I’ve been toying around with Google Spreadsheets for quite sometime. It has a lot of useful features (sharing etc) that go way beyond the desktop office but it lacks on a very crucial feature, a query interface – a wrapper to query saved sheets. Google has done an excellent job in porting a part of the office to the web. But the web is all about networks and connections between applications. Wouldn’t it be great if I could use Google Spreadsheets as my online database. I can’t help but imagine the mashups I could create if this feature was available.

  • Blogger + Google Spreadsheets = Dynamism as in WordPress
  • Google Maps + Google Spreadsheets = a whole multitude of data retaining maps
  • Gmail + Google Spreadsheets = a powerful tagging system for Gmail
  • Google Search + Google Spreadsheets = a search engine for my textual data (probably having a query syntax like: ‘anand insheet:sheet1 incolumn:name
  • Google Analytics + Google Spreadsheets = custom analytic views based on what I want to track

As far as storage is concerned, which could be a bottleneck as databases continue to grow, GSpreadsheets could be linked up with Gmail to utilize the free space from the virtually unlimited mail box size.

Dabble DB is trying to do something similar but they don’t have an SQL-like query interface yet. Hopefully Google would be willing to venture out in this idea first.

  • http://dabbledb.com/ Luke Andrews

    Hi Anand,

    I’m one of the folks behind Dabble DB. We decided early on that we wouldn’t do anything very SQL-like, because we want the product to be as friendly and open to non-database-aware people as possible.

    We have, however, built in a powerful filter system which we think can operate as effectively as SQL queries. You can change filters on the fly to get a different view of your data at any time. The filters can find specific values, or search mathematical/date ranges, etc. Does that sound about right? Anything specific you think it’s missing? We’d love to hear ways we can improve.

  • Anand Kishore

    Hi Luke,

    The filter system is great but what I was hinting at was programmatically manipulating data (via an API). But then I went back to the 7 minute demo and I found my answer at the very end where Avi mentions “for those of you into the mashups we are also going to offer full two way atom api surely after the public release”.

    Great work. Eagerly waiting for you guys to go public soon so I can get working with the atom api.

  • http://dabbledb.com/ Luke Andrews

    I can’t comment on Atom at the moment, but Dabble is officially “public”, and there is now a Javascript API available which uses JSON objects.