How to create an Appsheet app from a Google Sheet

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Originally I was going to cover AppSheet data types in this post. It dawned on me as I was mulling that over that if we are building an actual app in this series, it would be better to create the app first.

Last post, we set up our Google Sheets spreadsheet for GTA HVAC Services. Let’s pivot away from the nitty gritty of AppSheet data and instead set up our AppSheet app.

There are two good ways to do this. The first is to use a Google Sheets plug-in and the second is to create an AppSheet account and then connect the spreadsheet. Essentially you can go from sheet to app or app to sheet.

Let’s start with how to use the Google Sheets plug-in.

Creating your AppSheet app using the Google Sheets plug-in

The question we’ll try to answer here is how to utilize the Google Sheets plug-in to create your AppSheet app from your Google Sheets data.

If you take a look at your spreadsheet menus, you’ll see a menu labeled Add-ons.

Google Sheet Add-ons menu

If you click on the menu, there is a Get add-ons option.

Clicking on Get add-ons will open up a GSuite Marketplace window from which you can search for different add-ons that will work with Google Sheets. Type AppSheet in the search field at the top of the window and click enter.

Clicking enter will bring up a single search result looking like the image below.

Click the search result icon and install it. When you are asked by AppSheet for permission to start installing, click Continue.

Another window will pop up asking you to sign in with your Google login credentials. Use the same login you’ve used to create your Google Sheet. We’ll sign in with our GTA HVAC Services Google Sheets credentials. Once you do this, you’ll be notified that AppSheet wants to access your Google account and an explainer as to the privacy risks. Click Allow.

Once the installation is complete, a pop up window saying “AppSheet has been installed!” will appear. Click Done and close the GSuite Marketplace window that remains by clicking the X in the top right hand corner.

Now, if you click on the same Add-ons menu in Google Sheets we started with, you’ll see an option for AppSheet.
Click it and you’ll see a sub-menu with options labeled Launch and How To.
Click How To and you’ll see a short five point tutorial outlining how to build and AppSheet app.

Click Launch and AppSheet will automatically start the process of connecting your spreadsheet.

If there is an issue, it will alert you so it can be fixed. Because we only have headers and no data, AppSheet is asking us to enter at least 3 rows or data records before proceeding.

It does this so that it can attempt to automatically detect data types when setting up the app. It will save us time later on.

Once we’ve entered three rows of data, we run the add-on again. This time it brings us to a Google login page that asks us to pick a login to continue on to AppSheet. Same process as when we installed the add-on. I’ll pick my test Gmail I’m using for this series.

Once signed in, you’ll be directed to a new screen where you are asked for permission to allow AppSheet to “talk” to your Google account. Click Allow. Again same process as when we installed the add-on.

And that’s it, AppSheet has logged you in and created the framework of an application from your spreadsheet structure and data. From here you can adjust and tailor it to meet your needs.

Creating your AppSheet app directly from AppSheet

The question we’ll try to answer here is how to build your AppSheet app directly from AppSheet by connecting it to an existing Google Sheet.
This time we start directly from the AppSheet website. You’ll need to login. The easiest way is to click the Start for Free button at the top right hand corner of the website.
When you click the button, you’ll be taken to a page where you can click on a number of options for data providers. We’ll be picking the Google Sheets and Forms option.
You’ll be directed to the same Google login page as before. I’ll again pick my test Gmail I’m using for this series.
And again, you’ll have to give AppSheet permission to “talk” to your Google account. Click Allow.
This is where things get a bit different. You’ll now see a My Apps screen from with the AppSheet website. You’ll click the Make a new app icon under the Quick Start heading.
A Create a new app pop up will appear with 3 different options. We’ll choose the Start with your own data option.
The pop up will change to a Set up your new app display. For the App Name, we can enter GTA HVAC Services work order app. For category we can pick Field Service. Then click the Next step: choose your data button.
Your Google Drive contents will pop up. Pick your spreadsheet. In our case it will be the GTA HVAC Services work order app Google Sheet.
Give it a few seconds and voila, you’re app framework is set up!

Where do we go from here?

Now that we’ve created our app framework and set up our spreadsheet, we can get to work going through the process of building our work order application. We’ve figured out our process flows as well, so next we’ll start investigating the different data types we can use through AppSheet to best structure our application data!