How to Create an App

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1. Prepare your data

Open the spreadsheet or database you would like to use for your app. AppSheet lets you choose from an array of data sources like Google Sheets, Excel, SmartSheet, SQL, and more. To make sure AppSheet can read your data appropriately, set up your data with column headers in the first row, and rows of data underneath. If you’d like, you can also start from a prebuilt app template

Learn more about preparing your data here.

 

2. Connect your data to AppSheet

AppSheet never hosts your data, but interacts with it based on how you set up your app. You can connect AppSheet to your data in one of three ways:

  1. If you’ve never used AppSheet before, you can connect your data and set up your account here. We’ll walk you through each of the steps needed to get started.
  2. If you are using Google Sheets, you can connect your data to AppSheet directly from your Sheet by clicking Tools > AppSheet > Create an app

SheetsCreateAnApp

  1. Finally, you can always connect to a new database by going to your My Apps page and clicking on “Make a new app”

QuickStartApp

Learn how to connect multiple tables to your app in this video.

Learn how to connect to more advanced data sources here.

3. Familiarize yourself with the AppSheet Editor

You are now in the AppSheet editor! If you look on the right hand side there is a live preview of your app. 

Emulator

Each page you see in your app is known as a View. Notice that AppSheet may suggest Views based on the data you connected it to. Hopefully these are views you want to have in your app, but if not, no worries! We’ll learn how to update views soon.

On the left side of the editor you’ll see your primary menu, with a number of tabs.

  • Info lets you see and manage the technical details of your app
  • Data lets you define how AppSheet interacts with your data
  • UX lets you create and customize views, along with the look and feel of your app
  • Behavior lets you create buttons that perform specific actions, as well as automated reports and workflows
  • In Security, you can set up user roles and define security features
  • Intelligence lets you incorporate machine learning into your app, such as sentiment analysis, predictive analytics, and optical character recognition
  • In Users, you can share your app and manage who has access to it
  • In Manage, you can specify additional details about your app, such as which version of the app you want and how it’s deployed

Finally, whenever you make edits to your app, you’ll see the save button in the top right corner turn blue. Make sure you click on it so your edits are saved.

SaveIcon

That might seem like a lot, but don’t worry! You won’t need to use all of them to deploy your first app.

 

4. Define how your connected data will be used

Before you build your app interface, you will want to specify how your data is being used in the Data tab. 

Add additional tables to your app by going to Data>Tables and click on “New Table”

NewTable

In Data>Columns, you’ll see a list of each column you have in your table listed in a field. The column structure of your connected data will determine what features you're able to add to your app. For example, if you want to capture and display images in your app, there must be a column in your data set as 'Image'.

By either clicking on the pencil to the left of each field, you can adjust settings for how the app will interact with your data. Here’s two examples of the settings you can adjust here:

  • Check Show if you want this data to be displayed in your app (some data you may want to keep hidden)
  • Type lets you specify what type of data is in that column. For example, if you have an “Address” column in your data, you need to make sure that column type is set to Address. 

ShowType

The Data section can initially feel a little overwhelming, as there are a lot of powerful features available in it, but don’t worry--as you create your views, you’ll be able to go back and adjust it as needed. Plus, we provide a lot of resources to help you know what to do.

Learn more about setting up data interactions here.

 

5. Create views and customize look and feel

AppSheet makes it easy to create and customize views by providing ready-to-use view templates that you can customize. To create a view, go to the UX tab (UX stands for user experience, or how people interact with your app), click on the Views section and select “New View”. From here, you can:

  • Update the View Name
  • Select which data the view should use
  • Choose which view type you want. Options include Calendar, Map, Form, Chart, and Card, to name a few. Play around with each view to see which one works best.
  • Choose how the view can be accessed by setting its Position. Your view can either be accessible along the main menu at the bottom of your app or via the reference menu in the top left corner of your app
  • Specify which row of data goes where, in the View Options area
  • Choose the Display Name and Icon for your view in the Display area

Icon

To customize your app’s look and feel, go to UX>Brand and UX>Format Rules , where you can specify your theme, colors, logos, and more!

Learn more about views and UX here.

 

6. Create custom buttons, actions, and automations

The Behavior tab in the AppSheet editor lets you set up custom buttons and actions that can be used in a wide range of ways. These can be set by going to Behavior>Actions>New Action. From there you can set the Action Name, specify the type of action to occur, and, if you want that action to be triggered by a button, you can specify the button’s Look and Feel.

Behavior

Workflows and Reports let you set up automations, such as emails or texts being sent, data being added or updated, or new calendar events being added. Workflows and Reports are very similar, with one key difference: Workflows are automations that are triggered when certain actions occur, while Reports are automations that are triggered based on periodic schedules. 

Workflows&Reports

Finally, if you want to be able to use your app when its not connected to the internet, you can enable offline use in the Offline/Sync section

Offline

Learn more about actions, workflows, and reports here.

 

7. Test, share and deploy your app with users

Whenever you’re ready, you can easily share your app with others to test it. Go to the Users tab, and in the Users section type the email addresses for the people you want to to share your app with. Once you verify you’re human, you can customize the email message they will receive from AppSheet, inviting them to use your app. From there, they can either download the AppSheet app on their device, or open your app in a web browser.

Users

Finally, once you’ve finished making changes to you app, you can officially deploy it, which will activate all the services in your app. Go to Manage>Deploy>Deployment Check and click “Run Deployment Check.” AppSheet will analyze your app to make sure it’s working properly and give you a full report. If you’re ready for it to be deployed, select “Move app to deployed state.” Your app is now live!

Deployment

Learn more about managing users here.

 

8. Improve your app and get feedback

Congratulations on creating your first app! From here, you can continue improving your app or start on your next idea! AppSheet provides numerous resources you can use to learn how you can leverage the platform to build your own tailored apps.

  • Go to the AppSheet Help Center to access hundreds of help articles on various AppSheet features
  • Explore AppSheet’s active community and engage with other app creators on specific topics and questions.
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