Wholly Sheets Totally Unscripted is back! Same time, new day

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Martin Hawksey

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Sep 13, 2021, 4:24:42 PMSep 13
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Hello all,

The Google Workspace developer community show, Totally Unscripted, is back this Wednesday! We'll be broadcasting live at the usual time 1200 PDT / 1500 EDT / 2000 GMT+1 with Wednesday's targeted as our new 'day'.

For our return we'll be bringing you an episode on 'Wholly Sheets: Tips for building productivity solutions with Google Sheets'. Tune in live to ask questions or immediately watch the recording on demand. To join us visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyivHRiwPe4 

As ever you can ask questions in advance on this thread. Full show description below: 

Spreadsheets are the swiss army knife of productivity tools where they are used (and sometimes misused) as databases, workflow engines, project management tools, custom calculators, and oh yeah… spreadsheets. In this episode of Totally Unscripted, we will chat with Jonathan Butler, Software Engineer at Viriya Consulting, and Spencer Farris, a Google Sheets & Apps Script Consultant, about how they are build  spreadsheet solutions that range from small problem-solving automations to full blown critical applications.

Guests:

Clark Lind

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Sep 14, 2021, 9:35:04 AMSep 14
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Hi Martin! 
Here is a thought/topic for discussion & consideration. Many of us work in Google Enterprise Suites (.edu, .org. .gov, etc) where said 'enterprise' is, as you might say, cheap (ok, fiscally risk averse), and they haven't invested in the complete package(s) that would be required for developing Apps correctly. Meaning, products like Firebase or Firestore are unavailable. To say some of use have abused Sheets as a Database table is being nice. I've used, abused, stretched, and gotten everything I can out of sheets under these circumstances. I treat a sheet (tab) as a DB table, and can link to other sheets, build "merge sheets", etc etc, in this endless "cloud database". To me, importRange === importInfinitePosibility.

With all that in mind, do you folks have any best practices for using sheets as database tables?

Laurie Nason

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Sep 14, 2021, 9:45:07 AMSep 14
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Clark - you forgot to mention "pushed too far" to your list of what you get out of sheets :-) Hit a few limits myself in the past!

But absolutely! Totally think that would be a good topic for discussion and looking forward to this edition (albeit after the event, given timezone issues - I like my sleep!)

Laurie

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dimud...@gmail.com

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Sep 14, 2021, 10:41:32 AMSep 14
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Clark - Assuming you are someone who works within such "fiscally averse" organizations, in the rare event that they do adopt a paid service, what's the typical price point - in other words what would your  organizations actually be willing to pay? Say, hypothetically, there was an add-on on the market that allowed users to leverage an SQLite database from Google Sheets, would a monthly subscription of US$1.99 be reasonable?  

Clark Lind

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Sep 14, 2021, 11:05:32 AMSep 14
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The example I used regarding $$ is of course just one consideration. Imagine said organization also has extremely strict IT security standards such that things like installing software is not allowed, the Chrome browser is managed (no extensions allowed without approval), USB drives are secured so only non-storage devices work, etc. It would be easier to convince them to add Firebase to the Google package as you can imagine. I can't even create a new Google Site without filling out a form and justifying why the site is needed and who the audience will be.

So while an add-on with SQL capability might be cheaper, it would be more work to get analyzed, reviewed, tested, accepted, approved, and then funded... lol  by the time it got funded, the hypothetical company is no longer maintaining an active product and it is already being sunsetted by something 20 versions later. 

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Martin Hawksey

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Sep 14, 2021, 4:00:57 PMSep 14
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Great point Clark and will ask your Q :)

[working in EDU I also know often the problem is finding someone with a corporate credit card to sign up for paid services (although payment options for Google services have got better in a few countries)] 

Clark Lind

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Sep 14, 2021, 4:26:23 PMSep 14
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Thanks Martin! 

I will add one best practice for using any Spreadsheet (Excel, Sheets, etc).   RULE #1 of spreadsheets:
"Thou shalt keep your data and visualizations of that data separate. For when the data and the output are intertwined and indistinguishable, there is great suffering and gnashing of teeth"

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