Sheetsu - simplifying Google Sheets usage as a database through API calls?

I was just looking into writing up a template for project group to use Google Sheets as a database (benefits: auto-populated by Google Forms, can run triggered scripts, has an API to access data, FREE), when I came across a service called Sheetsu that says they make using the Google Sheets API a lot easier. They have a limited free tier… but I noticed they also show the CFA logo:

@tdooner do you know if is currently using Sheetsu, how useful it is, and/or whether brigades can get in on it?

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I’m a bit surprised to see our logo there. I’ll ask around and report back.

Me too since I hadn’t heard it mentioned before! Maybe it’s being used by some of CFA’s internal projects?

The original version of Philly Ward Leaders used Tabletop.js to pull data directly from Google Sheets as a data source and it worked great as a way to stand up the project and compile its data quickly.

It now uses Contentful to provide a bit more of a structured system

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Sweet, I think Tabletop.js is exactly what I’m looking for. I’m trying to figure out what Contentful is and what to compare it to, but their site is a little over the top with all the marketing talk!

Hey Nina! Contentful is a “headless cms” - like WordPress but it only worries about the content editing/organising part, not the template rendering. You would build your website separately and have it pull the content from contentful’s API as if it were data. You can do that dynamically with client-side JavaScript or ahead of time, say, as part of a Jekyll site’s build process. There are other headless CMSes too. I’d recommend looking at netlify cms and directus. But contentful works fine. The advantage over Google sheets is that you can create a schema so it’s not as easy to break while editing, and it should be a lot faster than fetching data from Google sheets at each page load. That said, Google sheets as a CMS/DB is handy for quick prototypes and empowers people less familiar with CMSes to maintain the site. Good luck!


Thanks for that info, that helps a lot!

An open-source alternative to Sheetsu created by Jessica Lord, a former CfA fellow originally from Georgia, is the amazing Sheetsee.js. It actually predates Sheetsu, and I have often wondered whether the Sheetsee people got inspiration for the name from Jessica’s project.