defining the data structures. For example, setting up tables for reservations, courses, and user details. AppSheet simplifies this process, suggesting the right data types and characteristics and allowing you to modify where needed, such as email addresses that trigger actions like pre-filled emails. You can use existing data or start collecting new data with the app. 
  2. Creating Views: Views are the various screens users interact with in the app. In our example, the primary view displays reservations grouped by status. Navigation menus are set up to access location and course details.
  3. Configuring Actions: AppSheet automates actions within the app. While it generates many actions based on context, you can customise them to suit your needs. For instance, you can remove unnecessary actions or create new ones.
  4. Implementing Automation: AppSheet’s automation capabilities hold immense promise. For our Chromebook app, automation can trigger processes such as transferring devices between organisational units based on reservation status. But also approval flows, notifications and alerts processes can be defined to optimise the process and user experience.

The data behind the app

Behind the scenes, AppSheet relies on data stored in Google Sheets. The spreadsheet holds vital information, such as reservations, courses, and user details. Changes made to the spreadsheet are reflected in the app, either through manual sync or automatic updates.

And recently Google added a second option by introducing AppSheet databases specifically built for a seamless application integration.

It’s good to know that AppSheet supports many cloud-based databases like BigQuery, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle etc. or spreadsheets on other cloud storage services.

Pro tips for AppSheet success

To give you a taste of what’s possible, here are some tips of an organisation that embraced AppSheet to migrate from Microsoft Office 365 to Google Workspace. By remediating old applications and leveraging AppSheet’s flexibility, they transformed their operations and achieved better business continuity.

Along their journey, they noticed it’s best to keep these things in mind: 

  1. Involve your business users from the start; their insights are invaluable.
  2. Start small and build your way up; don’t feel overwhelmed by complexity.
  3. Layout customisation isn’t the main focus; focus on data and functionality first.
  4. Embrace AppSheet’s integration capabilities for a seamless workspace experience.
  5. Collaboration and governance: in any organisation, balance is key. AppSheet offers a blend of freedom and control. Business users can let their creativity go wild, but you can set up a validation process to ensure things are aligned with your business rules. This approach keeps sensitive data secure and prevents unauthorised sharing. Plus, collaboration is baked into the tool, making it a breeze to work together on app development.
  6. Don’t forget Change Management: make sure everyone is onboard through sponsorship mapping, analyse the impact on the user groups, and create a communication and training plan for all those impacted! It will be the key to success.

By adhering to these principles, you can pave the way for successful AppSheet implementation, empowering your organisation with newfound efficiency and innovation.


Google AppSheet’s intuitive interface, seamless integration with Google Workspace, and future-focused AI developments have the potential to change the way you create apps. With the ability to engage in bot conversations to articulate app requirements and generate initial versions, the possibilities are vast. The example of the Chromebook reservation app showcases how even non-developers can leverage this power to bring practical solutions to life.

Start unlocking new possibilities today

The future of Appsheet promises to break down even more barriers, enabling more and more non-techies to turn their innovative ideas into functional, customised applications.